Please Help Me Fight a Lawsuit

So it looks like I’m going to be sued by a white supremacist who doesn’t like it that I’ve called him a white supremacist several times over the last few years. I’m not going to go into a lot of detail right now because I need to hire an attorney (one in Texas, unfortunately) and get some advice on how exactly what I can and can’t say publicly, but in order to do that I need to raise some funds. Here’s what I do know: I’m not going to back down from this. I’m not going to let this racist jerk intimidate me into silence. But I need your help on this one, if you can give it.

I’ve looked at various ways of setting up a fund and I can’t go through the long and difficult process of setting up an actual non-profit. I thought about going with a site like GoFundMe, but they take as much as 10% out of any contributions you might give and I don’t see any point in that. So I’m just going to do this through my regular Paypal account. I will keep my readers updated as much as I can within the limits of my attorney’s advice and I promise you that if there is any money left over at the end, I will either refund it back to you or donate it to an appropriate charity, perhaps someone else’s legal defense fund who needs it, whichever you prefer.

I have no idea how much this is going to cost. It could be a few hundred dollars, it could be thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars depending on how aggressive my antagonist wants to be. I will likely be filing an anti-SLAPP claim, which will increase the upfront cost on my end but might lead to recovery of costs later on. I think that’s important to deter similar threats in the future from thugs seeking to silence their critics. So if you could pitch in on this, I would really appreciate it. We can’t let these bastards intimidate us or they win.

Here’s how you can donate:

85 comments on this post.
  1. timlimbert:

    Trying to think of a better cause to contribute to…. (thinking, thinking….). Nope, can’t think of one.

  2. raven:

    Sounds like a SLAPP suit. Loser pays court costs and your attorney fees.

    1. If whoever is in Texas this needs to be filed in federal court. You aren’t under Texas state law.

    I’m not sure how they decide whether it will be a federal court in Texas or Michigan. IIRC, as the defendant you can ask for a Michigan venue. Maybe some of the board lawyers know.

    2. I’m in for a few bucks. Probably this evening, when I have time.

    3. I once tossed a few bucks to a librarian who was being threatened and sued for not banning the right books according to a Mormon fascist county commissioner.

    I got it all back after she won and collected the court costs. With a rather touching note. What I didn’t know was that she stood up to him while being apparently completely terrorized.

    Some of the best money I ever spent even if it came back.

  3. raven:

    So I’m just going to do this through my regular Paypal account.

    That will work OK.

    Pandasthumb did that when they tried to bid on the movie Expelled after it went bankrupt.

    After they lost the bid, they just reversed the process and it all came back.

  4. Dave, ex-Kwisatz Haderach:

    While I’m happy to help smack down a racist doucheweasel, I won’t use Paypal. Not since the fuckers stole a few hundred bucks from me. If you’ve got another way I can send you money, I’ll definitely kick in whatever cash I can spare. You can email me at dawise at the gmail dot com, if you have any suggestions.

  5. ljbriar:

    I’m likely to have some money refunded back to my card next week, and then I will definitely kick some your way.

  6. machintelligence:

    Have you checked with Ken White at Popehat? He is a big supporter of freedom of speech for bloggers, and has lots of contacts, some of whom work pro bono. I seem to recall that Texas has a pretty good SLAPP law:

    Texas Legislature unanimously adopted one of the strongest Anti-SLAPP statutes in the nation and showed their continued support of the First Amendment.

    He might be willing to light up the Popehat signal for you.

  7. blf:

    I’ve always avoided PayPal, mostly out of sheer distrust at (most) E-”commerce” (the number of times I’ve bought anything over the Internet probably only needs two hands to count, in a simple one-finger is one, two-fingers is two, … fashion). How silly am I being ?

    (I should point out I work in the general area of SmartCard security, which whilst not directly connected with Internet security, is also not un-connected. So if I am paranoid…)

  8. John Pieret:

    Glad to help.

    In addition to Popehat, you might want to look into the Digital Media Law Project:

    http://www.dmlp.org/legal-guide/anti-slapp-law-texas

  9. zenlike:

    Indeed: Ken White at Popehat might help out by finding a lawyer through the almighty Popehat Signal.

