Del Arroz Files Suit Against Worldcon 76

Jon Del Arroz filed suit on April 16 against the 2018 Worldcon and other defendants in San Joaquin Superior Court asking damages for claimed violations of his civil rights under California’s Unruh act, and for defamation.

The named defendants are:

San Francisco Science Fiction Conventions, Inc., aka Worldcon 76, David W. Gallagher (2019), President; David W. Clark (2020), Vice President; Lisa Deutsch Harrigan (2020), Treasurer; Kevin Standlee (2018), Sceretary; Sandra Childress (2019); Bruce Farr (2018), Chair; 2018 SMOF Con Committee; Cheryl Morgan (2020); Kevin Roche (2018), Chair; 2018 Worldcon (Worldcon 76) Committee; Cindy Scott (2018); Randy Smith (2019), Chair; New Zealand 2020 Worldcon Agent Committee; Lori Buschbaum; Susie Rodriguez and DOES 1 through 30, inclusive.

Del Arroz is represented by attorney Peter Sean Bradley.

The first 23 paragraphs of the Complaint lay out the history of Del Arroz’ banning by Worldcon 76 from his point of view, and allegations that he was banned because he is a Republican and Trump supporter.

Several of the causes of action quote from Worldcon 76’s announcement banning Del Arroz from the con, which said in part:

We have taken this step because he has made it clear that he fully intends to break our code of conduct. Worldcon 76 strives to be an inclusive place in fandom, as difficult as that can be, and racist and bullying behavior is not acceptable at our Worldcon. This expulsion is one step toward eliminating such behavior and was not taken lightly….

Repeated reference is also made to the committee’s email telling him he would not be allowed to attend, sent by Lori Buschbaum, the Incident Response Team area head. It is quoted in the Complaint as saying:

Jonathan, At this time we are converting your membership to Worldcon 76 to a supporting membership as you will not be permitted to attend the convention. On your personal blog you have made it clear that you are both expecting and planning on engendering a hostile environment which we do not allow, If you are found on the premises of the convention center or any of the official convention hotels you will be removed, Your payment of $50 covers the cost of your supporting membership in its entirety, and you have no balance owing. As a supporting member your nomination and voting rights for the Hugo Awards and site selection are maintained. If you prefer a full refund that can be arranged.

The Complaint outlines five causes of action, and in most cases leaves the requested damages to be determined at trial.

First cause of action: Violation of Civil Code Section 51 (Unruh Act)

28. …Under the Unruh Act, a business establishment may not discriminate against any person based on a personal characteristic representing a trait, condition, decision, or choice fundamental to that person’s identity, beliefs and self-definition as that factor has been applied in previous cases. …The protection of the Unrush Act extends to political affiliation….

30. Mr. Del Arroz was discriminated against in violation of the Unruh Act in that he has been banned from attending Worldcon 76 based upon his political affiliation and political beliefs….

Del Arroz claims lost sales and emotional distress as a result.

Second cause of action: Violation of Civil Code Section 51.5

This is a law against various forms of discrimination on account of characteristics such as “political affiliation.”

The Complaint says:

39. WorldCon 76 is a business establishment in that it holds itself out as open to the public without restriction and is using public facilities and engaging in public commcerce.

40. SFSF discriminated against, boycotted or blacklisted, or refused to contract with or sell to Mr. Del Arroz by refusing to sell him an attending membership because of his political affiliation and political beliefs. Plaintiff is informed and believes that the other named Defendants aided or incited this unlawful conduct.

Third cause of action: Violation of Civil Code Section 51.7

The Complaint alleges violations of the law’s protection against “violence, or intimidation by threat of violence” because of a political affiliation (or other arbitrary discrimination).

The Complaint says:

49. On Tuesday, January 2, 2018 at 5:01 p.m., Mr. Del Arroz received an email from Lori Buschbaum, who identified herself as the “Incident Response Team area head” for Worldcon 76 which stated in relevant part: “If you are found on the premises of the convention center or any of the official convention hotels you will be removed.” This statement constituted intimidation by threat of violence against Mr. Del Arroz because of his political affiliatuion in that Defendants and each of them threatened to have Mr. Del Arroz forced [sic] physically removed against his consent and acquiescence from locations he had a right to be in such as the lobby of a hotel. This threat was understood by Mr. Del Arroz to include violence in that Mr. Del Arroz had advised SFSFC of his concern about physical violence at WorldCon 76 and Mr. Arroz [sic] had been threatened with violence by members of SFSFC and individuals who had said they would be attending WorldCon 76 on social media maintained by SFSFC. At no time had SFSFC advised Mr. Del Arroz that he would be safe at WorldCon 76 and at no time did SFSFC make any effort to stop anyone from expressing a violent animus against Mr. Del Arroz on its social media sites.

