Opinion by Consumer Advocate Tim Bolen
Time is running out for Stephen Barrett (quackwatch.com) and Terry Polevoy (Canada’s low-budget, with garish colors, version of Barrett). They’ve got until about June 3rd, 2007 to come up with $433,715.93 in bonds – $264,311.68 for Polevoy alone, and $169,404.25 from Barrett and Polevoy, and hand them to the Judge in an Alameda County, California Courthouse. Or else.
If, and when, they don’t do that, (and I don’t expect them to do this), they’re pretty much “toast,” and the brutal court ordered “Collection Process” will begin in earnest. Asset seizures, bank account grabs, forced sale of properties, garnishment of wages and accounts, etc. all will play a role in the coming days.
Frankly, it will all be great fun to watch.
Why is this happening? It’s happening because the gruesome twosome, in flaming arrogance, and unrelenting wild-eyed hatred of anyone’s opinion but their own, pursued several individuals through the California Courts, clearly trying to use the cost of that court system to silence those opponents. But, California, in its legislative wisdom, understood the bully mentality, and had enacted a law called “anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation),” which, in essence, slaps the crap out of a Plaintiff who attempts to use the expensive legal process to silence their opponents. It does this by IMMEDIATELY awarding the Defendant’s attorney fees to defend.
Barrett and Polevoy got caught in this trap (I can’t stop laughing) early on, got tagged for $33k in fees, and (laugh some more) then Appealed the Judge’s decision all the way to the California Supreme Court – incurring even more attorney fees owed in the process. And, they continue to run up the legal bills.
But the California Courts have had enough of the “quackbusters” and their arrogance. The State has spoken with its “anti-SLAPP” legislation. The law means exactly what it says, and the Alameda Court has drawn the line at any more legal actions, by the twosome, trying to get out of paying those legal fees, and demanded that Barrett and Polevoy put up a cash bond (stocks, bonds, and securities will do) before they allow them to continue wasting the Court’s time and Ilena Rosenthal’s attorney’s fees.
Who’s Ilena Rosenthal? She’s one of the long-suffering Defendants in the six-year waste-of-the-court’s time. She’s the one who filed the first of the “anti-SLAPP”motions. She’s the one demanding her attorney fees from the twosome. She’s the one getting ready to seize their assets.
Some Advice for Ilena…
I know it’s tempting to send your collection agents down into Barrett’s basement and seize all those “quackwatch” computers, all those records of America’s cutting-edge practitioners, all those phone records of Barrett’s activities with the New York ad agency, etc. that Barrett has gathered, but…
There would be endless problems for you if you did that. You’d be inundated with subpoenas from attorneys representing practitioners, looking for information to use against the REAL “quackbusters.” It’s not worth it. Don’t do it. Don’t seize quackwatch.com, the corporation.
Just seize the assets out of the corporation. As soon as you do that, and you have possession, call me, and I’ll bring a “smart” team to grab those records, and get them to a safe place where we can begin to go through them, sorting out what we can use to pursue Barrett’s paymasters. It is important that we preserve the evidence chain we’d get – so that process would have to be exacting.
But, Ilena. Good job so far. Keep it up. You’re doing America a great service.
By the way – when you send your collection agents to grab Polevoy’s stuff, I have the feeling they should wear hazardous waste gear, and have all of their shots, before they go.
Tim Bolen – Consumer Advocate