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Old February 2nd 09, 02:51 AM posted to rec.games.chess.politics
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First recorded activity by ChessBanter: Feb 2009
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Default What's going on?

The past 30 days of USCF Lawsuit Land has had many turns and twists.
One time seeming allies have either gone silent to each others'
defense or have turned hyena like onto one another.

We shall begin with events that have transpired over the past few
days.

First we hear that the USCF, Executive Board members Bauer, Hough,
Berry, and Goichberg, and USCF ED Hall, have separate counsel from the
other defendants of Chess Magnet School, Continental Chess
Association, Hal Bogner, Brian Mottershead, and Brian Lafferty.

Why the separation? Could it be that the USCF is looking at a
sacrificial offering of these individuals and organizations (though it
is strange because CCA is owned by Goichberg) in return to having the
Lubbock lawsuit dropped in return? This separation would allow Polgar
to drop the USCF from incurring any further costs in the litigation of
the suit. A supporting theory here is the attacks made between
Mottershead and Goichberg today on the USCF Issues Forums.

Below is the quoted text of Mottershead and the Goichberg responses:

---------------------------

[Mottershead comment begin]

Mark, the main problem with your long post, which is very far from the
first you have made on this subject, is that it assumes that IP
addresses are private data, similar to credit card numbers, which must
be treated sensitively so that they don't become public knowledge.
You assume that IP addresses are included with the information that
the Terms of Use say will treated by the USCF as private.

They aren't. IP addresses are not even as private as license plate
numbers on cars. Anybody can learn your car license plate number
by simply observing you driving around, and license plate numbers are
stored in many relatively accessible places. IP addresses are
similar, only even less private.

This has all been debated before, something of which give no hint.

The real question is, why are you so intent after all that is happened
to argue that the USCF and all its volunteers had a duty to keep it a
secret that the IP addresses on Truong's USCF forum posts matched the
IP addresses on his Fake Sam Sloan Usenet posts?

As a volunteer, I don't believe I had any such duty, either as a
result of the USCF Terms of Use policy, or through the confidentiality
document that I signed.

As for regrets, I did underestimate the negative reaction by people to
having their IP addresses exposed. As I said, I think that reaction
was in most cases inappropriate and founded on misunderstanding of how
the Internet works. Nevertheless if I had been able to predict the
reaction, I might not have done that. I did reverse that decision on
my own initiative when it became clear that there was strong
opposition to it.

The only other thing that I regret is that I did not give Goichberg a
bit longer to consider his position and act privately, after he was
initially so reluctant to act publicly on the evidence that Truong was
the Fake Sam Sloan. I have since learned that Goichberg dithers
and hesitates on many things. It seems to be unduly important to him
to avoid conflict, and I don't find him very forthright. I think his
heart is usually in the right place, and he often gets to the right
place eventually. But he much prefers to work slowly and indirectly,
and it takes him a long time.

[Mottershead comment end]

[Goichberg response begin]

I don't understand where you get the impression that I tend to "dither
and hesitate." In the case of the FSS evidence, I received a phone
call from Bogner informing me that you had proof that Truong was the
fake Sloan. How would you expect a USCF leader to respond to this-
"Great, why don't you post what you have found on the internet"? I
don't think many people, especially not having seen the evidence or
any expert opinion regarding it, would have reacted that way.

My first reaction was that if you really had conclusive proof, the EB
and ED would decide what to do, but what if your proof was not so
convincing and Truong sued USCF for damage to his reputation? So of
course, I recommended through Bogner that you not go public.

[Goichberg response end]

[Mottershead comment begin]

In this case, a long time is what it took for Goichberg and the EB to
act upon the contents of the Mottershead Report. For example, after
promising an expert report, there was none. But, prodded by lawsuits
and further egregious misconduct by Truong (and eventually by Polgar)
he and the rest of the EB Legal Committee did eventually start taking
a series of reasonable actions on the issue. I think the other
Board members, the ED, and the lawyers probably had a big role in
pushing Goichberg to action. And it was telling that Goichberg did
not speak on this issue at the meeting in Dallas.

[Mottershead comment end]

[Goichberg response begin]

You have quite a false impression here too. It was not up to me to
act, it was up to the EB. And at the time that the EB was being
chided on this forum for allegedly being too slow to act, we were
simply following the advice of our attorneys. We did say we would do
an expert report and then changed our mind, but that was because our
attorneys advised that there was a better course of action.

The idea that "the other board members, the ED, and the lawyers
probably had a big role in pushing Goichberg to action" is wrong in
several ways.