Fourth cause of action Violation of Civil Code Section 52.1

After repeating verbatim paragraph 49 above, the Complaint alleges –

59. Mr. Del Arroz was threatened by SFSFC and Lori Buschbaum. Plaintiff is informed and believes that the remaining named Defendants aided or incited this conduct…. Individual Defendants and Does 1 through 30 aided, incited, authorized, ratified or conspired in the said discrimination, blacklisting, boycotting, and refusal to sell or contract with Mr. Arroz [sic] with respect to his purchase of an attending membership.

Fifth cause of action: Defamation.

Citing the January 2 email quoted above the Complaint alleges —

66. …Worldcon 76 never explained to him that anything he planned on doing would constitute a violation of any code of conduct. Mr. Del Arroz is informed and believes and thereon alleges that there is no such code of conduct. Further, Mr. Del Arroz is not a racist. Mr. Del Arroz has often made a point of condemning racism and proudly identifying his Hispanic heritage. Likewise, Mr. Del Arroz is not a bully. The statement that Mr. Del Arroz is a racist bully is false and SFSFC and its representatives knew t was false or made the statement with reckless disregard for the truth or falsity of the charge and with a malicious intent to injure Mr. Del Arroz or his reputation….

Financial damage is also claimed, likewise emotional distress. The Complaint also claims that the defendants —

were aware that they were threatening Mr. Del Arroz with physical violence in order to prevent him from exercising his important civil rights including the right of association and the right to use public property and the right to free and equal treatment by business establishments.

Del Arroz also wants court costs and attorney fees.

Below are copies of the documents filed with the court. The Complaint contains all the allegations and support,. The judge has scheduled the initial case management conference for October 15.

Update 04/16/18: Corrected the info under the Fourth Cause of Action.

337 thoughts on “Del Arroz Files Suit Against Worldcon 76

  1. @Hampus —

    Why in the world would you see anything wrong with expressing sympathy for people who are going to be suffering because of Jon’s bad decisions?

    They are going to be victims as much as Worldcon et al, just in different ways.

    I feel sorry for them. And I’m not ashamed to say so.

  2. @Contrarius

    Whatever the good intentions, I guarantee Jon will use it as fuel for whatever fire he’s currently building.

  3. Jon was once a sweet guy. Someone who I would have probably taken a bullet for. He has since harassed the shit out of me, even after being reminded several upon several times that I’m a disabled combat veteran who is living with a traumatic brain injury and his shenanigans don’t help my mental state. Two of my friends even contacted my VA Case Worker last time he did it because they were worried about me.

    Hey Jon, did you know there’s a government trail regarding your bullying? That’s the funny thing about bullying people, you never know how and when it might bite you in the ass, which is why you shouldn’t do it.

  4. @Adam Rakunas —

    I think I’ve been reading too much Martha Wells. I keep reading your name as “Adam Raksura”. 😉

    @Mark —

    Whatever the good intentions, I guarantee Jon will use it as fuel for whatever fire he’s currently building.

    Oh, yeah, the lengths that man will go to in order to feed his victim complex are truly astounding…

  5. Hampus Eckerman: I really feel other peoples families should be kept out of the discussion.

    I agree. Especially in this case where it’s nothing but concern trolling.

  6. @Mike —

    it’s nothing but concern trolling.

    It isn’t concern trolling at all.

    Here’s a definition for concern trolling (yes, I have to look these things up, because I’m often not familiar with jargon): “the action or practice of disingenuously expressing concern about an issue in order to undermine or derail genuine discussion.”

    I am neither disingenuous in my concern nor undermining or derailing genuine discussion.

    That said, I’ve already expressed my sympathy for them, and I’m happy to let it rest from here on.

  7. Adam Rakunas: I hope Worldcon’s legal defense fund sells t-shirts that say I AM DOES 1 THROUGH 30.

    Dammit, I already had orders for 2 different lots of badge ribbons to place for Worldcon 76, now I have 3.

