Welcome
IP Law News

Parler Furor Spurs ‘Nazi’ Insults to Wrong Lawyer in Name Mixup

Jan. 12, 2021, 9:23 PM

Over the past 24 hours, David J. Groesbeck has been called a Nazi, and lots more.

He’s been contacted by vendors who provide digital forensic services. Lawyers have reached out offering to write briefs in a lawsuit that Parler, the conservative social media platform, filed Monday against Amazon Web Services Inc. for shutting off its service after last week’s riot at the U.S. Capitol, listing David J. Groesbeck as its lawyer.

Only, this David J. Groesbeck isn’t the one everyone was looking for.

This David J. Groesbeck is a patent attorney who happens to share the same first name, last name and middle initial as the lawyer who represents Parler. Both David J. Groesbecks have practiced in Washington state and are registered in New York.

“There are extreme messages on both sides, in support of and against,” Groesbeck said. “There are a lot more reasonable, well thought out responses in the middle.”

Not surprisingly, they’ve been mixed up before. This time, it reached the point where the wrong David J. Groesbeck posted a notice on his firm’s homepage Monday clarifying that his Groesbeck IP isn’t associated with Parler. Even the New York Times identified the wrong lawyer.

Groesbeck, the patent attorney, worked for a time in the Seattle area. He started Groesbeck IP in 2017, according to the firm’s website. The David Groesbeck who filed the lawsuit lists addresses in Olympia, Wash., and Spokane, Wash., in court documents.

The patent attorney acknowledged the “remarkable coincidence” of two lawyers with the exact same name practicing within driving distance of one another. Groesbeck, who now practices in New York, said he has spoken to the other Groesbeck in the past after people would mix them up and call the wrong attorney.

He said both men would pass along those individuals to the other — and in his website notice, the wrong Groesbeck listed the phone number for the correct one.

“We both find it amusing how similar our names are,” Groesbeck said.

He said the other Groesbeck, the one who represents Parler, called him on Monday to apologize and they “both had a nice laugh about the situation.”

Parler’s attorney didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Matthew Bultman in New York at mbultman@correspondent.bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Keith Perine at kperine@bloomberglaw.com; Bernie Kohn at bkohn@bloomberglaw.com

To read more articles log in. To learn more about a subscription click here.