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  "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing"
Edmund Burke

Dozier Internet Law
John W. Dozier, Jr

Hall Of Shame Member
Added May 2, 2008

We first heard of John W. Dozier when we read a blog by the Public Citizen Litigation Group concerning a cease & desist letter that his firm sent on behalf of DirectBuy. The blog article, titled Don't Post This Cease And Desist Letter Or Else.shtml, was a great example of over-reaching by a company alleging defamation and the extremes that corporate lawyers will go to on behalf of their clients. He describes himself as being recognized as a "SUPER LAWYER" on his web site. We see nothing "super" about him except his ego and his ability to misrepresent the facts. We think perhaps that's the secret of his claimed "success".

The cease & desist letter signed by Donald E. Morris, Esq, of Dozier Internet Law, P.C., makes the usual outrageous allegations of defamation and a host of what we call silly assertions by a bottom-feeder. One silly assertion is the claim that the cease and desist letter is copyrighted and that posting it would subject the poster to "legal causes of action".

This got us real curious. Usually, a simple-minded cease and desist isn't enough to get us going. But when we find what we consider to be copyright misinformation (read lawyerly lie) posted on a legal web site, that gets us going. The "misinformation" about which we speak is the "press release" posted by Dozier on PRWeb. Any fool can post a "press release" on PRWeb. We know. We did in 2003. Dozier uses the "press release" to mischaracterize the nature of the federal court ruling that he claims "Federal Court Recognizes Copyright Rights In Cease And Desist".

Click here to read the "press release" and click here to read our rebuttal. Basically, Dozier presents the case as though there were a federal court ruling that says a cease and desist letter has copyright protection and posting it is copyright infringement. But, the actual court "Report and Recommendation" (edited by Dozier) that he posted contradicts the "professional opinion" offered by Dozier. Usually we obtain our own copy of court decisions to confirm what a lawyer has said but we thought his posting was sufficient. Oh, were we wrong. He left out some interesting parts. FYI - the court decision was dated November 16, 2007 and the case was dismissed in its entirety December 7, 2007. To read the full "Report and Recommendation" [PDF format], click here.

The case involved a hearing to quash a pre-litigation subpoena, not the merits of a cease & desist letter. The subpoena was quashed in part and granted in part. The magistrate judge properly followed federal law that say the plaintiff, Melaleuca, Inc, only had to make a prima facie case:

"In order to obtain a subpoena, copyright holder must plead a prima facie case of copyright infringement, that is: (1) ownership of a valid copyright; and (2) copying of constituent elements of the work that are original. In re: Verizon Internet Servs., Inc., 257 F. Supp. 2d 244, 263 (D.D.C. 2003)."

"The Copyright Act of 1976 provides that the subject matter of a copyright must be an original work of authorship that is fixed in a tangible medium of expression. 17 U.S.C. Section 102(a)."

The plaintiff, Melaleuca, Inc, received a copyright on the cease & desist letter on June 22, 2007, 2½ months after it was sent. Any letter can be copyrighted. All it takes is an application and paying the fee. The law says a letter qualifies under 17 U.S.C. Section 102(a). Voila, the judge issued the subpoena. The judge also very plainly stated:

"However, the Court will not go into an in-depth analysis of the merits of a copyright infringement claim in determining whether to quash this subpoena. It is sufficient in this instance that Melaleuca has registered the Sheppard Letter with the Copyright Office."

In fact, the court never said it would "go into an in-depth analysis of the merits" of the claim at any time. Dozier lied in his press release, Dozier misrepresented the case, Dozier lied about the ruling, and Dozier misled about the facts in the hearing. Oh, that's right! He's a corporate lawyer. We expect him to lie. On his web site he claims, "We have lawyers in California, New York and Virginia", but he doesn't say he has "offices" in these locations. We think it's an interesting choice of words designed to give the impression that his firm is much larger than it really is. Is this a deliberate lie or just a flub? Based upon his distortion of the facts in the above case, we think deliberate. We also think much of his so-called publicity is self-generated and really "paid" advertising by him and his firm.

From the John W. Dozier User Agreement:

"We also own all of the code, including the HTML code, and all content. As you may know, you can view the HTML code with a standard browser. We do not permit you to view such code since we consider it to be our intellectual property protected by the copyright laws. You are therefore not authorized to do so."

Hey, John, we looked at your source code. We peeked! And, pffft! We've seen better. But then, you're used to hearing that, aren't you? So, John, sue us. We violated your User Agreement and looked at your HTML source code.

We don't often link to other sites but here we make an exception. About a week after we added John W. Dozier to these pages, we discovered And we thought we weren't being nice! Ouch! These people do not like John W. Dozier. The site is run by a Ronald J Riley who has put together a lot of information about John W. Dozier. This site basically calls John W. Dozier an asshole, with which we do not agree because that's an insult to assholes everywhere.




In an effort to provide a balanced view, we make the following offer to anyone who feels they have been wrongly accused on this web site.

If you, or your company, have been referenced on these pages, and you would like the chance to post a rebuttal, we will post your rebuttal (provided it is in good taste) so others can read it. The rebuttal must be submitted in a format that can easily be converted into HTML. We reserve the right to alter the rebuttal to make it more readable. However, we will not alter the content (unless there is offensive material to be removed). We also reserve the right to comment on any rebuttal received. Emails protesting the content of this web site may be treated as rebuttals by us at our discretion.

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