  8. Steven Mix: He has since harassed the shit out of me, even after being reminded several upon several times that I’m a disabled combat veteran who is living with a traumatic brain injury and his shenanigans don’t help my mental state. Two of my friends even contacted my VA Case Worker last time he did it because they were worried about me.

    Steven, I am SO sorry to hear that he’s subjected you to this. But I am really glad to hear that you have friends looking out for you.

    If he does this again in future, please try to remember that he’s a pathetic loser, and you are a good person who does not deserve to be one of his targets.

    Also, hi! Are you an SFF fan? 🙂

  9. I am. I write apocalyptic fiction and even give out an award at BayCon every year. Big SFF fan. 🙂

    Oh and I’m sure he’ll do it again. I heard he was even talking about me in videos recently on twitter after the Hugo awards announcement ceremony.

  10. Ummm so since when have cons been classified as organizations that provide services to the public…

    For the most part in general and i WCs case in particular you obtain a MEMBERSHIP to the event.

    You are now a MEMBER of the organization that is that years worldcon.

    One of the benefits of beong a attending member is you get to go to this nifty event they are throwing.

    Now I’m not a California lawyer and I’m nit going to take the time to do a dive on cali law on the subject but i think most of his claims go out the window because a membership organization can decide whom it chooses to make a member

  11. Ari Goldstein: Nearly all the time, the Worldcon’s only requirement for membership is that the credit card is good or the check clears — while I expect JDA to lose, I think that will be because the con is a private event, not because of any distinction between its memberships and commerce in general.

  12. Steven Mix: I write apocalyptic fiction and even give out an award at BayCon every year. Big SFF fan.

    Cool! I hope you’ll stick around and join the commenters here in sharing what you love and what you think of the books you read. 🙂

  13. “It must be cheaper to retain a lawyer than I thought.”

    Maybe it’s more of a familiar than a retainer?

  14. @Steven Mix echoing other commenters. Gooble gobble, we accept you. One of us, one of us!

  15. @Steven I am very sorry that you’ve gone through that with Jon.

    And, Welcome!

  16. It must be cheaper to retain a lawyer than I thought.

    Well, if I understand “Del Arroz also wants court costs and attorney fees.” correctly, he hopes to be reimbursed by World Con afterwards.
    Thats a gamble… that means that JDA actually thinks he will win and is not just trolling.

  17. “He is currently rated at 1,094 as a review at Amazon; he was in the top 1,000 until he decided to post a less than laudatory review, but truthful, review of Timothy Snyder’s “On Tyranny,” and he has been on the receiving end of SJW tolerance and love of diversity ever since.”

    He wrote a review, the marketplace decided it was bad, and it’s the fault of SJWs?

    @Kelli Stasi
    Andddd this is why I stopped interacting with him, period. He’s too dense to even be an entertaining troll.

    To be fair… the reason this lawsuit came out so quickly is because he started boasting about it while I was making fun of him.

    Finally, isn’t Jon self-published? Wouldn’t that make Jon’s publisher… Jon?

  18. Some asshole tried this type of thing in Boston a few years back.

    If Worldcon needs a good lawyer that has experience in such matters, get Dan Booth of Booth Sweet LLC. Hopefully he’s licensed in California.

  19. A few observations:
    If all thirty “defendants” each hire an attorney to represent them…and they each charge oh, $150 per hour, its $4500.00 per hour. (Everyone is entitled to their own representation.)

    There MUST be some kind of “event insurance” available out there (I got something similar for a sporting event to hedge against weather preventing the event from happening); cons ought to look into that, perhaps.

    Given the list of defendants, I sure hope that some of them are allowed to be represented in court and not have to be physically there.

    I do believe there is an opportunity here (IANAL); I do seem to recall that “discovery” works both ways. If this goes beyond a dismissal, I would strongly encourage Worldcon’s legal team to demand that anything and everything they are legally entitled to from the plaintiff’s side be entered into the public record, including any and all email group lists and correspondence….

    Query: will future conventions be able to use this lawsuit to deny membership to the plaintiffs in future? (Look, the guy engages in felonious lawsuits, we don’t need the hassle)?

    Oh. and count me in for contributing to a legal defense fund.

  20. The most interesting quote from the text:

    were aware that they were threatening Mr. Del Arroz with physical violence

    this is so much quotation needed.

    Also if Worldcon searchs for republican and/or Trumpvoters only getting Mr. Del Arroz would be very interesting. Here conservative members can perhabs help Wordcon the most, when the are okay to be open about one of the 2 thinks.

