PLEASE READ THESE FACTS FIRST:

  • Random House sued ME; not the other way around.
  • Random House filed suit to silence the facts I was posting on the web.
  • There has been NO trial on the facts, only the Random House effort to prevent a trial.
  • The only sworn statements made under penalty of perjury are affidavits from me and my experts, nothing from RH.
  • The judge refused to consider any expert analysis.
  • Despite suing me first, Random House & Sony UNsuccessfully demanded that I pay the $310,000 in legal fees they spent to sue me.
  • Contrary to the Random House spin, I am not alleging plagiarism of general issues, but of several hundred very specific ones.
  • This is not about money. Anything I win goes to charity.

Legal filings and the expert witness reports are HERE

I have a second blog, Writopia
which focuses on Dan Brown's pattern of falsehoods
and embellishment of his personal achievements.


Friday, May 13, 2005

Fan Mail: "Perdue – You’re a Litigious Bastard!"

As I said over in Writopia, the registration requirement for comments to blogs results in a lot of emails from people who don’t want to register for one reason or another.

The following comes from one of those emails. I figured I might as well post this before this person starts plastering it all over the Web.

“Perdue-you’re a litigious bastard! Why don’t you tell people about your big lawsuit against Pacific Bell and the millions that you coerced our of them because of your little web site? Yeah, you’re a real bastard crying poor little me and being a moneygrubbing asshole for going after Dan Brown who writes better in his sleep than you do on a good day.

“Yeah you asshole! I saw what you did with that archive site over on the other writer’s blog so I looked you up and look what I found: http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.patheticbell.com I understand that Pacific Bell paid millions to settle the lawsuit. So tell everybody about that you litigious gold-digging jerk!”

Well, first of all, welcome to my blog. It’s always nice to get letters from fans.

The truth is that I made nothing, not a single penny from the class action litigation that grew out of an online forum I started about atrocious DSL service. PacBell did pay millions and I got the only thing I was looking for, justice.

The details are:

1. Back in 2000, I received feloniously bad DSL service from Pacific Bell, now SBC.

2. After months of not resolving that, I figured there must be a better way to get some sort of justice. Even if I never got the service I was after, I figured there must be a way to hold PacBell to accounts.

3. I also figured that I was not the only person with this problem, so in March 2001, I started an online forum – this is before the blogosphere’s Big Bang.

4. The Pathetic Bell users forum was swamped with both angry customers and many good PacBell employees who were aghast at what was happening. So aghast that they provided some great tips and information.

5. The plaintiff’s bar and its investigators picked up on The Pathetic Bell users forum.

6. I was asked to be a named plaintiff in a class action law suit. I refused.

7. I was offered some pretty substantial consulting fees. I refused those as well.

To accept either of those would have damaged the credibility of the forum and the one thing bthat mattered: justice. I was not going to sacrifice that for money.

8. SBC/PacBell was subsequently the subject of several class-action lawsuits as well as regulatory reviews and investigations by both state and federal authorities. SBC lost or settled all of those. I believe they paid a total in excess of $20 million.

9. I received NOTHING from the lawsuit other than the satisfaction that justice had been done.

* I did NOT start the forum with litigation in mind, but only the idea that shedding light on the subject would make justice easier to find. Millions of people benefited.

* I did NOT initiate the litigation,

* I was NOT a party to the litigation other than as an unnamed member of the class of all consumers with the same DSL “service” from SBC.

* I did NOT accept any money or other compensation from any party associated with the entire process and, indeed, paid for the hosting out of my own pocket and spent countless hours over three years as board administrator.

Was it worth it? Yes. Would I do it again? You bet!

So, here we have yet another case where those defending Dan Brown have chosen to take something and twist it around in order to make me look bad, or to try and convince people that I did something I did not.

I do NOT believe that email was prompted by the Random House lawyers, but it certainly does follow the same pattern, as documented in the posts below.

10 Comments:

Blogger Mark said...

"Facts are stubborn things."

Fri May 13, 04:33:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Lewis Perdue said...

Yes, but sometimes the facts need a little help to make sure they do't get buried in the muck.

Fri May 13, 06:02:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Mark said...

Fan the flame of truth is my motto.

Fri May 13, 07:30:00 PM PDT  
Blogger David Ginsburg said...

I have a client in a domestic matter who was in tears when she learned that so much of the matter represented as true in the Da Vinci Code was not so.

I do not believe that she would care about plagiarism one way or another, but she feels defrauded.

I am not a lawyer, but this post makes me wonder if there is a fraud or conspiracy action possible on behalf of readers like my client.

Sat May 14, 08:32:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Mark said...

I doubt it. And furthermore I doubt the truth claim in DVC. I think people are misreading what he says. They are true, in Frankenstein's context. They're misreading Brown's statement flatout and doing so because of tender beliefs.

Sat May 14, 05:15:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Jocelyn Smith said...

Just so you know I'm not ALWAYS trying to poke holes in your position, I laughed myself silly reading this email.

Perhaps (okay, definitely) because I'm a law student myself, I tend to ruffle when people rant about the lawyers and litigious-ness like it's a horrible thing.

Like your anti-fan, for example: at least from the information we have from you, there's nothing to indicate (even if you HAD been the representative plaintiff) that the class action against Pacific Bell was not warranted and GOOD for consumers!

People rant and rave at me when they hear I'm a law student as though I'm solely and personally responsible for the "lawsuit epidemic" as we heard the President call it (WAY too often) during the 2004 election.

But is it necessarily a bad thing? Granted, frivolous suits are never good. But rather, my thinking is that people don't abuse a power without first HAVING that power. I think the rise in litigation and insurance to defend against litigation is showing that individuals are finding their rights defended by the courts as never before. Granted, this right is being abused.

But that doesn't mean we should take away that right.

FOR THE RECORD, Lewis, although as I said I'm reserving judgment until I read the books themselves, I've seen nothing that indicates you're a gold-digger or an abuser of the right to sue. Rather, you seem to be someone who knows that you have that right, and, as a citizen should, are not afraid to use it.

If you are convinced your case is just, more power to you!

(Stepping off soapbox)

Sun May 15, 03:38:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Lewis Perdue said...

Yes, consumers got something, even if a $20 million fine is the "cost of doing business" for a giant corporation like SBC.

Don't get me wrong: I believe in free enterprise and have started several successful companies. But when the power and the company size gets to a certain point, screwing the little guy becomes "just business."

That's when it's time to nail their balls to a stump and push them over backwards.

It may take time, effort, dedication and a lot of creativity, but eventually you'll find the stump, the nail and the force to push them over.

And call me really stupid, but I believe it's wrong to do that for personal gain. Otherwise, it's not justice, it's just extortion.

That's why the SBC forum and that's why most everything we may get from this litigation, other than college for our kids, will go to charity.

Check out Books 'n Blues.

Sun May 15, 07:24:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Jocelyn Smith said...

And call me really stupid, but I believe it's wrong to do that for personal gain. Otherwise, it's not justice, it's just extortion.

That's not stupid at all--that's how the distinction is SUPPOSED to be. Lawsuits are meant to be used for getting compensated (either monetarily or otherwise) for a legal wrong. Sometimes that compensation does properly amount to a big dollar sum--but not for everyone, and too many people think of lawsuits now in terms of the dollars, rather than the wrong they're supposed to be righting.

Mon May 16, 04:50:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Mark said...

I haven't delved into the SBC case but I'm guessing bad service not as claimed. If there wasn't abuse there would be no need for law and lawsuits.

Mon May 16, 10:47:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Lewis Perdue said...

That is my thought as well.

Mon May 16, 11:47:00 AM PDT  

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