Author Topic: Weird Legal Question...  (Read 27983 times)

Offline Falthor

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Weird Legal Question...
« on: March 27, 2017, 10:09:16 AM »
okay...  not sure even who I would go to, to even ask this one.

I was thinking About writing a memoir.  The big problem here is that one of the major incidents in my life that I'd need to touch on was a lawsuit that I've mentioned on here before.

Basically when I was in University I was running and in charge of hte University Judo club and a student was injured after hours.  I was sued for roughly 27 Million dollars (covered by various umbrella policies, and to the best of my knowledge the insurance companies are still fighting over who has to pay for it) And ultimately found as one of the parties at fault.

So, is this something that I need to go past or gloss over?  Do I change names, etc, or do I somehow get in touch with the parties invovled beforehand?   I don't even know if this is something I will publish someday, for now it's more along the lines of something that I'd write, just for me a post it somewhere online.  I'm thinking laws would come into play more whenand if I ever start to make money off it, but I don't want to put something out there that gets me in trouble either, as my version of what happened to this student is VASTLY different from the version that he put forward at the trial, and might be considered slander?

IDK,  Opinions, leads on who I should contact, etc?
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Offline Grinder

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Re: Weird Legal Question...
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2017, 11:02:22 AM »
I think the question is the reason you bring up the incident. Did it change your life? Make you more cautious? Alter your faith in institutions - whatever. These are perspectives that would interest the reader and probably not result in litigious consequences. As long as you stay away from commenting on the specifics of the law suit. I'm not a lawyer but if the incident had an impact on your life you should bring it up. If not, why write about it?

Offline Falthor

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Re: Weird Legal Question...
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2017, 11:22:17 AM »
Huge impact on my life.

before any of this happened I saw myself moving forward int he world of Martial Arts, I was on track to ref at the national level, and I was taking Ju-Jitsu and pursuing MMA...  I don't do any of those thibgs now as I was basically blackballed from Judo in particular, and most other martial arts in the area as a result of the lawsuit.  It made a profound shift in my plan for life.

It also gave me a huge insite into how the legal system actualy works and a lot of trust type issues there about because the guy who sued me basically fabricated his story, and my lawyers didn't call any coroborating witnesses to the stand, when I asked about the possibility of countersuing for defamation (I'd been barred from Judo for about 7 years at that point) I was basically given the brush off and told to forget about it.  When iw as finally allowed to return to practicing Judo I was still treated as a pariah, and still am, not welcome anywhere.   If I ever want to practice Judo again I basically have to assume a new name an dpretend to be someone else, and then start from the bottom and work my way back up again.

I want to write in detail about this but obviously I'm not going to if it's goign to cause leagl issues for me.
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Offline KimE

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Re: Weird Legal Question...
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2017, 12:08:55 PM »
I am burdened with glorious purpose.

Offline Sarah Ahiers (Falen)

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Re: Weird Legal Question...
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2017, 01:21:31 PM »
I definitely think it's something you would want to speak to an attorney about, maybe even 2 (literary and court,) before you post it anywhere.
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loose leaf

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Re: Weird Legal Question...
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2017, 09:04:33 PM »
before any of this happened I saw myself moving forward int he world of Martial Arts, I was on track to ref at the national level, and I was taking Ju-Jitsu and pursuing MMA...  I don't do any of those thibgs now as I was basically blackballed from Judo in particular, and most other martial arts in the area as a result of the lawsuit.  It made a profound shift in my plan for life.

Wow, that's rough. I have a complicated history with martial arts myself, but my dreams got nipped pretty early on. I can imagine how much it would've sucked if I actually got far and had something going for me, only to have it ruined. Would've been a lot harder to deal with.

Offline Falthor

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Re: Weird Legal Question...
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2017, 09:59:04 AM »
And the only thing that made it better is time.   To a certain degree I'm still not over it.   When i start thinking about it too much or writing about it I can feel that anger flowing back in, my keystrokes pick up pace while I start to hammer the keys harder (I'm doing it right now).

