Byline: | Category: Uncategorized | Posted at: Wednesday, 11 April 2007

Katherine Coble and her husband are having problems with a company called J. L. Kirk & Associates, or Kirk Associates, or JL Kirk, or JLK, or JLK-A, or sometimes just “Kirk“. Whether it’s J. L. Kirk & Associates, or Kirk Associates, or JL Kirk, or JLK, or JLK-A, or sometimes just “Kirk“, whatever you want to call it, it’s just bad form (not to mention, unwise) to sue a popular internet writer over a report about their company that isn’t libelous.

You’re only going to draw more attention to a report that certainly sounds like a scam, a fraud, a rip-off, or a con. Because the next time that someone googles J. L. Kirk & Associates, or Kirk Associates, or JL Kirk, or JLK, or JLK-A, or sometimes just “Kirk“, they can’t help but be directed to Katherine Coble’s commentary about how she and her husband felt like they were almost caught in a scam, a fraud, a rip-off, or a con.

Not that I’m implying that J. L. Kirk & Associates, or Kirk Associates, or JL Kirk, or JLK, or JLK-A, or sometimes just “Kirk” are a scam, a fraud, a rip-off, or a con, I’m simply saying that their reported behavior certainly raises some red flags about J. L. Kirk & Associates, or Kirk Associates, or JL Kirk, or JLK, or JLK-A, or sometimes just “Kirk” and their reported activities because they are similar to those of other companies who are scams, frauds, rip-offs, or cons.

BTW, never, under any circumstances*, ever pay a headhunter or a job placement firm to find you a job.

Also, Just in case Katherine Coble’s post about J. L. Kirk & Associates, or Kirk Associates, or JL Kirk, or JLK, or JLK-A, or sometimes just “Kirk” should ever disappear from the web, just remember that Google is forever.

(*Okay, not “any circumstances” but those circumstances apply to so few people that you know if you’re at a level and in a field where you need an agent.)

OTHERS, including:
Bill Hobbs
Say Uncle

The Zero Boss Kirked: v, tr. – “to have your reputation ruined for trying to stifle a blogger’s free speech.”
QandO: How to ruin your business in one easy step
Better Business Bureau
Rex Hammock offers sage advice.
The Urban Dictionary: kirk: “To go crazy, to flip out, to wig out.”
Home Ec 101

Oh, heck. I’m going to bed. Newscoma’s got all the links.

UPDATE: I’ve written more on the subject here: Don’t squeeze water balloons

Also: Welcome, Insta-Fark-Captain Ed/et. al, readers. Feel free to look around while you’re in the neighborhood.

2nd UPDATE: Be sure to read what Roger referenced here.

3rd UPDATE: PayPal, Book Deal? and keep up with the latest.

4th UPDATE: Legal Fight.

5th UPDATE: Meet Kirk Leipzig! The owner of J. L. Kirk Associates is speaking to the Nashville chapter of the Nashville Association of Woman Business Owners on April 26th at the Sunset Grill . Could be a lively discussion.

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76 Responses to “Kirked”

  1. Number9 Says:

    You know it is bad when your company name becomes an Internet verb in less than six hours. I think they “Kirked” themselves.

  2. Roger Abramson Says:

    I for one am quite impressed with their Internet savvy. Obviously am “career specialist” firm fot the 21st century.

  3. Lynnster Says:

    This might be my favorite blog post ever in the world, ever.

    (Honestly, you didn’t have to pull out the big guns just because I have been complimenting Roger and Sean so much lately… kidding.)

    Seriously, my hat is SO off to you, Bill H., and so many others today, and this in particular is most excellent.

  4. Jim Durbin Says:

    funny. For better SEO, if one were so inclined, under the new google rules, the anchor text makes a big difference in searches, which means that if you link, say, the jl kirk website under the words, scam, con, or fraud, people searching for those words would bring up that site.

    If one were so inclined.

  5. Citizen Deux Says:

    Wow! Very, very good. The internet has once again shown the people to be the most fortunate benefactor of its power.

  6. Home Ec 101 » Blog Archive » The curious case of JL Kirk and Associates Says:

    [...] course, all hell breaks loose. In a move much like the “I am Spartacus!” “No, I am Spartacus!” [...]

  7. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: Bob
    RE: This Interesting Case

    The law firm that is representing J. L. Kirk & Associates, or Kirk Associates, or JL Kirk, or JLK, or JLK-A, or sometimes just “Kirk”, King & Ballow, seem to prepared a ‘comment’ paper on First Amendment. You know, freedom of this, freedom of that, Freedom of Speech.

