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John Steinbeck Family Defrauded by Writer Beware™ & SFWA Attorney: The 2007 Scam that Writer Beware™ Didn’t Report . . . Why?

In A.C., A.C. Crispin, Absolute Write, Accountability, Ann "A.C." Crispin, Ann Crispin, Authors, BARBARA BAUER, Bauer vs. Glatzer, books, Boycott, C. E. Petit, Cease & Desist, Charles E. Petit, Charles Emil Petit, Charlie. Petit, Crispin, Fact Checking, ILLINOIS ATTORNEY REGISTRATION AND DISCIPLINARY COMMISSION, Investigations, Jaws, Jenna Glatzer, John Steinbeck, Law Suits, Lawrence Lee Jeckel, lawsuit, lawsuits, Lawyer, Legal Issues, Literary, MacAllister Stone, Making Light, McIntosh and Otis, Miss Snark, Nancy Steinbeck, Professionalism, Reputation, Reputation Management, Scam, Scams, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers, SFWA, Shark, Suspension from the practice of law, The Write Agenda, Veracity Check, Victoria Strauss, Writer Beware on December 7, 2011 at 6:07 pm

“Sometimes that shark he looks right into ya. Right into your eyes. And, you know, the thing about a shark… he’s got lifeless eyes. Black eyes. Like a doll’s eyes. When he comes at ya, doesn’t seem to be living . . . until he bites ya, and those black eyes roll over white . . . .”

Quint, from Jaws the movie

 It (Writer Beware™) purports that it “shines a bright light into the dark corners of the shadow-world of literary scams, schemes, and pitfalls.” Selectively? Maybe? Sure, until the scam strikes at home base. In 2007 it did; and, it’s a SCAM of EPIC proportions. It involves the estate of Pulitzer Prize and Nobel Prize winning author John Steinbeck (i.e. The Grapes of Wrath (1939) and East of Eden (1952) and the novella Of Mice and Men (1937) . . . yes, that Steinbeck. Huge? We think so. Was the failure of Writer Beware™ to report this scam an oversight or a case where they just turned their heads and looked the other way? Swimming with the sharks?

What did this scam involve? In principle, it’s the kind of material that Writer Beware™ built its foundation on. Exposing scams that are relative to: 1) engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation; 2) breaching fiduciary duties to a client; 3) obtaining an unreasonable fee; and 4) engaging in conduct which tends to defeat the administration of justice or to bring the courts or the legal profession into disrepute. These are the types of claims that spawned Writer Beware™ and its own version of their boycotts; otherwise known as their “Thumbs Down” lists. It’s time for the “bright light” to shine into the “dark corners of the shadow-world” of Victoria Strauss, Ann “A.C.” Crispin, Writer Beware™ and the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers (SFWA). There’s one name we will not see on any Writer Beware ™ list and we’ll let you decide exactly why that happened.

Who was this individual that engaged in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation; allegedly breached fiduciary duties to a client; purportedly obtained an unreasonable fee; and may have engaged in conduct which tends to defeat the administration of justice or to bring the courts or the legal profession into disrepute? Well, let’s take a close look at some of the relationships and links:

Ann “A.C.” Crispin “thanked him for his help with the SFWA Writer Beware website.”

 

In 2006, Jenna Glatzer (i.e. Bauer vs. Glatzer et al) thanked him for being a “scamhunter.”

“There are sharks out there in the literary waters.”

Victoria Strauss

Victoria Strauss has referred to him as their” “favorite shark.” [Note that the word “shark” is slang for a lawyer. It’s also a term for “a person who preys greedily on others, as by cheating orusury” and/or as a verb to “to obtain by trickery or fraud; steal.”]

“Now, admittedly, there are some intellectually and ethically challenged members of my profession, but . . . we can at least discipline them or kick them out and make it stick.”

 Charles Emil Petit

January 2007

He represented “people who claimed they were defrauded.” He also goes by “Jaws” on some of the infamous writer and author awareness blogs. He was also known as the “Authors Lawyer.” His ties to the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers (SFWA), Writer Beware™, Ann “A.C.”Crispin and Victoria Strauss are well documented; he worked “closely” with them and had frequent correspondence with Teresa Nielsen-Hayden. He called Victoria Strauss a “colleague.” Who was this highly lauded “scamhunter”? Charles Emil Petit. Also known as Charles E. Petit, Charlie Petit and/or C.E. Petit. AKA “Jaws.”

Charles E. Petit is also believed to be an Absolute Write Moderator and frequent contributor and commenter on Writer Beware ™. Confidential sources indicated to The Write Agenda that, at one time, all complaints and “cease & desist” letters regarding Writer Beware™ were to be directed to Charles E. Petit. On information and belief, it appears that he did accept service of process for several defendants in the Bauer vs. Glatzer in 2007. This may have also included Jenna Glatzer and Miss Snark.  Petit never actually represented any of the defendants. He couldn’t because he’s not licensed in New Jersey. He did accept service and then referred the case to local New Jersey attorneys. He was subjected to disciplinary action, by the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, after a complaint was filed by Nancy Steinbeck who was the former wife of John Steinbeck IV, the son of author John Steinbeck (see below).

“Sometimes that shark he looks right into ya. Right into your eyes. And, you know, the thing about a shark… he’s got lifeless eyes. Black eyes. Like a doll’s eyes. When he comes at ya, doesn’t seem to be living . . . until he bites ya, and those black eyes roll over white . . . .”

Quint, from Jaws the movie

Filed May 14, 2007

In re Charles Emil Petit

Commission No. 06 SH 30

Synopsis of Hearing Board Report and Recommendation

NATURE OF THE CASE: 1) engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation; 2) breaching fiduciary duties to a client; 3) obtaining an unreasonable fee; and 4) engaging in conduct which tends to defeat the administration of justice or to bring the courts or the legal profession into disrepute.

RULES DISCUSSED: Rules 1.5(a) and 8.4(a) (4) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct; and Supreme Court Rule 770

RECOMMENDATION: Suspension from the practice of law for six (6) months and until further order of the Court

DATE OF OPINION: May 14, 2007

HEARING PANEL: Richard W. Zuckerman, James R. Mendillo, and Carolyn Berning

RESPONDENT’S COUNSEL: Pro se

ADMINISTRATOR’S COUNSEL: Deborah Barnes

BEFORE THE HEARING BOARD
OF THE
ILLINOIS ATTORNEY REGISTRATION
AND
DISCIPLINARY COMMISSION

In the Matter of:

CHARLES EMIL PETIT,

Attorney-Respondent,

No. 6230038.

Commission No. 06 SH 30

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE HEARING BOARD

INTRODUCTION

The hearing in this matter was held on November 14, 2006, at the offices of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, Springfield, Illinois before a Hearing Board Panel consisting of Richard W. Zuckerman, Chair, James R. Mendillo, lawyer member, and Carolyn Berning, public member. The Administrator was represented by Deborah Barnes. The Respondent appeared at the hearing pro se.

PLEADINGS AND PRE-HEARING PROCEEDINGS

On May 2, 2006, the Administrator filed a two-count Complaint against the Respondent. Count I of the Complaint alleged that in January 2002, Nancy Steinbeck consulted the Respondent about representing her. Nancy Steinbeck was the former wife of John Steinbeck IV, the son of author John Steinbeck. John IV died in 1991, Nancy was the beneficiary of John IV’s will, and as such had received substantial royalty payments from the literary works of John Steinbeck. The Respondent agreed to represent Nancy in regard to her claims against the literary agent for the beneficiaries of John IV’s estate and/or other beneficiaries thereof. On January 15, 2002, they signed a representation agreement that provided the Respondent would receive $115 per hour for “investigation and research,” $195 per hour for “appellate matters, appearances in court, or before arbitration panels or mediators,” and $165 per hour for “all other hours expended.” The Respondent did not file any action related to Nancy’s claims after January 15, 2002.

On numerous occasions between January 15, 2002, and July 17, 2003, Nancy had numerous telephone conversations with the Respondent. During the telephone conversations, the Respondent told Nancy that he had filed a complaint with the New York Disciplinary Committee regarding the conduct of McIntosh and Otis employees Winick and Pinkus, and that the Committee was actively investigating the matter. He advised Nancy not to file any action while the disciplinary matter was pending. The Respondent knew or should have known his foregoing statements to Nancy were false because he had not filed any complaint with the New York Disciplinary Committee.

Sometime between October 2003 and February 2004, the Respondent told Nancy that he had obtained documents, specific letters and memoranda, relating to her claims against McIntosh and Otis, and other beneficiaries. The Respondent knew or should have known his foregoing statement to Nancy was false because he had not received any of the documents and had fabricated their existence.

In February 2004, Nancy asked the Respondent to send her copies of the above documents. The Respondent told her that he had sent some of the documents to an expert document examiner. The Respondent knew or should have known his foregoing statement was false because the documents did not exist and he had not consulted with an expert document examiner.

On February 26, 2004, Nancy telephoned the Respondent and told him she had learned from the New York Disciplinary Committee that no complaint had been filed against the McIntosh and Otis employees.

She also told him she did not believe he had the documents as he had claimed. The Respondent acknowledged to her that he had been misleading her for more than two years about the purported New York Disciplinary Committee complaint and the documents.

Count II of the Complaint alleged that between January 2002 and July 17, 2003, the Respondent sent bills to Nancy Steinbeck stating that he had worked approximately 54 hours on the matter described in Count I, including 25 hours of “investigation” of McIntosh and Otis, and requested payment in the amount of $10,899.12. Nancy paid the Respondent the $10,899.12. However, the Respondent did not perform sufficient services to justify a fee of $10,899.12, and did not perform 25 hours of legal services on an investigation of McIntosh and Otis. [Emphasis added.]

Based upon the factual allegations, the Administrator charged that the Respondent engaged in dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation (Counts I and II); breached his fiduciary duty (Count II); obtained an unreasonable fee (Count II); and engaged in conduct which tends to defeat the administration of justice or to bring the courts or the legal profession into disrepute (Counts I and II).

On July 19, 2006, the Respondent filed an Answer. He admitted some of the facts alleged, denied others, and denied the charges of misconduct.

THE EVIDENCE

 The Administrator presented the testimony of Nancy Steinbeck, Dr. Lawrence L. Jeckel, and the Respondent as an adverse witness. The Administrator’s Exhibits 1 through 13 were received into evidence. (Tr. 7, 65) The Respondent testified on his own behalf, and his exhibits 1 and 2 were received into evidence. R. 9, 67)

Nancy Steinbeck

Nancy Steinbeck testified that she is 61 years of age and resides in the State of Arkansas. She was formerly married to John Steinbeck, IV, the son of John Ernest Steinbeck, the famous author. John IV died in 1991 and, pursuant to his will, Nancy was to receive the royalty payments that John IV had been receiving from his father’s estate. (Tr. 11-12)

In 2001, Tom Steinbeck, the brother of John IV, filed an action in the probate court in California against Nancy, seeking a portion of John IV’s estate. The New York agency that was handling the John Ernst Steinbeck Estate, McIntosh and Otis, then withheld the royalty income Nancy had been receiving. Nancy said she then looked for an attorney who “understood agency fraud” and contacted the Writer’s Union. The Writer’s Union referred her to the Respondent. (Tr. 12-13, 42, 44-46)

During her first conversation with the Respondent, which occurred in November 2001, he appeared to be very angry about how she had been treated. He told her he was the “perfect lawyer to handle this case,” he had “handled many high profile copyright cases;” he had “connections in the literary world;” and he “was an expert in extracting information in nefarious ways.” He voiced the opinion that McIntosh and Otis “had no right to withhold that money [from her].” Two of the people who ran McIntosh and Otis, Eugene Winick and Samuel Pinkus, were attorneys. The Respondent explained that he had a duty to report any ethical violation by an attorney and that the “first thing he was going to do was to report” Winick and Pinkus to the New York Bar Ethics Committee. Nancy and the Respondent signed a Representation and Fee Agreement (Adm. Ex. 1) on January 15, 2002. (Tr. 13-16)

Sometime prior to February 20, 2002, the Respondent filed a Complaint on behalf of Nancy with the Association of Authors Representatives (AAR) against Winick and Pinkus. AAR is the “only governing board for literary agents.” The Respondent provided Nancy with a letter dated February 20, 2002 (Adm. Ex. 13, p. 2), that he had sent to attorneys in New York regarding the AAR complaint. (Tr. 39, 45)

