CaseRails is content management and document automation/assembly software for lawyers. I haven’t had a chance to use it, yet, but it looks pretty cool.
What’s more interesting right at this very moment, however, is that CaseRails is currently being sued for everything from trademark infringement to computer trespass and common-law conspiracy by Georgia attorney Sanford Asman. If you want to know more about Asman, simply peruse pages 5–24 of the 47-page complaint (pdf) in which Asman lays out his life story and the history of the software products he has developed in excruciating detail going back to the late 1970s.
In the complaint, as far as I can tell, Asman contends that he has the exclusive right to call software Case [Noun] and use rails “in connection with a web-based legal application also using the word ‘Case.'” CaseRails called Asman’s threatened lawsuit frivolous. Ars Technica picked up the story after Asman made his first threats, and that’s where things started to get wacky.
The article in Ars apparently got Asman to add a cause of action for defamation because:
(1) Asman was referred to as “Ass man” [in the comments]; (2) one of the readers of the blog apparently registered the domain “sanfordasman.com” and is using it to link to another website (namely, “The Scuzz Feed” which appears under the url, “sanfordasman.com”) that Asman does not sponsor or endorse.
Asman also went and added a cause of action for common-law conspiracy to subject Asman to ridicule and the above statements (I think that’s the gist of it; the complaint wanders). It’s all just a bit too much, and I’m guessing U.S. District Court Judge Eleanor Ross is already winding up for a benchslap.
(Somehow, by the way, Asman is also suing the Electronic Frontier Foundation (in a separate lawsuit) on behalf of Scott Horstemeyer, apparently because EFF hurt Horstemeyer’s feelings by calling his patent stupid. I feel like I’m hearing echoes of Charles Carreon all over this story.)