Inbox: a trip to china, more on Expeditors, lawyers sue for libel

By Chuck Taylor


You’ve always wondered what happens on those trade missions local politicians and businesspeople take. Now you can see for yourself through the eyes of Tom Ranken, president and CEO of Washington Clean Technology Alliance, the membership of which includes the Snohomish County PUD. Ranken has been exhaustively blogging about a trade mission to China undertaken by Washington business reps interested in what’s happening there in world of “cleantech.”


Expeditors International (EXPD), the Seattle company reported Thursday to have incurred a $5.5 million fine from the European Commission for alleged anticompetitive behavior, issued a news release explaining itself — a lengthy one as these things go. Among other things, CEO Peter J. Rose says:

It is also somewhat troubling, and a little ironic to us, that the world’s largest freight forwarder [DHL, the EC’s immunity applicant], who allegedly organized, orchestrated and perpetuated these so-called ‘Breakfast Club’ meetings in Hong Kong, has not been penalized at all for these actions. In our opinion, it’s almost as if they’ve attempted to turn this into a competitive advantage — a point we raised in the oral hearing …”

We wonder if Boeing sees anything familiar in this case.

In other media

Attorney rating service Avvo prevails in libel case, calls it a victory for ‘Web transparency’ and First Amendment” (GeekWire): This is a Seattle-based company that invites website visitors to rate attorneys, a la Yelp. Yes, you’re correct: If one wanted to test the libel waters, a site that rates lawyers would be the way to go. Writes John Cook:

This marks the second time that Avvo has won a decision in a case involving an attorney who didn’t like his rating. In 2007, just nine days after launch, Seattle attorney John Henry Browne sued Avvo. That case was also dismissed by the United States District Court in Seattle. (Interestingly, Browne is the attorney now representing Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales who is accused of killing 17 Afghan civilians earlier this month).

8 classic newspaper April Fools’ hoaxes” ( We’re partial to No. 4, “The Guardian becomes a Twitter-only publication.”

Good luck with tonight’s Mega Millions drawing!