Kiki Winchester’s lawyer threatens legal action about year-old post

Email I received this morning, about a post from a year ago where I made fun of Kiki Winchester, a local real estate agent who also sold Xango juice:

Subject: Kiki Winchester
From: Nancie Heaphy <>
Date: Fri, 18 May 2007 07:31:22 -0700 (PDT)

Nancie Heaphy wrote:
We are solicitors for Ms. Winchester.

We have recently been notified of your posting.and would request that it be immediately removed.

This constitutes defamation of our client’s character. It is also damaging to her reputation as a real estate agent.

Please remove all reference to Ms. Winchester immediately or we will be commencing further legal action against you.

Govern yourself accordingly,

Nancie-Anne Heaphy
Barrister & Solicitor
Suite 303 -1376 Bank Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1H 7Y3

Since she doesn’t provide any details about what posting she’s talking about, and since Nancie attributes herself (“Nancy Heaphy wrote:”) at the top of her message (an easy cut-and-paste mistake), I bet I’m not the only one to receive one of these. There’s nothing (yet) in the Chilling Effects database, though.

My guess is that Kiki has realized that involvement with Xango might indeed be damaging to her reputation to a real estate agent, since I also noticed that she’s removed her juice ad from the website of the magazine I first found her ad in (compare Google cache to current version). There was also an investigative report on CBC Marketplace back in January recently about another “miracle juice” sold via MLM — Goji juice — which might have changed her mind.

But reading over that old post of mine things seem pretty straightforward, mostly because I took care to write it that way: she had one listing, she sold Xango juice, the magazine had those ads, Xango is a Utah-based MLM scheme, and so on. I asked the lawyer which statements of fact they dispute.

It’s surprising that in 2007 lawyers would still encourage their clients to pursue things like this. I can’t manage to pull that old post of mine out of Google with any logical set of keywords, so it’s not like potential clients of Kiki’s are even finding what I think of her. How can a modern lawyer not know the attitude of the blogosphere to this sort of cease and desist?

13 responses to “Kiki Winchester’s lawyer threatens legal action about year-old post”

  1. Wow. I remember that post now that you mention it, and there wasn’t anything I’d consider “defaming” to her – sounds like she’s trying very hard to distance herself from the miracle juice business and doesn’t want anyone to find a connection…

    But hey, you’ve kind of arrived in the blogworld if you’ve gotten a cease & desist! :)

  2. Hah, hardly my first. The first one was for the Dilbert Hole, of which I had hosted a copy. That one was particularly amusing because the letter was sent from the USA registered mail, but the post office here didn’t keep the proof-of-receipt card to send back to the sender. I still have it and the letter somewhere.

    I did end up taking down the Dilbert Hole, but not so much because the lawyers asked me to — as I said in that old page I linked there, it was more because their creator didn’t really care much either.

  3. I got a cease and desist recently for an old post in lj_support made by pthalo that I can’t even edit (i don’t have posting access to lj_support) for something which was hardly defamatory. the person in question sent it from “dont_bother_replying@[server].com”, so I didn’t bother replying to tell them that I didn’t have the ability (or desire) to comply. whatever.

  4. I may be mistaken on this, but is email even accepted/recognized as a proper channel for legal communications nowdays?

    I take it (and hope) that you’re not going to remove the original post?

  5. I notice that this post is now the third Google result for “kiki winchester” :)

  6. Wow, Google’s quick! It’s only been an hour or two since I posted.

    And yeah, I’m certainly not taking it down because they told me to. (I almost wrote “asked me to”, but that’s not really asking, is it? Although it’s funny — if Kiki had called or emailed to tell me what the problem was, the resulting conversation probably would have been much more productive.)

  7. Maybe I’m just a bastard at heart, but I think we should all put links to your previous article about her in our blogs so that it gets a better Google rating.

  8. (Curiously, the previous two comments came from an Ottawa-based IP address who found this page via a Google search for the lawyer’s name. Disemvoweling was my doing.)