Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Today Dylan McClain posted at his New York Times chess blog Susan Polgar’s statement from her popular chess blog regarding recent events. Because of the pending litigation, Ms. Polgar’s comments were general in nature. Ms. Polgar’s conduct is in marked contrast to the behavior of Mr. Sam Sloan; but what, really, does he have to lose? His reputation? His honor? Would one expect decent behavior from Mr. Sloan? Mr. Sloan continues to post his allegations on every message board, bulletin board and blog that still accepts his posts, presumably acting under the old adage that if one throws enough mud at one’s enemies, eventually some of the mud may stick. In my opinion, Mr. Sloan might wish to visit a law library and research what is meant by the "clean hands" doctrine and the concept of equitable estoppel and understand how a court applies such concepts in case law. Mr. McClain provided the following quote of interest in his blog post: In an interview, Jim Brink, the vice provost for academic affairs at Texas Tech, said that the university stood behind Ms. Polgar and Mr. Truong, who are employees, not faculty members, of the university. "We have the greatest confidence in both Susan and Paul and in the reasons that we hired them," Mr. Brink said. "Nothing has changed as a result of the suit." He said that there will be a campus-wide reception on Nov. 1 to "introduce them to the university and the wider community." Referring to the lawsuit, which names Texas Tech as a defendent, Mr. Brink said that it was not possible that the university’s computers could have been identified as the source for fake postings on the Internet, the charge in the lawsuit by Samuel H. Sloan, because the university’s IP addresses are constantly changing. Mr. Brink added that he did not believe that Mr. Truong could have posted thousands of fake messages, as is alleged in the lawsuit. "Given the volume that Sloan has accused him of producing, he would have little else to do and I can assure you that he is plenty busy," said Mr. Brink. I do not know who did this interview of Mr. Brink or where it appeared – perhaps Mr. McClain did the interview specifically for purposes of reporting it on his blog, but it’s not clear from the context. I believe it would be imprudent, however, to assume that Mr. Brink was speaking "off the cuff." The importance of this will be evident to people who think about it. In the meantime, Mr. Sloan appears to be conducting his litigation by asking everyone/anyone who reads his posts on the internet to provide him with proof to support the "facts" he alleged in his Complaint. In due time, I believe Mr. Sloan's Complaint will be dismissed as to all defendants, the only question being whether whatever Court eventually assumes jurisdiction over the suit decides to award the defendants their costs and actually attorneys’ fees out of Mr. Sloan’s pockets. Courts are generally reluctant to use their power to award actual attorneys’ fees to parties who are dragged into frivolous litigation (provided for in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure), but in this case, perhaps the Court will make an exception and use Mr. Sloan as an example of why such suits should not ever be filed. In the American justice system, in both civil and criminal cases, allegations filed in a Complaint are not accepted as proven facts until a judgment has been rendered to that effect, either by trial to a court or a trial by jury. One would think, though, that we live in France, where the system works entirely to the advantage of bureaucrats and police – one is presumed to be guilty unless one can prove oneself innocent! If one only reads chess blogs, it seems that a majority of the posters to these blogs have already concluded that Mr. Truong and/or Ms. Polgar are "guilty" – although Mr. Sloan’s action is a civil action, not a criminal case, and "guilty" is not a concept in civil actions. This assumption of "guilt" is based on alleged evidence that few (if any), have seen in its entirety, other than the creator of this alleged evidence (Mr. Mottershead), and the import (or lack thereof) and accuracy (or lack thereof) of which has been fiercely argued. The remainder of the alleged "guilt" of the multiple defendants is based on Mr. Sloan’s innuendo and allegations that he has been leveling against everyone and anyone at all connected with the USCF since at least 1999, when I first started reading on the internet. To keep this all in perspective, a "majority of the posters" mentioned above is, I suspect, a couple hundred people – but – perhaps, may be (gasp) a couple thousand people. Whoo whoo! In the real world (not the small, insular world of chess), most people have probably never heard of Mr. Sloan although some may have heard of Ms. Polgar because of her remarkable accomplishments in the male-dominated chess world. Most people probably could care less about Mr. Sloan’s law suit, although some of them with a prurient bent might enjoy some of the contents of Mr. Sloan’s websites. In the chess world, I suspect that any one who is familiar with Mr. Sloan and/or his websites (other than those few who support him, for whatever purposes) has already dismissed everything that Mr. Sloan has ever said and ever will say.