In Which Charles Carreon Says Mostly True Things About Me In A Footnote

Last year I blogged quite a bit about the saga of the saga of attorney Charles Carreon's disputes with Matt Inman of The Oatmeal. I have an update. It is a minor one.

You may recall that Carreon uttered extravagant threats against a satirical blogger, only to settle the case in the blogger's favor when the blogger — aided by Public Citizen — sued for declaratory relief.

That case is now embroiled in a dispute over the blogger's request for attorney fees. Mr. Carreon, resisting any award of fees, served me with a subpeoena for communications with the blogger and the blogger's attorneys of record. I objected. Mr. Carreon has now filed his opposition to the motion for fees; you can read about his arguments at Techdirt or Adam Steinbaugh's blog.

I write not of the substance. I confine myself to noting footnote one of Mr. Carreon's brief:

White, a criminal defense lawyer with a Libertarian following, derides other lawyers at as “Censorious Asshats.” White conceived a special dislike for the Lawyer, recruiting readers to play a “Twitter hashtag game: #charlescarreonnewcareers,” and recruited them as an “Army of Davids” to “take a screenshot or print … to pdf [any] web page” showing that the Lawyer had made “an inconsistent statement [or] shows hypocrisy.” (Carreon Dec. ¶ 5; Exhibit 1.) When served with a subpoena for documents in this case, White responded with the disclosure that he had exchanged over 200 emails with the Gripesite Operator, and refused to produce anything, claiming that the Lawyer possesses “animus” towards White. (Carreon Dec. ¶ 5; Exhibit 2.)

Much of the footnote is true. I am a criminal defense attorney. I have a libertarian following. I deride attorneys, including Mr. Carreon, as censorious asshats. I conceived a special dislike for Mr. Carreon. I made up a hashtag game about him, and recruited people to point out where Mr. Carreon and his wife had engaged in rhetoric that was inconsistent with his contrived pearl-clutching horror over the contents of Mr. Inman's blog.

But Mr. Carreon's last sentence suggests that I refused to produce documents a subpoena in a federal case on the grounds that the lawyer issuing it had animus against me.

That is, at the most charitable interpretation, misleading.

Here are the objections I filed to Mr. Carreon's subpoena. As you can see, I objected to the subpoena, and declined to produce documents, on the grounds that (1) some of the communications Mr. Carreon sought were protected by the attorney-client privilege, or by the attorney work product doctrine, and (2) some of them didn't exist and never, so far as I knew, had existed.

The only mention of animus came in the paragraph in which I refused to produce a privilege log. A privilege log is a time-consuming document that would identify each email, its date, its subject, its sender, its recipient, and the basis for the assertion of privilege. It is a burdensome task. In my objections, I refused to produce such a log, on the grounds that Mr. Carreon had no good faith basis to demand the documents, and that the demand was likely made to harass, in light of his animus against me. The point about animus is located in the discussion of the privilege log, after I have refused to produce the documents based on the privilege.

Mr. Carreon's suggestion that I refused to produce documents based on an argument about his animus is, therefore, misleading at best. At worst, it is a deliberate lie to a United States District Judge. Or perhaps it merely represents a failure of even minimal reading comprehension. Mr. Carreon attaches my objections as an exhibit, as the footnote quoted above suggests; whatever this is, it's clumsy.

I leave the decision about which one it is to the reader — and to the judge.

Last 5 posts by Ken White


  1. Valerie says

    Charles Carreon – the gift no one asked for that keeps on giving… I will have to check out the Nader Library chuckle fest soon – should be some good, new stuff…

  2. Valerie says

    BTW, my vote is not for lie or inability to read, it is for inability to think critically and empathize. Like, "how will others understand the flood of bullshit that flows freely from my lips…" Will they like it or will they see me as a narcissistic, censorious asshat with a batshit crazy wife."

  3. Lucy says

    In his efforts to paint you in a bad light, he includes "… with a libertarian following…"

    This made me consider what a room full of Popehat followers would actually look/think like.

    Then I wondered what a room full of Carreon disciples would look/think like.

    In this context, I am decidedly ok with being mistaken for or assumed to be libertarian.

  4. James Ewell Brown Stuart says

    I'm so Conservative that I violently dislike, but don't hate, Republicans. I own, but do not love, firearms. I still believe in the original Constitution, tho' written by lawyers, but not as currently interpreted by the 9 asshats in black dresses. A pox on all 9, AND dey mommas!

  5. Nicholas Weaver says

    This from Mr "I'm to fatigued[1] to remember what was in the protective order I signed"

    1 What fatigue? One other case? Or is the stress of perhaps being guilty of practicing law without a license getting to Charles?

