Thursday, December 9, 2010

Letter from Scott McWilliam's lawyer

Following the thread on Rebelscum, Scott McWilliams issued a legal threat to Rebelscum's owner, Philip Wise, and to Chris Fawcett and Chris Georgoulias, who made some initial posts about the scandal. On receipt of the letter, Philip called Scott's attorney and left a message to return his call, but the attorney never returned the call. The legal letter is attached here:

Some observations about the letter:

1. In the fourth sentence, "Scott's attorney" confuses the concept of "libel" with the term "liable", a rookie mistake that even the layperson with cursory understanding of legal concepts would not make. Suing someone "for liable" is analogous to saying a prosecutor is going to "indict someone for guilty".
2. The letter makes a number of unsupported assertions such as "the statements are unfounded..." and "you have also failed to mention in this post that you are not an expert..." without explanation.
3. For a legal letter, there is a lot of informal language that is imprecise, e.g. "you have a thread on" (not clear as to actions/involvement), "before the legal system becomes involved" (veiled threat, but what the hell does that mean? isn't the legal system already involved?), and "I have no issues bringing the courts into this matter" (another imprecise threat without specific consequence)
4. The footer on the stationery suggests that the law firm where Alec Weber practices specializes in worker's comp, wrongful death, DUI, traffic tickets, crimes, and "personel injury" (sic). I'm not aware of "personel" injury as a specialty of law, but one could interpret it as meaning "personal injury law" or a misspelling of the word "personnel". Either way, it's wrong, and I'm surprised for something standard like the law firm's letterhead, that such an embarrassing error would be left uncorrected. Furthermore, it doesn't appear the law firm specializes in libel, defamation, slander, or fraud, so Scott may not have picked the top legal team for the job. He certainly didn't pick the spelling bee champ or the valedictorian at his law school.
5. It is odd that Scott's "attorney" did not return Philip Wise's call. I'm no legal expert but I would expect that a response to a legal threat would be a followed up by the attorney.

My impression reading this letter is that since it's lacking supporting facts on the allegations and since Scott has avoided public comment, that this is more an attempt to silence critics rather than address unjust accusations via threat of a civil lawsuit.

With that said, I welcome Alec Weber or Scott McWilliams to clarify any of these points which I'll happily post on this blog. If Scott wishes to silence this blog via legal threat or sue me for "liable" or "personel injury" my mailing address is:

Gus Lopez
1111 E. Madison St. PMB 256
Seattle, WA 98122


  1. Gus, if you are not a leading authority on Star Wars toys, what with your book on the subject and the Star Wars Collector's Archive, which has been around about as long as the Internet, who does qualify? I'll bet you could get Steve Sansweet to vouch for you in the matter.

  2. It looks like Alec Weber had been practicing law a grand total of 1 month when he sent you this letter:

    When you care enough to send the very best...

  3. If legal consultants can get paid significant dollars for their services, perhaps I could rent myself out as a writing consultant for such orthographically challenged barristers. :)

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. This letter appears to be as authentic as some of the items in question. In fact, it's far less convincing.

  6. I'm not surprised that Scott M's lawyer didn't return the phone call. Lawyers generally don't like to discuss matters by phone when the alternatives (a letter or email) make easier contributions in the event of litigation. But this goes even more so for green lawyers who lack the experience or confidence to argue a matter on the phone with an actual person.