| Sunday April 20th 2014

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Why I Sued Google (and Won)


I feel that Google should be able to defend its cancellations, and it’s going to find a number of them that were in fact mistakes.

On January 15, 2009, I walked over to the Santa Clara County courthouse in Palo Alto, which conveniently fell within the same county lines as Google’s home of Mountain View, and filed a civil small claims lawsuit for $721.00 – the amount Google owed Think when it disabled the account – using form SC-100. For a total of $40.00 in court fees, I arranged for Google, Inc. to be served by certified mail. The hearing was scheduled for March 2, 2009.

Google Adsense checkSince lawyers are not permitted in small claims court, Google instead sent Stephanie Milani, a Litigation Paralegal. During the short last-ditch-resolution period before the hearings on the afternoon schedule began, Ms. Milani argued that I must have done something wrong to deserve my fate. When I asked her what, she didn’t know. The AdSense engineers had not told her.

“Google can terminate your account for any reason,” she told me.

“Not any reason,” I said. “Not because I have blue eyes. Or brown eyes.” After being told to quiet down by the courtroom guard, we decided that we had reached an impasse, exchanged documents, and went back into the court room.

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