Zak Smith is suing his accusers

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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I'm sorry, but this is speculation. None of us knows for certain what happened. So you're making an assumption, and arguing that an accused should have no recourse, even if they were falsely accused. All you're doing is guessing. Just like the people who were certain that Chris Hardwick committed sexual assault when those accusations first game out.

It might be possible Zak did these things. It might even be probable. But unless it's certain without a shred of doubt with evidence, you can't deny him (or any accused) the right to legal recourse to defend him/her/themselves. No matter what your (general you) personal feelings are. That's not how the legal system is supposed to work.

Edit and no, I am not OK with victims being attacked again. I'd ask you to refrain from such accusations about my position or motives. I actually volunteer work in domestic violence groups, so I take this very seriously, and do not appreciate your implication that I'm OK with victims being continued to be victimized. All I'm arguing is that even accused are afforded some legal rights, and unless you were there and saw firsthand yourself, neither you or I know exactly what happened. And we don't deny rights based on our personal feelings about that person. These accusations are very serious, and yes, the victims should be given full attention and taken seriously. But that doesn't mean anyone accused has no rights, or the people you personally don't like shouldn't have rights.
Who is denying him anything? Who is proposing changes to the legal system?

We all just sitting here judging the piece of garbage.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Who is denying him anything? Who is proposing changes to the legal system?

We all just sitting here judging the piece of garbage.
Gradine did, with the implication that Zak shouldn't be allowed to file a lawsuit because they just know he did it, and therefore any legal attempt by Zak to defend himself is a further attack on the victims.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Gradine did, with the implication that Zak shouldn't be allowed to file a lawsuit because they just know he did it, and therefore any legal attempt by Zak to defend himself is a further attack on the victims.
No, they judged him for his actions.

Those are different things.
 

Gradine

Polymorphed Self
In any case, please make sure to donate what you can. We cannot allow the worst members of our community to get away with silencing their victims.

From the OP:
 
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Sacrosanct

Legend
In any case, please make sure to donate what you can. We cannot allow the worst members of our community to get away with silencing their victims.

Thank you for the link. Donation submitted. IMO, the best way to handle this isn't to try to prevent or deny or attack an accused from taking legal recourse, but to support the side you find has more credibility. Also, let Zak take this to court, because then the truth will come out for all to see either way. And if he's a liar, then Mandy can counter sue
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest
Gradine did, with the implication that Zak shouldn't be allowed to file a lawsuit because they just know he did it, and therefore any legal attempt by Zak to defend himself is a further attack on the victims.
Well that's the thing isn't it? Any attempt by ZakS to defend himself by suing, if he did perpetrate what Mandy and others are accusing him of, is, by definition, a further attack on the victims. And, as you pointed out, since neither we nor any of the (eventually to be picked) jurors were there, there's no way to establish any kind of absolute truth of the matter. The jurors have to weigh exactly what we've been weighing - the testimony of those making the accusation. With all the pearl clutching over (rare) false accusations, you should be able to see exactly why abusers like ZakS get away with their abuse - it's very easy to make it hard for victims to accuse their abuser.
There's a reasonably good chance ZakS could win a defamation lawsuit in Canada even if the jurors believe the accusations because, unlike in the US, finding of fact doesn't seem to immunize the defendant of defaming the plaintiff. And that probably means he gets what he wants - his pound of flesh from his accusers for daring to stand up and accuse him.
 

hawkeyefan

Explorer
For every Cris Hardwick, there are 20 Zak Smiths.

Yes, false accusations do happen at times. Yes, people deserve a fair chance at being believed.

Cris Hardwick didn't have a history of abuse accusations. He didn't have the enmity of a good portion of his industry because he was abrasive, rude, and a general dooshbag in all his dealings.

Zak is very likely being judged just as much for his overall attitude and abrasiveness as he is for the abuse accusations. Perhaps if he hadn't burned every bridge he crossed and hadn't rubbed everyone he dealt with the wrong way, maybe more people would be willing to believe him?

I mean, he seems to already have been given a good deal of benefit of the doubt since it took multiple accusations for everything to finally catch up to him. The fact that accusations have continued to pile up and he's continued to be a general dick online.....seems like a strong enough reason to doubt him.

Again, the problem is that we will never have the GUILTY VERDICT that so many are expecting as a pre-requisite to taking a side. It won't happen. So what we have to do is look at what information is available, and then decide accordingly.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Well that's the thing isn't it? Any attempt by ZakS to defend himself by suing, if he did perpetrate what Mandy and others are accusing him of, is, by definition, a further attack on the victims. And, as you pointed out, since neither we nor any of the (eventually to be picked) jurors were there, there's no way to establish any kind of absolute truth of the matter. The jurors have to weigh exactly what we've been weighing - the testimony of those making the accusation. With all the pearl clutching over (rare) false accusations, you should be able to see exactly why abusers like ZakS get away with their abuse - it's very easy to make it hard for victims to accuse their abuser.
There's a reasonably good chance ZakS could win a defamation lawsuit in Canada even if the jurors believe the accusations because, unlike in the US, finding of fact doesn't seem to immunize the defendant of defaming the plaintiff. And that probably means he gets what he wants - his pound of flesh from his accusers for daring to stand up and accuse him.
Which is why the victims can counter sue for further emotional damage and suffering. Just because false allegations are rare, doesn't mean that all accused should be denied their legal rights. Tell that to Chris Hardwick. Or Brian Banks. People were certain they committed the crimes they were accused of. Until they were cleared...

