Texas Attorney Carl David Ceder Makes Bogus Libel Threat Against Scott Greenfield of Simple Justice

"Never miss a good chance to shut up." "If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging." "It's not the crime, it's the cover-up." "First, do no harm." These familiar sayings all carry the germ of the same simple but true idea: when you're in a jam, it's easy to make it worse, so try not to.

Plano, Texas attorney Carl David Ceder ought to familiarize himself with that rule.

Carl David Ceder, a criminal defense practitioner in the Dallas area, has a web site, and that site has a blog, and that blog has posts, and one of those posts was a straight unattributed rip-off of Dan Hull's list of 12 Rules of Client Service. It's off Ceder's site now — he's replaced it with a wordy (even by my standards) and mostly unreadable meditation on the subject.

Copying someone else's blog content and presenting it without attribution on your own site is called scraping. Scrapers — whether they are crazy or profit-motivated — are justifiably held in low esteem by anyone who blogs or enjoys writing. Scrapers often defend themselves with some variation on "you ought to be flattered" or "you ought to be ashamed for making a big deal of this."

When Scott Greenfield of Simple Justice called out Carl David Ceder for scraping — first taking the courtesy to email him — Ceder came roaring in with a jaw-dropping display of popped-collar douchebro bluster, Joycean rambling, and defensiveness in the comments. What struck me was how closely the reaction matched that of an angry spammer who once showed up in the comments here after I wrote about his feckless SEO spam. I've culled some highlights from Mr. Ceder's multiple appearances in Scott's comments, which typify responses from angry defensive people whose scraping is called out. Follow the links and consider the full comments yourself. Thematic highlights:

The statement of butthurt: "I just found this and take major offense."

The statement of I-do-real-work-unlike-you, with bonus regional flag-waving: "I don’t know how you Yankees practice here up North, but I spend my time actually practicing law IN THE COURTROOM." "My record speaks for itself. I can send you an entire book full of acquittals and dismissals. I get these these results by actually practicing, and not pretending to be a lawyer by “blogging” about the law."

The Insulting-Bloggers-As-Geeks-Or-Losers: "I don’t hide behind a computer, scrunching over a desk all day critiquing others I know nothing about. To me, that says something about the way you practice." "Perhaps I’m not a true “blogger” and realize practicing law involves more than sitting hunched over a computer nitpicking other lawyers I know nothing about."

The statement of I-don't-know-why-I-scraped-it-because-it-sucked-anyway: "My paralegal found this, and to be honest, I did not think any of the content was worthwhile, except for the Rule of inundating clients with correspondence."

The Blame-The-Staff: "My content supervisor presented it to me." "And to make my point certain, I didn’t rip content. And yes. I do have a content editor. And it’s precisely why I don’t have time to do it myself." "I do not spend much time on the internet, and do have someone who maintains my website content."

The Blustery Suggestions of Manly Violence: "If you want to meet in person to discuss this in person, I’d be happy to oblige. But I can assure you that you won’t like the results." "If you agree to not being a coward and hiding behind your computer all day, I can promise you that you may want to bring a first aid kit." "Again, if you want to meet, be sure to bring a first aid kit. In Texas some of us settle things the old fashion way. Similar to in a courtroom, but in a slightly different fashion I’m sure you can surmise." "And one last suggestion, if we ever meet in person, I wouldn’t only bring a first-aid kit, I’d bring other people other than yourself. Because I can imagine you yourself would rather hide behind a computer, than settle a dispute in person."" Again, remember to bring a first aid kit. And to bring more than one." "I will either fly to NYC to discuss with you, in person, outside, or I will invite you to come here. And again, my advice to this is to A) Bring a first-aid kid; and B) Bring more than just yourself. You will need more than just one person to discuss this matter."

The He-Ought-To-Be-Flattered, Possibly, Bad Diction Makes it Hard To Tell: "I can’t fathom whoever Dan Hull being flattered." [sic] "I don’t even know who Dan Hull is. I would think if anything he would be flattered . . . ." "I would think whoever made these Rules would be flattered."

The Even-Though-I-Am-Responding-At-Great-Length-And-Am-Very-Angry-I-Don't-Care-What-You-Say: "At any rate, I could care less what anyone else here has posted about me, or about any of my aforementioned comments." "My main goal is to achieve maximum client satisfaction and success, period. It is not to spend all of my time worrying over what content is on my web pages. Honestly, things like this to me, are trivial, and should be a non-issue and are an utter, and complete waste of time."

The There-Wasn't-That-Much-Taken-Anyway: "And I apologize to Mr. Hull if he did take offense to this, I was not trying to take credit for his 12 rules (which I believe were only one sentence each, so it was not like he wrote a novel on the subject)."

The I-Will-Murder-Your-Brand: "Again, I plan to write comments about you blog on every blog I can find. When someone googles your name, what I write regarding how you like to attack insults at attorneys trying to do their job, without merit or any investigation, that is all people will find. Please know that."

Having thoroughly beclowned himself in the comments on Scott's post about him, Mr. Ceder sent some emails. In the first, to Dan Hull, Mr. Ceder rambled at great length, and established that Scott Greenfield's last name is very funny:

. . . The main problem for lies with Mr. Greenman or Greenfeld or whatever his name is. . . . My frustration lies with Mr Greenbaum, or whatever he goes by. . .

