This is Part 6 of the “Cleaning Up the ‘Chan v. Ellis’ Mess” commentary series. If you have not read Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, and, 5, you should do that first and then come back here. Everything will make more sense to you.
Linda Ellis (Dash Poem author) and her lawyer, Elizabeth W. (Betsy) McBride, through their unwise choices wasted many people’s time, energy, and resources by forcing me and my team into the Georgia appellate process. Although many unintended benefits and priceless relationships were formed along the way through this two-year ordeal, none of this had to happen.
But the Chan v. Ellis appeal happened, it was ultimately decided by the Georgia Supreme Court Justices, and that case and decision is now part of Georgia legal history. Following the decision, one might think it is now resolved and all over. I was hoping it might but, unfortunately, the often-foolish Linda Ellis made certain declarations and took actions post-decision that were brought to my and my lawyer’s (Oscar Michelen) attention.
What people need to understand is that no matter how much Linda desperately tries to portray me in a “stalky” fashion, I can easily and objectively prove my claims and assertions all using the proper context. Linda is so foolish that she cannot see the havoc and collateral damage she has caused so many people in her efforts to smear me. She might have succeeded in creating some collateral damage for me and ELI but as time passes, she might one day see that she is being self-destructive and will have caused immeasurable harm to herself, her “employee” John W. Jolin, and her lawyer co-horts, Timothy B. McCormack and Elizabeth W. (Betsy) McBride and quite possibly even the law firm Betsy works for.
Oscar Michelen’s Cease-and-Desist Letter to Linda Ellis
But first things first. After a great deal of discussion and reflection, I am now publicly releasing Oscar Michelen’s Cease and Desist Letter (on behalf of Matthew Chan) to Linda Ellis. It was sent to Linda’s lawyer, Elizabeth W. (Betsy) McBride on April 13, 2015. We have no way of knowing for certain if or when Betsy received Oscar’s letter. He informed me that he had both emailed her and mailed a copy to her using the U.S. Postal service. As far as we know, Betsy still represents Linda in all matters between the legal dispute between me and Linda including matters following the Georgia Supreme Court decision. Hence, Oscar sent his letter to Betsy which should then be delivered or communicated to Linda.
Given that it has been two full business days with no acknowledgement of receipt or response by Betsy, I see no reason to further withhold Oscar Michelen’s Cease and Desist Letter to Linda Ellis from public viewing. It is our intention to settle once and for all the matter of her potentially defamatory language when she makes false statements of fact about me and the case. I believe Betsy is capable of clearly explaining to Linda that she is perfectly able to use the words “stalker” or “cyberstalker” in her vernacular. But as it relates to me, we now regard the style of her usage as potentially defamatory against me. Certainly, no one can make Linda do anything she does not want to but going forward she has been issued a formal, legal notice.
I have never issued a formal “cease and desist” letter through a lawyer before. This is my first time to do so. But only because Linda caused such a public, legal train-wreck that continues to cause collateral damage that I agreed to have a Cease & Desist letter written.
Cease & Desist Letter to Linda Ellis Was Not My Idea
I want it known that Oscar Michelen’s Cease and Desist Letter to Linda Ellis was not even my idea. I didn’t even push for it. Full credit goes to my friend and ELI supporter, Robert Krausankas. He read something that Linda posted online about me which irritated and bothered him. Robert then emailed me and Oscar and suggested that a “letter” needed to be sent to Betsy and Linda.
To Oscar’s credit, he quickly replied to Robert’s email and said he would get right on it. And yet, I was slow on the uptake and didn’t even understand what kind of “letter” Robert was referring to that Oscar immediately agreed to write. I had to call Robert and ask him what kind of “letter” he was referring to! And before I really had a chance to think and consider what verbiage might be in the letter, Oscar had quickly drafted and emailed me an early version of the current letter for my review. I was pleasantly surprised at what I read.
Many people seem to think I am the “instigator” of many controversial ideas. That is sometimes true. But in this case, Robert wholly initiated the idea and Oscar quickly acted upon the idea. Apparently, Oscar also became dismayed at what my supporters were emailing to Oscar. My friends and supporters were emailing him screenshots and links to webpages and videos of Linda using potentially defamatory language and making false statements of fact about me and the case. And what they emailed Oscar became a “hot mess” collection he viewed and sorted through.
