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f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

March 15, 2006

n.y. heavy hitters get dumped: who you gonna sue?

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 5:30 pm

Residents of the New York Capital Region got to see images of our

own legal “Heavy Hitters,” Martin, Harding & Mazzotti, from a different

perspective this week.   Instead of watching the staged tv commercials,

or reading their full-page phonebook ad in the comfort of our homes, we

got to see news cameras pan in on a mountain of upside-down Heavy-

Hitters ads — staring up from the back cover of thousands of new, but

never delivered, Verizon Superpages phone books. CapitalNews9 [Albany,

NY], Phone Book Dumping,” March 13 – 15, 2006; Troy [NY] Record,



                                                                                                             full-size, in color


Fox23 News reported on Sunday that:

Fire Fighters responding to a brushfire in Rensselaer County

find more than just flames — Close by, tens of thousands of

phone books that should have been delivered, instead dumped

in the middle of the woods. . . .  Not only is the Department of

Environmental Conservation investigating…. now Verizon is trying

to track down who’s responsible for skipping out on the job.”

Fox23 also noted that each copy of the Verizon phone book costs $2.50 to

produce.  It quotes Brian Houle, owner of Brianne’s Flowers and Gifts Boutique,

whose ad appears in the dumped phone books.  He aptly notes: “if I wanted to

advertise to hunters, I’d have put it in a hunting magazine.”


“phoneBooks9”  CapitalNews9


The Troy Record stated that “Authorities received unconfirmed reports that a

white Dodge Ram pickup truck drove into the woods carrying a palette of phone

books.  Our local NBC affiliate, WNYT13, added yesterday that:

“Debbie Johnson of Verizon says three people from the area dumped

the books in Raymertown and in Spiegeltown. The people, she says,

were hired by the distribution vendor, DDA. The phone books, which

were dumped and some set on fire, were supposed to be delivered in

Troy. Johnson says Verizon plans to conduct an audit to make sure

no advertisers or customers are left without books. The company does

not have the names of those arrested yet.”

I suspect that the culprits will be named in newscasts very soon.  Some Troy

residents may not have minded missing their third new telephone book of the

month (see our prior post from March 9).  Nonetheless, I bet a lot of the adver-

tisers are itching for someone to sue.  Aren’t they lucky they have a bunch of

Heavy Hitters who should be among the most aggrieved yellow-pages advertisers.  

Maybe we’ll soon see just how hard Martin, Harding & Mazzotti can hit.




without consent
my old sneakers
in the trash


   – Homework (Snapshot Press 2000)




vivid dreams

the din of a garbage truck

drives you away


   Yu Chang – Upstate Dim Sum (2004/II)





distant thunder

the home run hitter

drops a bunt


  Ed Markowski
  –  games (pawEprint 78, Nov. 2004)


tiny check  To get serious for a moment, let’s return to our earlier topic 

Is it in some way deceptive or unfair to consumers for a law firm to

call itself a “Heavy Hitter,” as attorney advertising regulataors in Nev-

ada recently concluded?   We don’t think so.  Solo California p/i lawyer

Jonathan G. Stein does.  Stein also worries about the profession’s image

and his ability to get a jury picked that is not biased against plaintiffs’

lawyers.   We give consumers (and jurors) more credit than that.  Con-

sumers know when they are seeing an advertising persona or gimmick. 

They don’t think Glen Lerner in Nevada actually spins inside tornados,

nor that Mssrs. Martin & Harding float around construction sites. 


On the other hand, Stein says his is “your neighborhood law firm.”  Is

that any more understandable, meaningful, verifiable than the Heavy

Hitter slogan?  Is it more or less likely than “Heavy Hitters” to make

consumers cynical about lawyers and their intentions?


“BathTubG” potluck

I’ve been meaning to thank Suz-at-Large for pointing to our post   

about the Early Bather Lawsuit, which was brought by dutiful son 

Sheldon H. Smith in Denver, on behalf of his light-sleeping parents.

She also points out that there is a new weblog by Mark Beese, the

marketing director for Smith’s firm, Holland & Hart. It’s called Leader-

ship for Lawyers.


Suz had an earlier piece on the case (Feb. 22, 2006), with the sub-    donkey

headline: “The Law is Not An Ass, But No Thanks to Some Lawyers.” 

The hearing in this case is set for next Wednesday, March 22.  If

anyone hears about a settlement, please let us know.



unrung phone

she won’t stop

leaving me alone







ides of March trivia

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 10:53 am

Thanks to the magic of baby-boomer memory lapses,

this post from a year ago today is as fresh as ever

for me:

Caesar Bust [Sandro Vannini/Corbis]

Things I probably used to know but learned again today:

History tells us that Julius Caesar was killed 2049 [ed. note:

you’ll have to do the calculating this year] years ago, on the

ides of March, 44 B.C. Despite Ceasar’s fate, Wikipedia says

that the ides (which fell on either the 13 or 15th of the month) were

considered auspicious, and traditionally corresponded with the

full moon (a favorite of haiku lovers and other romantics).

Thanks largely to Shakespeare’s line, in Julius Caesar, “et tu, Brute?,” the Ides of March is now associated with treachery by a friend. So, this might be a good day to practice and express your loyalty to those who merit it.

tiny check I learned a couple interesting things about the Roman calendar and the notion of fasti, clicking around Wikipedia today. It appears that legal activities could only take place on certain days (dies fasti), while dies nefasti” were days, designated N on the calendar, on which the courts could not sit, for various religious reasons, and dies endotercissus, designated EN, were days when legal actions were permitted on half of the day only. Does this give Walter Olson any possible reform strategies?

New this year: At NPR this morning, Robert Krulwich commemorates

Ceasar’s dying breath — telling us why chemistry teachers use it as a

teaching tool and believe we will all inhale at least one of Casear’s death-

breath molecules today (along with a molecule from each breath of every-

other human ever on the planet — talk about one-very-poetic-breath).

Commemorate Caesar: Take a Deep Breath!,” March 15, 2006; audio


the cattails
lose their heads
march wind

…. by Tom Painting from the haiku chapbook piano practice


mid-March thaw –
et tu,
snow buddha?


…….. by dagosan



stiff march wind
the sound
of an airball

…. by Ed Markowski


between Pompey
and Caesar
I place my bookmark

John StevensonSome of the Silence (1999)




March wind
wondering how I tied my hair
as a child

Hilary Tann
Upstate Dim Sum (2005/II)

Did you say you wanted a few more poems

from Hilary Tann? Happy to oblige:

morning frost
the slight yielding
of the earth

old boyfriend –
his new wife and I
exchange hugs

road crew –
bright orange jackets
circle the old tree

watch step sign Hilary Tann Upstate Dim Sum (2005/II)

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