    I’m curious to see the contents of that paper, as it might pertain to Freedom of Speech. I’m curious as to how they interpret such a freedom, that we hold so dear.

    However, they want $119 to see their paper.

    Does anyone have a copy of this paper that we might see some extracts?



  8. KC, you have my support! « GingerSnaps Says:

    [...] S-townMike: Local Job Headhunter Service Attempts to Intimidate Local Blogger Tiff Sniff: Fired Up Bob Krumm: Kirked Bill Hobbs: Suing a Blogger Toys in the Attic: Time for me to steal someone’s joy Say Uncle: Is [...]

  9. KC, you have my support! « GingerSnaps Says:

    [...] S-townMike: Local Job Headhunter Service Attempts to Intimidate Local Blogger Tiff Sniff: Fired Up Bob Krumm: Kirked Bill Hobbs: Suing a Blogger Toys in the Attic: Time for me to steal someone’s joy Say Uncle: Is [...]

  10. It’s Worse Than That - He’s Kirked, Jim! - from The Zero Boss by Jay Andrew Allen Says:

    [...] except that’s not the whole story. Because this guy picked up on it. As did this guy. Then it made the newspapers. And from there, it snowballed to the point where “Kirked” [...]

  11. amy Says:

    awesome. still laughing out loud at this.

  12. Suburban Turmoil Says:

    Seriously. This is awesome. Oh shit, am I going to be sued now, too?

  13. Tim Says:

    I have to agree with the never pay a headhunter. Every reputable headhunter who has ever contacted me has been of the “fee paid by company, of course. We are not a ripoff agency, we get paid when you sign the dotted line.”

    Yes, they are working for the companies. They are trying to provide a valuable commodity to the company (YOU!) And I never noticed it affecting my offers, other than you need to be sure that when the headhunter asks “What will it take to get you to move?” that the answer you get is the amount you want, because that is what he will take to the company.

  14. Kirk Parker Says:

    This is very distressing. I wonder if I can sue J.L. whats-there-name for bringing disrepute on my good name???

  15. newscoma Says:

    Good for you, Bob.
    This was great.

  16. The Right To Say What We Want To Say « Newscoma Says:

    [...] Bob Krumm [...]

  17. Rachel Says:

    Nice work, Bob.

  18. Donna Locke Says:

    I bet the next communication from them will be along the lines of “Kirk out.”

  19. Kinda Like Wildfire, Only Faster « The Lynnster Zone Says:

    [...] words there!) – here’s two more takes that I found just amazing while browsing this evening, here and [...]

  20. JLK Says:

    eh…er….can someone help me get this toothpaste back in the tube?

  21. Hey J.L. Kirk and Associates - Nobody likes a bully « Salem’s Lots Says:

    [...] Krumm absolutely kills – brilliant! [...]

  22. Rex Hammock’s weblog » Blog Archive » Bloggers and the lawyers who order them to remove posts Says:

    [...] meme has spread around the Nashville blogosphere this evening. This perhaps can best be seen in a post by Bob Krumm that rains down some Google juice on the executive placement firm. Writes [...]

  23. John Lynch Says:


  24. Bruised Orange » Kirk Leipzig: A Captain Ahab for the 21st Century Says:

    [...] story has now garnered national attention, and is blazing across the internet. Bob Krumm has brilliantly gone so far as to suggest that in the style of the Farrelly brothers’ [...]

  25. New Rule: Don’t Sue Your Customers at Demand Satisfaction! Says:

    [...] The original post, already the seventh most prominent link on a Google search for the company, and referencing articles will likely grow far more visible thanks to all the incoming links and repetition. I’m happy [...]

  26. Rob Huddleston Says:

    Bob -

    Simply awesome post! J.L. Kirk might wants to learn him some information on that there Interweb thingy.



  27. Alphecca » New Verb in Town! Says:

    [...] the opinions of a blogger, they should be rewarded in the archives of Google. That’s why I just have to quote this: You’re only going to draw more attention to a report that certainly sounds like a scam, a [...]

  28. Marlowe Says:

    Hahahaha…Excellent!!! Good on you, mate.

  29. palad Says:

    Your blog post needs more hyperlinks.

  30. Scott Says:


  31. My post is gone, but JL Kirk is still a bully « Salem’s Lots Says:

    [...] kills me with this post…way to go [...]

  32. Dave Says:

    And you have made it to


  33. Pink Kitty Says:

    You’ve been farked. Front page on that is.

  34. fark ftw Says:

    hey that blog entry needs more links!

