Amway and the Blakey Report Fiasco

I thought I would document the happenings of Amway/Quixtar and the Blakey report for fun.

If you don't know, the report was written by Professor Robert Blakey of Notre Dame University.   He was responsible for much of the RICO law written in the 1960's.  Mr. Blakey was hired by Proctor and Gamble, who from time to time has butted heads with Amway.   The report basically compared the characteristics of organized to crime to those of .....Amway.  The report was used as expert testimony against Amway in one of their many legal feuds.   The document was however mentioned on the Michigan Bar Website in a MEMORANDUM OPINION.  I had seen it years ago, but I did not know what to make of it at the time. 

On February 9, 2004 Quixtar Blog posted the Blakey report.  Who is G. Robert Blakey and what did he say?

I grabbed a copy from the Quixtar Blog site posted my own copy of the report on my website and scanned it into text so it was easier to read, and so the search engines would pick up the text.

On February 12, 2004 QBlog speaks with Brad Harrigan, an attorney representing Amway.  Brad Harrigan threatened that things "could get messy” if Qblog does not name the source who gave him the report.   QBlog has a recording of the call audio.gif (922 bytes).  No doubt the Amway lawyers operate like the Mafia.  Brad Harrigan no longer works for the firm Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione.  Did QBlog get him fired?

On February 28, 2004 QBlog removes the Blakey report from his site without consulting an attorney. See The Story of The Blakey Report 

Richard GriffinOn March 22, 2004 Richard Griffin an attorney Jackson Walker LLP working for Amway sends me a letter PDF Document stating I was in violation of the protective order supposedly covering the document.  I reply to Mr.Griffin PDF Documentbelow:

"Firstly, as I read on the first page of the protective order, which never once mentions the Blakey report, that the protective order is necessary to prevent dissemination or disclosure of "trade secrets or other confidential commercial information". I am a bit confused then how the Blakey report, being just an opinion, qualifies as a trade secret or commercial information."

On March 29, 2004 Quixtar Blog posts a article that Dave Touretzky has also received a similar letter.  See "Amway really doesn't want anyone to read this"  Touretzky basically tells Griffin to get lost. 

On March 30, 2004 Richard Griffin writes PDF Document my host to have the document removed.  My host, 1st-Amendment.net, tells Griffin to take a hike.

On April 1, 2004 first Mr. Griffin replies to my first letter.  PDF Document  I wrote a follow up E-mail asking Mr. Griffin if he had come up with any precedent cases which would support his assertion that I legally need to remove the Blakey report from my site. 

Sometimes bad luck begets good luck.  At this time I had just been served a lawsuit by one of the Quixtar teams.  My attorney happens to be an expert in media law and free speech.  I mentioned the issue to her and she referred me to a precedent case.   It seems that in a similar case, Proctor and Gamble was also trying to remove sealed information from the public domain. In a bitter sweet irony, Proctor and Gamble's request to remove the information was denied due by the court to the doctrine of "Prior Restraint".    On April 5, 2004 I replied back to Mr. Griffin PDF Document with a copy of the P&G precedent case.    I never heard from Mr. Griffin again.

On October 13, 2004 Quixtar Blog announced the sales of "Blakey" T-shirts.  Of course our friend, Richard Griffin, contacts QBlog again and asks him about his T-shirt sales suggesting that QBlog might be violating his agree to pulling the Blakey report from his site. 

What happens next is absolutely gut busting.   QBlog records the audio.gif (922 bytes) conversation  and tells Mr. Griffin that the text for the T-shirt was taken from the Michigan Bar Association's web site.  If Amway has a problem with the text, then they best speak with the Michigan Bar Association!  Mr. Griffin is needless to say speechless since the information has been in the public domain for years and he was probably attempting to get QBlog to stop the T-shirt sales.

The text on the T-shirt is:

blakey_t-shirt.gif (24048 bytes)

No one has heard from Mr. Griffin since. 

The last I heard was that Mr. Griffin's law firm had bought a T-shirt from QBlog!   The firm must have a sense of humor!

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