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Thread: Retaliatory Lawsuit Against Writer Beware Staff Dismissed

  1. #1
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Retaliatory Lawsuit Against Writer Beware Staff Dismissed

    The following press release was posted today at the SFWA website and Livejournal. Naturally, we're all extremely pleased with this result.

    CHESTERTOWN, Md. -- A Massachusetts Superior Court judge has dismissed a lawsuit against Ann Crispin and Victoria Strauss, the principal operators of the Writer Beware website, filed by a purported literary agent.

    Writer Beware is a publishing industry watchdog group sponsored by Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America which “shines a light into the dark corners of the shadow-world of literary scams, schemes and pitfalls.”

    The suit, initiated by Robert Fletcher and his company, the Literary Agency Group, alleged defamation, loss of business and emotional distress while making claims Fletcher had lost $25,000 per month due to warnings about his business practices posted by Crispin and Strauss.

    The suit was dismissed with prejudice March 18 by the Massachusetts Superior Court due to Fletcher’s failure to respond to discovery or otherwise prosecute the lawsuit. Crispin and Strauss, through counsel, intend to file a motion against Fletcher and the Literary Agency Group, Inc., seeking recovery of their legal fees incurred in defending what they believe to be a frivolous lawsuit.

    The case dates to Feb. 2008, when Fletcher and his company filed for a temporary restraining order pending a preliminary injunction against Crispin and Strauss in Suffolk County Superior Court in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. During a subsequent hearing Feb. 19, the temporary restraining order was dismissed for improper service (Strauss wasn't served until 42 minutes after the time of the hearing, and Crispin was not served at all), but the supporting complaint was allowed to proceed.

    Currently, Fletcher and his companies remain the subjects of an active investigation by the Florida Attorney General's Office.

    “I’m very pleased that the case was dismissed. Knowing how hard those involved with Writer Beware work – and how important the work they do is to writers, both within SFWA and outside of it – it’s very good news, indeed,” said SFWA President Russell Davis. “Writer Beware is one of the most important and valuable services SFWA provides, and knowing that this frivolous case was dismissed, and that Mr. Fletcher is now the subject of an investigation in Florida only validates the work done by Ann Crispin and Victoria Strauss.”

    Crispin and Strauss have volunteered countless hours of their time to advising, educating and warning aspiring and established authors about dubious, questionable and outright criminal business practices on the fringes of the publishing industry. They maintain the Writer Beware website and are major contributors to Writer Beware Blogs!

    About SFWA

    Founded in 1965 by the late Damon Knight, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America brings together the most successful and daring writers of speculative fiction throughout the world.

    Since its inception, SFWA® has grown in numbers and influence until it is now widely recognized as one of the most effective non-profit writers' organizations in existence, boasting a membership of approximately 1,500 science fiction and fantasy writers as well as artists, editors and allied professionals. Each year the organization presents the prestigious Nebula Awards® for the year’s best literary and dramatic works of speculative fiction.

  2. #2
    delicate #!&@*#! flower Perks's Avatar
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    Good deal. Sometimes things work the way they're supposed to.

  3. #3
    Teh doommobile, drivin' rite by you mscelina's Avatar
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    Good. We didn't need to call out the dragons to attack a judicial building after all. Congrats, Victoria.

  4. #4
    Cultus Gopherus MacAllister Medievalist's Avatar
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    Thanks for hanging in there for those writers who might have been taken in. You guys are heroes.

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  5. #5
    Naked Futon Guy allenparker's Avatar
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    Congrats

    I hope Victoria and Ann collect all they deserve.
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    Capeless, wingless, & yet I fly. SuperModerator Williebee's Avatar
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    Congratulations! Some days justice is served.
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  7. #7
    here for a minute...catch me? P.H.Delarran's Avatar
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    excellent news.
    ~hope to see you again.


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  8. #8
    Gloriously Disfunctional Cherelle's Avatar
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    Congrats on the dismissal.
    WARNING

    If certain people/ publishers/ agents didn't do illegal/ immoral/ unethical/ stupid things then there wouldn't be a need for writer beware and they in turn wouldn't have to go through all the trouble of filing lawsuits against it and its contributors.

    Okay I'm done
    Congrats again

  9. #9
    The King and Queen of Cheese BenPanced's Avatar
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    That's great!
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  10. #10
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Oh, Victoria, I'm so pleased for you and for Ann. I shall raise a glass to you both tonight (and as it's already nearly half-past eight, that won't take me long!).

    Many congratulations, and thank you so much for all the work that you do despite such attempts to stop you. You're wonderful.

  11. #11
    Evil, undead Chihuahua SuperModerator Haggis's Avatar
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    Good news indeed.
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  12. #12
    Summer AW Moderator Calla Lily's Avatar
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    Excellent news, Victoria!

    Further proof that you are indeed The Writers' Goddess. Take it from me. I knows that thar religiony-type stuff.

  13. #13
    Inconsistent AWer dragonmedley's Avatar
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    That's awesome. Congrats.
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    glad to hear it. Congrats! :-)

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    Yay! Some good news on a gloomy afternoon.

    Congratulations!
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  16. #16
    That is wonderful news. Congratulations!

  17. #17
    practical experience, FTW Nandi's Avatar
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    What great news! I certainly hope you are able to recover those legal fees. But you can't really recover the lost time and aggravation of the past year. I am very sotty you have had to endure that. Please know that what you do is so greatly appreciated by so many.

  18. #18
    Sick and absent Shweta's Avatar
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    Oh good.
    I am so glad to hear this.
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  19. #19
    nothing simple here tlblack's Avatar
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    Great news Victoria and Ann! Congrats!
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  20. #20
    Dorothy A. Winsor dawinsor's Avatar
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    Excellent news. I hope the legal costs are recouped too.
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  21. #21
    An old, sappy, and happy one. Requiescat In Pace CACTUSWENDY's Avatar
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    Cool

    It's nice to hear when the good guys come out ahead.


    My favorite line......

    (Strauss wasn't served until 42 minutes after the time of the hearing, and Crispin was not served at all),

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  22. #22
    One Hit Wonder? Kasey Mackenzie's Avatar
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    Hooray!
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  23. #23
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Thanks, everyone. It feels good!

    - Victoria

  24. #24
    practical experience, FTW Greg Wilson's Avatar
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    Congratulations, Victoria--justice done.

  25. #25
    'Tis true, she is a monstergirl dgrintalis's Avatar
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    Congrats, Victoria, to both you and Ann.
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