  6. Nicholas Weaver says

    Oh, and I think Charles may just be jealous that Kimberland beat him in the vote for Censorious Asshat of the Year

  7. SPQR says

    "White, a criminal defense lawyer with a Libertarian following,…"

    This is a lie too, I'm not Libertarian.

  8. says

    > White, a criminal defense lawyer with a Libertarian following, derides other lawyers at as “Censorious Asshats.”

    This sentence would be improved with a comma or two. Or maybe a pair of parenthesis. Or – certainly with a monkey who can juggle.

  9. V says

    Maybe one Libertarian follower is enough? There's probably one, right?

    Is the Libertarian comment and using Gripesite Operator just how CC thinks/speaks and can't censor himself or is CC trying to game the judge by using those terms? I can't think of any other reason to even mention politics.

  10. says

    > This made me consider what a room full of Popehat followers would actually look/think like.

    I had that thought too, once. I could eat again three days later. Lost four pounds!

  11. sorrykb says

    I am a Popehat follower and I am not a libertarian (neither capital "L" nor lowercase).
    And I've yet to see Ken deride other lawyers at Popehat. Just how many lawyers does Popehat have???

  12. ULTRAGOTHA says

    I'm not a Libertarian or a libertarian. I'm a bleeding heart pinko-socialist tree-hugging gay marriage liberal who keeps a copy of the Constitution where most people keep a Bible.

    Does that mean I have to stop following this blog? I will cry.

  13. says

    I've long been tempted to write a letter to the Arizona State Bar, but I can't bring myself to do it. It would feel too much like contacting a critic's employer.

    Hopefully, he'll take the AZ bar exam and resolve that issue on his own.

  14. Valerie says

    @ Mr. James Ewell Brown Stuart, could you elaborate on how your love of constitution relates to Mr. Carreon (I do not mean this in an offensive way, but tone is hard to convey in writing). Although I lean left for the most part, I don't think free speech is a left or right issue – I think of all the rights in our constitution, it is the most unambiguous and ought to be the most untouchable – but, for clarification, which aspects as (mis)read by the Supreme Court do you think apply here and how does their interpretation offend you? I just want to understand what you are saying.

  15. says

    "This made me consider what a room full of Popehat followers would actually look/think like."

    If the Prenda hearing was an accurate sample: 25-35 years old, nerdy, pale, and skinny.

  16. MattS says

    What judge is this case before? Any chance it can be transferred to Judge Otis D. Wright II of Prenda Law smack down fame?

  17. Valerie says

    Also, for the record, Charles Carreon is a bigger free speech time waster than Donald Trump (v. Bill Maher over a hair joke), and that is saying something. Seriously, how many resources have already gone into defending against his BS that could have been better spent? How many judges' time wasted? White hat lawyer my ass…

  18. sorrykb says

    @Adam Steinbaugh: Hey! I'll have you know I'm 43 years old. As to "nerdy, pale, and skinny"…. No comment.

  19. Lucy says


    There are probably more Libertarians here than at your local library or grocery store.

    I was witness to the numbers at one of their coming out events; A particularly well written post with a great comment thread.

    Clark wrote it. If you're not aware of the Libertarian population density here, and it matters to you, I highly recommend reading that post.

  20. V says

    Hon. Richard Seeborg
    I think judge Seeborg can handle the case just fine.

    Thanks. Nope, don't particularly care to know the density, even if I knew what a Libertarian was. (No, please don't explain. Please don't. Nooooooooo. )

  21. Lucy says

    My vote is with the deliberate lie.

    There may be a grey area, as few things are strictly black or white. However in Carreon's behavioral history, he reliably has tried to get away with as much ridiculousness as possible before succumbing to the shadows, suffocating on his own bitterness for a time, and then resurrecting like a rubber monster prop in an old black and white B list horror flick.

  22. Suzanne says

    I'm with ULTRAGOTHA (though I have a Bible along with my Constitution). I may not comment often, but I need my daily dose of Popehat. As for pale, nerdy and skinny, 2 out of 3 aint bad, I'm working on the third.
    As for deriding lawyers, Ken only skewers the ones who deserve it.

  23. Terry Towels says

    What ULTRAGOTHA said. Do not fit the profile from the hearing. At all. Well, other people say nerdy, but I'm a piker in that area.

  24. Dan Weber says

    I think it's just "let's throw everything against the wall judge and see what sticks."

  25. says

    Lucy wrote:

    This made me consider what a room full of Popehat followers would actually look/think like.

    Then I wondered what a room full of Carreon disciples would look/think like.