Greenblatt? Greengold? Greenstein? Oy! Again with the name references. (Note: in a subsequent email, Mr. Ceder says he has Jewish friends and totally wasn't making Jew-Jew-Jew references by sneering at Scott's last name. This is entirely plausible; rather than a casual anti-Semite, Mr. Ceder may simply be, to use the legal terminology, a huge bag of dicks.)

Anyway, Mr. Ceder also offers these gems:

" I am currently driving to court and will try and respond more later." (This reminds me tonally of the infamous "I am heading to the gym in 26 minutes.")

"A law grad waiting for bar results about a year or toe ago was in charge of my web content. I was having trouble with a new paralegal, who while doing a great job, was not copying or cc’ing our clients enough. She cut and pasted the rules , and put them up there. I have never taken credit for them, shown them to a client, obviously care very little about blogs, and do not even know how to take the content down as of now even if I wanted to." Hey, what's that on the underside of that bus over there?

"I have a policy to shut bad karma and attitude out of my life, ignore it, and only partake in dialogue with those who approach me with respect." Other than threatening them with interstate violence, of course.

"I can honestly say I did not try to steal your content. If I did it would be in another section of my site."

Make it Facepalm

"Again, my frustration lies with the guy in NYC. If he would agree to take down all the disparaging remarks about me, I would have whatever content he is referring to down ASAP." I AM NOT REPEATING THE FACEPALM IMAGE. STOP TRYING TO MAKE ME REPEAT THE FACEPALM IMAGE. ALSO: STOP TALKING.

Finally, as inevitably as the dawn, came Carl David Ceder's feckless libel threat, again delivered to Dan Hull, but pointed at Scott:

The "Still Blaming Staff": "They were presented to me, probably around a year or two ago, by a law grad (who was waiting on her bar results) who was helping me write and edit web content. In reality, I was trying to help her out because she needed work. I did not know where it came from, and I didn’t think to ask."

The Threat: "As of now, and this is true, I plan to sue the owner of the blog who has disparaged, and impugned, my character and intellect, in such a way." Carl David Ceder, please meet Texas' new anti-SLAPP law. Y'all are going to get along great.

The Sort-of Explanation: "I suggest that he read and review about how one can be sued for writing libelous content in such a way, especially when it is promulgating information that he did absolutely no research on before posting (about me, about my ability to practice as an attorney, about my character, my integrity, etc." I feel confident in saying that Scott Greenfield has read far more about libel law, and knows it far better, than Carl David Ceder. For instance, Ceder fails to cite what statements of fact Scott allegedly got wrong. Ceder has repeatedly conceded in writing that he had up on his web site Dan Hull's 12 rules, without attribution. Scott is absolutely free under the First Amendment to impugn Ceder's ethics, ability, and integrity based on that fact. That's a classic statement of opinion based on disclosed facts.

The Waving of the "I Have No Idea What I Am Talking About" Flag: "Perhaps the most baffling to me, however, was how he wrote information that he had absolutely no knowledge of, that was false, which eventually led to other comments that are also libelous (because he manages the content of the website, he is also liable for the comments posted by others)." "To this, I would direct him to the following regarding internet defamation laws, what constitutes being able to sue a blogger for libel, and being the moderator who is responsible for not only posting the material, but all the comments that stems as a result from it . . . ." This is, of course, the exact opposite of what the law is. Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act protects Scott from liability for what his commenters write, even assuming that Ceder could show that they had written false and defamatory statements of fact as opposed to opinions. A minimally sensible or competent lawyer would have either known that already or would have researched the issue before making blustering threats.

The closing threat: "One glance at the libel and defamation laws for the owners of internet blog sites would seem to make this very clear and evident." Glance harder, dipshit.

Carl David Ceder, like angry spammer Jamie Spottz before him, seems to belong to a cult of pseudo-masculinity that requires him to respond with ignorant, long-winded, and ineffectual bluster when someone comments upon his online bad behavior. His I'm-from-Texas posturing and threats of violence suggest he thinks of himself as a "man's man," a John Wayne or Clint Eastwood sort of figure. That's not what he is. He's the anonymous and faintly buffoonish black-hat that John or Clint absent-mindedly shoots in the second act.

If Ceder is fool enough to file a malicious and frivolous defamation suit against Scott, he won't just face the Streisand Effect, which he is already courting. (Courting? He's got it bent over the end table.) He'll face a vigorous and brutally effective First Amendment defense. I doubt I'd even have to put up the Popehat Signal for Scott; Texas has a stable of excellent First Amendment attorneys who will likely leap at the chance to smack Ceder down. It would be an exciting opportunity to take Texas' anti-SLAPP law out for a spin.

Ceder could have done this right. He could have said "I'm sorry, my team put that content up without attribution. I take responsibility. I've shortened it to a quote and a link to Dan Hull's site. Of course you have the right to criticize me, but I would appreciate it if you'd add my apology to your post." Instead, he responded with bluster, threats, insults, and suggestions that he would not take down the plagiarized work unless Scott took his criticism down. If Carl David Ceder's reputation has been harmed, he is the sole and unplagiarized author of that harm.