  21. The only way Worldcon would be aware of someone’s political affiliation is when that person makes it public themselves. AFAIK they’d only care about your politics if you try using them to push your views at everyone else. (And Worldcon has had some known conservatives as members. Pournelle, for example.)
    JDA seems to be missing that fact.

  22. Leaving aside the merits or lack of merits of this particular case, and just speaking in very broad and general terms….

    If a person believes (rightly or wrongly) that attending… let us call them professional conferences… in his or her field is vital to their success in their career, and that person then files suit (with or without justification) against the PREMIER professional conference in their field… in what universe does that person expect to ever be invited to any professional conference again? It’s a simple cost/benefit analysis; any conference organizers are going to look at that history and have to decide if they want to risk the time, trouble, and expense of defending another lawsuit. I’d venture to guess most of them will decide it’s not worth the risk.

  23. You all seem remarkably confident of the outcome when Jon’s lawyer, who knows CA law, thinks he has a shot and is good at his job.

    Apparently not good enough to explain the concept of “Spoliation” to his client. Lets just say that deleting a bunch of tweets around the time of the lawsuit isn’t a good look, especially when said tweets just might come up in the courtroom.

  24. Pingback: Jon Del Arroz’s History of Trolling and Harassing

  25. @Cassy

    I think a theory he might be thinking (can’t read his mind so I can’t *know*) is this: Even if Mr. Del Arroz does not win this suit, the potential for getting thrown into the mire and muck of a lawsuit will be enough to keep any other con from banning him. I’ve wondered if that was his gambit with Worldcon–announce his intent to sue, start the Gofundme, let the money pour in, and he was hoping Worldcon would come to terms with him rather than actually going through with the suit.

    So, if a convention, call it Weimercon, was pondering whether or not to ban him in the future, the threat of a lawsuit and the time and effort to fight it, based on Worldcon suit, would keep them from actually doing so. Dealing with him on site and dealing with people not showing up because he was going to be there is the lesser of two evils. Intimidation by Lawsuit threat.

  26. After working my way through most of the excerpts, I was especially struck by #66:

    Mr. Del Arroz is informed and believes and thereon alleges that there is no such code of conduct.

    I wonder whether he’s going to allege there’s no law of gravity?

    OTOH, the Worldcon76 website could be clearer; “search” works by some sort of dynamic throwup that appears on my deskside system but not my netbook (using Firefox 59.0.2 and IE 11.0.9600), and searching “conduct” on the front page gets only a tag to the press release. Possibly they should add a topic to the left-hand column (which doesn’t scroll…).

  27. @Ari —

    Now I’m not a California lawyer and I’m nit going to take the time to do a dive on cali law on the subject but i think most of his claims go out the window because a membership organization can decide whom it chooses to make a member

    Yup, this is exactly what I said in our earlier discussions on this topic. A private membership group can basically throw out anyone for any reason.

    @Mike —

    while I expect JDA to lose, I think that will be because the con is a private event, not because of any distinction between its memberships and commerce in general.

    What makes it a private event is the fact that it sells memberships (members vote on the business conducted by the group) rather than simply selling admissions to the event (attendees do not get any votes).

  28. I am still having trouble reconciling this JdA with the one I met way back when as part of the B5 usenet fan scene. That guy was odd but personable. This guy…I just don’t know.

    All best wishes to Worldcon 76 concom and SFSFC for a speedy resolution.

  29. So — If Worldcon et al are going to be wisely circumspect and closed-mouth about all this, does someone not associated with the lawsuit want to start a GoFundMe for them?

  30. Odds are that he’s trying to self-promote his way into cause celebre for the wingnut welfare professional victim circuit. Even if he loses this lawsuit on its face, if he can take his schtick about the “intolerant Left” onto radio/television (and Lord knows there are enough such outlets available), he can start to ride the fat grifter gravy train.

    D

  31. Contrarius: What makes it a private event is the fact that it sells memberships (members vote on the business conducted by the group) rather than simply selling admissions to the event (attendees do not get any votes).

    That’s what Kevin Standlee (for example) would say is the difference between a fan-run convention and a gate show. That’s not law.

    Before making further pronouncements of this type, go find some California case law to cite on your side of the argument. Then we’ll have somnething real to discuss

  32. @Contrarius

    does someone not associated with the lawsuit want to start a GoFundMe for them?