  10. terces:

    Long time lurker happy to give something in return for all the entertainment you’ve given me the past couple of years. Good luck with the lawsuit.
    What a f_ing pain it was registering to comment!

  11. zenlike:

    And this is a message to the racist douche-bag litigious asshole: hey asshole, make yourself known, you coward, so we can have a good laugh at you.

  12. dshetty:

    done – it would probably help if we knew how much you need

  13. zenlike:

    And to add: Ed, did a larger organisation like RWW already called the same guy a white supremacist? Because in that case they might help you out.

  14. heddle:

    Done.

  15. rabbitscribe:

    A “legal defense fund” carries a formal legal definition. I would not use that terminology (unless and until you set a fund up properly, of course).

  16. Artor:

    Glad to see several people have already mentioned Popehat. I’ll second (third?) that motion.

  17. Taz:

    I wonder who it could be?

    On a completely unrelated note, I was very disappointed that Michigan State didn’t make it to the final four.

  18. John Horstman:

    All of a sudden everyone got SLAPP-happy? Have some money, Ed!

  19. Ed Brayton:

    Yes, I have communicated with Ken at Popehat in the past, though not yet on this. He did refer me to an attorney who specializes in defamation several months ago, but not one who would do the work pro bono. I do have a recommendation on an attorney in Texas as well, but not one who could work pro bono.

  20. abb3w:

    I’d suggest the ACLU as obvious recipient for any excess donations left over at the end.
    Or alternatively, roll over into a general FTBorg defense fund.

  21. Susannah:

    #20

    Or alternatively, roll over into a general FTBorg defense fund.

    Sounds like a good idea. Having one might discourage a few litigious cranks, as well.

  22. johneberhard:

    Pm your mailing address to me and I will send a small check.

  23. Kamaka:

    heddle @ 14

    No way, you opaque commentator, you are in on this? The world shivers!

  24. Sastra:

    Done.

  25. felidae:

    I sent you a little–lots of big expenses this month Thanks for keeping up the good fight against the douchebags of the world. Golly, I thought these assholes were PROUD of being white supremecists

  26. mary:

    The little I was able to donate won’t go far, but I guess every drop in the bucket helps. I wish you well in this endeavor.

  27. Anthony K:

    Done.

    heddle @ 14

    No way, you opaque commentator, you are in on this? The world shivers!

    That seems needlessly mean-spirited. I don’t see why helping out Ed for this would be considered out of character for heddle.

  28. david:

    I’m in (though you won’t recognize my paypal ID). Second the suggestion for donation to ACLU.

  29. democommie:

    Ed:

    I’d check to see if the idiot is on record as being a member of the KKK or any other blatantly racist/white supremacist org.

    I’d also check with this blog:

    http://www.juanitajean.com/

    She seems to know an awful lot of people in the progressive sphere and is not a shrinking violet.

    If you pried open my cold, dead fingers you would find an equally cold, dead and empty hand, sorry.

  30. democommie:

    “Golly, I thought these assholes were PROUD of being white supremecists”

    Well, yes, they are, until they take the sheet off.

  31. Dr X:

    I’ve kicked in. Good luck.

  32. Taz:

    Done

  33. donnas:

    DONE!

  34. nicholasmatzke:

    I donated AND tweeted AND facebooked it.

    Support the Ed Brayton Is Awesome, White Supremecists Suck Unofficial Legal Defense Fund! I just did! Go @edbrayton!! http://bit.ly/1gxI59D

    …then I realized I misspelled “Supremacists”. Screw it, they deserve it.

    All I ask in return, Ed, is that you give us the salacious details of whatever silliness this dude pulled when it is legally appropriate and he has been anti-SLAPPed back.

  35. Michael Heath:

    Dave, ex-Kwisatz Haderach writes:

    While I’m happy to help smack down a racist doucheweasel, I won’t use Paypal. Not since the fuckers stole a few hundred bucks from me. If you’ve got another way I can send you money, I’ll definitely kick in whatever cash I can spare. You can email me at dawise at the gmail dot com, if you have any suggestions.

