If I had accused someone of saying something about me that wasn’t true, and I went through the process of suing them for libel, I would want to have my day in court.
I would want to present my evidence to clearly show that what the person had said was wrong. In short, I would want to set the record straight and let the truth – in its full glory, shine like a beacon for the world to see.
That’s me. Plain and simple. You make a claim, you stand by it and follow it through.
Unfortunately SciQuest, which is a multi-million dollar company with a significant war chest, is attempting to use the law to deprive me of my right to present a defense. A defense that will clearly demonstrate the fairness and accuracy of my coverage.
Here is what is happening.
I filed a motion for a change in venue from Ontario, the Province in which the suit was originally filed, to another jurisdiction. My motivation for pursuing this was simple. Besides the fact that SciQuest is based in North Carolina, and I both live and work out of Quebec, it was my hope that with the change to another jurisdiction I would amongst other things, be able to protect my many sources for the series of posts I had written about SciQuest.
Unfortunately, the motion was lost, and the trial is to proceed in Ontario. As an aside, I of course have no plans of giving up my sources, although there has been some indication that if push comes to shove, some would be willing to come forward.
However, and because my motion was not granted, I was hit with SciQuest’s legal fees. The total – and this does not include the legal fees for my own lawyers, is $22,000. I don’t have $22,000.
So what does SciQuest do? They file a motion to deprive me of my right to present a defence. In other words, and regardless of the fact that I have told the the truth and can prove it, if SciQuest is successful there will be no trial.
Adding insult to injury, and in the absence of my defence, the courts could award SciQuest damages for a defamation that never happened.
Think about this last point for a moment.
I can provide clear cut proof that supports what I have written including, but not limited to:
- audio/video recordings of both SciQuest’s CEO and CFO confirming problems with their technology,
- lost accounts such as Ohio and a myriad of others, that were verified through actual client documents, and company documents provided to me by SciQuest insiders.
Yet despite this evidence, as well as other critical information, there is a risk that it might never see the light of day in a court of law, simply because my bank account isn’t as deep as SciQuest’s.
Putting aside for the moment the inherent problems with a judicial system in which the pursuit of truth and justice are limited to those with big wallets, I have to wonder why SciQuest is afraid to go to court?
They initially came on like gangbusters, first with a threatening letter, which was then followed by a SLAPP document warning me that a lawsuit was imminent if I didn’t take down all posts. When I refused to budge on either, they sued me. Despite their repeated rejection of my offers to give them the opportunity to set the record straight by way of a radio interview or blog post, one would reasonably think they would be eager to have their day in court, so that “the truth” would come out.
I am certainly not afraid of the truth. Why is SciQuest?
I will leave you to answer that question for yourself. In the meantime, I take full ownership for everything that I have written and continue to stand by the veracity of my coverage. The fact that I could lose this battle not because the facts would show me wrong, but as a result of a bank deficiency, is a problem with which we should all be concerned.
You can of course support my efforts to have the truth heard, through making an anonymous donation using the following link: https://www.gofundme.com/bloggerfund
You can follow my coverage of this story on Twitter using the hashtag #SQSLAPP.