I fully agree that accusers should be taken seriously, and not attacked like Blassey Ford was in the Kavanaugh hearings. And it's a horrible shame that those types of attacks are way too frequent. And we absolutely should be protecting victims when we can. But the reality is that not every single case is a true accusation. My family is mixed race. I can tell you with certainty that minories, especially black men, are falsely accused of things all the time. Often by the police themselves. Or the parents of a white girl who didn't want her dating a black guy. Is your argument that those people accused should just shut up and take it, whatever the punishment is up to including prison time, because false accusations are rare? Hate to break it to you, but that poor black kid doesn't have Loeb and Leob around to do an investigation and clear their name.
 

Bardic Dave

Explorer
There's a reasonably good chance ZakS could win a defamation lawsuit in Canada even if the jurors believe the accusations because, unlike in the US, finding of fact doesn't seem to immunize the defendant of defaming the plaintiff.
I'm 99% certain you are misstating Canadian law. It's been a few years since law school, but as far as I can recall telling the truth is an absolute defence against defamation.

I believe the real difference between defamation in most Canadian jurisdictions and most American jurisdictions is the reverse onus. In the U.S., the onus to show that a statement is NOT truthful always lies with the plaintiff. In Canada, if the plaintiff can establish the elements of defamation the onus shifts to the defendant to prove that their statement WAS actually truthful.

This reverse onus has been heavily criticized because it brings a whiff of "guilty until proven innocent" into defamation suits. Many people argue that it would be more fair to just make "not truthful or reckless disregard for the truth" an element of the offence. Instead, we've got "truthful, or earnestly believed it to be truthful" as a defence, which is why the onus shifts. It's just a different way of framing the question, but it makes a real difference in outcomes.

EDIT: To add a little more context, it's relatively easy to establish that a statement is prima-facie defamatory. If person A says person B sexually assaulted them, it's an attack on person B's character and thus prima facie defamatory (regardless of whether the statement is true or not). What's much harder to establish is whether the sexual assault actually took place. In a defamation suit in the U.S., the heavy lifting of proving the truth of the matter lies with the alleged sexual assaulter, whereas in Canada it lies with the alleged victim. So in Canada, unless person A can prove that person B sexually assaulted them, they are likely to lose the defamation suit. You can see why many people (myself included) find this problematic.
 
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Sacrosanct

Legend
The victims are allowed to counter-sue.

But remember that legal costs are a thing. If they are going to crowdfunding for defense, they probably don't have the funds for a counter-suit.
True. Which is why I donated to Mandy. And why I suspect her fundraising will far outpace Zaks. If he's going to use crowdsourced funding, so can she. And I bet she will do better in that regard. So what I see happening is that Zak drops the suit (showing his true colors), and Mandy gets a decent sum from supporters for having to deal with it.
 

lowkey13

I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
The victims are allowed to counter-sue.

But remember that legal costs are a thing. If they are going to crowdfunding for defense, they probably don't have the funds for a counter-suit.
Well, one thing about that.

As a general rule (in the United States, again, other countries vary, but this is standard in many common law countries) there are strong prohibitions against "meta litigation."

That is to say- the basis for a lawsuit, cannot be a lawsuit (or the activities surrounding a lawsuit). Otherwise you have a never-ending spiral of litigation.

So while there are a few, small, carefully crafted exceptions (spoliation, abuse of process, malicious prosecution, and so on), the general rule is you cannot bootstrap someone's lawsuit against you into a countersuit.
 

BookBarbarian

Expert Long Rester
guess Person A either goes quiet trying to cope with the detrimental things or Person A pushes back. Can't think of anything else they could do?
(continuing my analogy from earlier) Do what any small business that gets a undeserved bad review does. Choose to make your brand above reproach.

Make your interactions with costumers, vendors, partners, peers as honest, transparent, and pleasant as possible so that if your conduct is called into question you have a backlog of others you have interacted with to say "This is not how this person interacted with me" (not in a court of law, but in the court of public opinion, social media etc) just like the other ex significant others of Chris Hardwick did.

After all as it has been said many times here already, the system is set up to favor the accused anyway.
 

aramis erak

Adventurer
You reaize the basic difference, of course?

In the McCarthy Era, and during the Satanic panic, nobody had actually done anything wrong. There were no Communist agents. There were no Satan worshipers.
In both cases, there WERE a few.

Every satanist I've known (about a dozen) played D&D in high school and/or college. Not all of them did so during the height of the "satanic panic"... because they weren't old enough... but there were Satan-worshippers playing D&D in the period.

And many communist agents were convicted ... including the Rosenbergs.¹

You chose your exemplars poorly.

¹: https://fas.org/sgp/library/spies.pdf
 
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