Edited to add: This is one of his YouTube advertisements. Angels and ministers of grace defend us.

Last 5 posts by Ken White


  1. says

    > "remember to bring a first aid kit. And to bring more than one."

    I myself once had a lawyer suggest that I fly to his home town and have a "street rules" fistfight.

    Good times. Good times.

  2. Alan D. says

    Esteem be damned, I am "scraping" the hell out of:

    jaw-dropping display of popped-collar douchebro bluster

  3. Raucous Indignation says

    "This is entirely plausible; rather than a casual anti-Semite, Mr. Ceder may simply be, to use the legal terminology, a huge bag of dicks."

    Well said, good sir! Well said indeed!

  4. Mike B says

    jaw-dropping display of popped-collar douchebro bluster

    My official phrase of the month for January now. Thanks for that.

  5. Carl 'SAI' Mitchell says

    "Scraping" was originally the technical process of using a computer program to automatically save the content of a webpage as presented to users, parse that content, and extract data from it. It is primarily used in cases where sites provide data without providing an API or other mechanism to access that data easily in machine-readable form.
    Plagiarism is copying someone's work without attribution. People seem to have decided to unify the two concepts. This is unfortunate, since scraping does not necessarily imply that attribution was not used. Scraping (in the technical sense) is quite useful, and in fact necessary for screen readers and other software which helps the disabled to work. Confusing the two terms doesn't really help anyone, and technical measures taken to prevent scraping disproportionately harm the blind and otherwise impaired.

  6. Mark S says

    Well, his web site does claim that he's proud to be extremely aggressive.

    At least he's consistent.

  7. Raucous Indignation says

    As an aside, would it be considered ill behavior to email Mr Cedar the link to this post?

  8. anne mouse says

    What Carl Mitchell said. "Scraping" connotes an automated process, usually at large scale. What Ceder (or his intern) did is simple two-bit plagiarism.

  9. Ryan says

    One would think that if one was going to bluster outside of one's area of expertise to another whose area of expertise one was blustering into that one would first do some research, less one basically prove onself to be…

    …a 10-gallon asshat.

    One is apparently not Carl David Ceder, in which the DFW prominently displayed in the title of his "The DFW Defender" website must stand for Daft, Frivolous, and Witless. Except, being a 10-gallon asshat, he likely excludes the Oxford comma.

  10. John says

    LOL… just LOL. Welcome back Ken, good to see you posting, don't know how you find the time to be so good and on point here.

  11. naught_for_naught says

    Man, if this guy had any sense he would have apologized and blamed a legal marketer. Isn't knowing the prejudices of the jury key to successful lawyering?

  12. KronWeld says

    @ TJIC • Jan 22, 2014 @12:02 pm

    I remember reading all about it at the time. I keep tripping on dead links to the story/event/slap down/whatever. I wish it was still around, so I wouldn't trip as often. Quite enjoyable read and you ended it with grace. Thank you.

  13. jb says

    Time for me to trot out my usual analysis of Honor Cultures and Virtue Cultures. Mr. Ceder is from an Honor culture, in which the action of blackening a person's reputation by publicizing certain actions is worse than the original act that, if publicized, would blacken said person's reputation. Mr. Greenfield is from a Virtue culture, which holds the opposite.

    From Mr. Ceder's perspective, any public criticism might as well be libel–it doesn't matter whether it's true or not, it's damaging his reputation and that's worse than whatever he did in the first place. From Mr. Greenfield's perspective, any negative consequences faced by Mr. Ceder are his own damn fault due to his own actions.

    Personally, I think Honor cultures are extremely pernicious, and give rise to excessive calls for censorship* and deference to social prestige (Police culture is among the clearer examples of honor cultures, and readers of this blog know exactly where that takes us).

    *They are not the only, or even primary, source for censorship, but among the more pusillanimous.

  14. DaveL says

    Again, I plan to write comments about you blog on every blog I can find.

    Yes, when he storms onto the chicken breeders' and fantasy football blogs and rants about how Dan Hull called him out on his plagiarism and hurt his feelings, that's going to make Dan look awfully bad.

  15. Jacob H says

    I'm sorry…I take responsibility… Of course you have the right to criticize me, but I would appreciate it if you'd add my apology to your post

    Anyone who has anything to do with PR or who gets involved in this type of imbroglio should memorize this. They should tattoo it on their body. They should be immediately fired if they cannot recite this, verbatim, upon request.

  16. C. S. P. Schofield says


    I woud argue that the cultures you describe as "honor' cultures are "face" cultures, since having "face" is more important to them than actually having honor.

  17. Matt says

    I could care less what anyone else here has posted about me,

    Obviously. If he couldn't care less, one assumes he wouldn't have left a barrage of comments all over…

    (Yes, I am just picking on the man's grammar, but, hey – it's almost a Freudian slip…)

  18. Jack says

    Holy shit…this has got to be one of the most quotable, awesome Popehat posts of all-time. I read the entire saga on Scott's website and as soon as I saw this pop up, I knew it was going to be a very, very good day. Hat's off to you, good sir!