Linda made factually incorrect public comments about me and actually encouraged her followers the dissemination of such false statements about me and the case. It was interesting to read her Facebook followers various responses suggesting she exercise her Second Amendment rights as well as luring me into range so that a gun might legally be used against me.
Meanwhile, I was taking a careful, methodical approach to evaluating the court exhibits and taking the time to write and directly acknowledge some of the crazy, paranoid assertions Linda made in the last two years. The Cease and Desist Letter Oscar wrote was modified several times because Linda kept adding to the list that my supporters were compiling on her about me and the case. Many of my friends and supporters wanted Oscar’s Cease and Desist letter to go out quickly. However, I felt I needed time to take careful inventory of how much and how far Linda would go during her online rampage and smear campaign of me. I asked Oscar to withhold sending the letter until I could get a good assessment of how far Linda was going to go. I also needed time to write and publish the first 5 parts of the “Cleaning Up the ‘Chan v. Ellis’ Mess” commentary series. I thought it would save Oscar a lot of time by simply having him and everyone else refer to those crucial blog posts. There was no need to recount the same explanations and discoveries more than once if it could be avoided.
While I do not want to put words into Oscar’s mouth, I think everyone plainly understands Oscar’s position (through his choice of words within the cease-and-desist letter) of this big, hot mess Linda started of which Betsy only made worse. Even when the matter has been decided and resolved, Linda continues to be a troublemaker and unnecessarily draws attention to Betsy McBride and her role of not vetting her client and her case more carefully and doing a horrendous job vetting her client’s exhibits. If Betsy is able to be objective enough and step back to look at what I uncovered with the cropped, obscured, modified, and altered exhibits contributing to the lower court’s wrong decision, she should realize Linda has caused a great deal of potential embarrassment to so many people. That list might include herself, Judge Frank Jordan, Muscogee County Superior Court, and Betsy’s law firm: Page, Scrantom, Sprouse, Tucker, Ford. Tangential to that list is the fact that Betsy’s husband, Gil McBride, is a Superior Court Judge for Muscogee County Superior Court who works alongside Judge Frank Jordan in hearing cases for the greater Columbus/Muscogee County area.
Can anyone else besides me see how this can become a big, hot embarrassing mess? Unfortunately, Linda is at Ground Zero! If I were Linda’s lawyer, I would tell her to just “shut the hell up and move on”. But I suppose that is why I could never be a lawyer because what I just proposed is “unlawyerly” behavior.
Even without regard to the embarrassment issue to Betsy herself, does Linda honestly think that Oscar (with whom I have worked with and fought so many battles against copyright extortionists for seven years) will continue to stay silent while one of his long-time business associate’s reputation gets pounded into dog-meat? Oscar absolutely hated that the 2013 PPO that was issued against me. He insisted that I appeal the order and he insisted that he be my lawyer. He didn’t want anyone else to handle my case. When my appeal was transferred to the Georgia Supreme Court in July 2014, Oscar insisted on flying down to Atlanta to do oral argument when I was simply content with the legal briefs. Smearing and damaging my reputation also indirectly damages Oscar’s business reputation. One day, Oscar may want to part ways with me. But for the here and now, does Linda really want to invite more “unhappiness” from Oscar, as well?
Does Linda need to be reminded that around 1.5 years ago, Oscar sent a cease-and-desist letter addressed to her “employee”, John W. Jolin, for engaging in potentially defamatory behavior trying to tarnish Oscar’s name and reputation by slyly insinuating he contributed to my alleged (but now wholly disproven) “stalking”? Oscar doesn’t get riled up easily but John managed to get a serious rise out of Oscar because Oscar is very protective of his reputation. John must have thought we would never see the outrageous emails to his victims. But with special thanks to April Brown (author of “Poetic Justice“) and her special relationship with fellow Dash Poem extortion letter victims, she kept us informed. From what I can tell since then, John had the good sense to never engage in such despicable behavior where Oscar’s name was concerned.
However, I do have copies of John W. Jolin’s emails about ME that are pseudo-defamatory because John makes a veiled reference of Ari Hinnant’s (online scammer from 2009-2010) so-called “accusations” about me, who intentionally made seriously outrageous and OUTRIGHT DEFAMATORY statements about me. Timmy McCormack has tried a similar tactic of trying to make veiled references to Ari Hinnant without owning up to the fact that he knows they are entirely untrue and would be considered absolutely defamatory. It is a slippery slope that John and Timmy have walked. Time will tell if they want to try that again.
