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Old September 4th 08, 10:47 PM posted to rec.games.chess.politics,rec.games.chess.misc,alt.accounting,rec.games.chess.computer,misc.legal
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Default Federal Lawsuit Against Chess Officials Is Dismissed in Dispute OverOnline Messages

Federal Lawsuit Against Chess Officials Is Dismissed in Dispute Over
Online Messages

By DYLAN LOEB MCCLAIN
Published: September 4, 2008

It’s not checkmate, but it’s close.

A lawsuit in Federal District Court in Manhattan against the governing
body of chess in the United States and some of its members was
dismissed last week, but the dispute is not about to go away.

The lawsuit was filed in October by Samuel H. Sloan of the Bronx, a
former member of the executive board of the United States Chess
Federation. He alleged that Susan Polgar and her husband, Paul Truong,
had posted thousands of remarks in Mr. Sloan’s name, many obscene or
defamatory, on public Internet bulletin boards over a two-year period
in an effort to win election to the board.

Ms. Polgar and Mr. Truong were elected last year and Mr. Sloan was
defeated.

Mr. Sloan filed his lawsuit after an administrator at the federation
posted a report on the group’s internal discussion forum saying that
the person who had posted the items attributed to Mr. Sloan was almost
certainly Mr. Truong.

Mr. Truong has repeatedly denied being the author.

Mr. Sloan’s lawsuit named Ms. Polgar, Mr. Truong, other members of the
board, several of the group’s officials, the federation and Texas Tech
University, where Ms. Polgar and Mr. Truong work, as defendants.

Mr. Sloan said in his suit that Ms. Polgar and Mr. Truong broke a
federal law prohibiting using electronic means to annoy or harass
another person.

Judge Denny Chin dismissed his case last week, ruling that the court
lacked “subject matter jurisdiction.” He wrote that the Communications
Decency Act under which Mr. Sloan sued “is a criminal statute that
prohibits the making of ‘obscene or harassing’ telecommunications, but
creates no private right of action.” Neither Ms. Polgar nor Mr. Truong
has been charged with a crime.

Mr. Sloan said that he intended to appeal the decision, even though,
he said, “less than 5 percent of all appeals are successful.”

Although Mr. Sloan’s lawsuit has been derailed, the federation is
still involved in litigation.

It hired Karl S. Kronenberger, a San Francisco lawyer, to look into
claims that Mr. Truong had faked the postings. At a federation meeting
in Dallas last month, Mr. Kronenberger told the group he had concluded
that Mr. Truong was responsible, according to people at the meeting.

He also has sought to get sworn testimony from Ms. Polgar and Mr.
Truong about e-mail messages between him and members of the board
that, he says, were intercepted and posted on the Internet.

Last month, Ms. Polgar filed a lawsuit in Lubbock, Tex., against the
federation, four board members, Mr. Sloan and others involved in the
case. She claimed libel, slander and business disparagement, among
other things, and seeks $25 million in damages.

Last week, she offered to settle her lawsuit against the federation if
it would pay her $1, publicly apologize to her and Mr. Truong and stop
its investigations into the postings.

In an e-mail message, she declined to comment about the Sloan lawsuit,
referring questions to her lawyer, James L. Killion, who said, “The
suit is without merit, that seems pretty obvious.” Mr. Truong did not
respond to phone messages.

Earlier this year, Gordon Roy Parker, a former federation member,
filed a lawsuit in Pennsylvania in which he said several current and
former chess officials conspired to destroy the federation and profit
from its demise.

Bill Hall, the federation’s executive director, said the federation’s
board has not “had any discussions since the Sloan suit was
dismissed.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/04/ny...chesssuit.html
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