In March 2002, the Respondent sent a letter to the Disciplinary Committee in New York (Adm. Ex. 2). The letter requested an “ethics opinion” based on a factual situation without including the names of any individuals. He provided Nancy with a copy of this letter. About a “couple of months” later, the Respondent told her that the New York Ethics Committee was very interested and that he had sent a letter to the Ethics Committee naming Winick and Pinkus. He also told her that the Ethics Committee asked him for papers pertaining to the matter. Subsequently, the Respondent “constantly” told her there was a “flow of paper back and forth” with the Bar Committee, but that it was “confidential” and he could not “tell [her] what it’s about or it will endanger [her] legally.” (Tr. 16-18)

Nancy also testified that the Respondent told her the New York Bar was “essentially gathering” evidence for her, which could be used in support of a lawsuit against Winick and Pinkus. He said the New York Bar could “put pressure on Winick and Pinkus to release my money.” He also told her that she “could not file suit or take any other action while the [New York] disciplinary complaint was pending.” He did not tell her that it is an ethical violation in Illinois to file a disciplinary complaint in order to gain an advantage in a civil action. (Tr. 18-21)

The Respondent also told Nancy that he had “spies at McIntosh and Otis,” and the spies were going into the files to obtain information for him. (Tr. 19)

In July 2003, Nancy and her adult children met with the Respondent in Little Rock, Arkansas. She described the meeting as “a complete waste of time.” The Respondent “regaled [them] with stories about his counter-terrorism escapades” and said he “had spies at McIntosh and Otis getting stuff out of the files to prove [Nancy’s] case.” The Respondent also mentioned specific letters and other documents showing that people were “colluding … to take away [her] royalty payments” and that there was a breach of fiduciary duty. One of the reasons the Respondent asserted for not giving the documents to Nancy was that he had sent them to a forensic documents examiner. (Tr. 22-26)

After meeting with the Respondent, Nancy was “scared” and “disturbed.” On August 8, 2003, she sent an e-mail to the Respondent and demanded to see several documents that he had mentioned. (Adm. Ex. 7, p.1) She said that she never saw any of the documents “because they don’t exist.” During a telephone conversation shortly after she sent the e-mail, the Respondent told her that he had been diagnosed with depression and named the medication he was taking. He continued to tell her that he could not get the documents because they were still with the document examiner. (Tr. 26-31)

In February 2004, Nancy sent an e-mail to the Respondent expressing her doubt whether the documents previously described by the Respondent actually existed. (Adm. Ex. 7, p. 2) The Respondent replied and apologized for misleading Nancy. (Adm. Ex. 7, p. 3) He added, however, that he did not intentionally mislead her (Adm. Ex. 7, p. 4) Thereafter, Nancy contacted the New York Bar Ethics Committee and learned that no complaint had been filed against Winick or Pinkus. She then telephoned the Respondent, told him that she knew he had lied to her, and fired him. The Respondent “started crying” and said “I can’t believe I’ve done this.” On that same date, February 26, 2004, the Respondent sent Nancy a letter resigning as her attorney (Adm. Ex. 4). (Tr. 31-35)

At some point, Nancy told the Respondent she would let the matter rest as long as he cooperated with her and her new attorney. She then hired attorney Sandy Housler, and the Respondent turned over some records. However, the Respondent “continued to lie to” Nancy and, she filed a complaint with the ARDC. (Tr. 35-36, 41-44)

The Respondent sent Nancy four billing statements. The statement, dated April 20, 2003, billed 10.9 hours for the “investigation” and “integration” of McIntosh and Otis materials (Adm. Ex. 5, p. 1). The statement of July 16, 2003, billed 10.4 hours for the “investigation” of McIntosh and Otis and 6.1 hours for the “integration” of the investigation materials (Adm. Ex. 5, p. 2). The statement of October 21, 2003, billed 5.1 hours for the “investigation” of McIntosh and Otis (Adm. Ex. 5, p.2a). A final statement was sent to Nancy on March 17, 2004 (Adm. Ex. 5, p.4). She paid the Respondent $312 in November 2002, $5,413 in July 2003, and $5000 in September 2003. Nancy telephoned the Respondent and told him he could refund the fees she paid or she would pursue a malpractice suit against him. The Respondent said he could not make a refund. She has not filed any civil action against him. (Tr. 37-39, 46)

Finally, Nancy stated that the probate matter in California was eventually settled. (Tr. 42)

The Respondent

The Respondent admitted that he committed the misconduct charged in Count I of the Complaint. (Tr. 76) Specifically, he admitted that he “improperly deceived” his client, Nancy Steinbeck, about a “number of matters,” and that his “misrepresentations were not acceptable.” (Tr. 63, 69) He stated that he regretted his actions and that his misrepresentations were intertwined with his mental condition at that time. (Tr. 63, 69, 76, 77) [Emphasis added.]

He said that his first contact with Nancy Steinbeck was in late October 2001. When he was hired by her, he agreed to investigate the matter of McIntosh and Otis, a literary agent, withholding royalty payments she had been receiving through the probate estate of her former husband. (Adm. Ex. 1) He also told Nancy that he would file an ethics complaint in New York against attorneys Eugene Winick and Samuel Pinkus, who were principals and/or employees of McIntosh and Otis. (Resp. Ex. 1, p. 1-3) He said he “may have” told Nancy that the filing of the ethics complaint “was a way to exert pressure on [McIntosh and Otis] to release her money.” (Tr. 49-50)

In March 2002, the Respondent sent what he described as a “sanitized inquiry to the New York bar” (Adm. Ex. 2). By “sanitized” the Respondent said he meant that it “included no identifying information concerning any individual involved.” He received a telephone call from the New York Bar about three weeks later indicating that “any further action would need to be unsanitized, so to speak, with specific details.” The Respondent did not file any complaint, did not send any other document, and did not receive any other communication from the New York Bar in this matter. Nevertheless, he told Nancy that he had filed a complaint with the New York Bar and that there was a “continual flow of paper back and forth regarding the subject area of the inquiry.” (Tr. 51-53)

The Respondent told Nancy he was having certain documents reviewed by a handwriting expert. In a sworn statement to the ARDC on February 1, 2006, the Respondent similarly said that he had documents reviewed by a handwriting expert. He identified the handwriting expert as “Walter Wilson,” and said that Wilson had moved to Florida. However, the Respondent acknowledged that he had not sent any documents to be examined by a handwriting expert and that the purported expert named Walter Wilson does not exist. (Tr. 53-57)

On February 3, 2006, ARDC counsel sent a letter to the Respondent requesting him to provide certain documents he had mentioned in his sworn statement two days earlier, and which Nancy Steinbeck had requested from him in August 2003. (Adm. Ex. 6, p. 4; Adm. Ex. 7, p. 1) ARDC counsel sent a second request for the documents on February 24, 2006. (Adm. Ex. 6, p. 5) The Respondent acknowledged that he did not respond to either the foregoing letters or disclose, at any time, that the documents did not exist. (Tr. 55-57)

In his Answer to the disciplinary complaint, the Respondent admitted for the first time that the above documents did not exist. (Adm. Ex. 7, p. 1; Adm. Ex. 8, par. 7-9, p. 6-8) He also admitted, for the first time in his Answer, that the purported handwriting expert Walter Wilson did not exist. (Adm. Ex. 8, par. 11-12, p. 8-9) The Answer was filed on July 19, 2006. (Tr. 56-57, 59-60) [Emphasis added.]

On July 25, 2006, ARDC counsel sent him a request to produce documents, including “correspondence and accompanying documents sent to and received from the expert witness you identified as Walter Wilson in your sworn statement given on February 1, 2006.” (Adm. Ex. 12, p. 3) In an affidavit submitted on August 28, 2006, in response to the foregoing request, the Respondent failed to disclose that Walter Wilson did not exist, but rather stated that a search of his paper and electronic documents “thus far has not recovered any responsive documents,” and that responsive documents “probably” will not be discovered. (Adm. Ex. 12, p. 10). (Tr. 57-58, 60)

When asked why he did not disclose in his response to the request to produce that Walter Wilson did not exist and that there were no documents pertaining to Wilson, the Respondent said: “At that point I was not entirely certain. I believed that the probability was very high at that point. With hindsight I should have disclosed directly in so many words that I did not, that I suspected Walter Wilson did not exist and that there were no documents…. At that point I had not reviewed all of the available electronic files. I was being forced to recover damaged media and I wanted to be sure that I reviewed everything that would be available before I gave you a definitive answer. In hindsight I should not have been so reticent.” When asked again, the Respondent said: “It appears that I overread the Administrator’s request…to mean that [it] also included anything that I might have intended to send [to an expert].”

Finally, the Respondent was asked why he did not tell ARDC counsel that Walter Wilson did not exist, he replied: “embarrassment as much as anything else. Shame may be a better word.” (Tr. 59, 61-62) The Respondent explained that Nancy Steinbeck “was not the easiest client to deal with” and that he later realized her “situation was beyond my capabilities to represent.” When asked why he told Nancy he had certain documents that he did not have, he replied: “I can’t give any single definitive answer to that. My belief is that I told her that from a combination of…attempting to deal with a client who frequently descended into hysteria during telephone calls and misestimation of my own abilities and responsibilities.” (Tr. 62, 69) [Emphasis added.]

On February 26, 2004, following a telephone conversation with Nancy Steinbeck, the Respondent reported his misconduct to the ARDC. (Resp. Ex. 1) He said that in February 2004, Nancy was not aware that he was going to or had reported the matter to the ARDC. However, on at least two occasions Nancy told him he needed to cooperate with her or she was going to report him to the ARDC. (Tr. 70, 78, 84-85)

It was pointed out to the Respondent that in his report to the ARDC in February 2004 (Resp. Ex. 1), he used terms, such as “apparent misrepresentations” and “I appear to have represented,” and did not expressly state that he made false statements about documents which did not exist. He explained that his “self report” was the “best information that I had available to me at that time in the state I was in.” At that time, he “didn’t have direct recall of what” he had told Nancy, and he was not “prepared to accept” that he had lied to Nancy. He was “confused at the time” and “felt that my judgment was so impaired that I did not want to draw that kind of conclusion [making misrepresentations to his client] as impaired as I was feeling.” He further said “I didn’t have direct memory of much of what had been going on.” (Tr. 70, 78-80, 117)

In regard to his mental condition, the Respondent said that he has had migraine headaches that lasted “anywhere from 6 to 36 hours.” During those attacks he is “essentially incapable of functioning” and “everything is so jumbled during the attacks that I can’t sort it out at a later time.” For example, “I honestly can’t say if someone had spoken to me during that time period whether I would remember that person or not.” He currently takes painkillers that “significantly reduce the frequency of the migraines.” (Tr. 116-17, 121-22)

The Respondent mentioned the “personal stress” and even “despair” he has suffered from his family situation and his own health problems. He noted that his oldest son has received inpatient psychiatric care on more than one occasions. He said he is receiving “substantial assistance in therapy,” and believes he is “much more aware of the potential warning signs in which I might be vulnerable to making any kind of misrepresentation to anyone.” (Tr. 63, 82, 117)

The Respondent further testified that he has “changed the nature of [his] practice” in order to prevent a repetition of misconduct. He said he has other attorneys and/or experienced literary agents available to review his files. When there is “even a hint that there will be litigation forthcoming, I immediately onsult with other counsel.” He works out of his home and “severely” limits the amount of work he does so that he will not become overburdened. He estimated that he spends about 12 to 15 hours a week on legal work. (Tr. 83, 118-20)

Finally, in regard to Count I, the Respondent pointed out there was a stipulation that Nancy Steinbeck’s present counsel would testify the misrepresentations the Respondent made did not adversely affect any of Nancy’s litigation. (Tr. 66-67, 70-71; Resp. Ex. 2)

In regard to Count II, the Respondent denied that he obtained an unreasonable fee from Nancy Steinbeck. He said that while some of the charges in his billing statements (Adm. Ex. 5) were not proper, such as the charges relating to the investigation of McIntosh and Otis, Nancy paid him about $4,000 less than the amount he billed. He noted that the charges relating to McIntosh and Otis were less than $4,000. He also said that he promptly attempted to correct his billing invoice (Adm. Ex. 5, p. 4). He further noted that he assisted Nancy’s counsel, Mr. Bond, in the California probate litigation and, when Mr. Bond withdrew, the Respondent “assisted Ms. Steinbeck in a transition to new counsel, Mr. Thomas Munson.” The Respondent also participated in a mediation hearing for the probate matter and a “general settlement was reached.” He said it then “took us collectively several months to work out specific language in that general settlement agreement.” (Adm. Ex. 5, p. 2, 2a, 4) Further, he said he “provided all necessary documents to opposing counsel” in a copyright matter involving Nancy. (Tr. 71-73, 76-77) [Emphasis added.]

