Spam Wars Escalate in Round Two; Attorney Pete Wellborn Obtains Global Restraining Order Against Spammer Benchmark Print Supply, Seeks Contempt Sanctions as He Continues Battle Against Spammers

Sep 27, 2000, 01:00 ET from Arnall Golden & Gregory LLP

    ATLANTA, Sept. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- In a case that may prove to be the most
 resounding blow yet to senders of unsolicited commercial e-mail, Atlanta
 attorney Pete Wellborn of Arnall Golden & Gregory LLP has obtained a temporary
 restraining order that prohibits Benchmark Print Supply and its owner Sam
 Khuri from sending any unsolicited commercial e-mail to any Internet users.
     Until the entry of the temporary restraining order (TRO), Benchmark and
 Khuri were among the most prolific "spammers" in the country.  The TRO was
 issued last week by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of
 Georgia and will remain in place at least until an Oct. 11 evidentiary
 hearing, after which the court will decide whether the restraining order
 should remain in effect for the duration of the case.
     The lawsuit, filed Sept. 13 on behalf of California e-mail service
 Friendly Email Inc., alleges that Benchmark and Khuri have engaged in a
 malicious and illegal spam campaign involving e-mails doctored to appear as
 though they were sent from a Friendly Email account.  The practice of
 modifying or forging information in an e-mail to disguise the true source of
 the e-mail is known as "spoofing" and constitutes a myriad of state and
 federal violations of the rights of the "spoofed" party, which typically
 suffers damage to its business reputation and which must field thousands of
 misdirected complaints from the disgruntled recipients of the e-mails.
     The lawsuit also asks that Benchmark and Khuri be held in contempt of
 court and liable for both criminal penalties and civil damages for violating a
 Consent Order issued by the court earlier this year in a related case.  In
 that lawsuit, which was also prosecuted by Wellborn and which involved the
 claims of London e-mail service Bibliotech Ltd. against Benchmark and Khuri,
 the parties entered into a precedent-setting settlement that extended
 spamming- and spoofing-related protections to all Internet users, who were
 expressly named as third-party beneficiaries of the settlement.  The
 settlement, which was incorporated into the court's final Consent Order in
 that case, marked the first resolution of a spam-related case that involved
 protections for all Internet users, rather than for only the actual
 plaintiffs.
     "Benchmark has again crossed the line when it comes to respecting the
 rights of Internet users to privacy and a spam-free Internet," said Wellborn,
 who also served as lead litigation counsel for EarthLink Network in its
 landmark victory over former "spam king" Sanford Wallace. "I don't like
 Benchmark Print Supply, and I don't like Sam Khuri. I will not rest until they
 pay for their transgressions against Internet users and cease this intolerable
 conduct."
     Events in the two weeks leading up to the issuance of the restraining
 order indicate that this case will be one worth watching.  Friendly Email's
 massive initial filing included a 50-page Verified Complaint, a Motion For
 Preliminary Injunction and supporting brief, and a Motion For Civil and
 Criminal Contempt and supporting brief.  Upon being served with these
 materials, Khuri left a profane, rambling voice-mail for Friendly Email owner
 John Wilson alleging that Khuri and Wellborn were conspiring to run up and
 then split Friendly Email's legal fees and advising that the case should be
 dismissed.  Khuri later recanted his statements when challenged by the court,
 attributing the false allegations to his "nervousness" and "anger."  Wellborn
 is now considering filing in his individual capacity a slander suit against
 Khuri.
     Furthermore, according to briefs submitted by Friendly Email, Khuri then
 began using Wilson's personal e-mail address as the forged originating address
 in Khuri's e-mails, resulting in the receipt by Wilson of approximately
 1,000 complaint e-mails in a two-day period.  The defamatory voice-mail and
 the continuation of Khuri's violations against Friendly Email and John Wilson
 were the catalyst for Wellborn's Motion for TRO.
 
     About Paul F. "Pete" Wellborn III
     A Georgia native, Wellborn is a veteran of Internet law and is the co-
 chairman of his firm's Internet and New Technologies practice group
 ("INTECH").  Wellborn has an undergraduate degree in computer science from
 Georgia Tech, where he played football during his college days and at which he
 now teaches Internet Law.  Wellborn represents a number of companies, ranging
 in size from start-up to publicly traded, in Internet and technology matters.
 He was a member of the late Sen. Paul Coverdell's Technology Advisory
 Committee.  Wellborn is a nominee for the 2000 Georgia Technology Leadership
 Award in Technology Application.
 
     About Arnall Golden & Gregory LLP
     Arnall Golden & Gregory provides innovative legal and business counsel to
 entrepreneurial and established businesses. With more than 130 attorneys in
 Atlanta and Macon, Ga., the firm offers a wide range of services and takes
 pride in building lasting relationships with its clients a diverse business
 and industry group with local, national and international interests.
 