To be clear, Ari Hinnant’s statements about me weren’t pseudo-defamatory, they were PLAINLY DEFAMATORY. Ari Hinnant is the one person I have seriously considered filing a defamation lawsuit against. I did not do so because there was no meaningful money or assets to go after. No matter how I might feel about Linda, John, Timmy, or Betsy, I want there to be no confusion as to how I feel about Ari Hinnant. To give some basis of comparison of my contempt and disgust of Ari Hinnant, I would sooner become friends and allies with Linda, John, Timmy, and Betsy than deal with the scum known as Ari Hinnant. Objectively speaking, I know it’s hard to fathom, but in that hypothetical scenario, I believe Linda, John, Timmy, and Betsy are much better human beings than Ari Hinnant.
I give fair warning to anyone that if someone ever wants to go down the Ari Hinnant path and want to embrace her words and insinuations as truth, they can expect I will be calling in a LOT of favors to remedy the situation. I don’t often ask or call in favors but if I do, I promise it will become very unpleasant.
I rarely scream “defamation” as I know the general standards to meet the level of defamation. But “defamation” and “false statements of fact” are clear exceptions to the First Amendment. Linda Ellis is now being warned and put on legal notice to “cease-and-desist”.
I have to believe the irony is not going to be lost to my readers that the the Dash Poem extortionist who has issued so many legally-threatening letters is now on the receiving end of one.
This concludes Part 6.
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I think it’s important for your readers to understand that YOU are collateral damage because you decided to stand with me and Ellis’ targets. Linda rightly understood that your voice and power is far greater than any that I might have. She needed to silence you and she did for a very long time. I do believe she has gotten away with her extortion scheme for far too long an we likely know very little about who she’s intimidated and harmed over the years.
I also believe that when my book “Poetic Justice” is read and spread, we are going to learn more about who she has pulled these same stunts on. Linda Ellis knew that Betsy McBride would believe her. Why? Is it the notion that women ARE victims because they say so? I did not know that any attorney would be so invested in winning that they would not bother to investigate their own client and thoroughly vet evidence given to them.
Don’t forget that Betsy had access to the forum before the case was heard in the lower court. You will never convince me she did not read those posts for herself in context. Which means she knew she was involved with altered evidence. Listen to her words carefully on the Supreme Court tapes. She talks about the Forum as if she’s seen it for herself. This means she was a party to the altered evidence.
One can only imagine how many lives McBride and McCormack and even Judge Jordan have ruined. I think you have uncovered just the tip of the iceberg. I do hope you will consider conducting an investigation on both attorneys. My guess is people will beat a path to your door to tell their own story of being railroaded. You are a very good writer and that is a book I want to read – yesterday.
BTW, I noticed in Ellis’ slander video about you the “voice” says that “Matthew Chan got the case heard before the Georgia Supreme Court through legal rangling”. You might explain the details as to exactly how your case actually got there.
Honestly, I refuse to become like Linda who DESPERATELY begs to play the victim. There is no question I was inconvenienced and “victimized” by this situation and I am part of the collateral damage. I am happy to say that my team of lawyers and non-lawyers worked with me to reverse the legal travesty from 2013. But I think very few realized how much of a huge ripple effect that drew in so many others. I suspected it might get much larger once I had access to the right ears but I admit I was uncertain. Linda unwittingly put Betsy in the line of fire and now she (like myself) have to deal with the collateral damage effects.
I have always said that I cannot guarantee I will win every battle I engage but I do promise that whoever wants to do battle with me will know they have been in one. I have studied war, combat, business, and PR strategies to know that I don’t fight alone or unarmed with certain pieces of knowledge. I refer to myself online as a “web strategist” but I don’t restrict my resources to online ones and I am always looking for ways to “game change” any unhappy situation I am in. I am not going to just roll over and let someone mow me over.