    The former would look like the normal spectrum of humanity, but wearing pope hats. The latter would be the same, with dunce caps.

  26. Bethany says

    Delurking for a little while here…
    So is the timing of this just coincidence, or does Carreon mistakenly think that the Internet can't handle him and Prenda Law at the same time?

    And why is there never enough popcorn?

  27. Myk says

    @Valerie – She's still going strong… "The sadistic penis people just had a good old time telling stories about their sadistic penises. They never got tired of their sadistic penises. They wanted to see sadistic penises everywhere. Under every symbol, every ritual, in every story, they hid a sadistic penis, or two or three, all the sadistic penises in the universe, jabbing, thrusting, cutting, smashing, spearing.

    These guys, like Carl Jung, and Robert Anton Wilson, Albert Pike, Apuleius, they are so religious, psychological, and scholarly, they can tell us all about sadistic penis religion, sadistic penis psychology, and sadistic penis scholarship. I, and the whole world, stand in awe of their learning and erudition on penises. "

  28. htom says

    So, was it misleading, deliberate lie, or failure of reading comprehension? Why can't it be all three?

  29. MattS says


    "And why is there never enough popcorn?"

    Because Ken keeps posting popcorn worthy posts so fast that the popcorn growers can't keep up with demand. :)

  30. That Anonymous Coward says

    If I am supposed to be scared of ponies why do I keep demanding one from G?

  31. Anonymous says

    "Libertarian audience" my ass, I'm a Scandinavian-style social liberal and voted for the Socialist People's Party in the last national election.

  32. Nate says

    To be fair, it's not just other lawyers that Ken derides for being censorious asshats. He's pretty equal opportunities in that, regardless of profession ;) So even that's not accurate.

    Will there be an actual hearing in front of the judge on this or will the decision be made purely on filings? Seems to me he's cherry picking 'facts' to suit himself. Also, the thing that bugged me was that all the way through that latest filing of CC's he refers to himself as the Lawyer. Like that makes him special. Looks a lot like game play to me, attempting to influence the judge by reminding him that he's not an 'ordinary' defendant. I dunno how well that will work for him, it bugged the life out of me.

    Also, his writing just gives me a headache and I have to stop reading (also a cunning plan) it's like no one ever taught him out to write these things; obviously, I wouldn't have a clue how to write them myself but IANAL so I don't have to.

  33. says

    As a gentle reminder, those among our readership who are not L/libertarian can continue to read the blog, and avoid excess ridicule of their beliefs and value systems, by becoming a member of Popehat.

    Note: Popehat's authors are the sole determiners of what "excess" constitutes.

  34. Jeff says

    Hi Ken. I've not seen you limit your derision of censorious asshats merely to lawyers. I also haven't seen any stats that might lead one to believe your 'following' is of any particular political persuasion. So, do *you* have an opportunity/desire to officially respond to Mr. Carreon's motion?

  35. says

    Well, one out of three.
    For more giggles, google "Charles Carreon Fierce Grace". You will turn up CC's 5000-word review of the Ram Dass (Richard Alpert) movie. 4500 words about CC, 500 words about the movie. (He didn't like it: when RD has his stroke, he doesn't go towards the light. Therefor he wasn't close to dying.) He's spread it thickly across the 'net, so you can find it in many places,, but definitely take time to read the comments.

  36. Merissa says

    I also am a bleeding heart socialist, with occasional "what the fuck is wrong with you people" moments of what Americans would classify as conservatism due to my Texas upbringing.

    That's what I value so much about this blog – people from many points along the political spectrum, generally getting along and not chewing each other's faces off. It's a powerful thing, Ken/Patrick/et. al., to be able to post about such srs bzns without having hourly Political Krakatoa in the comments section. Well, actually, I'm here for the snark.

  37. Nicholas Weaver says

    Also, its clear Ken had someone else in the office produce this document, as it doesn't end with "Snort My Taint"

  38. Lucy says

    I don't affiliate myself with any political category, but I am an active voter.

    It is just more satire that Carreon attempts to leverage a demographic of Popehat readers in a way that would imply Ken is in control of that somehow. Or responsible in some way. Or to go a step further, implying Ken should be ashamed in some way. He does this in such a manner to deprive the other writers at Popehat of any credit.

    What a buffoon.

  39. GrimGhost says

    "Ken White is a) a lawyer b) who derides some other lawyers as Censorious Asshats c) when he's not spying for North Korea."

    Ken, you have to be a whole lot calmer person than I am to describe the previous sentence as "mostly true."

