Well, this would be the time and place where I would normally be publishing the next installment of the Ohmygod saga. However, earlier this week I received the letter below both at home and via email. I am not entirely sure if it is legitimate, but until I find out, I have decided that it would be best if I discontinued the Ohmygod story.
If this is indeed a “real” letter, there are several aspects that are unclear; are there any lawyers out there who might want to lend a little advice?
I had considered turning the whole story into a book and look to get it published, but this certainly throws the proverbial wrench into the works.
For those of you interested in reading the rest of the story, I am considering sending it out by email, but I am not sure if that would incur any further aggravation from this lawyer in Toronto. If you want to be put on that list, just leave a comment below (but do not include your email–that is already included when you registered to comment on WordPress).
The whole thing has me a bit spooked and has my wife stressed to the point that she wants me to shut the whole blog down (she tends to over-react a bit).
Here is the letter I received. Let me know what you think and any advice is greatly appreciated. (Just to be safe, I blocked out most of his name below, but I did Google him, and he is indeed a lawyer in Toronto that specializes in defamation. I have placed a call to his office, but he was out of town at the time and the person with whom I spoke promised he would get back to me by this Monday.)
Mr. Jeffrey M. Kralik
Philadelphia, PA 19130
Dear Mr. Kralik:
This law firm represents XXXXXXXXXX. If you are represented by legal counsel, please direct this letter to your attorney immediately and have your attorney notify us of such representation.
You are hereby directed to
CEASE AND DESIST ALL DEFAMATION OF
XXXXXXXXXX’S CHARACTER AND REPUTATION.
XXXXXXXXXX is an educated, respected professional in the community. He has spent years serving the community in his profession and building a positive reputation. XXXXXXXXXX has learned that you have engaged in spreading false, destructive, and defamatory rumors about him on your website, thedrunkencyclist.com (hereby referred to as “your website”).
Under Ontario law, it is unlawful to engage in defamation of another’s character and reputation. Defamation consists of
(1) a statement that tends to injure reputation;
(2) communicated to another; and
(3) that the speaker knew or should have known was false.
Your defamatory statements involved numerous situations and comments concerning our client and were presented as facts in numerous “chapters” of your “Ohmygod” series published on your website.
Accordingly, we demand that you (A) immediately cease and desist your unlawful defamation of XXXXXXXXXX (B) immediately remove all previous published references to XXXXXXXXXX and (C) provide us with prompt written assurance within ten (10) days that you will cease and desist from further defamation of XXXXXXXXXX’s character and reputation.
If you do not comply with this cease and desist demand within this time period, XXXXXXXXXX is entitled to seek monetary damages and equitable relief for your defamation. In the event you fail to meet this demand, please be advised that XXXXXXXXXX has asked us to communicate to you that he will pursue all available legal remedies, including seeking monetary damages, injunctive relief, and an order that you pay court costs and attorney’s fees. Your liability and exposure under such legal action could be considerable.
Before taking these steps, however, my client wished to give you one opportunity to discontinue your illegal conduct by complying with this demand within ten (10) days. Accordingly, please sign and return the attached Defamation Settlement Agreement within ten (10) days to
North York, Ontario M2N 6S6
I recommend that you consult with an attorney regarding this matter. If you or your attorney have any questions, please contact me directly.