Opinion by Consumer Advocate Tim Bolen
Last week I wrote an article titled “Polevoy Thrashes Barrett and Grell in California – Piles of Money Change Hands…“ From it, Stephen Barrett, sent me three emails this last week – two of them were angry, and the third sort of whimpered.
Barrett was denying everything. I’ll show you the email exchange in a minute.
Stephen Barrett hasn’t sent me an email since the year 2000, eleven years ago. Barrett at the time was VERY angry at me, and, frankly, I had given him VERY good reason for that anger. I mocked him in his own group, and there was nothing he could do about it – for I had been given his insider mailing list – and I was using it – sending personal copies of my newsletter to his insider group. Barrett was livid, and so were his people.
Why were they all so angry? Several reasons: (1) They couldn’t control the information flow – which seems to be their mission in life, and (2) the list, and there was only 340 people on it, gave me access to their IP addresses, so I could trace them to their home computers should someone, anyone, want to legally Summons them in a court case (Remember when Hulda Clark filed a RICO Complaint against all those people?), and (3) My message to those quackpots, who liked being scary to others, was very clear – “I’m right here in your den and you ain’t much.”
I was learning, even then, that Barrett’s support network (his minions) simply were not much as people – a pack of life’s frustrated losers, venting at the world.
This time, however, I think, it isn’t me invading his group and telling them what’s really going on (they all monitor my newsletter, anyway – and some of them even know how to look up the meaning of the bigger words). This time Barrett’s anger seems to be about the subject material described in the title of THIS article.
So, what’s important here?
In order to satisfy Ilena Rosenthal, and her legion of attorneys – a boatload of money had to come their way. They had pursued Terry Polevoy, for what he owed, to the ends of the earth. Why? Frankly, Ilena was very angry about what the threesome, and their minions, had done to her – and I can’t blame her.
I’m estimating that at the time of settlement in the Polevoy v Grell, et al, court case, there was close to $700,000 US owed by Terry Polevoy to Ilena Rosenthal. That would have included the original $311,000 awarded by the court to Rosenthal in the Barrett v Clark case, compounded interest at 10% annually, and Judgment Recovery Costs. The Courts allow for automatic Recovery Costs in a judgment – whatever they may be – and Rosenthal was pursuing Polevoy through the Canadian Court System for the money.
More, as angry as Ilena Rosenthal was, remember that $700,000 US was for attorney fees. I doubt that Ilena, as a reasonable person, would have settled for JUST attorney fees. My guess would be she’d want another $500,000 just to shut up, relax, and go lay in the sun for a while.. So now we’re looking at 1.2 million? And, the whole settlement is “Confidential.”
So, where’d the money to pay off Rosenthal come from?
Grell, the attorney, I doubt, was good for it. Barrett certainly wasn’t. Polevoy doesn’t have two nickels to rub together – even Canadian Nickels.
Which brings the last three questions – (1) “Who, exactly, was Polevoy going to name as the “John Doe” Defendants? (2) Is that where the money came from?” (3) Since it is apparent that attorney Christopher Grell never got paid a thin dime by either Polevoy nor Barrett, who paid himfor his legal services? – an amount much larger than that accumulated by Rosenthal’s attorneys.
I think it would be in everyone’s interest if Doctor’s Data, during discovery in the Doctor’s Data v Barrett Federal Court case, asked Barrett, Grell, and Polevoy just those questions.
Follow the money…
Follow the money…
Follow the money…
Stephen Barrett’s Email Offerings…
Those of you who read my newsletter regularly will remember that I have said that Stephen Barrett DOES NOT DO WELL in a Courtroom or a Deposition situation. When you read this email exchange you will get a sense of why that is. To me it is obvious that Stevie, among other things, does not let facts get in his way. When he is confronted with reality, like in a courtroom cross-examination, or in a Deposition during Discovery, Barrett cannot control the dialogue. You will see, during the exchange, that Barrett, after all these years of me, Tim Bolen, shoving his face in the dirt, he still thinks he can issue me an edict. (begin to smile).
Note, throughout the exchange, that Barrett doesn’t want to address the “where’d the money come from” issue.
Here is Barrett’s first email:
“I just read your article about the settlement of the suit by Dr. Polevoy against Mr. Grell. In case you are interested in modifying your speculations, here are the facts you misrepresented.