    Glad to see you put your cockroach stomping boots on this morning.

  19. jackn says

    I see the content is still up.

    Why doesn't the author send a DMCA notice to godaddy?

    Registry Domain ID: 1570128338_DOMAIN_COM-VRSN
    Registrar WHOIS Server: whois.godaddy.com
    Registrar URL: http://www.godaddy.com
    Update Date: 2013-08-09 16:11:15
    Creation Date: 2009-09-23 23:22:43
    Registrar Registration Expiration Date: 2015-09-23 23:22:43
    Registrar: GoDaddy.com, LLC


    It could be another fun lesson for CARLCEDERLAW.COM

  20. Basil. Forthrightly says

    "Could care less" and "couldn't care less" are regional dialectical differences of the same idiomatic expression. "Couldn't" appears in print about twice as often as "could"; it's both the original variation and the "high status" one, being predominant in the dialectic of Britain and the north-east US (where a lot of publications are edited). "Could" is the much more common variation in the South, as well as more common in US speech generally.

    To a southerner, it's perfectly correct to say or write, "I could care less".

  21. jaxkayaker says

    As a southerner, I hate the use of the phrase "I could care less" to be mean the literal opposite of the phrase.

  22. Jacob H says


    It has nothing to do with Yankee elitism, it has to do with the fact that only one of the "variations" (well, it's the original, so it couldn't really be considered a "variation") actually, literally, means what the person wants it to (couldn't).

    Can you back up your claim that "could" occurs much more often in southern speech? I hear it in speech all the time, and I absolutely believe it occurs in speech much more often, but I live in the pacific NW, and I hear it all the time.

    Also, "perfectly common" != "perfectly correct"

  23. sorrykb says

    When a regional variation of an idiomatic expression means the opposite of the original expression, then I refuse to accept that it is correct. In fact, I think be willing to take Mr. Ceder up on his offer to meet in person if only to avenge this assault on the English language.
    In other words, I could care less about this, but clearly, I don't.
    P.S. Here's a very nice man explaining the difference.

  24. Syd says

    I think my favorite part over on the SJ comments is where he calls Greenfield a "typical nerd." Okay. It's nice to see that you've moved past that whole grammar school mindset, Mr. Cedar.

  25. Fact Checker says

    Did Ceder work for the DWI Dude (aka James Balagia)? They both have a testimonial on their websites describing the EXACT same case. (State v. T.S. in which the defense attorney seems like a superhero.) Balagia refers to himself (DWI Dude) and sometimes refers to his "team". Carl generally just refers to himself, but once mentioned the DWI Dude Team (as if they showed up at the very end). I would post links if the SPAM filter would let me.

  26. says

    Added to verbal dictionary: douchebro.

    Tangentially on topic: picking up a new term of disparagement with a wonderful verbal texture is the only thing novel here. Ceder's behavior is neither shocking nor clever. Another suit with a dick sticking out where the neck oughta be.

    Fingers crossed for further hilarity in the ensuing smackdown. Gotta get Levy involved somehow for those sublime oh-so-close-to-straight zings.

  27. Ebeth says

    If you could care less about something, you care to some degree. If you could not care less about something, your level of care has already hit rock bottom and cannot go lower.
    Having said that, you're right. It's common. It makes no sense but that's true of many things down here. I attended high school in Texas (in DFW, no less) and my classmates and I managed to sidetrack English class on this subject more than once.

  28. swwoodsy says

    Did you know that his listing on the State Bar of Texas actually reads, "Mr. Carl David 'The DFW Defender' Ceder"?

    "Popped-collar douchebro bluster" indeed. Plus, I laughed so hard at this, I snorted.

  29. Christopher Best says

    Someone really needs to make a parody Youtube advertisement for Carl "The DFW Defender" Ceder. Make sure you include this accolade: "Famed Los Angeles defense attorney Ken White credited Carl David Cedar with '… [a] jaw-dropping display of popped-collar douchebro bluster.'"

  30. Fasolt says

    "Mr. Carl David 'The DFW Defender' Ceder"? Good Lord. Does he refer to his office as the Alamo? Delusions of Grandeur, indeed.

  31. Basil. Forthrightly says

    On the "could"/"couldn't" thing:

    The Oxford English Dictionary has listed both with equivalent meaning since 1966.

    Idiomatic expressions such as these aren't "logical", they simply are. Arguing logic is like saying "the whole nine yards" or "Bob's your uncle" makes no sense; in fact, if these idiomatic expressions are in your dialect then you know exactly what they mean -they have sense – and otherwise they're opaque. (The problem of course is that the "care less" expression can be parsed non-idiomatically, leading prescriptivist pedants to do so, and then jump up and down. Many such are still raging about people who use "decimate" to mean something other than "killing one in ten", and regularly write nasty letters about safety warnings that say "flammable" instead of "inflammable".)

    I wasn't asserting that the "could care less" variation is unique to the South; it's seems to be everywhere in the US to some degree or other, and might even be dominant everywhere geographically in the US in speech – I have no detailed national data. Various linguists have written that "could" dominates "couldn't" in speech by ratios ranging from 3:2 to 5:1 in aggregated national data; however it's an uncommon expression and so the sample sizes are small enough that there's a lot of uncertainty.