  40. Blah says

    Man, I hope the judge smirks as hard as I did when I read that footnote. The fact that you calling Carreon a censorious asshat is now a matter of judicial record is a thing of true, rare, pure beauty.

  41. Joe Pullen says

    @Jeff, I believe (in non legal terms) Ken has basically already told Carreon to go pound sand.

  42. Nicholas Weaver says

    @Jeff Not only has Ken already told Carreon to (in far more polite terms) "Snort his taint", Carreon, by his winy little footnote and inclusion of the amazingly-irrelevant subpoena response as an exhibit, has notified the judge that yes, Charles Carreon is a winy little censorious asshat.

  43. Joe Pullen says

    Is winy a new word – ie. whiny and tiny all rolled into one?

    BTW nice find on the AZ bar status.

  44. Malc says


    When you say

    "There are probably more Libertarians here than at your local library or grocery store"

    that is probably true, since Big-L Libertarians are rare and marginalized supporters of a political _party_ that, in my view, occasionally rises to the level of being hopeless, but usually wallows in the depths of irrelevance.

    But Small-L libertarians are far more common; in fact a significant chunk of the pro-choice community and the anti-theocracy movement do so for libertarian reasons.

    [ I am certain that relatively few small-L libertarians are Big-L Libertarians, and have more than once opined that some Big-L Libertarians are not actually small-L libertarian. But not all Democrats support (pure) democracy, because at its core democracy includes 9 wolves and a sheep voting on what's for dinner… ]

  45. Nicholas Weaver says

    The AZ bar status find was initially Adam, I just remembered the cases showing that he's still practicing in CA (iCall v Tribair), listing his AZ addresses in his filings, and probably since moving to Arizona, been practicing in CA state as well as federal court (that criminal case in SF).

  46. Joe Pullen says

    @Nicholas – ah good to know.

    In other news "winy" meaning 1. of, like, or characteristic of wine. 2. affected by wine, may not be an altogether bad description of Carreon – especially as 1.) he would be more palatable if he put a cork in it, and 2.) if he had consumed to much of the stuff it might account for a portion of his bizarre behavior.

  47. says

    @Merissa, I couldn't have said it better!

    And, like @Nate said, the reason why I keep coming back to Popehat because I'm always hoping for an entry deriding any censorious asshat. Or, if I'm really lucky, an incompetent marketeer. (I'm in marketing, and seeing the bad eggs taken to task is quite satisfying!)

  48. says

    In your objections you state it
    "…contains requests and / or instructions that are overbroad and exceed the scope of discovery permissable under Rule 34…"

    I disagree; there is nothing that Rule 34 doesn't permit :-O

  49. Thad says

    (The other Thad)

    Hey, I am not and never have been a librarian. But then, I only pop in here from time to time, so perhaps I'm not a follower, in which case that doesn't count.

  50. Ollie says

    This probably sounds crazy, but, to be honest, I can somewhat see where Carreon might be going with his argument. I mean, frivolous litigation chills speech and is an affront to first amendment rights. However, a precedent saying that you could be responsible for the legal fees in a case like this could cause losses for, say, copyright holders with borderline cases or even legitimate cases, in which they're stuck between losing control of the copyright or potentially losing a lot of money if litigation doesn't go their way. Or a defamation case where someone who was actually defamed might be discouraged from litigating for the same sorts of reasons. Granted, Carreon's case isn't even borderline, it's just flat out frivolous, and in that he stretches the argument too far. And in no way am I defending Carreon himself. But am I the only one who thinks that, to a certain degree, he has a point?

  51. Elliot says

    Does anyone have a working link to Carreon's latest magnum opus (the opposition to the fees motion)?

  52. James Pollock says

    The first challenge of libertarians is getting any two libertarians to agree on what "libertarian" means. Herding libertarians is at least one order of magnitude more difficult than herding cats.

  53. Malc says


    Even Carreon has acknowledged that his actions were never intended to result in litigation to resolve a real controversy, and that he acted in a way to run up the lawyers bills (by e.g. attempting to evade service).

  54. Jon says

    Malc — that's not the current one, though I had forgotten about this jaw-dropping claim in the one you cited:

    The Court should not be incited by the assertion that defendant evaded service. He did not. He simply declined to waive service.

    Further evidence that Chuckles lives in a different reality from the rest of us.

  55. James Ewell Brown Stuart says

    @Valerie, I was commenting on the "Libertarian Membership" accusations of Mr. Carreon. I also agree with James Pollock's comments on Libertarians and cat-herding. I know felines quite well. I might even BE a closet Libertarian. I certainly AM a cat staffer.