1. Dr. Polevoy did not sue me.
2. I was not involved in the the suit in any way.
3. I was not a party to the settlement agreement.
4. I do not know the terms of the agreement.
5. Mr. Grell is not my “personal attorney.”
6. Your question “Where did Barrett and Grell get the $500,000 US to pay off Polevoy?” is improper because I have never owed Dr. Polevoy any money or paid him anything because of the suit or for any other reason.
You are welcome to add this comment to your article.”
Here is my response:
“I will look into your concerns, but it would be helpful if you could forward to me copies of (a) Your retainer agreement with Christopher Grell regarding the Barrett v Clark case, (b) your bills for legal services regarding that case, and (c) emails regarding that situation between yourself and any interested parties, (d) information providing the source of the money you used to pay your original part of the court’s required payments to Rosenthal.”
Then Barrett responded with:
“You don’t need any of them to address my “concerns.” Just remove or retract what you can’t prove. The court documents make it clear that Polevoy did not sue me. No document exists which states that I ever owed any money to Dr. Polevoy. Since you can’t possibly have one, you should not be pretending that any such debt existed.”
Since I am accustomed to Barrett’s view of the world I responded thus:
I suggest that you get a competent attorney to help you do two things: (1) understand what “Opinion” is, and (2) read and understand the case Polevoy filed against Christopher Grell and twenty John Does. I am of the opinion that if the case had proceeded, you, Stephen Barrett would have replaced the number one “John Doe.” I formed this opinion from a simple reading of the text of the case.
Polevoy was very specific in his accusations about how Grell operated the case to benefit you and himself. You were definitely part of the case. Read the language below, paying particular attention to the bolded text:
“19. The decision by the intermediate appellate court highlights why GRELL’s and Barrett’s selfish financial interests had become directly adverse to POLEVOY’s interests: with the judgment affirmed as to them, after remand, the trial court would award respondent her fees on appeal against GRELL and Barrett. But respondent could not recover nor be permitted to seek attorneys fees from POLEVOY, and POLEVOY’s defamation action against respondent Rosenthal could proceed. The appellate court’s revival of POLEVOY’s defamation claim, in effect, gave POLEVOY some leverage as to respondent, which GRELL, in breach of his fiduciary and ethical obligations, sought to exploit for his own selfish interests and for his other client Barrett.
20. After the opinion of the Court of Appeal issued, but before the expiration of time for respondent or the appellants to file a petition for review with the California Supreme Court, respondent made an offer to defendant GRELL as follows: POLEVOY and respondent would sign mutual releases and POLEVOY’s claim against Rosenthal would be dismissed, each party to bear his or her won attorney’s fees and costs. Respondent’s attorney warned GRELL that if POLEVOY rejected respondent’s offer, respondent would prepare and file a petition for review with the California Supreme Court as to POLEVOY regarding the intermediate appellate court’s rejection of respondent’s immunity under the federal Communications Decency Act.
21. GRELL believed that there was a very good chance that the Supreme Court would grant respondent’s petition for review.
22. A reasonable and careful lawyer representing the appellants at that stage should have known and advised the clients of the following: the weight of published authority was against the Court of Appeal’s holding that denied respondent immunity, therefore the judgment against POLEVOY might be reinstated and POLEVOY would also be liable (along with GRELL and Barrett) for the attorneys fees respondent incurred in appeal; that POLEVOY’s proof of damages caused by respondent Rosenthal’s defamatory publication would be problematic; that respondent Rosenthal was not collectible and likely judgment proof; that because respondent Rosenthal was only a re-poster (had re-published but not authored the defamatory statements), any damages that POLEVOY might recover against respondent Rosenthal would be duplicative of damages POLEVOY might recover against the other defendant in the underlying case who had originated (authored) the defamatory statement; and that while respondent would be entitled to a large attorney fee award against POLEVOY under the anti-SLAPP statute if respondent prevailed, POLEVOY was not entitled to attorney fees even if he prevailed.
23. A reasonable, careful and ethical attorney should have known that the attorney’s potential conflict of interest had become an actual conflict, and that the attorney’s personal interest as an unsuccessful appellant was adverse to POLEVOY’s interest as a successful appellant, because it was in POLEVOY’s interest to accept respondent’s offer to put an end to POLEVOY’s litigation against respondent, but it was in GRELL’s and Barrett’s interest to use the leverage from POLEVOY’s superior position to secure a settlement with respondent as to GRELL and Barrett too. A reasonable careful and ethical attorney, in these circumstances, should have advised POLEVOY that he should consult independent legal counsel for advice about whether to accept respondent’s offer, because GRELL’s advice was tainted by self-interest and GRELL’s and Barrett’s interests were adverse to POLEVOY’s.
