Thursday, April 12, 2007


A couple of months back, I read with great interest Kat Coble's account of her and her husband's dealings with JL Kirk, an alleged "Executive Placement firm".

There are reputable "headhunter" firms out there. They are generally paid by the company doing the hiring. They do not, however, ask that the person seeking a job put $4420 on a credit card, a non-refundable fee that allegedly puts all the efforts of the firm at the applicant's disposal.

JL Kirk does that.

Legitimate headhunter firms don't charge a fee that sounds remarkably like what you just got on your tax return especially since, under the name Bernard Haldane, they built a reputation doing just that.

JL Kirk does that.

Legitimate headhunter firms don't insist that the spouse be brought along for the consultation in the hopes that one will be more scared than the other and they can play them against one another.

JL Kirk does that.

And a legitimate headhunter firm is familiar enough with the internet to know that threatening a blogger gets it 100 times the bad publicity that it would otherwise have had.

JL Kirk apparently does not know that--- For they've sent a "cease and desist" order to Katherine Coble.

Katherine did what all of us as bloggers do--- She published a firsthand account of what she observed when she and her husband visited JL Kirk.

Here's the sick part--- Check out the bottom of page 1 of the cease and desist order:

Moreover, even if statements are literally true, the publisher of those statements is subject to monetary damages where “the meaning reasonably conveyed by the published words is defamatory.” Memphis Publishing Comany v. Nichols, 569 S.W. 2d 412 (Tenn. 1978)

This is a misapplication of the legal standard set out by Memphis Publishing Company v. Nichols, for that case was about a misleading newspaper article regarding a murder. Note the word "misleading". The truth has always been a perfect legal defense in this nation, and always will be, despite the hackery of the attorneys for JL Kirk.

The good thing about this case--- It places the burden of proof not on Katherine Coble, but on JL Kirk to prove that their business practices are honest and above board. And somehow, I doubt they really want their business practices going on record in court.

I'm no attorney, but I can sure think of a few questions I would ask.

For instance, I would ask why they didn't file a similar suit against CBS news for filing this report when they were operating under their previous name, Bernard Haldane.

I would ask on what grounds Haldane was investigated by the Illinois Attorney General.

I might even ask why the State of Kansas ordered them to issue $300,000 in refunds after investigating their business practices.

I might ask why, if the statement that Kirk Leipzig purchased the Bernard Haldane franchises is so untrue, then why is the story so persistent? I've found his name listed not only as owner of their offices in Brentwood, but Bellevue, Tacoma (Now Federal Way), Iowa, and Arkansas as well. If this is a deception, then surely he would love the opportunity to set the record straight, right?

My message to JL Kirk Associates: You fuck with one of us, you fuck with all of us. The truth, in this nation, has been and will always be its own best defense. So it's your challenge to prove that she misled anyone in any way. Then, she gets to prove that you mislead people. Think she'll have any trouble finding witnesses?


Sean Braisted checked into JL Kirk's Better Business Bureau Record:
This company has a pattern (more than 2 complaints involving the same allegations usually within 12 months that are significant in relation to the company's size and volume of business) of complaint. Complaints allege the company offers career advancement services including marketing/resume writing, training for improved interview & negotiation skills, job leads/interviews and on-going support once a career has been obtained. Consumers state once they complete the marketing/resume writing and training for improved interview and negotiation skills, the company fails to follow up and provide assistance with job leads, interviews are not scheduled and careers are not obtained. All complainants request a refund to resolve the issues.

In fact, I was planning to do a roundup of all the articles on this, but my friend Newscoma did such a stellar job that all I can do is applaud her and give you a link.

Update 2***
Special thanks to Brother Cracker for writing faster than I did.


'Coma said...

This was an interesting day. The Left and The Right came together for RIGHTS.
By the way, you were a sweet talker on my blog. Thanks for the really kind words.

Freedonian said...

I meant every word. You kick ass.

This case actually dominated the blogger's corner at Drinking Liberally last night.