There actually has been a blog online since the incident happened where I detailed my side of the story and I was never contacted about it in any way shape or form (It's on Live journal)  A lot went down outside of the case that really shook me to my foundation at the time.  I took my case all the way up the chain of command, from Judo Ontario to judo Canada and then all the way up to the Kodokan in Japan (the birthplace of Judo) only to be refereed back to the people who screwed me over to start with.

When I was a kids one of the things I wanted most in life was to have a black belt.  IDK a kid watching too many Martial Arts movies I guess, but it's a goal that I've pretty much had to give up on because of my name and the lawsuit that is attached to it. 

Then there's the guy who got hurt, and my feelings there.  I am partially responsible for the fact that he is a quadriplegic, and that hurts too.  My name to date is still brought up, online mostly, in discussions about Responsibility and coaching...  it's sad really.  I have kind of put this aside again for a while but the idea of a memoir is still eating a whole in the back of my head somewhere.
“The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don't.”

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loose leaf

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Re: Weird Legal Question...
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2017, 10:57:05 PM »
Omg Falthor I just realized I know what you're talking about  :eek:

Offline Falthor

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Re: Weird Legal Question...
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2017, 02:26:33 PM »
I rest my case.

I will never get a black belt in Judo it seems.
“The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don't.”

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Offline AvidandManic

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Re: Weird Legal Question...
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2019, 12:24:19 AM »
I am a lawyer.

I represented a client in a suit in which slander was at issue.

I will not address whether it may hurt or help your suit (I would need to know a whole lot more about the suit), or why it may or may not enrich your story.

I will only address possible prohibitions on the dissemination of a story about the controversy:

1)  It does not appear that there are any non disclosure agreements between you or any of the applicable parties.  Usually, of course, they do not come into play until after a suit is resolved.

2)  I doubt that the Judge has issued a gag order prohibiting the dissemination of your memoir.

3) THE ISSUE OF SLANDER:

A) Generally, it is very hard to allege slander in the context of litigation.  It is expected that litigants will fume and wax with rage toward their opponents.  However, your memoir would not be a litigation paper; it would be broadcast to the population at large .  It is dubious that the litigation exception would apply to save you from a charge of slander

BUT THE POSSIBILITY OF A VIABLE SLANDER OR LIBEL SUIT IS PROBABLY NOT GREAT:

I)  To be guilty of slander or libel, you must have uttered a lie.  Something is only a lie if it can be proven true or false.  Accordingly, the allegation that someone or something is odious, or wretched, or disgusting can never amount to defamation.  People can forever argue about what is odious or disgusting.

The allegation that a certain restaurant had salmonella in its beef is however the sort of thing which could amount to slander. 

2)  There are two types of slander or libel

Slander oR libel PER QUAD

and

Slander or libel PER SE

Only three allegations can amount to libel per se:

a) the allegation that someone is homosexual

b) the allegation that one has a "loathsome disesae" and

c) I don't recall the other one.

If one were to claim that Bill is gay, and Bill is not gay, then Bill has a claim of libel (if it is written) or slander (if it is oral) per se.

If one has a claim that fits within the rubric of defamation per se, ONE NEED NOT SHOW ACTUAL DAMAGES TO PURSUE A CLAIM.

However in all other types of defamation, the suit is not viable if one cannot show, for example, that the libelous or slanderous comment hurt you in your profession.

ONE CAVEAT:  The common law has its roots in medieval England.  That's why the law on defamation per se may seem so alien and antiquated.  It is possible that today Courts would view this very differently. 

Offline Falthor

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Re: Weird Legal Question...
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2019, 09:57:38 AM »
Thanks for the answer on such an old topic.

I'm still mulling over writing this story/book so it helps push me in the right direction for now and I'm sure I would be pursuing more definite legal representation in the matter before actually publishing anything, but your words at least give me the courage to write the story.

“The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don't.”

-Douglas Adams, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.