I assume you all remember Rachel Nunes’s 2014 epic collision with a plagiarist. I recently was in touch with her for an update:
Most of the major details of who committed this crime and her resultant barmy attempts to coverup-slash-intimidate the truth have been public for a few months now. What’s not as widely known is what it takes to go beyond public shaming. In other words: the legal system. How did you find a lawyer and what is your lawyer’s usual specialty?
I found my attorney through another attorney who contacted me on Goodreads. She was helping me get the books off Goodreads and was watching for negative reviews put out by Rushton under her aliases. She was also instrumental in tracking down my copyright. Clinton Duke works at her law firm, and she recommended him. His specialty is copyright, patents, and litigation.
But unfortunately, he estimates 30,00 to 120,000 more to resolve the entire case, and I don’t have that kind of money. So at this point, I’m considering using him more as a consultant, which would still cost thousands, but would help me control the costs a little better because right now they are threatening to bury me. I’ve put out queries about other options, but no attorney has stepped up to the plate to do this at reduce cost (and really, why should they?) because they don’t expect to ever receive money from Rushton. (They are completely okay with me going into debt for it, though, lol.) Honestly, I’m not sure where to go at this point, but I am absolutely proceeding. We are entering discovery and I am working now with a few people to come up with a plan. I have an appointment with another attorney in a week to get his take on the case.
I wish I knew how to find more support from people or from law enforcement, but unless she starts shooting at me or I commit suicide or something, people have other more pressing things to support and think about. Again, I don’t blame anyone. I’m very grateful for the handful of authors I know who have been supportive, and others I don’t know who have come forward. I am way short of what I will need to finish this case, and I think it says something very telling about the current legal system where good folks have to mortgage their entire future to stop something that is supposedly against the law to begin with.
For me it’s never over. For instance, I spent countless hours this past week gather stuff for the case, and on Wednesday when I received another three thousand dollar bill from the attorney, it kind of ruined the whole season, you know? The impact on my family continues.
But my motto is upward and onward, so I’m focusing on that, but I will be very grateful when it’s all behind me.
To help Rachel with her ongoing expenses, click here.
8 thoughts on “Paying for [another’s] plagiarism”
What a nightmare scenario for Rachel.
Rachel sent me a followup:
I might also point out that a litigator in the MoLit community saw this post and has signed on to help.
Why am I being coy? It’s AMV’s own SP Bailey.
::fist bumps Shawn::
And that’s a very interesting follow-up Rachel. The whole idea of using clean romance as a ground for acquiring work to plagiarize, spice up and sell is diabolically pseudo-genius.
I chatted with Shawn this morning and we’re looking into having him pursue this. I am so grateful to Eric for contacting me in the first place, and for Shawn for trying to help. He brought up several things in our discussion I hadn’t even thought of, and he certainly has the drive and knowledge to take this case to a jury trial. We’re looking into logistics now, and I’ll let you guys know if it’s a go. Thank you!
Rachel, I wish I had more to put into supporting you, either in terms of expertise or financially. I’ll keep you in my prayers.
It’s a strange legal system we have, where certain kinds of crimes rely (essentially) on private pursuit of justice in order for justice to be served. It’s also disconcerting that costs have wound up higher than prior estimates. Shouldn’t the person who made the incorrect estimate have to cover at least some of the cost of that?
I’m hopeful that Rachel’s nightmare will result in some blazed trails for further victims. Onward, onward, pioneer.
Rachels’ update re Shawn: http://rachelannnunes.blogspot.com/2015/02/attorney-shawn-p-bailey-takes-over.html