Lawrence Lee Jeckel

Dr. Jeckel testified that he is a physician specializing in psychiatry. He briefly described his background and his curriculum vitae was received into evidence. (Tr. 86-88; Adm. Ex. 10)

Dr. Jeckel was asked by the ARDC to evaluate the Respondent. He met with the Respondent on two occasions, March 29 and July 18, 2006, considered various materials, and prepared a report. (Tr. 88-92; Adm. Ex. 11)

Dr. Jeckel made a diagnosis of the Respondent. First, the Respondent has a Mixed Personality Disorder. This is a “pervasive, usually lifelong pattern of maladaptive thinking and behavior which … would cause a social and occupational impairment.” Second, he has a “Dysthymic Disorder.” This is a depression that “comes and goes,” and sometimes impairs sleep and appetite. Third, he has a Major Depressive Disorder. This results in the Respondent feeling “suicidal, helpless, very depressed and I think required hospitalization at one point.” The Respondent’s “primary problem” is his personality disorder. (Tr. 93-94; Adm. Ex. 11, p. 10)

The Respondent is currently prescribed Wellbutrin by Dr. Luke Yang, and he has a session with Harry Vandervelde, MSW, at the Champaign County Mental Health Center every other week. However, Dr. Jeckel voiced concern that the Respondent is not addressing any of his issues. The Respondent has not been forthcoming about his problems to Mr. Vandervelde. Also, Mr. Vandervelde “provides mostly a sounding board” and is “just listening to” the Respondent. Dr. Jeckel explained that the sessions with Mr. Vandervelde are “not therapy.” The Respondent has not improved while having these sessions. (Tr. 96-97, 101-02; Adm. Ex. 11, p. 6, 7)

In regard to the Respondent’s “self-report” letter to the ARDC (Resp. Ex. 1), Dr. Jeckel said it contained “a lot of impressionistic language,” “a lot of [his] equivocation,” and few “real facts.” He also noted that after the Respondent acknowledged he fabricated Walter Wilson, he “then turned around and said there was a Walter Wilson.” Dr. Jeckel said it is “very mysterious again why he would do that when the truth would serve him better.” In regard to the Respondent’s continuing misrepresentations to disciplinary counsel, Dr. Jeckel said “it’s lying upon lying upon lying and I think it’s a sign of very serious and unique personality disorder.” (Tr. 95-96, 99, 102-03)

Dr. Jeckel noted that the Respondent had “serious external stresses,” such as his son being mentally ill, but that his inability or unwillingness to provide detailed factual answers “is due to a larger problem in the way [Respondent] thinks about things and act.” (Tr. 114)

Dr. Jeckel voiced the opinion that the Respondent’s psychological condition affects his ability to practice law, and that his misconduct relating to Nancy Steinbeck was “related to his current mental health condition.” Dr. Jeckel also voiced the opinions that the Respondent is presently at risk to repeat his misconduct and that he “is not fit to practice law.” (Tr. 93-94, 103-05; Adm. Ex. 11, p. 12)

In order for the Respondent to become fit to practice law, Dr. Jeckel recommended that the Respondent be evaluated for at least six months and possibly a year by a psychiatrist or a psychologist who works with personality disorders. It is important for the Respondent to be asked “very hard questions about his thinking and behavior” and to “talk honestly and openly about his feelings and his behaviors.” During the period of evaluation, the Respondent would also receive “beginning therapy.” Once there is a better understanding of the “extent of [his] problems,” an appropriate course of treatment could be pursued. (Tr. 103, 110-13; Adm. Ex. 11, p. 12-13)

FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW

In attorney disciplinary proceedings, the Administrator has the burden of proving the charges of misconduct by clear and convincing evidence. In re Storment, 203 Ill. 2d 378, 390, 786 N.E.2d 963, 969 (2002). This standard requires a high level of certainty, greater than a preponderance of the evidence but less than proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Bazydlo v. Volant, 164 Ill. 2d 207, 213, 647 N.E.2d 273, 276 (1995). In determining whether the burden of proof has been satisfied, the Hearing Panel has the responsibility of assessing the credibility and believability of the witnesses, weighing conflicting testimony, drawing reasonable inferences from the evidence, and making factual findings based upon all the evidence. In re Howard, 188 Ill. 2d 423, 435, 721 N.E.2d 1126, 1133 (1999); In re Ring, 141 Ill. 2d 128, 138-39, 565 N.E.2d 983, 987 (1990). In assessing the evidence, the Hearing Panel is not required to be “naïve or impractical” or to believe testimony that is “beyond human experience,” “an unreasonable story,” or “an inherent improbability.” In re Discipio, 163 Ill. 2d 515, 523-24, 645 N.E.2d 906, 910 (1994); In re Holz, 125 Ill. 2d 546, 555, 533 N.E.2d 818, 821 (1989); Tepper v. Campo, 398 Ill. 496, 504-05, 76 N.E.2d 490, 494 (1948).

Additionally, an admission in a pleading is a formal judicial admission that is binding on the party making it, may not be contradicted, has the effect of withdrawing the fact admitted from issue, and dispenses with the need for any proof of that fact. See In re Estate of Rennick, 181 Ill. 2d 395, 406-07, 692 N.E.2d 1150, 1156 (1998); El Rincon v. First Mutual Insurance. 346 Ill. App. 3d 96, 100, 803 N.E.2d 532, 535-36 (2004); Caponi V. Larry’s 66, 236 Ill. App. 3d 660, 671, 601 N.E.2d 1347, 1355 (1992). Thus, when a respondent in a disciplinary matter admits in his or her answer some or all of the facts alleged in a complaint, it is unnecessary for the Administrator to present evidence to prove the facts so admitted. See In re Harris, 97 SH 88, M.R. 16300 (January 24, 2000) (Hearing Board Report at 42); In re Carlson, 98 CH 880, M.R. 17398 (June 20, 2001) (Hearing Board Report at 11).

With the above principles in mind, and after considering all of the evidence, we make the following findings.

Count I

We find that the misconduct charged in Count I was proved by both the evidence presented at the hearing and the Respondent’s admissions in his Answer.

As charged in Count I, the Respondent repeatedly and knowingly made false statements to his client Nancy Steinbeck during an approximate two-year period, January 2002 to February 2004. Specifically, the Respondent made the following false statements.

The Respondent told his client that he had filed a complaint against attorneys Winick and Pinkus with the New York disciplinary authorities. (Tr. 17-18; Answer, p. 6, par. 6) However, the Respondent never filed such a complaint and he clearly knew that he had not done so. (Tr. 51, 64; Answer, p. 6, par. 5 & 6)

The Respondent told Nancy Steinbeck that New York disciplinary authorities were conducting an investigation of his complaint against Winick and Pinkus and gathering evidence against Winick, Pinkus and their employer, McIntosh and Otis. (Tr. 18, 21, 51-52) However, the Respondent knew there was no such investigation because no complaint had been filed. (Tr. 63-64; Adm. Ex. 3; Answer, p. 6, par. 5)

The Respondent told Nancy Steinbeck that there was a “flow of paper back and forth” between the Respondent and the New York disciplinary authorities. (Tr. 18-20, 51) However, the Respondent knew that there was no such exchange of documents. (Tr. 52, 64; Adm. Ex. 3)

The Respondent told Nancy Steinbeck that his communications with the New York disciplinary authorities were “confidential” and, thus, he could not discuss them with her. (Tr. 18, 20, 51) Clearly, the Respondent knew there were no confidential communications between him and the New York disciplinary authorities because he did not provide information about any named individual, there was no disciplinary investigation, and there was simply no exchange of information. (Tr. 63-64; Adm. Ex. 3)

The Respondent told Nancy Steinbeck that she could not file any suit or take other action while the disciplinary complaint in New York was pending. (Tr. 21) The Respondent knew that the foregoing representation was false and misleading because he knew no disciplinary complaint had been filed. (Tr. 51, 64)

The Respondent told Nancy Steinbeck that he had obtained copies of letters between attorney Winick and two of Nancy’s relatives, showing attempts to defraud Nancy out of certain royalties. (Tr. 24-25; Adm. Ex. 7, p. 1; Answer, p. 6-7, par. 7) However, the Respondent knew that he never had such letter or copies thereof. (Tr. 57, 60; Answer, p. 7-8, par. 8 and 9)

The Respondent told Nancy that he had obtained a copy of a letter Thomas Steinbeck wrote to attorney Winick, showing Thomas’ desire to see Nancy receive no additional royalty payments. (Tr. 25; Answer, p. 6-7, par. 7) However, the Respondent knew that he never had such letter or a copy thereof. (Tr. 57, 60; Answer, p. 7-8, par. 8 and 9)

The Respondent told Nancy that he had obtained a copy of a memorandum on McIntosh and Otis letterhead, showing that McIntosh and Otis was forging documents. (Tr. 26; Answer, p. 6-7, par. 7) However, the Respondent knew that he never had such a memorandum or copy thereof. (Tr. 57, 60; Answer, p. 7-8, par. 8 and 9) The Respondent told Nancy that he had sent some of the above mentioned documents to a document examiner or handwriting expert. (Tr. 26-27, 53; Adm. Ex. 7, p. 2; Answer, p. 8, par. 10) However, the Respondent knew that he never had such documents; knew that the purported examination expert did not exist; knew he never sent any documents to a document examiner or handwriting expert; and knew the statements that he sent documents to be examined were false. (Tr. 54-57, 60, 63; Answer, p. 8-9, par. 11)

It is well established that an attorney engages in dishonesty and deceit by knowingly making false or misleading statements to a client. See In re Ring, 141 Ill. 2d. 128, 143, 565 N.E.2s 983, 988-89 (1990); In re Levin, 101 Ill. 2d 535, 539-40, 463 N.E.2d 715, 717 (1984) Furthermore, an attorney who acts in a dishonest or deceitful manner, particularly toward a client, tends to bring the legal profession into disrepute. See In re Stern, 124 Ill. 2d 310, 314-15, 529 N.E.2d 562, 564 (1988). In this case it is clear that the Respondent repeatedly and knowingly made false statements to and acted with dishonesty toward his client Nancy Steinbeck.

Therefore, we find that the Administrator proved by clear and convincing evidence that the Respondent committed the following misconduct as charged in Count I: (a) engaged in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation, in violation of Rule 8.4(a)(4) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct; and (b) engaged in conduct which tends to defeat the administration of justice or to bring the courts or the legal profession into disrepute, in violation of Supreme Court Rule 770.

Count II

In regard to Count II, we find that the Respondent engaged in dishonest and deceitful conduct, and breached his fiduciary duties to his client.

Fraud and dishonesty include “any conduct, statement, or omission that is calculated to deceive.” In re Gerard, 132 Ill. 2d 507, 528, 548 N.E.2d 1051, 1059 (1989).

An attorney-client relationship creates a fiduciary relationship between the attorney and client. Because of this fiduciary relationship, the attorney owes the client a high “measure of good faith,” undivided fidelity,” and “loyalty.” In re Winthrop, 219 Ill. 2d 526, 543-44, 848 N.E.2d 961, 972-73 (2006); In re Imming, 131 Ill. 2d 239, 252-53, 255, 545 N.E.2d 715, 721, 722 (1989).

In this case, the evidence showed that the Respondent sent to his client, Nancy Steinbeck, three billing invoices in which he claimed to have worked a number of hours on an investigation of the New York literary agent McIntosh and Otis (M & O). Specifically, his invoice of April 20, 2003, listed 6.2 hours of work for the “investigation of M & O” and 4.7 hours for the “integration of M & O investigation results and materials.”(Adm. Ex. 5, p. 1; Tr. 37) The Respondent’s invoice of July 16, 2003, listed 10.4 hours of work for the “investigation of M & O” and 6.1 hours for the “integration of M & O investigation results and materials.”(Adm. Ex. 5, p. 2; Tr. 37) The Respondent’s invoice of October 21, 2003, listed 5.1 hours of work for the “investigation of M & O.” (Adm. Ex. 5, p. 2a; Tr. 37) Clearly, the Respondent sent the foregoing billing invoices to Nancy for the purpose of having her pay him for the hours of work listed.