    The Google ngram viewer tells us that "couldn't" dominates "could" by about 2:1, across all written English in the world, as of 2008.

    Some further reading:

  32. Analee says

    @Ryan: "10 gallon asshat" made me nearly choke on my dinner. Just when I thought Popehat was the one place it was SAFE to read the comments…

    Also, I'm pretty sure "Glance harder, dipshit" is going to be the new "Govern yourself accordingly."

  33. Fact Checker says

    Does anyone else find this quote from his website (Success Stories – Page 2) to be just a little bit creepy?

    Mr. Ceder did an outstanding job as my representation. His bed side manner was unlike other candidates that I interviewed.

  34. Fact Checker says

    If you that the previous video was bad, you haven't seen anything yet. Check out his Youtube account and watch the cartoon advertisement that he created.

  35. Shane says


    To be fair, that's how they court down in Texas.

    Hey, damn yankee … ohh wait. Damn surfer get off my lawn.

  36. Shane says

    Holy hell that Carl doesn't look like he could fight his way out of a wet paper bag. Seeing him incarnate makes the physical violence threat all the more hilarious.

    BTW I disown this guy as a Texan, he looks more look a lost descendant of the British monarchy. I wonder if he has checked for hemophilia?

    Plus that he has been practicing law for more than 2 minutes makes me suspicious. I noticed some water dribbling down his neck in the video.

  37. Fact Checker says

    If there is a God, somebody not subject to the SPAM filter will post the cartoon advertisement that he created.

  38. Dan says

    I do hear "could care less" a lot, which might tend to suggest it's simply a regional variant. But then, I also hear "irregardless" and "intensive purposes" too, and both of those are simply incorrect.

  39. says

    So glad to see this guy's comments presented separated by paragraphs. I couldn't make it through any of the full comments because he doesn't know how to use paragraph breaks at all. Plus of course so much more enjoyable with the usual Popehat zingers.

  40. James Pollock says

    I've been in Texas in the summertime, and it melts brain cells. I can only what happens as the effects accumulate.

  41. says

    Having a post like this descend into an argument about "could care less" is very Popehattian.

    Also, the entire post was pretty much a vehicle for "glance harder, dipshit."

  42. Sami says

    The suggestion that "could care less" is a southern regional variation reads, to me, a bit like saying: "Look, I know that this is a linguistic tic that just screams that the person saying it is as thick as pigshit, but you have to understand – in the South, everyone's as thick as pigshit, so it's normal here."

    There are a lot of common, yet really fucking stupid things people say. That doesn't make them right, or any less a marker of being ill-educated.

  43. Sami says

    @Ken: "Glance harder, dipshit." deserved a vehicle. Possibly many, arranged in a parade formation.

  44. Fact Checker says

    Are the three people left who take Avvo seriously now reconsidering in light of Ceder's 10.0 rating?

  45. JTM says

    Very disappointed that it didn't turn into a musical after "…Constitutional rights and all that jazz." When it comes to minstrel shows, go big or go home.

  46. James Pollock says

    Question for the lawyers: is having been invited to engage in fisticuffs a defense to a battery tort?

    Consent IS a defense to battery tort, but it can be withdrawn at any time, so the answer is somewhat hazy.

    Furthermore, consent may not be a defense to the crime of battery. YMMV.

  47. akahige says

    I didn't realize that Apple Daily had started making commercials. Talk about outsourcing your ethics…

  48. Clownius says

    Wow please someone take him up on his offer of a personal visit and see how fast he runs screaming. Please.

    its a bit far for me to fly in from Australia to get arrested when he cries for help from the Police. because you know he would no matter who was threatening him in the street.

  49. beingmarkh says

    While "Glance harder, dipshit" will live in infamy, I think wine just came out my nose when I watched that cartoon and heard what sounded an awful lot like "What's Holmes lice?" (Presumably initially written as, etc, etc.).

    And watching him talking about defending the common man and whatnot…I really have a hard time imagining that guy–even apoplectic with rage, even steaming out his ears–thinking anyone would require a first aid kit in a bout of fisticuffs with him. He's a cheese-puff casper milquetoast. That video kinda makes me want to drive up to Dallas with two first aid kits, knock on his door, spit tabacky on the ground, and say, "Now who were these for?"

  50. Umm, interesting says

    Wow, so a newbie lawyer picks a fight with Scott Greenfield? Did someone do absolutely ZERO research on who they are trying to go up against? Oh wait, I guess that last question was rhetorical…

    This isn't going to turn into something where he tries to sue every blogger who comments on the situation, and turn it into a federal RICO case, is it? We already have one of those to point and laugh at right now…

  51. gramps says

    @beingmarkh: Yeah. Watching that cartoon and then the "heartfelt" speech in another one in that mosaic on Youtube, hell, if it wasn't so damn far to drive, I'd take that offer… And then that pencil-neck would have to explain that his bloused eyes and fat lip were delivered by a coot many decades his elder… I'd even sign an "elder abuse waiver". A seriously dangerous case of alligator mouth- hummingbird ass, he has.

