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Ronald Federici Loses 3 Lawsuits: Victory for academic freedom and internet free speech

June 18, 2010

Update:

In addition to the June 2010 lawsuit written about in this blog entry, Ronald Federici later sued five individuals plus an organization in Fairfax County Circuit court, which is a higher court than the small claims court where he lost his cases against Mercer, Miller and Advocates for Children in Therapy (ACT). He added three additional defendants, added additional charges of conspiracy and upped his requested damages to $300,000. After Motions to Dismiss were heard after the case was removed by defendants to Federal court, that lawsuit has also now been fully dismissed against all defendants. Go here to read the documents including a transcript of the dismissal hearing.

Go here to read ACT’s commentary on the lawsuits.

Here is an account of what transpired that I blogged about on June 18, 2010:

Ronald Federici, PsyD, sued Advocates for Children in Therapy, Jean Mercer, PhD, and Charly Miller for defamation and interference with business. The cases were heard today in Fairfax, VA, June 18, 2010 and he lost. The judge ruled in favor of the defendants, so this can be considered a crashing defeat for him and a victory for freedom of speech and academic freedom, as well as advocates’ rights to expose, criticize and express concerns about questionable interventions. Although I fully recognize that such freedoms do not give people the right to libel and defame, nothing that has been done in criticism of Federici even remotely constitutes libel and defamation in my opinion and it looks like the judge agreed that he had no evidence of any case against these defendants. My own criticisms of Federici’s work are outlined in several postings on this blog.

The only ruling in his favor was against Psychology Today and based on the information I have, Federici won only by default, because they did not appear in court, so this was basically a technicality that hopefully they can remedy. There would be no reason for PT to lose against Federici based on the case itself, since they were sued due to Jean Mercer’s blog and she appeared in court and won — the court ruled in her favor as defendant. But watch: I predict that Ronald Federici and/or his supporters will try to spin this as a major victory, neglecting to mention their losses and the fact that Jean Mercer, the PT blogger, won her case.

Federici also attempted to sue the owner of the website, Fairfax Underground, Cary Weidemann, but strangely enough given he was the only defendant who was actually local, he was unable to be served (the status of “non-suit” means that the plaintiff has the right to re-initiate the lawsuit within the next six months so it is my understanding that this particular defendant could still be sued up to 6 months later). This could be just a coincidence, but today, the Fairfax Underground website is down. There have been some extremely vicious, obscene attacks on me on that website, although one commenter pointed out that this is making my attackers, not me, look really bad and if Federici or his supporters are suspected of having anything to do with the attacks, they will come off looking very bad indeed.

Since one of the defendants hired a court reporter, transcript containing all the details of Federici’s failed attempt to present a convincing case to the judge including his attempts to question Dr. Mercer, will be available if and when that particular person decides to make them available, but in the meantime, records of the judgments are available at (here is what was listed on the website on June 18, 2010 — note that later versions list the status of the cases as appealed):

http://epwsgdp1.courts.state.va.us/gdcourts/caseSearch.do

Case Number Name Name Hearing Date Judgment Case Type Paid
GV10006013-00
Fairfax County General District
Plaintiff:
FEDERICI, RONALD S
Defendant:
WIEDEMANN, CARY S
04/23/2010 09:30 AM
Non-suit
Warrant In Debt
GV10008832-00
Fairfax County General District
Plaintiff:
FEDERICI, RONALD S
Defendant:
MERCER, JEAN
06/18/2010 09:30 AM
Defendant
Warrant In Debt
GV10008833-00
Fairfax County General District
Plaintiff:
FEDERICI, RONALD S
Defendant:
ADVOCATES FOR CHILDREN IN THERAPY
06/18/2010 09:30 AM
Defendant
Warrant In Debt
GV10008834-00
Fairfax County General District
Plaintiff:
FEDERICI, RONALD S
Defendant:
PSYCHOLOGY TODAY
06/18/2010 09:30 AM
Plaintiff
Warrant In Debt
GV10008835-00
Fairfax County General District
Plaintiff:
FEDERICI, RONALD S
Defendant:
MILLER, CHARLY D
Defendant
Warrant In Debt
GV10010313-00
Fairfax County General District
Plaintiff:
FEDERICI, RONALD S
Defendant:
WIEDEMANN, CARY S
05/21/2010 09:30 AM
Not Found/Unserved
Warrant In Debt
\
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From → Legal Cases

15 Comments
  1. Are the records available for free somewhere? All those need to be paid for and I’m short of money.

  2. Yes, viewing the records on the site I linked to is free. I just did so. I realize it says (Pay Online) but that doesn’t mean you have to pay. I just accessed them without paying anything at all. Just do a search on Federici, R. in Fairfax County. There is no charge. What you will get is basically the list of cases I posted here. One of the defendants had a transcript prepared of the entire proceedings and I am hoping that will be made available soon, online.

    • I’d like to see the transcript, all of it. Parts have been showing up on blogs by someone we all know and love.

  3. Right, they have been posting very selective parts, omitting parts that were not so favorable, including the fact that Federici lost against Mercer, Advocates for Children in Therapy and Charly Miller and the judge’s statements about why he ruled against him. They are bellowing all over the place that the judge ruled jurisdiction in their favor, neglecting to mention that what the judge actually stated was that it didn’t matter because Jean Mercer won the case.

    I am not in a position to post it since that is up to Jean Mercer and ACT, but if you’re interested, you might want to contact her.

    • The fact they managed to get those bits seems another clue to the identity of the cyberstalker.

  4. Indeed it does — or at least who the person has a connection to, either directly or indirectly.

  5. So this is over for you? As far as the suit is concerned?

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Dr. David Tolin: Setting a Positive Example for the Profession of Evidence-Based Practice in Action « Potentially Harmful and Other Questionable Therapies
  2. Monica Pignotti: Further Point by Point Response to Lies and Misrepresentations Not Necessary « Monica Pignotti: The Truth
  3. Trial By Internet « Glass Houses: Encouraging Transparency
  4. I Could Say That Too « Monica Pignotti: The Truth
  5. Clarification Regarding the So-Called History Making Lawsuit Blog « Monica Pignotti: The Truth
  6. Federici v Pignotti « Potentially Harmful and Other Questionable Therapies

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