The evidence, including the Respondent’s own admissions, showed that he did not conduct an investigation of M & O, and that the hours of work relating to the purported investigation of M & O listed on the three billing invoices were false. In other words, the Respondent completely fabricated his purported investigation of M & O. For example, the Respondent told his client he had spies looking through files; that he had obtained certain M & O documents; and that he had sent those documents to a handwriting expert named “Wilson.” In reality, he had no spies; he never received any M & O documents; the documents he identified do not exist; and the handwriting expert he identified does not exist. (Tr. 19, 23-24, 28-29, 34-35, 54, 56-57, 60, 62, 77; Answer, p. 6-8. Par. 7-9; p. 11-12, par. 17-18; Adm. Ex. 5, p. 4; Adm. Ex. 7, p. 1; Resp. Ex. 1, p. 3-4). Consequently, by knowingly sending his client billing invoices listing hours of work that he had not performed, for the purpose of receiving payment for those hours, the Respondent engaged in dishonest and deceitful conduct, and breached his fiduciary duties to his client.

Also in Count II, the Respondent was charged with “obtaining an unreasonable fee.” (Complaint, p. 6, par. 19(b)). The Respondent denied this charge. (Tr. 76-77) Although the Respondent sought to obtain a fee for purported work relating to an investigation of M & O, which did not occur, we do not believe there is clear and convincing evidence that he actually obtained a fee for work relating to that investigation.

As noted above, the evidence showed that the Respondent sent Nancy Steinbeck three billing statements requesting fees for work relating to the non-existent investigation of M & O. (Adm. Ex. 5, p. 1, 2, 2a) The billing invoice of April 20, 2003, charged $125 per hour for 6.2 hours of work on an investigation of M & O, for a fee of $775. The same invoice also charged $175 per hour for 4.7 hours of work on the “integration” of the investigation results, for a fee of $822.50. In light of the fact that there was no investigation of M & O, the Respondent improperly charged Nancy $1,597.50 on the invoice of April 20, 2003. (Adm. Ex. 5, p. 1) However, on the same invoice, he billed a total of $8,235,23 for fees, which included $6,637.37 for other work performed for Nancy. This invoice also showed $4,885.39 due from previous invoices. (Adm. Ex. 5, p. 1)

Nancy Steinbeck testified that she made three payments to the Respondent. (Tr. 38; Adm. Ex. 9) Her first payment, of $312, was made in November 2002 (Adm. Ex. 9, p. 1), which was before the Respondent sought to obtain improper fees on his invoice of April 20, 2003. Thus, the payment of $312 in November 2002 was unrelated to the fabricated investigation. Also, Nancy made no other payment to the Respondent until after July 16, 2003. (Adm. Ex. 9)

On July 16, 2003, the Respondent sent another billing invoice. (Adm. Ex. 5, p. 2) On this invoice, he charged $125 per hour for 10.4 hours of work on an investigation of M & O, for a fee of $1,300. The same invoice also charged $175 per hour for 6.1 hours of work for the “integration” of the investigation results, for a fee of $1,067.50. Thus, the total amount of improper fees for which the Respondent billed on the invoice of July 16, 2003, was $2,367.50. However, on the same invoice, he billed $7,360.23 for other work performed for Nancy. This invoice, as did the invoice of April 20, showed that Nancy still owed him $4,855.30 from invoices prior to April 20, 2003. (Adm. Ex. 5, p. 1 and 2)

In summary, the Respondent’s billing invoice of July 16, 2003, showed that Nancy Steinbeck owed him current fees in the amount of $9,727.73, plus unpaid fees (from prior to April 20, 2003) of $4,885.39, for a total of $14, 613.12. Only $2,367.50 of the total amount was related to the non-existent investigation of M & O. Thus, when the improper fees are deducted, Nancy still owed the Respondent $12,245.62. (Adm. Ex. 5, p.2)

On the billing invoice of July 16, 2003, the Respondent also set out a “proposed payment schedule” for Nancy to pay him $5,413.12 immediately, and then to make two payments of $4,600. (Adm. Ex. 5, p. 2) On July 17, 2003, Nancy paid the Respondent $5,413.12 (Adm. Ex. 9, p. 3; Tr. 38), as the Respondent had proposed. Following the foregoing payment, Nancy still owed the Respondent $6.832.50 for fees unrelated to fabricated investigation of M & O. Nancy then made one additional payment to the Respondent, and that payment, on September 30, 2003, was in the amount of $5,000. (Adm. Ex. 9, p. 2) The $5,000 was less than the amount Nancy still owed the Respondent for work unrelated to the M & O investigation.

Consequently, Nancy Steinbeck paid the Respondent $312 before she was billed for any work that the Respondent had not performed. (Adm. Ex. 5, p. 1; Adm. Ex. 9, p. 1) She also paid him an additional $10,413.12 (Adm. Ex. 9, p. 2, 3), which was less than the $12,245.62 the Respondent had billed for work unrelated to the non-existent investigation of M & O. (Adm. Ex. 5, p. 1, 2; Tr. 77) There was no proof that any of the work for which the Respondent billed Nancy Steinbeck, other than that related to the investigation of M & O, was not performed. Thus, the evidence failed to establish that the Respondent obtained any payment for work he had not performed.

Finally, we note that the evidence showed the Respondent did perform services on behalf of Nancy Steinbeck. For example, he filed a complaint against Mr. Winick and Mr. Pinkus with the Association of Authors Representatives (AAR) and prepared correspondence relating thereto (Tr. 39; Resp. Ex. 1, p. 3; Adm. Ex. 13, p. 2, 10, 13); he reviewed copyright regulations and prepared documents on behalf of Nancy (Tr. 73; Adm. Ex. 13, p. 3); he reviewed documents relating to royalties claimed by Nancy (Adm. Ex. 13, p. 11); he participated in a settlement conference in the probate proceeding where a general agreement was reached (Tr. 72); and, over “several months,” he helped to work out specific language for the settlement agreement (Tr. 72; Adm. Ex. 13, p. 9).

Therefore, we find that the Administrator proved by clear and convincing evidence that the Respondent committed the following misconduct charged in paragraph 19 (a), (c), and (d) of Count II: breached his fiduciary duties to a client; engaged in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation, in violation of Rule 8.4(a)(4) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct; and engaged in conduct which tends to defeat the administration of justice or to bring the courts or the legal profession into disrepute, in violation of Supreme Court Rule 770. We also find that the charge of “obtaining” an unreasonable fee, in paragraph 19(b) of Count II, was not proved.

RECOMMENDATION

The purpose of the attorney disciplinary system is not to punish an attorney for misconduct, but rather “to protect the public, maintain the integrity of the legal profession, and protect the administration of justice from reproach.” In re Winthrop, 219 Ill. 2d 526, 559, 848 N.E.2d 961, 981 (2006). In determining the sanction to recommend, the Hearing Board Panel is to consider the seriousness of the misconduct, any aggravating and mitigating circumstances shown by the evidence, the deterrent value of the sanction, and whether the sanction will help preserve public confidence in the legal profession. See In re Gorecki, 208 Ill.2d 350, 360-61, 802 N.E.2d 1194, 1200 (2003). Although each disciplinary case “is unique and must be resolved in light of its own facts and circumstances,” the sanction imposed should be “consistent with those imposed in other cases involving comparable misconduct.” In re Howard, 188 Ill.2d 423, 440, 721 N.E.2d 1126, 1135; In re Chandler, 161 Ill.2d 459, 472, 641 N.E.2d 473, 479 (1994).

In this case, the Administrator requested the sanction of suspension from the practice of law for one year and until further order of the Court. (Tr. 125, 129) In support thereof, the Administrator cited the following cases: In re Bourgeois, 25 Ill. 2d 47, 182 N.E.2d 651 (1962); In re Hogan, 93 CH 234, M.R. 9161 (September 27, 1993); and In re Sutherin, 03 CH 646, M.R. 20636 (September 20, 2006). (Tr. 126-27). The Respondent requested a suspension of one year, stayed in its entirety for a two-year period of probation (Tr. 132), and cited the following cases: In re Olton, 05 SH 27 (Hearing Board Report); In re Aulston, 98 CH 101, M.R. 19331 (May 24, 2002); In re Forsberg, 02 CH 111, M.R. 19331 (May 17, 2004); In re Hubbard, 04 CH 135, M.R. 20917 (September 20, 2006); and In re Spak, 188 Ill. 2d 53, 719 N.E.2d 747 (1999). (Tr. 130-31)

The misconduct of the Respondent consisted of knowingly and repeatedly making false statements to his client, and breaching his fiduciary duties by attempting to obtain fees for work that he had not performed. Clearly, the Respondent’s misconduct demonstrated a lack of honesty and integrity.

An attorney is required to possess “good moral character,” and “honesty” is an “important element” of good moral character. In re Polito, 132 Ill. 2d 294, 303, 547 N.E.2d 465, 469 (1989); In re Glenville, 139 Ill. 2d 242, 255, 565 N.E.2d 623, 629 (1990). The Supreme Court has stated that “purposeful misrepresentations” are “contrary to honesty intrinsic in a lawyer’s oath of office” (In re Crisel, 101 Ill. 2d 332, 243, 461 N.E.2d 994, 998 (1984)), and that any conduct showing “a want of personal honesty or integrity” is “reprehensible” and demonstrates an “unfitness to practice law” (In re Chandler, 161 Ill. 2d 459, 473, 641 N.E.2d 473, 479-80 (1994); In re Vavrik, 117 Ill. 2d 408, 412-13, 415, 512 N.E.2d 1226, 1228-29 (1987)). Thus, the Respondent’s misconduct was very serious.

There is also aggravation in this case. The Respondent’s misconduct did not arise from a single incident or involve a brief lapse of sound judgment. Rather, the Respondent made numerous false statements to his client over an approximately two-year period. For example, he knowingly and falsely told Nancy Steinbeck: he had filed a complaint against two attorneys with the New York disciplinary authorities; the New York disciplinary authorities were conducting an investigation of the attorneys and were gathering evidence helpful to Nancy; he was exchanging information with the New York disciplinary authorities; he could not discuss his communications with the New York disciplinary authorities because they were “confidential;” he was conducting an investigation into the New York literary agent McIntosh and Otis (M & O); he had a “spy” going through the files at the office of M & O; he obtained certain documents favorable to Nancy from M & O; he could not give Nancy a copy of the documents because he had sent them to a handwriting expert; and he sent Nancy billing invoices stating that he had worked numerous hours related to the investigation of M & O. In fact, the Respondent filed no complaint with the New York disciplinary authorities; there was no disciplinary investigation; he had not exchanged paper work with the New York disciplinary authorities; he had no spy at M & O; he had received no documents from M & O; he sent no documents to a handwriting expert; and neither the documents he claimed to have received nor the handwriting expert he named even existed.

Moreover, the Respondent’s misrepresentations continued during the investigation by the Administrator. At a sworn statement to the ARDC in February 2006, the Respondent falsely claimed that he had received certain documents from M & O; that he was having the documents examined by a handwriting expert; that the handwriting expert was “Walter Wilson;” that Wilson had moved to Florida; and that he had inadvertently forgot to bring the above documents to the sworn statement. (Tr. 53-56) However, the Respondent knew that the documents and the handwriting expert named Walter Wilson did not exist. (Tr. 56-57) Even after the Respondent finally admitted in his Answer, filed on July 19, 2006, that neither the documents nor the expert existed (Tr. 57), he still claimed, in his response to the Administrator’s request to produce, that he was searching his files for correspondence and documents exchanged between him and the handwriting expert. (Adm. Ex. 12, p. 3, 8, 10; Tr. 58-62, 102)

It should be apparent to every attorney practicing in Illinois that he or she “has an obligation to cooperate with [the Supreme] Court and its agency, the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, in the performance of its duty to police the legal profession in this state.” In re Zisook, 88 Ill. 2d 321, 331, 430 N.E.2d 1037, 1041 (1981) Furthermore, the Supreme Court has indicated that providing false information in a “sworn statement to the Administrator” demonstrates the “unfitness of an attorney to practice law.” In re Bell, 147 Ill. 2d 15, 39, 588 N.E.2d 1093, 1104 (1992).