    If it’s not done under the auspices of WC76 or WSFS then it’s not anything. If they need it I’m sure they’ll publicise it. In the meantime expressions of public support for a potential fund help show that JDA can’t hope to simply outspend or outlawyer them – whatever they decide is the best tactic I feel sure enough people will have their back.

  33. FWIW, over on FaceBorg buried in a thread somewhere is JDAs comment that the receipt for his membership says it’s for a ticket. I suspect this is a result of the software package that Worldcon 76 is using for reg.

  34. Paul Weimer: Dealing with him on site and dealing with people not showing up because he was going to be there is the lesser of two evils.

    And since in the Navy we always choose the lesser of two weevils, let’s choose JDA.

  35. “does someone not associated with the lawsuit want to start a GoFundMe for them?”

    No. WorldCon does things by committee. And a lawsuit is something that they will particularly need to handle by the book. I assume they’ll hold an official meeting (or several), figure out who to consult and what initial steps to take, and also discuss appropriate funding of legal expenses. They can’t just willynilly launch a GoFundMe to moment they hear about JDA’s nuisance lawsuit. They need to proceed methodically.

  36. @Mike —

    Here’s the first one that appears on a quick Google search:

    Warfield v. Peninsula Golf & Country Club (1995) — the country club lost an Unruh case, but they lost because they were not operating as a private club: they allowed non-members to attend, made a lot of their money from non-members, and so forth.

    Here are some relevant excerpts from the court decision. You’ll see some main themes: whether the club allows non-members to attend; whether the club makes significant income from non-members; and whether the club members are allowed to vote on the conduct of the club’s business. I’ve deleted some of the source citations to improve readability. Also, refer especially to the list of criteria set out in the last paragraph I’ve excerpted.

    ———-

    In the case before us, we are called upon to determine whether California’s “public accommodation” statute (Civ. Code § 51, also commonly known as the Unruh Civil Rights Act) fn. 1 precludes private social clubs from engaging in prohibited discrimination in their membership policies[….]

    The issue we must decide is whether the activities and operations of defendant club render it a “business establishment” for purposes of section 51, so as to prohibit the club from excluding women from the “advantages” and “privileges” of proprietary membership.[….]

    [….]although the record indicates that defendant’s financial support comes primarily from dues and fees paid by its members, the club derives a significant amount of revenue, as well as indirect financial benefit, from the use of its facilities, and the purchase of goods and services on its premises, by persons who are not members of the club. Because such “business transactions” with nonmembers are conducted on a regular and repeated basis and constitute an integral part of the club’s operations-supplementing the members’ own financial contributions and reducing the dues and fees that members otherwise would be required to pay in order to maintain the club’s facilities and operations -we conclude that the club falls within the very broad category of “business establishments” governed by the nondiscrimination mandate of section 51.

    [….](the following refers to a previous case concerning a boys’ club, discussed in this case as background info, which was also declared to be a business establishment) — the court stated: “Moreover, the Club is classically ‘public’ in its operation. It opens its recreational doors to the entire youthful population of Santa Cruz with the sole condition that its users be male. There is no attempt to select or restrict membership or access on the basis of personal, cultural, or religious affinity, as a private club might do.” The court then continued: “While there are some organized activities, the emphasis is on drop-in use of the Club’s facilities, thus minimizing any sense of social cohesiveness, shared identity, or continuity. Boys who join the Club have no power in its affairs and no control over who else may be members. A fee, though not a large one, is charged for the annually renewable membership. Thus, the Club provides an atmosphere deemed characteristic of a ‘public accommodation’ by the principal commentator on the Unruh Act; relations “with and among its members are of a kind which take place more or less in ‘public view,’ and are of a ‘relatively nongratuitous, noncontinuous, nonpersonal and nonsocial sort.’

    [….]Yet we have emphasized that the statute does not govern relationships that are truly private-to paraphrase Horowitz’s words, those which are ‘continuous, personal and social’ [citation] and take place more or less outside ‘public view.’ ‘Private’ groups and institutions do not fall prey to the Act simply because they operate ‘nongratuitous’ residential or recreational facilities for their members or participants; an accommodation must be ‘public’ to be covered.”

    […]Traditionally, statutes prohibiting discrimination in places of public accommodation have not been applied to the membership policies of private social clubs. As reflected in the congressional debates that culminated in the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and the original federal Civil Rights Acts, the drafters of those enactments drew a clear distinction between an individual’s “civil rights” and his or her “social rights,” viewing the right of nondiscriminatory access to places of public accommodation as a fundamental civil right but, at the same time, acknowledging that such protection against discrimination did not extend to access to another person’s home or private club or, in general, to “social relations.”

