The Ryan Kopf's Suing Me AGAIN Fund
The Short Version:
I run a geek news site called Nerd & Tie which partially focuses on convention news. Over the last few years I've covered a few stories about Convention organizer Ryan Kopf (who runs half a dozen events in the midwest and is involved in a few others) which weren't all that flattering.
At the end of 2015, Mr. Kopf decided to sue me for defamation.
He filed that first suit in the state of Iowa, and I successfully got it dismissed on jurisdictional grounds. Rather than let the bad PR die down though, he decided to refile the case in Illinois at the end of June 2016 (and yes this is still ongoing in 2019).
I stand behind what I wrote (and you can find links to the articles along with a link to the petition Kopf filed in the "Long Version"), but mounting a legal defense is expensive, so I'm attempting to raise funds to pay for it.
Any help would be appreciated.
The Long Version (with links):
We do a lot of stuff at Nerd & Tie . We produce multiple podcasts, briefly ran a convention , and provide in-depth coverage of the con scene. That last bit is one of the things we’re most proud of, but is also what’s led to some of our biggest headaches.
As those of you who follow this site may be aware, for the first half of 2016 I found myself fighting a lawsuit AnimeCon.org/Chrono LC CEO Ryan Kopf filed against me in the state of Iowa. It was over some of the coverage of his events I've written over the last couple of years (mostly these two articles). He later amended the suit to include Nerd & Tie podcast co-creator and (now former) contributor Pher Sturz.
It should be noted that Pher was added to that suit solely because of posts made on his personal Facebook page in support of me.
Eventually things ended, with the case against myself and Pher Sturz being dismissed on jurisdictional grounds . We had hoped that would be the end of this situation, but unfortunately rather than take the minor PR hit and move on, Mr. Kopf has decided to keep this going.
In mid-2016 both Pher Sturz and I were served once again.
You see, Ryan Kopf has had his attorneys refile the case in the state of Illinois in late June. You can read the new petition (2016-M3-003898) here (Update: the petition has been amended ), but it is almost identical to the amended petition filed in the Iowa case. Pher and I are both named, along with Nerd & Tie itself (although that last bit is less important as Nerd & Tie is not its own legal entity — as I am the sole legal owner of the site).
Now, as I said last time, I don’t want to discuss details, but I still stand by what I wrote.
Unfortunately though, legal fees and lawyers are not exactly cheap, and we expect costs to be much higher this time around. So while we hate to do it, we're asking for your help again.
All funds raised through this campaign will go towards paying our lawyer and covering legal fees. We're asking for a lot right now, and we may need more down the road. I know it's a lot of money, but theres a good chance this case is going to drag out longer than the last one.
Honestly we appreciate any help you can give us.
(As GoFundMe requires we list where any excess funds end up going, if there are any left we will put them towards future Nerd & Tie Expos)
Diana's right--I did read thru some info on SLAPP and the laws against it and this one's hitting the requirements very squarely. I'm hoping to contribute soon, but do have your lawyer check this and ask for the proof that there's been any harm done by the articles--he's claiming it so he has to demonstrate it. I'm sure your lawyer knows more than I do but sometimes a suggestion brings out a lot of better ones.
I would check with your home or renters insurance. Sometimes your liability will cover lawsuits like this. (And if not maybe shop around in case they just change states on you again after this one)