There is also mitigation in this case. The Respondent has been licensed to practice law since 1995 and has no prior discipline. (Tr. 133) He acknowledged he committed the misconduct charged in Count I. (Tr. 76, 129) He admitted that he “improperly deceived the client concerning a number of matters” and that his misrepresentations are “not acceptable under the rules of professional conduct.” (Tr. 63, 69) It was stipulated that Nancy Steinbeck’s current attorney would testify that the Respondent’s misconduct did not cause her to lose any claim against M & O or its employees. (Resp. Ex. 2) As discussed below, the Respondent’s misconduct was related to his mental health condition. (Tr. 69, 103)

It is also mitigating that the Respondent self-reported misconduct in February 2004, which was before his client indicated to him that she would file a disciplinary complaint against him. (Tr. 35-36, 70, 78) However, the weight of this factor is diminished because, in his letter to the Administrator reporting his misconduct (Resp. Ex. 1), he sought to lessen his culpability by making vague, ambiguous, and misleading statements. (Tr. 95) For example, he referred to his false statements to Nancy Steinbeck as “apparent misrepresentations.” (Resp. Ex. 1, p.1) He said “[s]o far as I have been able to determine the misrepresentations were not made with the intent to deceive or to harm client interests.” (Resp. Ex. 1, p. 1) He suggested that he had prepared a complaint to file with New York disciplinary authorities, and said “[m]y files do not reflect any proof that the complaint was actually filed.” (Resp. Ex. 1, p. 3) He also stated “I appear to have represented to Nancy that I had obtained documents that tended to demonstrate bad faith [by M &O]” and a “significant majority of those documents do not appear to have been received here.” (Resp. Ex. 1, p. 3) As discussed above, the Respondent knew he had not filed a complaint in New York, knew he had not received any documents from M & O, and, nevertheless, he told Nancy Steinbeck he had filed such a complaint and had received such documents. (Tr. 51-52, 56-57, 60, 62)

In addition to the above, Dr. Lawrence L. Jeckel, a psychiatrist, evaluated the Respondent, prepared a written report (Adm. Ex. 11), and testified about his findings and recommendations. Dr. Jeckel diagnosed the Respondent with a “Mixed Personality Disorder,” which is an enduring, usually life-long, pattern of maladaptive thinking and behavior that “significantly impairs one’s life.” (Adm. Ex. 11, p. 10-11; Tr. 93-94) Additionally, he diagnosed the Respondent with a “Dysthymic Disorder,” which is chronic depression, and with a “Major Depressive Disorder.” (Adm. Ex. p. 10-11; Tr. 93) Dr. Jeckel said that the personality disorder is the Respondent’s “primary problem.” (Tr. 94)

Dr. Jeckel voiced the opinion that the Respondent’s psychological conditions affect his ability to practice law (Tr. 93), and that his misconduct was related to his mental problems (Tr. 103, 105). He voiced the further opinion that the Respondent “is not fit to practice law.” (Tr. 94, 104; Adm. Ex. 11, p. 12)

The Respondent is apparently taking medications, Wellbutrin and Flexeril, prescribed by Dr. Luke Yang, and is attending sessions with Harry Vandervelde, MSW, a counselor at the Mental Health Center of Champaign County. (Adm. Ex. 11, p. 6-7, 9) However, Dr. Jeckel stated that the Respondent has not yet addressed any of his mental issues in therapy. Mr. Vandervelde is not providing “real therapy” for the Respondent, but is “mostly a sounding board for Mr. Petit.” (Tr. 97-98)

Finally, Dr. Jeckel recommended that, in order for the Respondent to be mentally fit to practice law, he should be evaluated “for at least six months to a year” by a psychiatrist or psychologist who works with personality disorders. The Respondent could obtain “beginning therapy” during the period of the evaluation. After there is a better understanding of the “extent of [his] problems” an appropriate course of treatment could be implemented. (Tr. 110-13: Adm. Ex. 11, p. 12-13)

In light of Dr. Jeckel’s expert opinions, which we found very knowledgeable and credible, and our own observations of the Respondent during his testimony, we find that the Respondent is currently unfit to practice law, that his mental or psychological problems have not been sufficiently addressed or treated, and that he poses a threat to the public and the integrity of the legal profession.

As noted above, the Respondent requested that we recommend a term of probation for him. We do not believe probation is appropriate in this case. Supreme Court Rule 772(a) provides that an attorney may be placed on probation if the attorney “has demonstrated” that he: “(1) can perform legal services and the continued practice of law will not cause the courts or the profession to fall into disrepute; (2) is unlikely to harm the public during the period of rehabilitation . . . ; [and] (3) has a disability which is temporary or minor and does not require treatment and transfer to disability status . . . .”

The Respondent has not demonstrated that he meets any of the above requirements, and, in fact, the evidence showed the contrary. Thus, probation is not appropriate. See In re Sutherin, 03 CH 61, Review Board Report at 13-16 (Petition to file exceptions to the Review Board Report denied in M.R. 20636, September 20, 2006); In re Handy, 03 SH 118, Hearing Board Report at 44-45 (Hearing Board Report approved in M.R. 19825, January 14, 2005).

We also note that the evidence in this case would support a finding that the Respondent is incapacitated from continuing to practice because of a mental disorder, warranting a transfer to disability inactive status. However, pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 758(a), only the Inquiry Board can initiate the filing of a petition to transfer to disability inactive status. (Tr. 127-28) We suggest that the Administrator consider seeking a revision to Rule 758 so that the disposition by the Hearing Board in matters like this could include a recommendation for transfer to disability inactive status.

The cases cited by the Respondent do not support probation in this case. The Supreme Court has granted probation when an attorney has obtained appropriate treatment for his or her mental disorder, addiction, or other impairment that was related to the misconduct and there is evidence that the attorney is fit to practice law while undergoing the course of treatment. See In re Ackermann, 99 Ill. 2d 56, 67-69, 457 N.E.2d 409, 413-14 (1983); In re Harrison, 02 SH 84, Hearing Board Report at 44-45, 47 (Hearing Board Report approved in M.R. 19281, March 15, 2004). Three of the cases cited by the Respondent are classic examples of the above situation. In In re Aulston, 98 CH 101, M.R. 18122 (May 24, 2002), the attorney’s misconduct was related to his depression, he was receiving treatment, and his doctor said “with continued treatment and medication, [the attorney’s] condition should not interfere with his ability to practice law.” (Review Board Report at 5, 12) In In re Forsberg, 02 CH 111, M.R. 19331 (May 17, 2004), the attorney’s “depression and anxiety” contributed to her misconduct, she “sought and continues to receive treatment for those conditions,” and according to a psychiatrist, “her anxiety and depression are much improved.” (Petition to impose discipline on consent, p. 1, 5-6, 9) Finally, in In re Hubbard, 04 CH 135, M.R. 20917 (September 20, 2006), the attorney was “suffering from mental health and [alcohol] abuse conditions” at the time of her misconduct (a DUI and failure to report the conviction to the ARDC), she had maintained sobriety for about 16 months, she was taking anti-depressant medication and otherwise participating in psychotherapy, and “she appears to be in solid recovery.” (Petition to impose discipline on consent, p. 1, 4) Unlike the foregoing cases, the Respondent in this case has not received and is not receiving necessary treatment for his mental conditions, which were related to his misconduct, and he is simply not fit to practice law at this time. (Tr. 93-94, 102-05, 110-11; Adm. Ex. 11, p. 12-13)

The Respondent also cited the Hearing Board Report in In re Olton, 05 SH 27 (April 28, 2006), in which there was a recommendation of suspension, stayed by a period of probation. (Tr. 130) We note that subsequent to the hearing in this case, the Review Board issued a report in the Olton matter, on February 14, 2007. The Review Board concluded that probation was not appropriate, and recommended a suspension for 60 days. In any event, unlike in this case, the attorney in Olton did not have any mental problems or addiction impairments that adversely affected her ability to practice law. (Olton, Hearing Board Report at 34-35; Review Board Report at 16-17).

Lastly, the Respondent cited In re Spak, 188 Ill. 2d 53, 719 N.E.2d 747 (1999), in which the sanction of censure was imposed. However, the misconduct in Spack did not involve dishonesty. The Court stated “we find no reason to disagree with the Hearing Board’s finding that respondent’s actions . . . did not involve a dishonest or fraudulent motive.” Also, when considering the appropriate sanction, the Court stated “[w]e rely most heavily upon the Hearing Board’s finding that respondent did not act with any fraudulent intent.” (Spak, 188 Ill. 2d at 66, 69, 719 N.E.2d at 754, 755). The Respondent’s misconduct in this case included numerous false statements to his client, plus additional false statements to the ARDC, and is much more egregious than in Spak.

We believe that based upon the nature of the Respondent’s misconduct, in light of the aggravating and mitigating factors, a sanction of suspension is appropriate in this case. The cases discussed below support a suspension for the Respondent.

Further Reading:

Complaint filed against attorney from Urbana

Urbana attorney loses law license for at least 6 months

Suspension urged for Urbana lawyer who defrauded client

License loss should not be end of story

11-11-09: World Fantasy Convention The Google Books Settlement

Second Circuit Dismisses Claims of Steinbeck Family

US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Jenner Wins Appeal for John Steinbeck’s Wife’s Estate

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References

“ARDC: Disciplinary Reports and Decisions Search.” Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission. Web. 07 Dec. 2011. <https://www.iardc.org/rd_database/rulesdecisions.html&gt;.

“Book Country And Self-Publishing: Why the Hate?” Writer Beware ® Blogs! Web. 07 Dec. 2011. <http://accrispin.blogspot.com/2011/11/book-country-and-self-publishing-why.html&gt;.

“C.e. Petit.” SFWA. Web. 07 Dec. 2011. <http://www.sfwa.org/tag/c-e-petit/&gt;.

“Editorial: Is AAR Out of Touch? – Bauer Barbara Literary Agency, Matawan.”MerchantCircle.com | Find New Customers. Web. 07 Dec. 2011.

http://www.merchantcircle.com/blogs/Bauer.Barbara.Literary.Agency.732-566-0446/2011/12/Editorial-Is-AAR-Out-of-Touch-/838156&gt;.

“Filed May 14.” Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission. Web. 07 Dec. 2011. <http://www.iardc.org/06SH0030HB.html&gt;.

Hazard Owen, Laura. “PublishAmerica Responds To Rowling Lawyer: You Can’t Keep Us From Her House.” PaidContent – Mobile. 18 Aug. 2011. Web. 07 Dec. 2011. <http://m.paidcontent.org/article/419-publishamerica-responds-to-rowling-lawyer-you-cant-keep-us-from-her-hou/&gt;.

“Intro to Publishing Contracts.” SFWA. Web. 07 Dec. 2011. <http://www.sfwa.org/2009/09/intro-to-publishing-contracts/&gt;.

“Jaws (1975) – Memorable Quotes.” The Internet Movie Database (IMDb). Web. 07 Dec. 2011. <http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0073195/quotes&gt;.

“John Steinbeck.” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 07 Dec. 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Steinbeck&gt;.

“Locus Online News: Nebula Awards Winners.” Locus Online: The Website of The Magazine of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Field. Web. 07 Dec. 2011. <http://www.locusmag.com/2004/News/04_NebulaWinners.html&gt;.

“Making Light: The Pitch Bitch: I’m Not Buying It.” Patrick & Teresa Nielsen Hayden. Web. 07 Dec. 2011. <http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/008561.html&gt;.

“Member Directory.” SFWA. Web. 07 Dec. 2011. <http://www.sfwa.org/member-links/member-list/%5BSearch: Petit]>.

Scrivener’s Error. Web. 07 Dec. 2011. <http://scrivenerserror.blogspot.com/2010/12/ac07x.html&gt;.

Scrivener’s Error. Web. 07 Dec. 2011. <http://scrivenerserror.blogspot.com/2005/01/inside-job.html&gt;.

“Shark | Define Shark at Dictionary.com.” Dictionary.com | Find the Meanings and Definitions of Words at Dictionary.com. Web. 07 Dec. 2011. <http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/shark&gt;.

“Victoria Strauss — Much Ado About Nothin'” Writer Beware ® Blogs! Web. 07 Dec. 2011. <http://accrispin.blogspot.com/2006/01/victoria-strauss-much-ado-about-nothin.html&gt;.

“Victoria Strauss — Why You Shouldn’t Believe Them.” Writer Beware ® Blogs! Web. 07 Dec. 2011. <http://accrispin.blogspot.com/2006/11/victoria-strauss-why-you-shouldnt.html&gt;.

“Womon Accused of Scamming Aspiring Authors | Amarillo.com | Amarillo Globe-News.”Amarillo Globe-News | Breaking News, Weather and Multimedia. Web. 07 Dec. 2011. <http://amarillo.com/stories/071005/fea_2307429.shtml&gt;.

http://www.sff.net/people/victoriastrauss/beware.html

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P.N. Elrod Claims Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers (SFWA) Has Hackers: Cyber Crime Incitement?

