Hey, you fantastic Skepticoners,
As some of you may know, Skepticon is currently involved in some legal proceedings. Unlike Law & Order, this is going to allegedly take more than forty five minutes and some Jack McCoy magic to fix.
In short, we need dollars to pay for a lawyer to protect our dino hides.
Here’s the situation, in June of this year, Skepticon released a blog post announcing our decision to ban Richard Carrier from attending our conference (we have since taken this down). Shortly afterwards, we were served with the legal paperwork for a defamation lawsuit.
If that wasn’t fun enough, Skepticon is not the only one named in this suit. Our fearless leader, Lauren Lane, is also named. Any donations to Skepticon’s legal fund will also help her. The board of directors of Skepticon voted to take responsibility for Lauren’s portion of the legal bills, as she was acting in her capacity as a board member at the time of the blog post. Finally, there are 5 other defendants: Amy Frank-Skiba, Stephanie Zvan, The Orbit, PZ Myers, and Freethought Blogs. A Go Fund Me is in the works for those 5, and we will be publicizing it when it goes live. All the defendants are represented by the same attorney, First Amendment lawyer Marc Randazza, who is providing his services at a discount, but we are not asking him to work for free. Plus, there are thousands of dollars in “costs” for the case that don’t include legal bills, and there is no way to discount those.
Only donations made through the link below will be used for our legal bills. Any donations made through any other link will be restricted to conference and normal operating expenses. We have a separate bank account for the legal expenses, and everything will be reported separately in our financial reports.
Our bills, so far, have been covered by donations from a generous anonymous donor. Those bills were in the thousands-of-dollars range and there are more to come, which is why we’re asking you for help.
No matter how far this adventure goes, we are confident that the courts will see our actions as both lawful and reasonable, and rule in our favor. In the event that the funds raised exceed our legal bills, we will put them toward the conference. We are determined to see this through and celebrate our tenth year next fall with all of you.
With love and thanks,
PS – Don’t forget that Skepticon is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, and therefore donations may be tax deductible. Talk to your tax advisor!