    Regarding the Constitution & the Supreme Court, let's take the infamous Second Amendment. I don't see any reason at all for any government to control the ownership of firearms by any citizen. WHOA! Whut???

    By that, I assert that ANY felonius use of ANY type of firearm (or other death-dealing weaponry) can be dealt with by well-written laws and use of extreme punishments, including the death penalty. Those longly imprisoned for such abuse will have much time to rethink their actions. Those executed for murderous abuse will not trouble society further.

    That's just one small example I give you now to answer your questions. Please do not take the courtesy of this answer to you as license to grill me about all of my beliefs on Life, the Universe & Everything, as Mr. Carreon is the one on trial here, not me.

  56. says

    "I can somewhat see where Carreon might be going with his argument. I mean, frivolous litigation chills speech and is an affront to first amendment rights. However, a precedent saying that you could be responsible for the legal fees in a case like this "

    I somewhat agree, but Carreon isn't doing himself any favors by arguing that sending threatening letters IS litigation (in order to take refuge in the Litigation Privilege) while also implying that rights holders could find themselves subject to attorneys fees on the whim of a "gripe" blogger.

    The point is to deter abusive, frivolous legal threats. If a use is debatable as a fair use, then the rights holder should be immune from arguing its case. But in clear cases of fair use, those sending frivolous legal threats should bear the costs of their bloviating.

  57. Bob Brown says

    I note with a certain amount of delight that the domain name is available to be registered. Alas, I'm a teacher in a state college. I can afford the ten bucks for registration, but not the $$$,$$$ for vexatious litigation. Perhaps someone else will take the hint. ( is also available, but just doesn't have "that ring" about it.)

  58. James Pollock says

    "Regarding the Constitution & the Supreme Court, let's take the infamous Second Amendment. I don't see any reason at all for any government to control the ownership of firearms by any citizen."

    With respect (and some trepidation re: can of worms, opening), I do. Some citizens are demonstrably unfit to possess a firearm. (Admittedly, possession and ownership are not quite the same thing, but I doubt anyone really wants to argue that a right to ownership that doesn't convey a right of possession by implication is a meaningful right.) Some persons should be denied a right of possession of a firearm by reason of age (too young), mental impairment (senile dementia, mental illness), current status of incarceration (prisoners are citizens) I think that these are largely non-controversial; I might go so far as to suggest that a safe-handling course (available through regulated private industry) might be a valid pre-requisite to firearm possession.

  59. Valerie says

    @James Ewell Brown Stuart Woah, dude, chill out – no need to get defensive. I'm not attacking your political views.

    I just didn't see (and still don't see) the connection between the 2nd amendment and the censorious yet amusing asshattery of Charles Carreon (other than maybe Tara's threatening to shoot Buddhists, Illuminati and various others who come too close to her land). I wasn't asking you to defend your gun control position – that's not the subject at hand.

    Fear not, I have great interest in Mr. Carreon's endless stream of butthurt-induced foot bullets, and very little interest in your politics (and I assume that feeling is mutual), so I shall not "grill you."

    Instead, for the moment, as I await more asshattery from bold Charlie, I shall ready my popcorn and seek out more of the Tara-brand cray. Time to go seek out the "hidden, sadistic penises" @Myk alluded to…

    Perhaps the "jabbing, thrusting, cutting, smashing, spearing" penises hold the key to understanding Carreon's misleading footnote… (You remember, like Al Capp and Lil' Abner held the secret to John Lennon's assassination).

    The truth is out there, people – the hot, throbbing truth.

  60. Alan Bleiweiss says

    "I leave the decision about which one it is to the reader — and to the judge."

    My vote is to just leave the decision to us. Save the judge the heartache. We've got this one…

  61. says

    48, grey fluffy mohawk, bullring in my nose and matching one in each ear, a little heavy, pale, gay-redneck with opinions perpendicular to most of American politics in general (liberal I guess, but all outliers and stuff). I blend in with everyone.

  62. Dan Weber says

    $46,000? That's gonna leave a mark.

    Hey, maybe you shouldn't dodge service.

    My prediction is that he'll spend the rest of his life refusing to pay that bill, BTW. Paying it would admit he was wrong.

  63. Mark says

    I'm more interested in what Judge Seeborg thought of CC's actions throughout this trial. I'm furiously refreshing Nader Library.

    Evidence supports a finding of malicious conduct during the course of this case. Defendant first went to great lengths, imposing unnecessary costs on plaintiff, to avoid service. Then, in response to this motion for attorney fees under the Lanham Act, defendant engaged in unnecessary, vexatious, and costly tactics in preparation of his opposition to the motion.