In Accountability, Author Watch, Authors, Credibility, Crime, Cyber Crime, Hackers, Incitement, Intimidation, Investigations, P.N. Elrod, police investigation, police investigators, Professionalism, Propaganda, Reputation, Reputation Management, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Association, SFWA, Watchdog, Writer Beware on October 25, 2011 at 10:17 pm

P.n. Elrod: I find it hilarious that they call for honesty and disclosure, yet won’t own up to their own names. They know they’re being libelous and open to litigation. Too bad for them. There is no privacy on the Internet. If the people they’re trying to smear–that includes me–REALLY wanted to go after them it wouldn’t take ten minutes for one of our hacker friends to bust them flat. Newsflash, Write Agenda: SFWA is full of computer-savvy geeks who love a challenge .”

P.N. Elrod, Facebook Page

We find it less than “hilarious” that Author P.N. Elrod would encourage (or suggest) members of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Association (SFWA) to actively engage in cyber crime. The mere suggestion that  the “SFWA is full of computer-savvy geeks who love a challenge” and would only need “ten minutes” to hack an account should be taken as a serious threat by all concerned parties. Moreover, while P.N. Elrod is not an officer of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Association (SFWA), she readily waves the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Association (SFWA) flag on behalf of the “computer-savvy” “hacker friends” that are apparently salivating for an illegal cyber “challenge.” We would certainly love to know whether this potential incitement (to engage in the active violation of both state and federal laws) is endorsed by the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Association’s (SFWA’s) President, John Scalzi and the other officers.

What say you, John? It is exactly these kinds of postings, from your members, that only serve to embarrass the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Association (SFWA) further. While we have engaged in criticism of your organization and some of its members (albeit satirical at times), we have neither encouraged nor suggested that our followers violate state and federal law. P.N. Elrod’s comments are over the top and will rightly cause interested parties to perceive the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Association (SFWA) as a potentially subversive organization. Mr. Scalzi, it’s time to man up, get your house and membership in order before the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Association (SFWA) really gets in predicament where a real “investigation” is conducted.

We will take this as a credible threat and accordingly will share it with the appropriate authorities.

References

http://www.facebook.com/p.n.elrod?sk=wall

http://www.cybercrime.gov/reporting.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_computer_criminals

Creative Commons License

The Write Agenda by The Write Agenda is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Based on all work at thewriteagenda.wordpress.com. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at https://thewriteagenda.wordpress.com.

© The Write Agenda, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from The Write Agenda is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to The Write Agenda with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. You must attribute the work in the manner specified by The Write Agenda (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work). Please contact The Write Agenda for sample attributions.

© The Write Agenda 2011.

Writer beware Ann Crispin Victoria Strauss The Write Agenda Passion Blue Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers SFWA John Scalzi Making Light Catherine Schaff-Stump cath best sellers thumbs down ac crispin a.c. crispin The burning land The awakened city The Garden of the Stone Guardian of the hills The Arm of the Stone Absolute Write Water Cooler Preditors & Editors Dave Kuzminski Jenna Glatzer James D. Macdonald Prof. Jim Fisher A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing A Writer’s Life Author! Author! Bookslut Booksquare Buzz, Balls, & Hype Dear Author GalleyCat How Publishing Really Works Making Light Passive Voice PersonaNonData POD, Self-Publishing and Independent Publishing The Book Publicity Blog The Query Project The Rejecter The Rejectionist The Synopsis Project Anna Louise Genoese Behler Blog Editorial Anonymous Editorial Ass Evil Editor Ashley Grayson Book Cannibal BookEnds Chip MacGregor Crowe’s Nest Dystel & Goderich Janet Reid Jennifer Jackson John Jarrold Lucienne Diver Nathan Bransford Noah Lukeman Pub Rants Rachelle Gardner The Knight Agency The Swivet The Zack Company Absolute Write Water Cooler Agent Research & Evaluation AgentQuery.com Author Assist Backspace Cynthia Leitich Smith’s Children’s and YA Resources Preditors & Editors Publishers Marketplace Query Shark QueryTracker The Rejectionist Writing-World.com Starbridge


BAUER VS. GLATZER

In A.C., A.C. Crispin, Absolute Write, Accountability, Ann "A.C." Crispin, Author, Author Contracts, Author Watch, Authors, BARBARA BAUER, BARBARA BAUER LITERARY AGENCY, Credibility, Criminal History, Crispin, David L. Kuzminski, Law Suits, lawsuits, MacAllister Stone, Making Light, Miss Snark, Patrick Niclsen-Hayden, Pirates Of The Caribbean: Price Of Freedom, Preditors & Editors, Professionalism, Propaganda, Publishers, Publishing, Reputation, Reputation Management, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Association, Self-Publishing, SFWA, Shweta Narayan, Teresa Nielsen Hayden, The Write Agenda, Travis Tea, Vanity, Vanity Press, Victoria Strauss, Watchdog, Writer Beware, Yog's Law on October 25, 2011 at 2:08 am

BAUER VS. GLATZER

American Book Publishing: No Case, No Criminal Contact & No Legal Action Taken

In A.C. Crispin, Accountability, American Book Press, Ann "A.C." Crispin, Ann Crispin, Author Watch, Authors, Credibility, Criminal History, Crispin, false information, Investigations, Janrae Frank, Law Suits, lawsuits, Pirates Of The Caribbean: Price Of Freedom, police investigation, police investigators, Professionalism, Propaganda, Publishers, Publishing, Reputation, Reputation Management, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Association, SFWA, The Write Agenda, Victoria Strauss on October 24, 2011 at 5:53 pm

Links to previous discussions:

ALERT: American Book Publishing “Investigation” Research Released: No Proof of Victoria Strauss’ Claims

(Updated: 10/14/2011) Janrae Frank Comments Generate More “Smoke” than Substance to Shield Victoria Strauss and Writer Beware

Christian Story Teller Asks: “Victoria Strauss, what is she doing to her reputation?”

Victoria Strauss Drops F-Bomb . . . Again: The F****** Lack of Class Continues

Bauer vs. Glatzer et. al. – Summary of Allegations Against the Named Defendants

The Price of Loyalty to Crispin, Macdonald & Strauss: Participating in Propaganda Leads to Low Amazon Sales Rankings

21 Reasons to Not Trust Victoria Strauss

Ann Crispin: “The Write Agenda . . . It’s a Hate Site . . . ” Weinerdogs Convey Their Vileness to Recent Walt Disney Inquiry

Victoria Strauss Drops F-Bomb, Ann “A.C.”Crispin Thinks it’s OK: How Publishing Watchdogs Demonstrate Their Arrogance and Supremacy for Standards

Victoria Strauss: The Anthony Weiner Scandal is a BS Story; Weinerdog Still Shows no Compunction for the Truth

The Video: Amherst Nights: An Animated Interview with Victoria Strauss

Victoria Strauss Goes from “Watchdog” to “Weinerdog” – How the Selective Use of Research Material Can Damage Your Reputation: Victoria Strauss Cites another Police Investigation Regarding a Publisher . . . This Time it’s Correct and TRUE!

American Book Publishing “Investigation” Research Released: No Proof of Victoria Strauss’ Claims

A Note to New Authors . . . is Victoria Strauss Lying?

Victoria Strauss, Throwing Stones from a Glass House?

Letter to the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America

Victoria Strauss, Running From Demons . . .

Victoria Strauss Continues to Evade Questions Regarding “Investigation”

Pressure on Victoria Strauss to Address “Investigation” Continues

Searching the “Elsewheres” – The Strauss Paradox: How the Validation of the Author has Changed

UPDATED: April 4, 2011 – Boycott & Petition, Victoria Strauss’ Books: Request to Reveal Evidence of “Investigation”

What was Victoria’s Motivation? Missing Pieces to the Puzzle

Victoria Strauss Titles, Current & Lifetime Amazon Sales Rankings

Update – April 21, 2011: Victoria Strauss Claims Amazon Rankings Are Not A Reliable Sales Indicator

Updated, April 21, 2011 – American Book Publishing, “Police Investigation” Victoria Strauss Fairy Tale?
Creative Commons License

The Write Agenda by The Write Agenda is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Based on all work at thewriteagenda.wordpress.com. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at https://thewriteagenda.wordpress.com.

© The Write Agenda, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from The Write Agenda is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to The Write Agenda with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. You must attribute the work in the manner specified by The Write Agenda (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work). Please contact The Write Agenda for sample attributions.

(Updated: 12/12/2011) Janrae Frank Comments Generate More “Smoke” than Substance to Shield Victoria Strauss and Writer Beware

In A.C. Crispin, Accountability, Amazon, Amazon Rankings, Amazon Sales Rankings, American Book Publishing, Ann "A.C." Crispin, Credibility, Crispin, defamatory, Disney, e-books, ebooks, Extortion, false information, foul mouth, Free e-book, grand jury investigation, Infringement, Interviews, Intimidation, Investigations, investigative journalist, Janrae Frank, Law Suits, lawsuits, libelous, News Tips, Pirates Of The Caribbean: Price Of Freedom, police investigation, police investigators, Preditors & Editors, privileged information, Professionalism, Propaganda, Publishers, Publishing, Reputation, Ripoff Report, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Association, Self-Publishing, SFWA, Sophronia Flex, The Write Agenda, ugly facts, Vanity, Vanity Press, Victoria Strauss, Watchdog, Writer Beware, Yog's Law on October 7, 2011 at 10:13 pm

Creative Commons License

The Write Agenda by The Write Agenda is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Based on all work at  thewriteagenda.wordpress.com. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at https://thewriteagenda.wordpress.com.

© The Write Agenda, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from The Write Agenda is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to The Write Agenda with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. You must attribute the work in the manner specified by The Write Agenda (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work). Please contact The Write Agenda for sample attributions.

American Book Publishing “Investigation” Research Released: No Proof of Victoria Strauss’ Claims

The Write Agenda has not questioned the fact that Writer Beware has helped numerous individuals over time. They have without question. Somewhere along that positive history something has run afoul. The claim that “American Book Publishing has been the subject of at least one police investigation” is a primary example of how Writer Beware has forgotten its original mission and responsibility to provide true information.

Our demand, to force and compel Victoria Strauss, Ann “A.C.” Crispin and Writer Beware to produce substantiation of their claim that America Book Publishing “has been the subject of at least one police investigation” is hardly intimidation. So, authors, publishers and publishing industry professionals are just supposed to take Victoria Strauss, Ann “A.C.” Crispin and Writer Beware for their word? Without substantiation? Without verifiable proofs?

The real “intimidation” is the fact that Victoria Strauss, Ann “A.C.” Crispin and Writer Beware have posted this information, refuse to delete it and refuse to provide documentation that proves the claim. This is neither a grand jury investigation nor an investigative newspaper report. Both of these examples are not entitled to the protections of confidentiality and would be not be deemed privileged information; not to mention the fact that Victoria Strauss is not a professional investigative journalist and would not legally be permitted to claim these privileges to protect herself. The Write Agenda’s request has nothing to do with protecting police investigators. Police investigators could not remotely be claimed as “sources” as Janrae Frank would have you believe. Think about it, don’t individuals go “to” the investigators? Don’t “investigators” write police reports? Isn’t it not true that police reports are assigned incident numbers?

Contrary to Janrae Frank’s unfortunate “smoke screen,” the information contained within any “police investigation” is subject to discovery, available under the Freedom of Information Act, has an incident number and is not subject to any protections under the law (assuming that it actually exists). The fact here is that there never was a “police investigation” conducted against America Book Publishing. Victoria Strauss, Ann “A.C.” Crispin and Writer Beware know this and they cannot produce 1) an incident number; 2) what was American Book Publishing Investigated for; and 3) the name of the investigating police agency. This is true “intimation” and a it’s scam that has been perpetrated by Victoria Strauss, Ann “A.C.” Crispin and Writer Beware. Now, Janrae Frank has made the personal choice to attempt to deliberately cloud this further; that’s very unfortunate.

Janrae Frank, who is a well-respected American journalist, knows for a fact that “police investigations” are subject to discovery under the Freedom of Information; it is the most commonly used tool of any investigative reporter. Considering that Ms. Frank chose  to weigh in here, without any appreciation for the actual facts, it appears that she is more interested in participating in this viral controversy as a means to help her slumping book sales. Self-serving conduct? It appears to be. Her current Amazon Sales Rankings range from 315,555 to 3,405,977.  As an industry standard, an Amazon Sales Ranking of 100,000 equates to 1 copy every 5 days; 2,000,000 equates to 1 copy every 1000 days. (We’ll track this and see if her strategy works.)