  35. World and Global Politics Blog » Blog Archive » J.L. Kirk Associates Threatens Blogger, Meets Blogosphere Says:

    [...] to J.L. Kirk Associates, Bob Krumm is right: “never, under any circumstances, ever pay a headhunter or a job placement firm to [...]

  36. jacobprimo Says:

    Considering the millions of fark readers now seeing this post. I think the Kirk might be farked. Maybe they can change their name Scotty or Sulu.

  37. Miss O'Hara Says:

    This has got to be one of the best blog posts in the annals of the blogosphere.

    Should “Kirked” now be Wikipedia’d?

  38. newscoma Says:

    Bob, you should read the comments over at Fark. You have become an a Google Bomb Rock Star.

  39. Afecks Says:

    The only thing I hate worse than scammers are self-righteous blogger twats that want to flex their perceived social power every time something offends them.

    Please tell me where the scam is. The bitch went to an interview, the associate answered all her questions. Then the blogger bitch went home to feed her 8 cats, insert her ass cheeks into the chair grooves and make snarky comments about her office decorations, including a quilt that she bought from a charity to help the victims of 9/11.

    Meanwhile blogger bitch’s friends have achieved maximum suction on her ass and begin to smooch. Even when the associate shoots her down, blogger bitch’s friends and random anti-corporate hippies ignore the ownage and continue as if they didn’t just get a shit sandwich on rye served to them.

    In summary, fuck all bloggers, you claim to seek truth and justice but when you’re wrong and someone hands you your ass, you never admit it.

    [Ed: I don't normally allow this kind of language on my site, but this I let through the filter because I thought it was enlightening.]

  40. Busy Mom Says:

    Bob Krumm – Linkmeister Extraordinarire, my hero.

  41. Busy Mom Says:

    Busy Mom – not a typist “extraordinaire”

  42. SayUncle » Suing bloggers - the day after Says:

    [...] Bob Krumm reminds us that Google is forever. [...]

  43. Bob Krumm » Like squeezing a water balloon Says:

    [...] last night’s post was intended to depict was a macroscopic view of what the internet is going to look like after J. [...]

  44. Pink Kitty Says:

    I think Afecks is upset because he has submitted headlines to fark for years and they’ve never been greenlit.

  45. Busy Mom Says:

    Wow, Afecks is everywhere today. Must be sitting in the grooves of his chair.

  46. Charlie (Colorado) Says:


  47. Charlie (Colorado) Says:

    Don’t forget that Kirk, was previously known as Bernard Haldane and Associates, Haldane and Associates, or even just Haldane,

  48. Bob Jones Says:

    I have never seen so many needless hyper-links in my life. You DO NOT have to hyper-link every other word if they all go to the same place! Sheesh… :)

  49. Example #6,732 of why it’s generally a bad idea to sue a blogger | seattleduck Says:

    [...] 1. Blogger posts the “offending” remarks2. No one outside of the small social group of said blogger really notices<OPPORTUNITY FOR CONSTRUCTIVE ENGAGEMENT WITH YOUR CRITICS ONLINE>3. “Offended” party gets pissed, hires lawyers who send a cease and desist letter with some threats of legal action and plenty of intimidating and overbearing language</OPPORTUNITY PASSED>4. Blogger is taken aback, and posts about the letter (maybe even adds in a scanned copy of it!)5. Bloggers small circle of online friends and readers react angrily, and post about it themselves6. One or more high readership blogs gets alerted, and writes it up, dramatically expanding awareness well beyond the original blogs readership. What was a small, local matter is now national news online7. Massive blogger reaction ensues, with general condemnation of the suing party and their lawyers as “asshats“8. Suing party and their lawyers corporate names are now forever associated with the negative reaction to this letter (newsflash: blogs, thanks to their cross-linking behavior, naturally score high on Google PageRank)9. The story makes the jump from blogosphere to local media10. Your company name becomes a verb (as in “I got Kirked”) [...]

  50. Political Mavens » Threatening to Sue Bloggers and the Impact of the Internet Says:

    [...] Better Business Bureau file, which suggests that Coble’s account has credibility, Bob Krumm’s illustration of the power of Google, and Billy Hollis’ post at QandO entitled How to ruin [...]

  51. Afecks Says:

    I apologize for using profanity on a blog post advocating freedom of speech. I was stupid to think that freedom of speech applied to all words instead of just the words that don’t offend you.

    To the editor, thanks for letting it through anyways. You probably just did it to show you have some integrity unlike most bloggers. Point well made, sir.

  52. Gwedd Says:


    I now have a new question for the crossword game:

    Q: What’s a four-letter word for ‘scum-sucking bottom dweller’?

    A: kirk

    heh. So sue me.