  52. Elizabeth McClellan (@popelizbet) says

    I am sure Mr. Ceder's thriving DWI practice doesn't leave him much time for arcane issues of Texas constitutional law. But if anyone were to take him up on his blustery offers to settle this matter "the old fashion way," and deadly weapons got involved, it might be Texas' first chance in a long while to test their anti-dueling constitutional provision. A conviction strips you of your right to suffrage and the ability to hold "any office of trust and profit" within the state. I'm assuming, because I have no inclination to do further research on my off time, that that language refers to state offices and not to, say, law licenses.

    Mr. Ceder has thus far not run afoul of the provision, since his challenge did not indicate the use of deadly weapons. But if he continues down this road he might just provide a law student with an interesting law review topic…assuming he hasn't done so already by Streisand Effect-ing his search results over the course of this saga, that is.

  53. That Anonymous Coward says

    Never seen this type of behavior from lawyers before…
    nope nope nope…

    *self edits something*

  54. says

    given what I have seen from his videos & his photograph, I highly doubt it. I think my titanium spork would have an easier time getting classified as a deadly weapon.

  55. Derrick says

    I find your casual, off-the-cuff, kind of a tangential reference to ponies quite disturbing:

    "Texas has a stable of excellent First Amendment attorneys…"

    Stable? What's kept in a stable? Ponies are kept in a stable. You just called this group of Texas lawyers ponies. Have you no shame, sir? At long last, have you no shame?

  56. Fact Checker says

    Perhaps the best quote ever from shit marketing materials:
    "Instead, you can afford to smile to high heavens knowing that Carl Ceder, the best Austin DWI lawyer, is working hard for your freedom."

    Sadly, the SPAM filter won't let me include the link.

  57. Fact Checker says

    Some more marketing gems from the Internet before I stop beating this dead horse:

    "Carl David Ceder brings a varied backdrop to the table, permitting him to back you in factually any quarter of criminal law."

    "Carl is eager and competent of tackling any criminal case, and will advance in every case with a belligerent outlook."

    And this wonderful quote:
    "We do understand that DUI charges would be shattering for you and your family and hence we assure to help you with the most effective defense. We are always striving to provide our clients with excellent results through our huge knowledge, training and experience in the DWI cases. Mr. Ceder holds specialization in intoxication-related offenses, especially the DUI/DWI charges", said an executive from Ceder's law firm.

  58. Randall says

    "Glance harder, dipshit" is good … very good. But Ken will probably never be able to top his all-time greatest: "snort my taint"

  59. Cliff says

    Those rare occasions when I need legal advice, I always go through cartoons on youtube to find someone suitable.

  60. Fact Checker says

    I like how he posted the same thank you note on Facebook in April and August to show just how much his clients love him. One has to wonder if no new thank you notes came in during that several month stretch of time.

  61. Joe Pullen says

    If he does attempt to take the Texas anti-SLAPP out for a spin I will be front and center watching him get bent over the end table. Or, as we say in this neck of the woods "taken down to the hose rack".

  62. says

    I once worked alongside a person with no personality, but an ego the size of a small star system, and a propensity for making exaggerated claims about his capabilities. One of my colleagues nailed him perfectly one day, remarking "he is a legend in his own lunchtime". That is what we seem to have in this Plano lawyer.

  63. says

    I am a 20-plus year Texas litigator. I want to apologize to everyone for Mr. Ceder. That is all.

    No it's not. If anyone needs help defending themselves from "The Defender", I am willing to help out pro bono. Somehow I doubt that he will actually sue anyone. My experience is that attorneys that bluster do just that and only that–bluster.

  64. says

    Did you see the youtube ad Cedar made himself? It's like… Unbelievable. If you hired a bag of dicks to fuck up an advert they could not do a worse job.

  65. says

    My God. I am not easily shocked. I mean, seriously, I can watch some pretty disturbing sshit without flinching, but that cartoon advert… I honestly have no words…. I think a team of PR executives high on crack that were TRYING to make the worst ad on Earth would not come close to this. In a way it's just so absurdly bad that… That… No. I just have nothing to say. It has reduced me to babbling incoherently.

  66. MrSpkr says

    @Fact Checker: "Mr. Ceder holds specialization in intoxication-related offenses, especially the DUI/DWI charges", said an executive from Ceder's law firm." That quote might cause Mr. Ceder some problems.

    The quote comes from this webpage. The page appears on a website that generally describes itself as “an online press release service offering both free and paid distribution. eNewsWire distributes business, organisational and personal news and press releases using the Internet.”

    The problem is, he may have violated Texas ethics rules regarding attorney advertising. Rule 702( c ) of the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct states that a lawyer “shall not advertise in the public media or state in a solicitation communication that the lawyer is a specialist, except as permitted under Rule 7.04. Rule 7.04 states, in pertinent part, that a lawyer "shall not advertise in the public media by stating that the lawyer is a specialist" except in particular situations that don’t appear to be relevant here.

    Attorneys in Texas generally gain specialization by meeting requirements set forth by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. There is no specialization for “intoxication-related offenses”. I recognize that Mr. Ceder’s press release states he has certifications in what appear to be field sobriety techniques, including operation of certain breathalyzers; however, these certifications appear insufficient to entitle Mr. Ceder to hold himself out as a “specialist” in a solicitation communication (as the “press release” appears to be).

