Saturday, January 31, 2009

Lawsuits . . . the saga continues

When we last left our merry band of chess volunteers, they had been fighting off two absurd lawsuits filed by Ray Parker and Sam Sloan, arising out of the RGCP postings of the "Fake Sam Sloan", who had been posting trash that was beyond the pale, even by usenet standards.

Incidently, I apologize to my eager readers, both of them, for the delay in part 2 of this analysis.  My father-in-law passed away, and I have been having to deal with the family obligations inherent in that.  I should also advise that I do not, and have never, represented USCF or any of the parties involved in this litigation.  The information posted has been gleened from pleadings in the cases and  forum posts, some of which are from the parties to the lawsuit.

As a further aside, I must confess that if I would be advising my clients not to post a word on the internet regarding the litigation.  The propensity of some of the actors to post about the litigation, while informative to me as a spectator, is amazing to me.  Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law, so the parties should STFU.

In response to these lawsuits, the USCF retained a lawyer, who advised them to form a litigation committee of the EB to deal with the lawsuits.  This committee included every director except Polgar and Truong.  The committee and the lawyer asked Truong to provide (a) a sworn affidavit that he was not FSS (b) information about his IP addresses so that the allegations against him could be confirmed or denied and (c) information supporting his arguments that he was not at his computer when FSS was posting.

Truong, apparently on advice of counsel, provided two pay stubs and a flight confirmation in response to (c); he apparently did not provide any information regarding requests (a) or (b).

Shortly thereafter, emails between the litigation committee and counsel were published on the internet.  It was alleged in some quarters that the memos leaked, but USCF filed suit in California State Court alleging that persons unknown had hacked Randy Hough's email account, and taken the messages from it.  The suit was filed against John Does, which is apparently allowed in California.  USCF served subpoenas to trace the alleged hacker.

At this point, immediately before the annual meeting in Dallas; Susan Polgar filed her own lawsuit, against USCF, the other directors, Sam Sloan, Brian Lafferty; Jerry Hanken, Hal Bogner, Brian Mottershead, CCA, Chess Magnet Schools, the USCF's lawfirm, and the entire cast of Searching for Bobby Fischer.   The grandiosity of the allegations is matched only by their vagueness.  I can only say that, in my professional opinion, the complaint is very poorly drafted and provides the parties, and the reader virtually no information about what bad acts are being alleged, who did them, and how the parties worked together for the alleged conspiracy.  The allegations against the law firm are laughably bad.

It is also interesting, to say the least, that the lawsuit was filed by Ms. Polgar and not Mr. Truong.  Given that all the comments about Mr. Truong, one would expect him to be the plaintiff, or at the very least, one of two plaintiffs.  For the action to be filed on her behalf only is curious. 

The next major development was the amendment of the California action by USCF and Hough to specifically name Gregory Alexander and Susan Polgar as defendants.  Alexander had been the webmaster of the Chess Discussion forums. Apparently, the documents in response to the USCF subpoenas led them to Alexander as the user of the IP addresses used to access Hough's email account.

Both the Texas and California actions have been removed to Federal Court.

Lastly, USCF has filed an action in Illinois to remove Polgar and Truong from the board.  The filing contains documents linking Truong to IP addresses used to post the FSS posts.  As far as I know, there have been no further developments in the Illinois actions.

Most of the Defendants have filed Motions to Dismiss in the Texas lawsuits.  Polgar has requested leave to file a counter-claim in the California action.  Gregory Alexander is representing himself in the San Francisco suit.  He has moved to dismiss the action against him.  In his motions he has made several admissions that may well prove to be highly embarrassing later.


  1. His argument about subpoenas to various ISPs, in essence, admit that he has used the IP addresses at issue.

    Also, his evasive response about the USCF-said blog, strongly suggests that he, in fact, created the blog.

  2. Evasive responses = admissions?

    Wow! A brand new definition of words, never before seen on land, sea, or sky! Someone alert the dictionaries!