  53. Another lame attempt to kill the Internet | Peoria Pundit Says:

    [...] Welcome to the wonderful world of googlebombing. Click to share:These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover [...]

  54. LittleRock Says:

    Let me also state that the principal with this company is named Kirk Leipzig. Upon meeting him I asked him how the name “J.L. Kirk” was created. He told me that the “J.L.” stands for “Jesus is Lord”.

    If I am lying, I am dying.

  55. Tantor Says:

    I ran into Bernard Haldane after I got my MBA and was learning how to get a job. I’d already run into one headhunter who wanted to charge me for the privilege of allowing him to look for a job for me but I was pretty surprised when the headhunter at Haldane said that they would market me to employers for three thousand bucks. Whoa!

    Now, twenty years later, I’m still wondering who’s gonna pay a headhunter three big ones to find a job for him.

  56. Kat Coble Says:

    He told me that the “J.L.” stands for “Jesus is Lord”.

    And you know, those of us Little Lebowski Urban Acheivers have a saying, borrowed from John Turturro’s character, Jesus Quintana.

  57. Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler » Blog Archive » Another Idiot Law Firm Trying to Become an Internet Verb Says:

    [...] like JL Kirk & Associates as well as King & Ballow just got “Kirked.” Posted by Emperor Misha I @ 12:06 pm | | 55 [...]

  58. LittleRock Says:

    Called the assigned complaint investigator with the Arkansas Attorney General’s office to see if they were still interested in pursuing charges against the individuals responsible for the Little Rock office. Waiting to hear back from them…

  59. dan Says:

    Quote from the original this entry links to:
    And I think that’s exactly what this placement firm did to us today. There were times when I felt like I was sitting across from a spider.

    So… why did they hand over a check? If it is that easy to take $5000 from them, I don’t see much in mental strength. What happened to this great game plan they had?

    But for any potential job seekers out there, like Krumm said: If you don’t already KNOW you need a headhunter, then you probably don’t, and won’t. If you’re in an industry or position where you do, then you’ll know it. There’s a reason these firms call themselves “Executive Placement Agencies.” If you’re not an executive who needs placement, you don’t need a headhunter.
    Headhunters ARE used car salesman: they take a job off of somebody else’s hands and fill it for them. This doesn’t mean people aren’t satisfied on all sides of the deal, but it does mean use some common sense.

  60. Kat Coble Says:

    It appears that Afecks, who hates Jimmy page, has decided to start a new blog with the prosaic title of “F— All Bloggers”.

    He does not care for me or what I stand for.

    I remain in eager anticipation of his opinion on Robert Plant.

  61. newscoma Says:

    I was going to add that Afecks and I have Jimmy Page were one in the same. Jimmy left the same comment over at my house.

  62. Rachel Says:

    If you read the post, they did not “hand over a check.”

  63. Lake Neuron | K-Co Says:

    [...] and an offer of legal counsel from the Media Bloggers’ Association. Bob Krumm also took brilliant advantage of Google search ranking algorithms. The fight isn’t over by any means, but it’s out in [...]

  64. Radioactive Liberty - Useless. Worthless. Pointless. » Is a New War Starting? Says:

    [...] I get home to find out, via my favorite daily read, that the Blogosphere has erupted into a frenzy over a company called JL Kirk & Associates attempting to extort money from a poor lady, Ms. [...]

  65. Carnal Reason » You can’t always get what you want Says:

    [...] bloggers put up bunches of links so that google takes note. Here is a case in point, courtesy of Bob Krumm who writes: Katherine Coble and her husband are having problems with a company called J. L. Kirk [...]

  66. anonymous Says:

    Digg it up, friends.

  67. Bob Krumm » Her name is Crystal Gail Mangum Says:

    [...] got sidetracked tracking all things Coble.  It still has the original name. Fresh off another repetitively redundant post, I even began this one with the same concept in mind: make certain that people know who she [...]

  68. Says:

    There are oodles of scams like this out there. It’s our job to help connect you with real jobs… for FREE. Free resume template, over 500 free jobsites, and good advice. All for FREE from combat-hardened IT veterans. There’s a section there on scams… I swear, they can come up with crap faster than we can expose it. Never pay a fee to become employed. Ever.

  69. It’s all Good. » Kat Claws a Bully Says:

    [...] blog called “VOLuntarily Conservative” sums up the situation very well. In addition, Bob Krumm joins in the fun by trying to Google-bomb the agency. However, the word is that Google has altered [...]