    The area is a little gray, as the post in question is framed as a “press release”. The problem is, the release doesn’t appear to be one making an announcement about the attorney or his practice (such as, for example, a release announcing that an attorney is expanding his practice into a new area of law); instead, the release appears to be designed to solicit business. If the State Bar views it as just such a solicitation communication, then he may have a problem.

  67. Wilson H. Heydt says

    Re: Basil Forthrightly.

    But Bob IS my uncle. Or, at least, he was. He died several years ago.

  68. says

    Is it a violation of 8.4(b) and 8.4(d) or, more on point, their Texas analogs to threaten physical violence against a fellow bar member in violation of federal law. It is a crime that suggests a lack of fitness to practice; it is arguably prejudicial to the administration of justice. So is a willful copyright violation.

  69. Kris says

    Is it a violation of 8.4(b) and 8.4(d) or, more on point, their Texas analogs to threaten physical violence against a fellow bar member in violation of federal law."

    That's what I was wondering as I was reading this. Ignoring for a moment civil and criminal liability given that this man has threatened to file frivilous lawsuits and cross-state lines to cause physical harm – this reads to me like a clear violation of professional ethics. Hopefully someone will alert the Texas disciplinary administrator, if he/she hasn't been alerted already.

    If he's willing to flout the most basic rules of professional conduct over being called out on a blog, I can only imagine what he does in his actual legal practice.

  70. Ryan says

    That YouTube ad is awful. Brutally awful. But with 945 views, I'm pretty sure all of its viewers are from PopeHat, SimpleJustice, etc.


    Glad you liked it :)

  71. KronWeld says

    When you Google his name the Simple Justice article is now the first listed. This PopeHat article is 6th. I'm not sure all that plagiarizing helped him much.

  72. Trent says

    Before anyone decides to make a drive to Texas with some first-aid kits you should probably keep in mind that Texas allows homeowners to kill anyone on their property that is trespassing, intends to commit violence, steal something or vandalize property. He'd likely be within his rights to shoot and kill you on the spot and he'd never even be considered for charges.

    Texas AFAIK is the only state that allows homicide for defense of property and trespassing.

    Of course everyone was kidding because rational adults don't threaten violence for such trivial matters so my post is essentially worthless. Kudos to Basil. Forthrightly for pointing out the could/couldn't discussion is equally inane.

  73. Savagemutt says

    "Carl is eager and competent of tackling any criminal case, and will advance in every case with a belligerent outlook."

    That sounds like an excerpt from a North Korean news release. It just needs an exclamation point.

  74. Jack B. says

    As a former resident of London's East End who now commits crimes in the greater Dallas/Fort Worth metropolitan area, I really wish Mr. Ceder would make one of those awesome videos using text-to-speech Cockney slang.

    Another one using seventies slang would be quite helpful for my hippie colleagues.

    "Mr. Ceder is a groovy lawyer and he's really happening in a far out way."

  75. James Pollock says

    Texas allows homeowners to kill anyone on their property that is trespassing, intends to commit violence, steal something or vandalize property.

    Even invitees? What happened to the duty of care for invitees?

  76. jackn says

    I just twitted ICE and ask them to rough up someone that is copying my software. Maybe ICE could rough up Carl David Ceder for Dan. It seems that ICE is in the 'business' now.

  77. JTG says

    I recently saw what Carl posted at simplejustice, and for the love of God, will someone please get Carl a keyboard with an [Enter] key that works every time, not just one key press in 10.

  78. Jesse from Tulsa says

    Stock images maybe?

    Carl's guy in handcuffs picture (from the banner):

    Other firm using same guy in handcuffs picture:

    At least 5 other websites use the image. So I'm guessing he paid someone to build the website and, like most of us, didn't pay attention to stock images/copyrighted, or whatever. Probably the same thing with his blog… too bad he didnt just say so along with a sorry.

  79. AlphaCentauri says

    Seriously, it's against ethical rules to claim a specialty? Because the meta tags of his home page say this:

    Carl David Ceder, The DFW Defender, is a Texas Criminal Defense Attorney specializing in Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) Defense, assault and family violence cases, drug offenses, theft charges, white collar crimes, and expunctions/recording sealing all over the State of Texas, including everywhere in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.

  80. Dan says

    Yes, it seriously is against ethical rules to claim a specialty. I expect the Texas State Bar disciplinary committee would be interested to learn of this.

    Edit: The acceptable workaround is to state that your practice is limited to certain areas–that doesn't suggest a degree of expertise that it's considered unethical to advertise.

  81. AlphaCentauri says

    If that's the way he writes when he's typing on his iPhone, God help us if he gets a newer phone and can dictate to Siri.

  82. MrSpkr says

    @AlphaCentauri Yeah. Wild, isn't it.

    As I spend more leisure time reviewing Mr. Ceder's web site — just me, a glass of very good whiskey (Firestone & Robertson's TX Whiskey — a great Fort Worth blend), I find myself wondering whether this very immature young attorney has committed multiple violations of his ethical obligations.

    @FactChecker – I followed the link to the Williamson County case you say he listed in which Balgia was the attorney, but all I get is an error message.

