From today’s New York Times: Jay Edelson, the Class-Action Lawyer Who May Be Tech’s Least Friended Man – NYTimes.com.
Note: although the cap defines him as a class-action lawyer, his specialty is actually suing mighty internet tech companies like Facebook for gathering too much information about us, i.e., invading our privacy.
Interesting to me, because I’ve noticed that the pop-up ads I get on my screen refer with alarming precision to stuff I’ve been looking at in the on-line catalogs of various companies.
They know who I am, and that I’m looking at desks. Gee.
I’m not scared at the moment, but if I were looking at something I don’t want anyone to know about, I would be.
Of course, this is high-tech advertising technique. Companies have figured out how to target their potential customers. They have been doing this since the birth of companies that sell product.
I wonder how this will all pan out. Meanwhile, I think I’ve found a desk…
UPDATE as of 4/7/15: At the end of the above cited article is this significant quote from a partner at the law firm discussed in the New York Times article:
“Everyone always has a story about getting a check from a class action for 15 cents,” said Christopher Dore, an Edelson partner. Mr. Dore said he had made peace with people questioning his profession.
“The funniest thing is you talk about it in the abstract, and people have one reaction,” he said, “but then you give them specific examples, like I’ll explain a case or something to them, and they’re like, ‘Oh, yeah, that’s really messed up. you should definitely sue them.'”
Which reminded me that I’ve reported here in Sidebar that I, too, was a plaintiff in a couple of class action lawsuits:
Maybe, as I already mentioned, you’ve bought a few shares of some publicly traded company. So you too might find yourself invited to become part of a class action lawsuit.
I’ve expanded on those incidents in a chapter of my book, The Tao of Suing:
Have you ever bought a few shares of some publicly traded company? If so, you, like me, might find yourself part of a class action lawsuit. It happens. If you are involved in any way with a large corporation, you too might wind up suing without knowing.
Once, though, I did know that I was a class action plaintiff. It was a lawsuit against a company in which I had owned stock. I was notified that a group of shareholders were suing, for what I’ve forgotten. Did I want to join? Sure I did, just to find out how. In that case, I was required to do some work. I had to go through all my brokerage purchase notifications, dig out the ones applicable to that lawsuit, make copies, fill out a form, and send it to a court.
The worth to me was hardly financial; I didn’t own many shares. But I did the work anyway, because it was there to be done and I found it interesting and righteous. And eventually I did get some payment.
Most of all, though, I got the satisfaction of knowing that I had, in a minuscule way, participated in controlling and punishing some corporate malfeasance against shareholders. I felt that my action, when joined with the many others who made up our class, strengthened our laws.
P.S. You do save all those brokerage purchase notices, right?