    You don’t have to log-in to Paypal to use them to forward funds to Ed. The above pay-button provides two methods of payment, one is a non-log-in method where they do the transaction and I presume, are paid a cut of the amount submitted that’s acceptable to Ed. This without having to log-in to your Paypal account or create a new account.

  36. jaybee:

    Done.

  37. funfly:

    Done,
    Good Luck

  38. grantly:

    Done and done.

    I was happy to back Karen Stollznow, and I’m happy to be on board with this.

    Go get ‘em.

  39. carolineborduin:

    I have also donated (a mostly silent reader.) Ed, can you clue us in on who this person is? Of course don’t do anything to negatively affect this situation. Thanks.

  40. Alverant:

    Donated earlier during a break at work and set up a regular donation to FTB because of all the fine work you do. (and hoping Comradde PhysioProffe will stay and give us more recipes)

  41. lancifer:

    Done,

    Go get the bastard!

  42. tfkreference:

    Done, plus a little more than usual in honor of Mary, democommie, and others of good spirit but limited means.

  43. annie55:

    After the first of May, Ed. This is getting out of hand.

  44. lb:

    Just sent you some money. Good luck and thanks for standing up against a**holes like this.

  45. democommie:

    @42:

    Thank you, kind sir. I do lots of pro bono photography because it’s low cash outlay. When I hit the lottery I will be buying really stupid KKKonservatives for my fellow FTB’ers to have sport with. Wait a minute, really stupid is pretty much the default; well, we’ll figure something out.

  46. dcmweed:

    I’m thrilled to be asked to help and have kicked in my little bit, just wish I could chip in more.

  47. Freedonian:

    @ Ed – FWIW – Contact Phelps Dunbar LLP [ phelpsdunbar.com ], it’s a New Orleans firm with offices in Texas, but they do have a reputation for pro-bono civil rights cases

  48. DanDare:

    Hi Ed, go for it.

    Two things:

    a) A declaration about what you will do if you end up with excess funds
    b) An updated “I got this much so far” note at the bottom of the post would be good

  49. dingojack:

    Unfortunately, all I can afford is good wishes :(

    Still — hope you SLAPP that ‘person’ down hard!!

    Dingo

  50. Nick Gotts:

    Done. And I second Anthony K@27.

  51. Please Help Ed Brayton Fight a Lawsuit » Greta Christina's Blog:

    […] sued by a white supremacist who doesn’t like it that Ed’s called him a white supremacist. Please help with his legal defense fund. […]

  52. birgerjohansson:

    dingojack @ 49
    Ditto, on both accounts.

  53. Lofty:

    Donated a bit, hope you get the clown to back off.

  54. valhar2000:

    So, who is it? And what, exactly, did you say about him?

  55. bbgunn:

    Happily donated (even though it’s small). Plus, it gives me more contentment than tithing ever did.

  56. podkayne:

    I don’t always agree with you Ed, but I disagree with people who try to stifle free speech with vexatious law suites a lot less. $20. Keep us posted

  57. dono:

    I’m in–best of luck, good sir.

  58. leftwingfox:

    Donation sent. Kick some ass (in the legal sense, of course).

  59. Dave, ex-Kwisatz Haderach:

    @ Michael Heath, #35

    You seem to have missed the point. They are goddamn filthy fucking thieves who make money vanish en route, and refuse to return it despite months of arguing, essentially saying fuck off to the loss of a significant amount of money. I will in no way, ever, directly or indirectly, use their service again. I will happily provide an email money transfer (although I don’t know if American banks can do that as easily as Canadian banks will) or I will put a check in the mail. But Paypal is not an option.

  60. harry:

    Long time mostly lurker since the Dover trial. Contributed what I could afford.

  61. Randomfactor:

    Sent.

  62. A white supremacist doesn’t like being called a white supremacist » Butterflies and Wheels:

    […] There’s this from Ed Brayton: […]

  63. lancifer:

    Pay Pal receipt email came today.

    Richard Brayton? Is there a story there? Didn’t want to be called Dick?

  64. Pieter B, FCD:

    I’m down.

  65. xof999:

    +n on Popehat.