Bottomline: A police “investigation” is not subject to non-disclosure privileges. The Write Agenda has contacted all of the agencies listed below. You will not find in any of their correspondence to us that “a good journalist learns early is to protect their sources” or that they were concerned that “if those names were made public, then the complainants would soon find themselves under siege from ABP.” The entire claim that “American Book Publishing has been the subject of at least one police investigation” is a lie and a fabrication perpetrated by Victoria Strauss, Ann “A.C.” Crispin and Writer Beware. The letters from these agencies may be viewed here.

If there was a “police investigation” wouldn’t The Write Agenda have received something from one of these agencies that stated the information is protected and not available under the Freedom of Information? Fact: The Write Agenda did not . . . most of the replies clearly state that there is no documentation of any “police investigation.”

Police agencies seek the truth and from our research, they have accomplished that. They have given The Write Agenda proof that American Book Publishing was never the “subject of at least one police investigation.”

Agencies Contacted:

Salt Lake City Police DepartmentPublic Safety
Building

315 East 200 South, SLC
(801) 799-3000Pioneer Precinct
1040 West 700 South
(801) 799-4600
http://www.slcpd.com/index.phpUtah Highway
PatrolFirst Floor – South

4501 South 2700 West
PO Box 141100
Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-1100
Administration: (801) 965-4518 (During Business
Hours)
http://publicsafety.utah.gov/highwaypatrol/index.html

Department of Public Safety Investigations Bureau
5500 West Amelia Earhart Drive, Suite #100
Salt Lake City, Utah 84116 – (801) 532-2168
http://publicsafety.utah.gov/investigations/index.html

Federal Bureau of Investigation – Salt Lake City
257 East 200 South, Suite 1200 Salt Lake City, UT
84111-2048
Phone: (801) 579-1400
Fax: (801) 579-4500

Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Department
3365 South 900 West
Salt Lake City, UT 84119
Non-Emergency: 801.743.7000
http://www.slsheriff.org

South Salt Lake City Hall
220 E. Morris Ave (2430 South)
Salt Lake City, UT 84115

City Attorney, 2nd Floor 801-483-6070 801-464-6791

City Prosecutor, 2nd Floor 801-483-6070
801-464-6791

Police Department
2835 S Main St, South Salt Lake, UT 84115-3200

NON Emergencies 801-840-4000
Administration 801-412-3606
Investigations 801-412-3604
Ordinance Enforcement 801-464-6712
Records 801-412-3600
http://www.ssl.state.ut.us/government/contactus.htmlhttp://www.ssl.state.ut.us/police/policedepthome.html

Utah State Capitol Office
Office of the Attorney General
Utah State Capitol Complex
350 North State Street Suite 230
SLC UT 84114-2320
FAX: (801) 538-1121
http://attorneygeneral.utah.gov/contact_us.html

Salt Lake City, Prosecutors Office
349 South 200 East, Suite 500Salt Lake City, Utah,
801.535.7767
http://www.slcgov.com/Prosecutor

Salt Lake County Prosecutors Office
Investigations Division
111 E Broadway Suite 400
Salt Lake City, Utah 84111
Tel: (801) 531-4189
Fax: (801) 531-4137
http://www.districtattorney.slco.org/admin/contact.html

Clearly Janrae Frank chose to utilize propaganda strategies (Ad hominem and Red herring) in her confutation. For example, instead of rebutting the original complaint (i.e., Author, Victoria Strauss’ Failure to Produce Documentation of Police Investigation Regarding American Book Publishing) she is attacking us instead rebutting the original argument. Also, she is presenting new issues (i.e., the Freedom of Information Act) in a compelling fashion, but it is irrelevant to the question whether Author, Victoria Strauss Failed to Produce Documentation of Police Investigation Regarding American Book Publishing. She somehow seems to think that this validates or implies that we are misleading people.  (Note: She has also posted on Twitter that: “The Write Agenda has gone after me.” We fail to see how this amiable debate has escalated to that level.)

There’s no need for Janrae Frank to “school” us any more on the Freedom of Information Act. We all understand its purpose regarding public records as they apply to legal actions. However, in this instance we are dealing with a “police investigation” not a legal action. The application of the Freedom of Information Act is irrelevant and further discussion about it is an act of obfuscation. Admittedly, it was a very noteworthy review but really serves no purpose regarding this issue.

Transparency is all that we have asked for. Victoria Strauss and Writer Beware are responsible for making the initial claim that “American Book Publishing  has been the subject of at least one police investigation.” Merely posting this on a blog is not proof that  “American Book Publishing  has been the subject of at least one police investigation.” Victoria Strauss and Writer Beware have not been transparent in this regard. As a result thereof, we have sought to make this claim transparent by contacting the agencies within the jurisdiction where the “police investigation” allegedly occurred. When documentation and research fails to uncover evidence of a “police investigation,” transparency is impossible. The ongoing acts of denying, deferring and dismissing, by Victoria Strauss and Writer Beware, can no longer continue; it impedes the quest for transparency.

As self-proclaimed publishing industry “watchdogs,” Victoria Strauss and Writer Beware are ethically responsible to produce this evidence. What is dreadfully transparent is that their failure to do so only serves to call into question their credibility. This could be easily accomplished by providing primary source material of a “police investigation.” This would include: 1) the name of the investigating police agency; 2) supplying an incident number; and 3) state exactly what America Book Publishing “investigated” for. The failure of Victoria Strauss to provide this information lends itself to a meaningless claim and doesn’t support the necessity of challenging other disputed claims; that’s another issue. If the three (3) questions above cannot be answered, this “investigation” has to be deemed a falsehood that was conceived with other motives. Transparency will only occur when this evidence is provided. The sooner this happens the matter can be resolved and we can all move on to other issues. If it cannot be supplied, Victoria Strauss and Writer Beware would be well advised to begin using some different PR strategies; denying, deferring, inciting followers and dismissing these accusations aren’t working:

1. Fess up.

2. Have some “humble pie” and display some remorse.

3. Strive for atonement and clean up this mess they made.

4. Rehabilitate themselves, restore faith and trust by utilizing objective (not bias) reporting standards.

The Write Agenda is striving to bring this matter to a close. If we have been incorrect in our pursuit for transparency, we’ll gladly take our own advice publicly (1-4 above). We all want transparency, if this cannot be achieved this matter will stay in the forefront and will continue to be a blemish on Victoria Strauss and Writer Beware.

10/10/2011 Update

Yes, we have claimed that your discussion of the FOIA was both Ad Hominem and a Red Herring. No, we have not invoked FOIA as proof of any claims here or on our website. What we have done is completed document searches and posted the results thereof. Our act of posting these letters from the agencies cast doubt on the veracity of the statement of Victoria Strauss and Writer Beware that “American Book Publishing was the subject of at least one police investigation.” Our only statement is that we cannot find any evidence of a “police investigation.” We are not going to rely solely on an unvetted blog posting as proof that a “police investigation” occurred. Regardless of what methods are deployed to secure information in this matter, if evidence does not exist “that casts in doubt the veracity” of the statements made by Victoria Strauss and Writer Beware.

Now you appear to be making a similar statement without documentary evidence to back it up. To wit: “ABP was investigated in 2003 by the Salt Lake City police department. The detective assigned to the case was Robbin Wilkins.” Your act of merely reciting a statement from a blog posting is also not definitive proof of an actual “police investigation.” In addition, since you have chosen to take on the chore of “investigating” this matter further, this suggests that you are now questioning whether evidence of a “police investigation” exists yourself. This is a positive step; we could only wish that others would be as inquisitive. What is most ironic is that this proves that you are not willing to solely rest on Victoria Strauss’ statements including: 1) she doesn’t have an “obligation to ‘prove’ anything;” 2) that she stands on her “reputation for honesty and meticulous research; 3) that she is willing to simply  “let people judge for themselves;” and 4) that you are not satisfied solely with her confidential “documentation [that] includes emails from individuals as well as [her] handwritten notes of the phone conversations [she] had with both investigators” as proof of a “police investigation.”

We are actually flattered that you have the courage to take the time to be objective. However, it’s distressing (and unfortunate) that you have to pursue information that should have been made available by Victoria Strauss and Writer Beware. We wish you well in your endeavors. We also pray that your efforts reveal the existence of a “police investigation” with a corresponding incident number. In the event that your efforts are inconclusive, we also hope that you have the resilience to publicly admit it.

10/14/2011 Update

After going into great detail regarding your skills as a journalist, we would think that you would have posted primary source material to “speak for itself.” Attaching a blog posting from a disgruntled author, while it may lead to primary source material, is not proof that a real investigation ever occurred. Therefore, the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur does not apply to this pitiable attachment.

Journalists, as yourself, are held to a higher standard in reporting and presenting evidence. We do hope that your independent research activity leads you to a trail of primary source material including, but not limited to, documented evidence of a “police investigation” with a corresponding incident number. In the event that an “investigation” is proven to have occurred, information that retracts and/or exonerates the publisher needs to be included. For example, if there was no prosecution, or if the matter was closed due to a deficiency of evidence towards proving the complaint, reporting ethics require a full disclosure of the disposition of the “investigation.”

10/24/2011: American Book Publishing: No Case, No Criminal Contact & No Legal Action Taken

 

Creative Commons License

The Write Agenda by The Write Agenda is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Based on all work at  thewriteagenda.wordpress.com. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at https://thewriteagenda.wordpress.com.

© The Write Agenda, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from The Write Agenda is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to The Write Agenda with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. You must attribute the work in the manner specified by The Write Agenda (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work). Please contact The Write Agenda for sample attributions.

Open Letter to Eric Grimm: Christian authors ‘targeted’ by PublishAmerica, says CBA

In Absolute Write, Author, Author Contracts, Author Watch, Authors, CBA, Christian Booksellers Association, Credibility, false information, Professionalism, Propaganda, Publish America, PublishAmerica, Publishers, Reputation, Reputation Management, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Association, Self-Publishing, SFWA, Victoria Strauss on September 30, 2011 at 9:26 pm

Mr. Grimm,

The quote attributed to ACFW is not accurate. PublishAmerica in this offering to their authors never claimed that they had a “contract” with your organization. Also, this fabrication occurred after being contacted by CBA. In the interest of all concerned parties, we respectfully request that you take all measures necessary to force and compel Cynthia Ruchti to issue an immediate retraction of this erroneous information. In addition, you indicate that the information that came from  “a very concerned call from an author,” which  is quite obviously the notorious Victoria Strauss of Writer Beware. We have very strong concerns regarding the reporting of Victoria Strauss who’s own needlework on the fabric of truthfulness still remains in question.

Please refer to the following link regarding Victoria Strauss’ truthfulness:


In protest of the erroneous remarks of Cynthia Ruchti, unless a retraction issues henceforth from Cynthia Ruchti, we do anticipate placing her on our “Boycotted Authors List.”

Lizzy Greenberg
The Write Agenda
Reference

(UPDATED) David L. Kuzminski (Preditors and Editors) adds to the PublishAmerica Fabrications

In A.C., A.C. Crispin, Absolute Write, Accountability, American Book Publishing, Ann "A.C." Crispin, Atlanta Nights, Attorney Victor Cretella, Author Watch, Cease & Desist, Christian Booksellers Association, Credibility, Crispin, David L. Kuzminski, Disney, Interviews, Investigations, Law Suits, lawsuits, News Tips, P.N. Elrod, Pirates Of The Caribbean: Price Of Freedom, Preditors & Editors, Professionalism, Propaganda, Publish America, PublishAmerica, Publishers, Reputation, Reputation Management, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Association, Self-Publishing, SFWA, The Write Agenda, Travis Tea, Victor Cretella, Victoria Strauss, Watchdog, Writer Beware on September 30, 2011 at 11:38 am

Victoria Strauss, in a Writer Beware blog posting, (PublishAmerica and CBA: Rowling Redux) voiced her opposition to a recent promotion by her archenemy . . . PublishAmerica. At first blush, it appears that Publish America was/is attempting to package their authors books (for a fee) in a coordinated attempt for consideration by the CBA’s (Christian Booksellers Association) “Christian Store Week.”

We do not see anything that suggests that there is some sort of relationship between the CBA and PublishAmerica. We also do not see anything that suggests that PublishAmerica implied that they had a relationship with the CBA. In fact, there doesn’t appear to be anything illegitimate by PublishAmerica to promote their authors (regardless of whether they charge a fee to do so). Also, they readily admit that there is no relationship with the CBA and they do not promise any specific results. It appears to be solely a promotion.