24. GRELL did not do any of the things that a reasonable, careful and ethical’ attorney should have done as alleged in Paragraphs 22 and 23 above. Instead, GRELL unilaterally rejected respondent’s offer without first advising POLEVOY of the offer and the potential ramifications of rejecting the offer.
25. As was anticipated and likely to occur, the California Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeal’s holding in favor of POLEVOY, and ruled that the Communications Decency Act did immunize respondent Rosenthal for her re-posting of the defamatory statement, therefore affirming the trial court’s order and judgment which required POLEVOY to pay respondent’s attorneys fees.
26. After the remittitur issued and jurisdiction was returned to the underlying trial court, respondent Rosenthal applied for and was awarded additional attorney fees she had incurred on the appeals. As a result, an amended judgment was filed in which POLEVOY is solely liable for an award of $311,980.47 plus legal interest at the rate of 10% per annum from the date of the judgment on the award, December 26,2008.
27. Respondent Rosenthal has filed proceedings in Ontario, Canada in an effort to collect her judgment against POLEVOY. This proceeding has resulted POLEVOY having to incur further attorney’s fees and costs.
28. Defendant GRELL’s errors and omissions as alleged above, were a legal cause, and substantial factor iii causing, the award of attorneys fees and costs against POLEVOY, the entry of the amended judgment against POLEVOY, and respondent Rosenthal’s pursuit of collection proceedings against POLEVOY. If GRELL had acted as a competent, reasonable, and ethical attorney, had not breached his duties, and had provided POLEVOY the advice and disclosures which a reasonable careful and ethical attorney should have provided, as alleged above, POLEVOY would have accepted respondent Rosenthal’s offer of a mutual release, would have ended the litigation with Rosenthal and would not have become liable to Rosenthal for any award of fees or judgment.
29. Plaintiff did not know about the wrongful acts and omissions of defendant GRELL, until on or about April 2, 2008, a date within one year of the filing of the complaint herein.”
I am of the opinion that if the case had proceeded to the jury that that same jury would have apportioned a significant part of the debt award to you. I am disappointed that I will not be able to find out who Polevoy had in mind for the other nineteen “John Doe” Defendants.
You are certainly welcome to publish your own opinion on this subject. You have the facilities to do that.
In my interests, and the interests of my readers, I once again request that you provide me with the following pertinent to this situation information:
“… copies of (a) Your retainer agreement with Christopher Grell regarding the Barrett v Clark case, (b) your bills for legal services regarding that case, and (c) emails regarding that situation between yourself and any interested parties, (d) information providing the source of the money you used to pay your original part of the court’s required payments to Rosenthal.”
If you decide not to assist me in this matter I will understand, for in my opinion, your time would be better well spent figuring out what you are going to do, and where you are going to reside, once Doctor’s Data takes your websites and your property.
But, for certain, get used to the idea that Terry Polevoy thrashed you thoroughly, and easily. I’ll bet he smiles every time he thinks about it.
Then Barrett says:
“After your article was published, Dr. Polevoy called my attention to it with en email titled “Bolen’s Rant.” I responded by asking who the “Does” were:
>>—– Original Message —–
>>From: “Stephen Barrett, M.D.” <email@example.com>
>>To: Terry Polevoy <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>>Sent: Monday, July 25, 2011 11:00:47 AM
>>Subject: Re: Tim Bolen’s rant
>Who were the 20 “Does” added to the face page of your complaint?
This was his reply.
>Date: Mon, 25 Jul 2011 08:02:45 -0700 (PDT)
>From: Terry Polevoy <email@example.com>
>Reply-To: Terry Polevoy <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Subject: Re: Tim Bolen’s rant
>To: “Stephen Barrett, M.D.” <email@example.com>
>I have no idea. I think it was just something that the lawyer put in
>How are things going?
Perhaps the tone of his response will give you a clue that we remain friends and that your speculations are off-the-wall (as usual).
I didn’t expect you to modify your views but thought it might be worth one effort to see. Since my previous message has had no apparent impact, this will be my last for now.”
My response was short:
“And just when we were getting along so well…”
It’s desperation time in quackpot land.
Their legal bills alone have them staggering – and much more is coming.
Much more. It couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch.
I think that someone is paying the quackpot’s legal bills. Let’s find out who that is – and we will have a brand new target.
Tim Bolen – Consumer Advocate