You seem to misunderstand the role of the USCF President. When we
took action it was not the President taking it, but rather the board.
So if you talk about the President pushing or not pushing the board
that might make sense, but the board pushing or not pushing the
President is nonsense. If the board wants the President to do
something they need only to vote to make it USCF policy, and the
President's duty is to represent USCF in implementing that policy.

None of the current four members of the current USCF EB legal
subcommittee has "pushed" any of the others into supporting any of our
actions, nor have our lawyers "pushed" any of us. All four of us have
been in solid agreement throughout that USCF must do what is right,
cannot overlook improper conduct by board members, and must vigorously
defend itself against attack.

I did not speak on the Truong issue in Dallas because the Truong side
had accused me of improperly "authorizing" your investigation and
asked me to step down from the board's legal subcommittee. While I
believe that request to be without merit, I did not want to contribute
to any impression some delegates might have had that I supported the
removal of Truong for political reasons, and I trusted that the
delegates would make the right decision without my participation, so I
decided that unless asked a question, I would stay out of the debate.
This was a mistake and I now feel that had I participated and pointed
out some facts that the body was overlooking, the outcome might have
been different.

[Goichberg response end]

[Mottershead comment begin]

So, if I had given him more time, I reckon Goichberg probably would
not have done anything with it. Someone would have leaked the
information, and the USCF would have been in the same place it has
ended up. Goichberg would have dithered; Truong and Polgar would have
postured and been unyielding; and the final outcome would have been
the same. But I would be happier in looking back at my decisions in
September 2007, if those actions had been taken instead in October or
November, and I had not pre-empted Goichberg and the EB quite so
soon. There was perhaps a small chance to arrive at a solution out
of the public eye, and that was lost. Small though that chance was,
it might have been better, and certainly less expensive, than the
bitter battle that is now consuming the USCF. I regret that we won't
ever know now what might have happened if Goichberg and the EB had had
a few more weeks to act before my actions preempted them.

[Mottershead comment end]

[Goichberg response begin]

Other than the "dither" nonsense you are substantially right here. We
don't know what would have happened if you had kept this matter
private, but one possibility is that Truong, given the opportunity to
resign while avoiding a lot of bad publicity, might have done so.

Regarding the assumption many seem to have that everything with USCF
is "leaked," it should be pointed out that the Ethics Committee
charges against an EB member (Tanner) were not "leaked" for many
months while the committee deliberated, and the situation was unknown
to the public until the committee's decision was about to be issued.
So it's far from proven that the case against Truong could not have
been kept confidential.

Bill Goichberg

[Goichberg response end]

-----------------------------------------------------

We see suddenly also the rhetoric from Brian Lafferty has become
minimal at best. He claims he is embracing his Budda nature.

Perhaps the posting here on RGCP of someone looking to file a
complaint with the bar association. Brian Lafferty is not admitted to
the PA or MA bar (nor registered) and simple calls or web searches of
those Bar Associations and the attorney licensing bodies in those
states can show that. If the NY attorney registration system is
searched for Mr. Lafferty it will display (unless the online records
are incorrect and that is possible) that his next registration was Oct
2008. We are now Feb 2009. Again it is completely possible that the
system is inaccurate. The link is - http://iapps.courts.state.ny.us/attorney/AttorneySearch.

Mr. Lafferty, according to his own resume posted on his USCF election
blog, has not practiced law in many, many years. He claims to perform
grant writing services and says he is willing to assist the USCF with
this skill of his even if he is not elected. What is stopping him now
from helping the USCF? Can Mr. Lafferty please provide references for
his grant clients? Mr. Lafferty has claimed that he can receive legal
counsel from the best at no cost to him and he can represent himself -
why does he not face pending suits instead of cowering?

Mr. Lafferty is known for threatening lawsuits but the mere prospect
of being served with one had him cowering away and not going to the
USCF Delegates meeting in Dallas. He was a delegate and resigned his
post. Of course neither did Mr. Mottershead or Mr. Bogner attend. They
were capable of throwing accusations however were not capable of
having the courage to face those that they accused, speak to delegates
to have them vote for removing Mr. Truong from his post as a duly
elected EB.

The US Attorney has already turned him away. He went after Mr. Truong
with the bankruptcy court only to be turned away there as well (and
they were not happy with him meddling where he did not belong, nor
with his terse behavior - but what do you expect from someone that was
a parking ticket judge for the majority of his legal career).

Mr. Lafferty has stated on the USCF forums that he requested the
Mottershead Report. Who else aside from the US Attorney did you
provide that report to? Perhaps the same question should be posed to
Mr. Mottershead - who was this anonymous source you sought counsel
from that you gave a copy of your infamous report to?