    If Mr. Ceder has listed it as one of his representative cases (and, honestly, I wanted to see if it was, but he fails to identify the county for each of his representative cases and fails to provide a proper case number for any of them — most county case search engines require the dashes and letters be included) then he has committed another violation as holding out a case in which he was not lead attorney or otherwise substantially responsible for the result as a representative case on his webpage is a false or misleading statement in an attorney advertisement, and is subject to discipline Rule 7.02 (a)(2).

    From what I have seen thus far, I suspect that the bar would take a dim view of Mr. Ceder's advertising efforts. Fortunately for him, the potential violations I've noticed don't rise to a level such that other Texas attorneys would have an ethical obligation to report them to the bar per Rule 8.03(a). Being a douchebag with poor choices of wording in advertising is not, in my mind, "a violation of applicable rules of professional conduct that raises a substantial question as to that lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects."

    However, it still leaves him guilty of arrogance, immaturity, and poor judgment, as well as possessing a deficit of integrity that, if it extends into his practice, will eventually come back to bite him, hard.

    Young lawyers like this are the reason I sometimes believe it would be best to require starting lawyers to apprentice to a more experienced attorney for a few years before heading out on their own.

  83. Matt says

    the could/couldn't discussion

    I wasn't looking to start a discussion, I was looking to be snarky! ;)

  84. AlphaCentauri says

    If you read the posts on his blog, they are written in a much different style than his emails. And he is quite up front that he does not have time for blogging and has no idea how to post or edit blog entries himself. So who writes them, and why are they in the first person?

  85. MrSpkr says

    @AlphaCentauri – Its a good question, particularly given the rigorous reporting requirements for attorney websites and his personal responsibility for the postings (I am presuming he is a solo practitioner; his bar profile says his firm is 2-5 people but I think he's counting a receptionist and assistant in that number).

    Outsource your web presence . . .

  86. says

    I can't tell you have many lawyers have stolen content from me in the last 10 years. It is ridiculously common. They always blame a former employee who did it without their permission.

  87. Trent says

    I can't tell you have many lawyers have stolen content from me in the last 10 years. It is ridiculously common. They always blame a former employee who did it without their permission.

    It's incredibly common for lawyers to use others to do all their work. Just look at Ken's picture, you can tell he's convinced his 10 year old son is doing all his lawyer'ing for him.

  88. nlp says


    Given his comments regarding blogs, and his comments about how he is a real lawyer and doesn't spend all his time hunched over a keyboard attacking other lawyers etc., I'm surprised he even bothers to have one. But I suppose whoever is in charge of his marketing program told him he has to have a blog because all the other lawyers do, and he simply told his paralegal or grad student to find some stuff to use.

    Had he bothered to read some of the real blogs written by real lawyers, he would have had a better understanding of what a blog should look like, and would have told his employees to be careful who they stole from.

  89. ike says

    Scraping refers to the automated extraction of data from a interface designed for human consumption.

    Nit 1: This was not scraping, as it was not an automated process. This was simply copying.

    Nit 2: Like copying, attribution or the lack thereof is not a factor in scraping.

    Scraping is not inherently negative.

  90. albert says

    @Ken & Commenters,

    "You can't make up this stuff" seems appropriate here.
    I suspect CDCs ads might have special appeal to folks who are already drunk, or stoned.
    Who are we to argue with advertising demographics?

  91. flip says

    Say what you will about the guy, he spends a lot on marketing:

    I highly doubt that. His outsourcing of writing, the crap-ness of the grammar/spelling and the unusual usage of words (the outsourced stuff), the repeated use of other people's content, the extreme use of SEO keywords at the expense of sensible sentences, and the fact that he employs a webmaster just to update a CMS-based site all hints at one thing:

    He's hired a cheap writer off a freelance website, most likely from Europe or South America (as they often charge mere dollars per article compared to your average American freelance writer). A two-bit hack who promotes themselves as an SEO writer and marketeer would easily be cheap enough and still provide tons of material in tons of places; plus the ones that are cheap-as are also the ones who tend to steal content at a prodigious rate. It's incredibly cheaper than proper marketing and writing, which involves, you know, actual knowledge of the subject you're writing about, research on the topic, and lots of time so you don't just spam the whole internet.

    Proper marketing involves carefully targeting people with researched well-written and factual items; cheap-ass marketing involves hosing everyone in sight with badly crafted, hastily put together, bulldust. There's a reason why it's cheap, it doesn't require any training, thought, or time to create.

    It's also another reason why you can 'blame' the employee. If you hire someone based on the price rather than their expertise or knowledge, then you are probably not going to care if they make everything up, or if it makes sense, or where it comes from.

    In other words: you get what you pay for. And he's obviously not paying much.

  92. Dan says

    A little bird told me that a complaint has been filed with the Texas State Bar about the "specialist" claim, and the initial response of the Office of Disciplinary Counsel is that it does allege professional misconduct. The next step is for him to provide a response.

  93. Dan says

    …it also looks like he's updated his site's metadata: "Carl David Ceder, The DFW Defender, is a Texas Criminal Defense Attorney who places a focus on Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) Defense, assault . . ."