    I’d also like to politely suggest that we refrain from giving legal advice to someone who is the current subject of an active lawsuit unless you are, in fact, a lawyer with expertise in this area. The usual caveat about one who is one’s own lawyer applies in triplicate to one who takes advice from people on the Internet.

  66. Joe Cascio:

    May I suggest you also post a bitcoin donation button? Taking donations in bitcoin means you can accept them from any country (unlike paypal), there are no fees and no authorizations or minimums. Also people who donate can do so anonymously, which might be important in your case.

    I can help you with implementation, it’s pretty easy. Just contact me thru my profile email.

  67. robertbaty:

    Kent Hovind recently filed a similar suit against the RationalWiki folks for posting an article which, in part, identified him as a “tax fraudster”.

    Kent has yet to be able to “serve” notice, however.

    Maybe he will; maybe he won’t.

  68. Joe Cascio:

    Oh, and by the way, your bitcoin holdings can never be frozen or confiscated, as they can be with PayPal or a bank.

  69. Kevin Anthoney:

    Oh, and by the way, your bitcoin holdings can never be frozen or confiscated, as they can be with PayPal or a bank.

    On the other hand, they can just disappear if you happen to trade them in the wrong place at the wrong time. See MtGox. And not many lawyers take bitcoins.

  70. Joe Cascio:

    But some lawyers are beginning to accept it. And yes, it’s true, bitcoin does require one to exercise an apparently forgotten skill in American society called “personal responsibility”.

  71. democommie:

    Just remember, bitcoin is not a fiat currency, whose “value” is artificially arrived at by gummint fiat. It’s a currency whose value is–oh, wait, it doesn’t really HAVE value.

    I’ll stick with the worthless gummint scrip that EVERYBODY I do business with values at exactly the same rate as the gummint.

    K/thx/bi.

  72. Joe Cascio:

    I’ll let the blog author decide if bitcoin is right, thank you.

  73. Numenaster:

    Done. In fiat currency.

  74. iknklast:

    Hope my little bit helps. Good luck, Ed.

  75. Michael Heath:

    Dave, ex-Kwisatz Haderach to me:

    You seem to have missed the point.

    Not at all. Instead I’m distinguishing the difference between a tactical grievance and a strategic objective.

  76. sebloom:

    Donated. Good luck, Ed!

  77. Trebuchet:

    Serious question for Ed: If I kick in a few bucks, and you end up with some left over, will you please dedicate it to fixing some of the ongoing problems on the site? Problems like autoplay ads, defunct blogs cluttering the page, the disappearance of the tech issues button, and so forth? Perhaps even issuing the long delayed main page redesign?

  78. Help Ed Brayton fight a lawsuit.:

    […] The other day Ed posted: […]

  79. thebookofdave:

    Okay, I chipped in.

  80. John Phillips, FCD:

    Done, well a little for now until I have more cash to play with, hang tight Ed.

  81. Raging Bee:

    And yes, it’s true, bitcoin does require one to exercise an apparently forgotten skill in American society called “personal responsibility”.

    Yeah, no one in America ever exercised personal responsibility until bitcoins were invented.

    Joe Cascio is a moron using Ed’s legal troubles to advertize bitcoins — quite possibly because he needs to unload some of his own after they recently lost a good chunk of their “value.” And while they may indeed be useful for international business activity, as the Economist recently noted, Ed is a US citizen/resident who needs a US lawyer to represent him in a US court; so I’m guessing only US dollars will answer, unless Ed’s lawyer explicitly says otherwise.

  82. Joe Cascio:

    I’m really at a loss to understand the all the cynical vitriol about bitcoin. I’m just trying to help and I made a donation to Ed using PayPal. My best wishes go to him for a quick and winning resolution to this litigation. I really don’t see how the plaintiffs have a legal leg to stand on.

  83. Raging Bee:

    I’m really at a loss to understand the all the cynical vitriol about bitcoin.

    It’s not about bitcoin itself, dumbass, it’s about the moronic and downright dishonest shit that people like you say about bitcoin.

  84. Raging Bee:

    Yo, Cascio, care to explain why your Facebook page is “currently unavailable?”

  85. wscott:

    Donated! (Sorry for the delay – was having PayPal account problems.) Good luck!

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