  70. When You Try to Control Free Speech « This is La Vergne, TN Says:

    [...] Instapundit. Bill Hobbs. Aunt B. The Knoxville News-Sentinel. Home-Ec 101. Blogs in South Carolina. Politician Bob Krumm. Did I mention that the company has already started a new word? When you’ve [...]

  71. Unknown Professor Says:


    This made my day (actually, my whole week).

    Unfortunately I now have to clean my monitor, since I was drinkink coffee when I read it.

    There’s a quote that’s been attributed to a lot of folks that goes “Never pick a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel”. In the internet age, it holds even truer, since electrons are a lot cheaper than ink.

  72. bob Says:

    “The interviewer left us alone in the room to digest the booklet on our own terms”

    A common sales tactic is to bug and monitor those type of rooms. This is sop at auto dealerships, health cubs, furniture stores and just about any similar sales businesses. So while your discussing “the deal” with your wife the scumbag salesperson is listening in.
    “strict limit of 5 coins per order”
    “call within the next 10 minutes”

  73. Bob Krumm » Kirk goes offline Says:

    [...] received almost 16,000 visits in one day. A similar phenomenon has happened on my site, as the first comment I wrote about Coble’s story has now been viewed almost 30,000 [...]

  74. It's Always Funny... « .:aaron.helton:. Says:

    [...] to say, backlash has ensued. Kudos to Bob Krumm for coining the word “Kirked” as a new [...]

  75. krazykat Says:

    When I first went to JL Kirk Associates, I had never heard of any company like them. My story is probably pretty common; I was downsized from an automobile maker in Michigan. My wife and I researched many cities and thought Nashville would be a good place to settle with our two high school-aged kids. We were right and wrong.

    I had contacted every headhunter and recruiter in the area and had widened my search as far as Birmingham, Alabama and Memphis – and still unsuccessful. This is not to say that I didn’t have interviews, I did. I was interviewed by companies who were not prepared to pay even HALF my former salary, and given I possess a masters degree and twenty plus years management experience, the entire situation was demoralizing to say the least. One company I interviewed with was a referral from one of the recruiting/headhunter firms. When I got to the interview the HR person told me that indeed they were interviewing to hire an operations manager but they had not budgeted or agreed to pay ANY placement fees and if hired, I would have to “settle” with the placement firm myself. THE FEE WOULD HAVE BEEN $26,000!!!!! The HR representative told me that she had received a “cold call” from the headhunter who had nearly begged her to interview me! I was floored and angry! Under no circumstances could I accept their position, which was considerably below my skill sets and salary range, and I was not prepared to pay $26k!

    In March of ’06 I was contacted by JL Kirk Associates and went to the interview. In one hour I found out more about myself, and why my miserable job search wasn’t working than I had ever considered. The interviewer was a nice lady and given my experience with the headhunter I was very gun-shy.

    When we arrived for our second meeting, the office staff was lively and we were made to feel welcome. We spent almost 2 hours meeting with a Vice President who went into detail about their marketing services and answered all our questions. About 30 minutes into the meeting I asked if there was a fee and our representative answered that there WAS and offered to discuss it at that point.

    What we found interesting about the entire concept is that JL Kirk was offering to represent ME, not a company. They were prepared to work with me to make me look better to a potential employer. The most astonishing thing was they would help me find out exactly what I wanted to do. It never occurred to me (since I was with the same company for over 20 years) that in this new city the world as my oyster. I REALLY HAD NO IDEA WHAT I WANTED TO DO! The fee for their services…$5100.00. In retrospect given what these people have done for me, I should have paid much more. I can’t imagine why anyone in the job market would undertake the task without someone in THEIR corner. All the sage advice to the contrary seems to come from people who haven’t a clue.

    In less than 5 weeks I was already considering 3 offers! My career advisor helped me “find” exactly what I wanted to do, and it was a 180 from where I had been. Since I had never really negotiated a compensation package, I was clueless. I ended up with a very nice signing bonus AND a starting salary $11,200 over my former salary! I might add, Kirk Leipzig himself took me to meet the CEO of my new company over lunch at a local country club. The job was designed specifically for me. Without that meeting, I would have been just like everyone else…sending my resume for review for a job that didn’t exist.

    It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that you get what you pay for! I paid for a service and resources I didn’t have. Over several months I’ve gone back to review and tweak my plan for the future. The people at JL Kirk Associates ROCK, and anyone who says different, simply can’t see the forest for the trees!

    BTW – I’m Jewish and wasn’t the least bit offended by the Christian atmosphere as it is truly genuine!

  76. The Blog Pundit » Another lame attempt to kill the Internet Says:

    [...] UPDATE: Welcome to the wonderful world of googlebombing. [...]