     About Friendly Email Inc.
     Friendly Email is a California-based provider of free e-mail services and
 boasts 250,000 members.
 
 

SOURCE Arnall Golden & Gregory LLP
    ATLANTA, Sept. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- In a case that may prove to be the most
 resounding blow yet to senders of unsolicited commercial e-mail, Atlanta
 attorney Pete Wellborn of Arnall Golden & Gregory LLP has obtained a temporary
 restraining order that prohibits Benchmark Print Supply and its owner Sam
 Khuri from sending any unsolicited commercial e-mail to any Internet users.
     Until the entry of the temporary restraining order (TRO), Benchmark and
 Khuri were among the most prolific "spammers" in the country.  The TRO was
 issued last week by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of
 Georgia and will remain in place at least until an Oct. 11 evidentiary
 hearing, after which the court will decide whether the restraining order
 should remain in effect for the duration of the case.
     The lawsuit, filed Sept. 13 on behalf of California e-mail service
 Friendly Email Inc., alleges that Benchmark and Khuri have engaged in a
 malicious and illegal spam campaign involving e-mails doctored to appear as
 though they were sent from a Friendly Email account.  The practice of
 modifying or forging information in an e-mail to disguise the true source of
 the e-mail is known as "spoofing" and constitutes a myriad of state and
 federal violations of the rights of the "spoofed" party, which typically
 suffers damage to its business reputation and which must field thousands of
 misdirected complaints from the disgruntled recipients of the e-mails.
     The lawsuit also asks that Benchmark and Khuri be held in contempt of
 court and liable for both criminal penalties and civil damages for violating a
 Consent Order issued by the court earlier this year in a related case.  In
 that lawsuit, which was also prosecuted by Wellborn and which involved the
 claims of London e-mail service Bibliotech Ltd. against Benchmark and Khuri,
 the parties entered into a precedent-setting settlement that extended
 spamming- and spoofing-related protections to all Internet users, who were
 expressly named as third-party beneficiaries of the settlement.  The
 settlement, which was incorporated into the court's final Consent Order in
 that case, marked the first resolution of a spam-related case that involved
 protections for all Internet users, rather than for only the actual
 plaintiffs.
     "Benchmark has again crossed the line when it comes to respecting the
 rights of Internet users to privacy and a spam-free Internet," said Wellborn,
 who also served as lead litigation counsel for EarthLink Network in its
 landmark victory over former "spam king" Sanford Wallace. "I don't like
 Benchmark Print Supply, and I don't like Sam Khuri. I will not rest until they
 pay for their transgressions against Internet users and cease this intolerable
 conduct."
     Events in the two weeks leading up to the issuance of the restraining
 order indicate that this case will be one worth watching.  Friendly Email's
 massive initial filing included a 50-page Verified Complaint, a Motion For
 Preliminary Injunction and supporting brief, and a Motion For Civil and
 Criminal Contempt and supporting brief.  Upon being served with these
 materials, Khuri left a profane, rambling voice-mail for Friendly Email owner
 John Wilson alleging that Khuri and Wellborn were conspiring to run up and
 then split Friendly Email's legal fees and advising that the case should be
 dismissed.  Khuri later recanted his statements when challenged by the court,
 attributing the false allegations to his "nervousness" and "anger."  Wellborn
 is now considering filing in his individual capacity a slander suit against
 Khuri.
     Furthermore, according to briefs submitted by Friendly Email, Khuri then
 began using Wilson's personal e-mail address as the forged originating address
 in Khuri's e-mails, resulting in the receipt by Wilson of approximately
 1,000 complaint e-mails in a two-day period.  The defamatory voice-mail and
 the continuation of Khuri's violations against Friendly Email and John Wilson
 were the catalyst for Wellborn's Motion for TRO.
 
     About Paul F. "Pete" Wellborn III
     A Georgia native, Wellborn is a veteran of Internet law and is the co-
 chairman of his firm's Internet and New Technologies practice group
 ("INTECH").  Wellborn has an undergraduate degree in computer science from
 Georgia Tech, where he played football during his college days and at which he
 now teaches Internet Law.  Wellborn represents a number of companies, ranging
 in size from start-up to publicly traded, in Internet and technology matters.
 He was a member of the late Sen. Paul Coverdell's Technology Advisory
 Committee.  Wellborn is a nominee for the 2000 Georgia Technology Leadership
 Award in Technology Application.
 
     About Arnall Golden & Gregory LLP
     Arnall Golden & Gregory provides innovative legal and business counsel to
 entrepreneurial and established businesses. With more than 130 attorneys in
 Atlanta and Macon, Ga., the firm offers a wide range of services and takes
 pride in building lasting relationships with its clients a diverse business
 and industry group with local, national and international interests.
 
     About Friendly Email Inc.
     Friendly Email is a California-based provider of free e-mail services and
 boasts 250,000 members.
 
 SOURCE  Arnall Golden & Gregory LLP