Mr. Lafferty also made claims that the postings on RGCP by the 'Fake
Joe Lux' and the 'Fake Dylan McClain' did not originate where the IP
addresses show them to have originated from, which was the Jersey City
Library and the NY Times building. However Mr. Mottershead, previously
claiming that the IP's cannot be faked, is now saying that they can be
faked. So which is it? And if the 'technical expert' that Mr.
Lafferty was trumping for the past year is saying the opposite, how
can faith be placed in the infamous 'Mottershead Report'. Shall the
process of showing the trail to the IP's be posted for anyone here
that wishes to check for themselves can self-validate.

Perhaps the report should be renamed the Motormouth Report. A USCF
forums poster XPLOR has stated that Mr. Mottershead maintained the
chain of custody of the data. How is that possible? Did Mr.
Mottershead create a read-only replica of all USCF forum logs, forum
database, and web server logs to ensure against data tampering? In the
USCF delegates meeting in Dallas, Mr. Mike Nolan - the IT specialist
of the USCF, stated that he has NOT been asked by USCF attorney's for
any data from any of the systems. So if Mr. Nolan did not perform
these tasks then who did? Mr. Mottershead? Mr. Bogner? Inquiring minds
want to know! It is quite evident that chain of custody has been
broken and there is no way of validating the authenticity of the
underlying data. No one is questioning the process that was followed
however even the 'expert opinions' stated that their opinions are
valid only if the underlying data was not tainted.

We will not discuss the NDA issue that Mr. Mottershead claims he did
not violate. A court will decide that. Of course I would not be
surprised if one of the reasons to separate counsel is for the USCF to
throw Mr. Mottershead under the bus and say he violated his NDA and
went against the wishes of the what the USCF President had instructed
him (see the above dialog between Mottershead and Goichberg). Perhaps
now is why Mr. Bogner is concerned that the Lubbock suit will enter
into the discovery phase - he sees the writing on the wall where he
too is being thrown under the bus along with his business and by
association his business partners (I bet they are not pleased with him
at this point!)

-----------------------------------------------------------

Let us now change our attention to actions that transpired this past
week. There was a court date in the USCF vs Polgar, Alexander, and
John Doe 1-10 lawsuit. The judge told counsel to go talk with each
other prior to getting in front of her. Huh? Why did this happen?
Something's not right.....

Wait - breaking news - the USCF Attorney popped a surprise tactic - he
requested that all parties enter into mediation with Harold Winston as
the mediator! What the heck is this? This topic has been heatedly
debated by the 'experts of the USCF forums' that mediation is not
possible unless Polgar and Truong walk away, reimburse legal fees, and
never do anything with the USCF for 10 years! We know that Polgar and
Truong have their own version of mediation.

Why would this be happening now? Is the USCF concerned that they will
not be able to prevail in the lawsuit? Is it because without the
generosity of a departed chess lover, the USCF would have no money at
this point? Or have other things transpired?

Perhaps because it has been learned that the subpeona's for records
requested by the USCF attorney were not authorized by a judge. The
judge had stated to the USCF attorney to contact those company's the
subpeona's were sent to to inform them not to comply as they were not
duly authorized.

Let us follow the events over the next month and see what else will
transpire.

A question to ask yourself - was the USCF aware of the tactics
employed by their attorney or were they kept in the dark? Should they
seek recompense from their attorney if they were not aware of these
tactics that the court has frowned upon?

--------------------------------------------------------------

Of course there is the IL lawsuit to have Polgar and Truong removed
from office. This lawsuit has been in the works at least since
September (the month after the delegates meeting) as the USCF paid a
$5000 retainer to the lawfirm. The suit was then filed only at the end
of Dec? Why the wait? Political move to see who was going to run for
the board and to discredit anyone attached to Polgar and Troung?

Service of the suit has not occurred to date. What is the length of
time for serving them? Why is Mr. Bogner stating that Polgar and
Truong are refusing service? What proof does he have of this
allegation?

---------------------------------------------------------------

What does the end game hold? USCF running out of money? USCF throwing
the others under the bus to save the federation and themselves? Only
time will tell...... The only winners so far are the lawyers.
  #2   Report Post  
Old February 3rd 09, 05:45 AM posted to rec.games.chess.politics
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First recorded activity by ChessBanter: May 2008
Posts: 451
Default What's going on?

Shorter version: "Goichberg and Mottershead now disagree on the best
way to have handled Truong's breach of fiduciary duty. Therefore,
Truong's breach of fiduciary duty may be safely ignored."

Red herring.
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