    In enacting the public accommodation provisions of the historic, federal Civil Rights Act of 1964, Congress specifically excluded private clubs from the reach of the statute[….]

    [….]the statute does not apply to truly private social clubs. [….]

    [….] As we have explained, public accommodation statutes, as an historical matter, generally have not been applied to the membership policies of private social clubs that genuinely are selective in their membership and in which the relationship among members is continuous, personal, and social. [….]But there is nothing in the language or history of the Unruh Civil Rights Act that indicates the Legislature intended, as a general matter, to bring the membership decisions of truly private social clubs within the reach of the statute.

    [….]The “private social club” rubric encompasses an enormous variety of groups and organizations, ranging from small book clubs or study groups of 10 or fewer persons, to international organizations with tens or even hundreds of thousands of members.

    (discussing another previous case)[….]”Lake Nixon is not a private club. It is simply a business operated for a profit with none of the attributes of self-government and membership-ownership traditionally associated with private clubs. It is true that following enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Pauls began referring to the establishment as a private club. They even began to require patrons to pay a 25-cent ‘membership’ fee, which gains a purchaser a ‘membership’ card entitling him to enter the Club’s premises for an entire season …. But this ‘membership’ device seems no more than a subterfuge designed to avoid coverage of the 1964 Act. White persons are routinely provided ‘membership’ cards, and some 100,000 whites visit the establishment each season…. Negroes, on the other hand, are uniformly denied ‘membership’ cards, and thus admission…. The conclusion of the courts below that Lake Nixon is not a private club is plainly correct ….”

    [….]In the past, numerous courts, both federal and state, have grappled with the question whether a particular entity properly should or should not be considered a private club whose membership decisions are exempt from a generally applicable public accommodation law. The cases identify a number of factors that may be relevant to this determination, including (1) the selectivity of the group in the admission of members, (2) the size of the group, (3) the degree of membership control over the governance of the organization (and particularly the selection of new members), (4) the degree to which club facilities are available for use by nonmembers, and (5) whether the primary purpose served by the club is social or business.[….]

  37. @ Paul Weimer

    Intimidation by Lawsuit threat.

    If that’s the intent (and I think he comes across as so immoral, mendacious, and irrational, I think it likely that his “reasons” and his “strategy” change from moment to moment), it leaves out the reality that just as a lawsuit is very expensive for a convention being sued in a frivolous nuisance filing, such a suit is also expensive for the frivolous nuisance filing it.

    JDA launching a GoFundMe for his lawsuit against WorldCon may just have been a publicity stunt–the opening act to draw attention to his actual filing of the case–but it also suggests that he either may not have the funds to go around suing conventions himself, or if he has such funds, he may be reluctant to throw away his own money doing so, despite being pleased to throw away other people’s money doing so. There may be a limit to how many cons he can realistically do this to; the limit might even be “one.”

  38. I’m a little confused. He’s suing a convention. Doesn’t that basically mean that no convention will ever invite him again, lest they be sued for some unmeant slight? Doesn’t this lawsuit basically make him persona non grata in organized fandom?

    I mean, he may not be suing as an invited guest, but no convention committee in their right mind will ever invite him again. He’s made himself toxic.

    As for attending conventions… how pathetic is it to have to sue to be able to attend a convention? How does this action not make him the laughing-stock of all of fandom? Especially when the legal filing argues things that don’t seem to be indicated by the “supporting” documents at all? How does this not get him banned from every convention he might want to attend in the future, when they can say, “He is a threat to the financial safety of the convention and we do not want to associate with him”?

    I guess what I’m saying is, I just don’t get how this advances any of his goals. He’s likely to lose, and become toxic to all conventions. Even if he “wins”, he’s still toxic – maybe even moreso than if he loses – and ruins all chances of career advancement and any good will left in the science fiction community (except among a small group of people who will abandon him for the next shiny thing once he’s old product).

  39. @Mike The chilling effect gets worse, if Cons decide “we can’t afford to retain a lawyer on the offchance of this sort of tactic coming up. I’m certain a tiny con, like say, Diversicon here in Minneapolis wouldn’t even try. And if it does, trouble will follow (c.f. Wiscon’s problems)
    And even a large con like Worldcon may well not want this on their plate.

    This may lead to codes of conduct in changes going forward for conventions.

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