What’s the problem with this? The CBA issued a “warning” on their web site stating as follows:

“CBA has been informed that Christian authors are being contacted by an organization called PublishAmerica that’s soliciting for authors to submit their books to a sales/marketing catalog that they claim will be going to CBA. Please be aware that CBA has no knowledge of PublishAmerica; that PublishAmerica is not connected to Christian Store Week; and that CBA has no agreement of any kind with PublishAmerica, nor is CBA affiliated in any way, shape, or form with that organization.”

Victoria Strauss readily admitted that the solicitation by PublishAmerica was forwarded to the  CBA.  However, the “warning” issued by the CBA is not a Cease and Desist (C&D) nor is there any indication that one was ever sent to PublishAmerica. (Note to Victoria Strauss: These would be great writings to share with the reading public vs. just stating that x and y occurred. For example, see how we previous refuted a statement of your’s here. Proofs will add to the validity of statements. “Show . . .  don’t tell.”)

We do not see anything wrong with an alternative publisher soliciting its authors in this promotional effort regarding “Christian Store Week.” Are we missing something here? Victoria Strauss’ article makes it appear that there is some sort of wrong-doing here. This kind of promotional activity is performed by many organizations; what is the issue here? Is the CBA really “not amused” as indicated byVictoria Strauss? Or, are they just saying that they have no relationship with PublishAmerica? Didn’t PublishAmerica “warn” their authors as well in their disclaimer? Also, they didn’t promise any specific results:

“DISCLAIMER: PublishAmerica has no affiliation with the CBA and/or individual Christian bookstores beyond that of a regular publisher/bookseller relationship, without preferential access or other special treatment. No specific result from PublishAmerica’s best efforts to represent and promote its authors and their books is suggested or guaranteed.”

Now comes P.N. Elrod who somehow <<we’re shaking our heads>> translates the “warning” into a “Cease & Desist” letter that was issued to PublishAmerica:

“It’s only criminal if they continue to give the offer after getting a C&D from the party whose name is being used. Most are unaware of the use of their name until someone lets them know what’s going on.”

P.N. Elrod (Facebook Page, September 22, 2011)

Clearly, there was never a C&D issued. In addition, it appears that PublishAmerica wasn’t “using” the CBA’s name and was/is only offering to submit the  promotional material of their authors for consideration for “Christian Stores Week.” P.N. Elrod continues to walk down a path of twisted storytelling and fabrications. We predict that karma is going to sneak up on P.N. Elrod and these ongoing activities real soon.

The Write Agenda supports watchdog activity provided that it is true. In this instance, P.N. Elrod is following the trail left by fellow “weiner dog” Victoria Strauss; who’s own needlework on the fabric of truthfulness still remains in question (click here).

 (Click on picture to enlarge.)

Click here for more information on P.N. Elrod

Update 9/30/11: Preditor & Editor blogger, David L. Kuzminski, (you know the guy that was sued before and is begging for “donations” to his defense fund [click here]) somehow <<shaking our heads>> read into the  PA offering that PA stated that they “have a contract.” They do not and they readily stated as much. This is another example of how the “weiner dogs” fabricate stories for their own purpose:

9/21/11: The Christian Booksellers Association has sent out a warning that Publish America is ‘contacting Christian authors and telling them that they have a contract with CBA that will go public next week. According to a CBA contact, Publish America demands $49 to get on a list and in a catalogue that Publish America is giving to CBA and CBA will submit this list of authors/catalogue to all CBA members and because of this alleged contract the CBA member stores will buy from the authors listed.’ The ‘promotion’ is supposedly in conjunction with the upcoming Christian Store Week. At this rate, can God be far behind in issuing a warning about PA?” [Emphasis added.]

 

(Click on picture to enlarge.)

The actual quote (i.e. “warning”) from the CBA states as follows:

“CBA has been informed that Christian authors are being contacted by an organization called PublishAmerica that’s soliciting for authors to submit their books to a sales/marketing catalog that they claim will be going to CBA. Please be aware that CBA has no knowledge of PublishAmerica; that PublishAmerica is not connected to Christian Store Week; and that CBA has no agreement of any kind with PublishAmerica, nor is CBA affiliated in any way, shape, or form with that organization.”

Now, exactly where does it say that The Christian Booksellers Association has sent out a warning that Publish America is “contacting Christian authors and telling them that they have a contract” with CBA? It doesn’t . . .  there’s your “News Flash.” Also, if David L. Kuzminski is posting a quote that he has attributed as coming from The Christian Booksellers Association but it actually has not come from The Christian Booksellers Association . . .  who is he quoting? You can’t make this stuff up unless you’re a “weiner dog.”

Readers, try this as further evidence of David L Kuzminski’s erroneous attribution skills: Google the entire quote that David L Kuzminski posted in his “News Flash” that purportedly came from the The Christian Booksellers Association (see above). What will you discover? You will not find any results that take you to The Christian Booksellers Association. However, you will have Google results that will take you to the sites in the picture below (see photo below); none of which are connected to The Christian Booksellers Association. Primary source material? No, not hardly. In fact, one source in this Google result is currently being sued by PublishAmerica. Therefore, if David L Kuzminski is not quoting The Christian Booksellers Association correctly (which he is not), ask yourself: A) did he himself make this quote up? Or, B) is he quoting one of the sources in this Google search which also cannot be attributed to The Christian Booksellers Association? This is exactly how the want-to-be “watch-dogs” turn into “weiner dogs.” Trivial you may ask? Hardly. Is it any wonder at all why David L Kuzminski was sued and lost? When will this weiner dog ever learn?

(Click on picture to enlarge.)

More links on David L. Kuzminski:

How Pathetic Can David L. Kuzminski Be? Click here.

https://thewriteagenda.wordpress.com/category/david-l-kuzminski/

Click here to read more.

Preditors & Editors Site Creator Sued for Libel

David Kuzminski, You Naughty Boy

Lawyer has defamation claim for online post

Cretella v. Kuzminski

References

http://pred-ed.com/penulist.htm

http://www.cbanews.org/article.php?id=3753

http://www.facebook.com/p.n.elrod?sk=wall

http://www.accrispin.blogspot.com/

Christian Story Teller Asks: “Victoria Strauss, what is she doing to her reputation?”

In Accountability, American Book Publishing, Author, Author Watch, Authors, books, Charles Spurgeon, command knowledge, Credibility, false information, foul mouth, Interviews, Investigations, lawsuits, polite company, Professionalism, Propaganda, Publishers, Publishing, Reputation, Reputation Management, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Association, Self-Publishing, SFWA, The Write Agenda, ugly facts, Victoria Strauss, Watchdog, word smith, wordsmith, Writer Beware on September 25, 2011 at 12:39 pm

The Write Agenda is not alone in its quest to compel Victoria Strauss to tell the truth. The Christian Story Teller posted this yesterday. [Reprinted with the express permission of christianstoryteller.com.]

Victoria Strauss, what is she doing to her reputation?

Why the foul mouth & no answers?

 

You reap what you sow. Now it seems that Victoria loves to use the f— word in her postings and still won’t answer the question about her post about “the police investigation” on another company [American Book Publishing] that she doesn’t like. She informed this editor years ago that she and “they”? have lots of complaints, records, and documents about all these publishers / agents / agencies that they have identified as scammers, BUT she would never prove it. We were just to take her at her word. Which right now is in the dumper.

The use of the F— word has NO place in professional behavior or polite company. It reveals that the person might have a limited command / knowledge  of the english language. Additionally, statements from this type of word smith tend to be reviewed as coming from an arrogant, unschooled, self important, know it all.

Prove it or lose it. For years Victoria has been part of a group that would boldly demand facts and financial figures from companies and now she can’t answer yes or no. If she doesn’t come clean with the answers to these simple questions, she’ll be just like yellow snow.

A major creditability scandal indeed!  Read the full story and  The Write Agenda who exposed the ugly facts. Then go to Publishingfacts for  Commentary:

 “A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”  

–  Charles Spurgeon

References

Victoria Strauss Drops F-Bomb . . . Again: The F****** Lack of Class Continues

Victoria Strauss Drops F-Bomb, Ann “A.C.”Crispin Thinks it’s OK: How Publishing Watchdogs Demonstrate Their Arrogance and Supremacy for Standards

http://www.christianstoryteller.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=247:what-in-the-world-is-going-on

Accusations Regarding Macallister Stone and Absolute Write: Google Ad Revenue May be Coming From Authors

In Absolute Write, Accountability, Author, Author Contracts, Author Watch, Authors, blog postings, Credibility, Goy's Law, Investigations, MacAllister Stone, Money should flow toward the author, Professionalism, Propaganda, Publishers, Publishing, Reputation, Reputation Management, The Write Agenda, Watchdog, Writer Beware, Yog's Law on September 23, 2011 at 5:25 pm

Anonymous sources have raised accusations that Macallister Stone and Absolute Write may be wading in substantial Google Ad Revenue. Moreover, the revenue may be unknowing coming from authors that visit the site. Macallister Stone and Absolute Write were also accused of pretending to run an honest critique board and making substantial income from the high traffic volume on the site. The anonymous sources also stated:

“One of the Absolute Write tricks is to pretend any and all critics are scammers out to get them, and they play this game while wallowing in hundreds of Google text ads, 20-30% of which scam writers and play bait and switch tactics.”

“Another thing that is very suspicious. The board runs hundreds of google ads, hundreds, and each time a visitor or member clicks on one, the board owner, Macallister Stone, makes money. In other words, she makes money if negative controversy hits google and sends hundreds of visitors to Absolute Write. It isn’t in her interest to be civil or contain the bully.”

While there may be some merit to these claims, (admittedly, the site is riddled with advertisements) The Write Agenda has not reached a conclusion and cannot render an opinion at this time. However, The Write Agenda is investigating these claims and will continue to research this matter. Confidential sources may contact us here.

Macallister Stone, if you care to submit a response to these accusations, you may contact us at the_write_agenda@hotmail.com

Additional Information on Macallister Stone can be found here and here

See:

Absolute Write (MacAllister Stone) . . . is it ran out of a rental storage unit? Are Authors Paying the Rent via Google Ads?

Bauer vs. Glatzer: Letter from St. John’s University Regarding Plaintiff’s Ph.D. Credentials

In A.C., A.C. Crispin, Absolute Write, Accountability, Ann "A.C." Crispin, Ann Crispin, Atlanta Nights, Author, Author Contracts, Author Watch, Authors, BARBARA BAUER, BARBARA BAUER LITERARY AGENCY, blog postings, Credibility, Crispin, David L. Kuzminski, Dee Power, false information, Investigations, James D. MacDonald, Jenna Glatzer, Kent Brewster, Law Suits, lawsuits, Lesia Valentine, MacAllister Stone, Making Light, Miss Snark, Money should flow toward the author, Patrick Niclsen-Hayden, Pirates Of The Caribbean: Price Of Freedom, Preditors & Editors, Professionalism, Propaganda, Publishers, Publishing, Rachael Saltzman, Reputation, Reputation Management, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Association, SFWA, Shweta Narayan, Teresa Nielsen Hayden, The Literary Agent, The Write Agenda, Travis Tea, Victoria Strauss, Watchdog, Wikimedia Foundation, Writer Beware, Yog's Law on September 22, 2011 at 8:14 pm

From the original complaint regarding the allegations against Defendants Teresa Nielsen-Hayden and Patrick Nielsen-Hayden:

“At all times relevant to this lawsuit, T. N-Hayden has owned and operated and been responsible for the content of an internet website called ‘Making Light’. T. N-Hayden has published and continues to publish false and defamatory statements about plaintiffs Barbara Bauer and BBLA on Making Light, including, but not limited to, referring to plaintiff as ‘…a faux literary agent…,’ ‘…scam agent Barbara Bauer…,’ ‘…kooky…’ ‘…that lunatic…’, and questioning the legitimacy of her Ph.D. degree.”[Emphasis Added.]

At all times relevant to this lawsuit, P. N-Hayden  has owned and operated and been responsible for the content of an internet website called ‘Making Light’. T. N-Hayden has published and continues to publish false and defamatory statements about plaintiffs Barbara Bauer and BBLA on Making Light, including, but not limited to, referring to plaintiff as ‘…a faux literary agent…,’ ‘…scam agent Barbara Bauer…,’ ‘…kooky…’ ‘…that lunatic…’, and questioning the legitimacy of her Ph.D. degree.”[Emphasis Added.]

A letter from the St. John’s University regarding these allegations:

 

 

 

For a PDF Version, Click here