One thing that you are correct about and reminded me that I forgot. Betsy DID have access to the old Linda Ellis/Linda Lyrics/Dash Poem Letter forum as the public did. She could have vetted Linda and her exhibits to the original forum postings that were available to everyone. But she didn’t due to her own carelessness and lack of foresight. Betsy is a smart lawyer. She was probably well-intentioned. But the crucial mistake she made was she went too far in trampling over my First Amendment rights as an individual, blogger, and a website owner. All of these roles are well-protected by federal statutes. I’ve been told that some unnamed local judge(s) in the greater Columbus/Muscogee County circuit dislike federal statutes. They are seen as “inconvenient”. When I heard that, I was in utter disbelief and it worried me. Because I was never given any names, I do not know which judge(s) the person was referring to. Based on the context of that discussion, I am fairly certain it was NOT Judge Frank Jordan the person was referring to.
If Betsy had responded to me when I emailed and called her two years ago, I could have saved her a lot of headache back then. But she chose to ignore my emails and phone calls following the hearing to further discuss the matter. Betsy left me no choice but to embark on the road I took.
Regarding further stories, Oscar has stories he wants to tell himself. He has a unique perspective to several stories where it was just he and I on the phone or on Skype. And how he had to figure out as an out-of-state, non-Georgia lawyer a game plan to fight back. Oscar is a legal genius and very open to creative ideas and suggestions. He is secure in himself to not feel threatened or intimidated when others bring up “crazy” our “out-of-the-box” ideas.
We have begun discussions of when and how we want to share untold stories of Chan v. Ellis. I think there are many people interested in the personal journey and how this all came together. My immediate concern is to deal with the immediate issues at hand. When the immediate issues are dealt with, I can then confer with my supporters and legal team to discuss future plans.
Congratulations on your legal victory.
You do not need to apologize for taking steps to protect your reputation.
Sunny. Agreed. But I am glad he is writing about this. It’s so interesting to understand the story and case in context.
Hello Sunny, thanks for the congrats.
What I find annoying is the time and energy suck in having to protect my reputation. And the foolish person known as Linda Ellis can only further push me to reveal more and more true stories into the light. The are SO MANY stories about so many copyright extortionists (whom are already tremendously hated in their own right) that I have not shared. If she wants to be the catalyst for me telling those untold, true stories then so be it. We can engage in this one big online reality show and see how much mud we can sling. For now, I am not going to be lured into doing something stupid or reckless as she seemed to encouraging.
Speaking of collateral damage. Linda wants people to believe that her targets are horrible lying, cheaten, low down thieves who have profited from sharing that stupid poem. The fact is, I’ve now met phone to phone with scores upon scores of her targets. I know the back stories of why they shared the poem. I also know how they felt when the letter was received. When she targets and organization the chain of reactions and harm is measurable and lasting. First the person who posted is sickened, next the boss of that person is worried, then the Board becomes fearful, then the attorney gets involved, and the insurer and the people the organization serves. Hundreds of people are affected by one letter. I know of one organization that nearly folded because she demanded that organization pay her $7500 per chapter because they shared the poem in a printed newsletter. They have chapters all over the world. Their attorney finally settled with Elis for $2500 flat. So they were happy to pay so little when she originally wanted over a hundred grand. Worse, the poem was used to honor their director and founder while that person was alive and before she passed from cancer. So the founder KNEW the organization was harmed by her death before she died. The situation was horrible. Linda wants people to believe Matthew and I are her only dissenters, but the truth is she has spent nearly 2 decades fostering anger and regrets for having ever read and shared that stupid poem. Can you think of one other author who would spend nearly every waking minute making sure that thousands upon thousands of people will never buy your book? Only if that author is raking in loads more money from extortion rather than book sales.
Linda really doesn’t “get it” and so she wants to vilify everyone who disagrees with her. She will never admit that the financial part is hard to give up. It is easy money when she finds uninformed, shame-based, publicity-shy, or conflict-averse victims. She didn’t like it when I used the phrase “collateral damage”. But ironically enough, she is the one causing it all over the place affecting even the people who work with her!
“She will never admit that the financial part is hard to give up.”
Extortion Money has always been the inspiration behind The Dash and not “protecting her legacy” as she claims. She can have her legacy but she can’t have that easy money any more. People are no longer stupidly believing the words of her extortion letter. Lately I’ve noticed she’s churning out one sappy poem after another that few people read or buy and have no desire to share.
She’s selling more stuff with Live Your Dash etched on it – soaps, plaques, jewelry, posters. It seems to be lost on her as well that people expect Linda Ellis to live her brand and she’s proven she either does not want too or is incapable. That can’t be good for the bottom line. The glory days are over for Linda Ellis and The Dash and The Dash Extortion plot.