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If you’re looking for law firm Akerman Senterfitt’s Web site, don’t type in akermansenterfitt.com. If you do, what pops up on your computer screen are pictures of jumping kangaroos, sharks eating fish and a bizarre diatribe against the legal system, lawyers and a U.S. district judge. You’ll find the same unexpected images if you type in many other law firm names, including broadcassel.com, morganlewisbockius.com and steelhectordavis.com. And if you type in fleebailey.com, you’ll be greeted by an image of the famous but beleaguered criminal defense attorney behind bars, underneath images of beer kegs, with the words, “Why pass the bar if you like to drink? Just wear a different suit when you work behind bars!” The Web sites are the work of Brian Wick, a so-called cybersquatter with a deep grudge against lawyers, whom he calls “parasites.” Wick, a self-employed computer consultant in Denver, also hates Dole Foods, Pinehurst Resorts in North Carolina and much of the rest of corporate America. But he reserves his biggest grievance for law firms. Last year, he registered domain names for 90 of them. According to Wick, it’s all about free speech. “Millions and millions of people feel the same way I do,” he says. “The legal system is based solely on billable hours.” But some law firms suggest Wick himself is motivated by greed, hoping to get big profits by selling the domains back to their namesakes. A handful of law firms have fought back, taking Wick to court and getting their domain names returned based on trademark law. Ropes & Gray of Boston was one. That venerable law firm complained that Wick went so far as to link ropesandgray.com to offensive racist sites like NoIrishNeedApply.com and MightAsWellFireUpTheOvens.com, which Wick also owns. Hunton & Williams, a century-old international law firm with an office in Miami, claimed in court papers that Wick held it hostage, offering to sell back its name for cash paid to his business, NamesForSale.com. Wick counters that he only wanted his court costs back, saying that there’s no way lawyers would part with their money anyway. In court papers, Hunton & Williams claimed Wick sold T-shirts on its namesake Web site with satirical slogans like: “We bend over for you … because you bend over for us!” and “We tell you what you want to hear … because you pay us! Greed is Good!” What’s puzzling is why powerful law firms like Akerman Senterfitt and Morgan Lewis & Bockius allow Wick to continue. “I got wind of it four or five months ago from a partner,” says Charlie Schuette, Akerman’s managing partner, who promptly had a chat about Wick with the firm’s intellectual property lawyers. “They said it shouldn’t be too hard to get rid of him,” Schuette says. “But I have a lot more pressing things to worry about these days, with the economy.” Steel Hector & Davis is also aware of the cybersatirist, according to staff there, but managing partner Joseph P. Klock did not return calls. Wick, for his part, says the law firms are “laying off” these days because “most are starting to understand what this is all about. It’s a statement.” Could be. But maybe they just can’t find a good IP attorney to take their case.

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