Cease And Desist? West Orange Goes After A Web Site


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Legal2Responding to a cease-and-desist letter is not one of the non-fiction genres taught in Verona schools. But, on the off chance it ever is, somebody might want to bookmark a missive sent after West Orange’s town attorney tried to shut a Web site there.

Jake Freivald, a West Orange resident, started a Web site in early May called It’s a gateway to an online discussion forum covering West Orange politics and more. On May 25, Freivald got an e-mail from Richard Trenk, West Orange’s lawyer, with the subject line “Demand to Cease and Desist From Use of Domain Name”. It said, in part that “The use of the Township’s name is unauthorized and is likely to cause confustion“. (Italics mine, typo Trenk’s). The government site of West Orange is

On June 17, a lawyer representing Freivald responded to Trenk. It was posted yesterday to BuzzFeed under the headline “Is This The Best Response To A Cease And Desist Letter Ever?”. Lawyer Stephen B. Kaplitt congratulated Trenk on his “legal satire” and wrote, in part:

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You can read the full letter here. UPDATE: What prompted the letter in the first place? Baristanet has some ideas.

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Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano grew up in Verona. She moved away to write and edit for The Wall Street Journal’s European edition, Institutional Investor, Crain’s New York Business and Since returning to Verona, she has volunteered for school, civic and religious groups, served nine years on the Verona Environmental Commission and is now part of Sustainable Verona. She co-founded MyVeronaNJ in 2009. You can reach Virginia at [email protected]


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