Where Was UFO Watchdog.com?
A classic UFO Watchdog Article (c) by Royce Myers, III
Those five words started it all. On January 31st, 2003, I received an e-mail from a UFOWATCHDOG.COM reader saying the website was offline. I really didn't think much of it, other than the webhost might be doing some maintenance work of some sort, maybe it was a glitch, perhaps a problem with some ISP. Whatever.
I'd had so much more on my mind at the time. The website being down wasn't really a problem since I hadn't been doing too much work on it, other than updating the news section and an addition here and there. I had been working on a follow-up to both The Reed UFO Fraud and the investigation into Sean David Morton. But I really hadn't been doing very much at all and was losing my interest in the field all together. Recent events had me seriously considering a long, if not permanent hiatus from the world of UFOs. I had all but made the decision that I would take that hiatus and shut down the website. That was until the following Sunday, February 2nd, 2003 when I looked into my e-mail box and found a flood of e-mails about the website being down.
A short time later, I decided to call my webhost and asked what was going on. The webhost told me, something along the lines of, 'Well, Sean Morton is suing you for a million-dollars.' I thought, 'Yeah, that's pretty funny. Good one.' The only problem was that it wasn't a joke. Indeed, Mr.Morton had filed a one-million dollar lawsuit against me for defamation, also known as slander or libel.
The webhost told me he decided to shut down the website until more could be learned. I agreed that it would be best to have the website down until I had time to consult an attorney. The other issue was that my webhost had also been named as a defendant in the lawsuit. I couldn't figure that one out considering he had absolutely nothing to do with UFOWATCHDOG.COM, other than being on the receiving end of a check for providing the webhosting service for the site.
I had been receiving e-mails from a few people about Mr.Morton allegedly being in the process of suing me for some time and that he had some "choice words" for me. Several months ago I sent Mr.Morton an e-mail asking if he was going to sue me and reminded him he'd had nearly two years to comment on UFOWATCHDOG.COM's investigation...
----- Original Message -----
From: "THE WATCHDOG"
Sent: Monday, September 30, 2002 5:07 PM
Subject: Fw: Sean David Morton...R#1
(To no surprise, Mr.Morton didn't respond as he had in the past. This appeared to be his standard mode of operation when confronted.)
Sure would like to hear more about your lawsuit against me and any "choice words" you have about me. You've been aware of my website for some time now, have been invited to comment and have had ample opportunity to respond. Once again, you're free to directly respond to any information on my website pertaining to you and/or your claims.
Royce J. Myers III
"Don't Trip On Your Open Mind"
With the website down, not being given any notice of a lawsuit, Mr.Morton never having commented on the website, Mr.Morton never asking for a retraction and never trying to prove any of his claims, and having no idea what grounds Mr.Morton had for filing the lawsuit, I just had to wait until the summons for the lawsuit found its way into my mailbox, as it had my webhost.
I received the summons a few days later, but it wasn't at my mailbox. I was personally served at work by some process server in cowboy boots, a flannel shirt, blue jeans and a NASCAR baseball cap. He was less than friendly, but I thanked the process server anyway. I left thinking how much money had Mr.Morton just wasted in sending someone to serve me personally when he could have just mailed the summons. In the end, process servers and lawyers are the only ones that really win in any lawsuit.
I read through the complaint and laughed. Only in America could an idiot you've exposed try to sue you for one-million dollars on a bogus defamation charge. To anyone else, the complaint might have been intimidating. It was thick, nearly 130 pages long. Quantity does not equal quality, and indeed this was the case with Mr.Morton's complaint since 98% of it was nothing but copies of pages from my website that had been included as "exhibits" for the court.
But my confidence in both what I had published and our civil court system was very strong. My confidence in finding a good lawyer was not, especially since the lawsuit was filed in California and I live in Oregon. Where would I find an attorney willing to represent an independent investigative journalist with a mediocre website?
Enter Carol A. Sobel, attorney at law. A prominent attorney in the Los Angeles area, Sobel has enjoyed a successful 25 year career as a lawyer. Her legal prowess has spawned a number of courtroom victories and her no non-sense approach to defending the rights of her clients has made her an extremely successful lawyer. An adversary of the kind that any lawyer going up against Sobel without an ironclad case would avoid at any cost - that is, if they had any common sense or a mere concept of what true fear meant.
Sobel is very prompt, only interested in solid facts. She lets you know exactly what you're up against and what your options are. She also makes it clear of what she expects of her clients. Her recipe for legal pie doesn't include a sugar topping. But in this case, my slice of legal pie had plenty of whipped cream on it.
A few days after having a phone conference with Sobel, she filed a motion with the court along with my sworn declaration, a declaration in which I had no problem in letting it be known I was indeed the author of the website Mr.Morton alleged to have "suffered hurt feelings" over to the tune of one-million dollars.
As Sobel would do, I'll just get to the point: Mr.Morton had his day in court and he lost. All he had to do was prove a single libelous statement in court and he would have made his case. Instead, the judge threw the lawsuit out and ordered Mr.Morton to pay my attorney fees. UFOWATCHDOG.COM had been vindicated and Mr.Morton could not prove his claims...again.
I'm sure that Mr.Morton's version of the story will be that some kind of ultra-conspiracy was at work against him, or there was some legal maneuvering that fooled the judge, or perhaps he'll spin tales of how the legal system in America is failing and his loss in court is somehow proof. However, the simple truth of the matter is this: Mr.Morton couldn't prove his claims in a court of law when given the chance, a chance he created. An opportunity for him to publicly silence his critics. What's even more ironic is that Mr.Morton's alleged psychic gifts or his so-called 'spiritual remote viewing' skills didn't give him the ability to foresee his defeat in court. I love irony.With that, UFOWATCHDOG.COM is now back online with an updated and revamped edition of its investigation into Sean David Morton, The Shameless Psychic and His Prophecy of Lies. I'd like to take this opportunity to give my most sincere thanks and my gratitude to Carol A. Sobel, a lawyer that anyone on the receiving end of a lawsuit will be blessed to have representing them. Carol A. Sobel is the person responsible for winning this lawsuit and defending the rights of not only UFOWATCHDOG.COM, but the rights of investigative journalists everywhere. Thank you Carol! I'd also like to thank all of those people out there that offered their support and assistance. Thank you for reading and supporting UFOWATCHDOG.COM and its efforts.
Royce J. Myers III
"Don't Trip On Your Open Mind"
PS: Since this is a matter of public record, documents can be obtained in person by visiting:
Dept. E 825 Maple Avenue
Torrance, California 90503-5058
Ask for information on Case No.YC045367. Please keep in mind that the court does charge for these documents.
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