Update on the Dear Author/Jane Litte Defense fund

9 Dec

Ellora's Cave sues Dear AuthorBack in March of this year, when Jane Litte revealed that she is also author Jen Frederick, some people who donated to the Dear Author defense fund were quite vocal about how the fund should never have been created to begin with, what with Jane being “rich.”

At the time, I waxed on and on about why it shouldn’t fall on Jane’s shoulders alone to stand up to a vexatious lawsuit.

People have the right to feel whatever the hell they want, about whatever the fuck they want to, but since Sarah Wendell (or perhaps it was Jane herself, that part is not clear) updated the fund page today, I want to post some quick numbers, and then leave it to my readers to decide whether it’s reasonable to expect any single person to shoulder the cost of a lawsuit designed to intimidate people and shut them up.

First, a couple of reminders.

When Jane announced through Dear Author that EC had filed suit against her and the blog, many romance readers and authors asked how we could help.

When Sarah Wendell created the fundraising page, she stated that Jane had set aside $20,000.00 of her own money to defend herself.

Shortly after that, talking with Courtney Milan about the suit in this podcast, Sarah stressed how that sum–as huge as it seems to people like me, who live check to check–would barely make a dent on the legal fees, well before all was said and done.

As of today, the page raised a total of $55,086.00–and then GoFundMe took their fees, however much those were. The cost of the litigation, up to the settlement,¹ comes up to $132,578.35–so far, and even though Marc Randazza billed Jane less than he would usually have for a similar case.

Check those numbers for a moment.

The cost of litigation, up to this point, is well over twice as much as the gross amount raised.

Here is the breakdown posted in the update:

Randazza Law Firm: 115,712.29
Lefton Group: 2,855.00
Expert witness fee: 5,075.00
Brennan, Manna & Diamond: 8,936.00

Can anyone, seeing those numbers, still think Jane should have shelled out that much money, for speaking up about the shitty way Ellora’s Cave and its principals have treated–and continue to treat–the authors and other people who signed contracts with them?

For anyone who does: may you never have to face a lawsuit.

~ * ~

¹ Please note, as far as I understand it, the settlement is not final yet–the motion to enjoin Ann Jacobs is still pending, for one.

20 Responses to “Update on the Dear Author/Jane Litte Defense fund”

  1. pooks 09/12/2015 at 6:23 PM #

    I guess the simple action for me to take would be to follow Milan’s blog, but I don’t. Thus you are my source of all things lawsuit, for which I thank you. I agree with your assessment and will do more, though my ability to make a difference is slight. This is too important.

    • azteclady 09/12/2015 at 6:30 PM #

      You are welcome.

      Like you, and many others, I do not have the economic means to help much in circumstances like these. My chosen tack has been to speak about the lawsuit, and what I perceive to be the underlying issues: the First Amendment, and the authors, editors, cover artists, etc. who have been mistreated/underpaid/etc by Ellora’s Cave and its principals.

      (I do not believe Ms Milan has blogged about this latest development–at least, not so far.)

  2. Erin S. Burns 09/12/2015 at 10:49 PM #

    It’s complete BS that she’s had to shoulder that amount. I may not like everything she’s done, but this lawsuit, yeah it has nothing to do with any of that. I can’t even fathom that kind of money all in one shot. And it’s ridiculous that anti-slapp doesn’t apply.

    I’m also completely fascinated though with the linguistics of the blog update “It has been represented to me…”. Just a really interesting way to word things.

    • azteclady 09/12/2015 at 10:53 PM #

      If you check #notchilled–or the EC thread over at Absolute Write–you’ll see some of the speculation that the phrasing has sparked.

      Me, I’m a simple, cynical person. As far as I’m concerned, the half-assed, poorly phrased “corrections” in that blog post, are part of the settlement agreement with EC.

      • Erin S. Burns 09/12/2015 at 10:59 PM #

        I agree. I am just fascinated by the WAY she phrased it. At first I thought it might be some sort of specific legal jargon, but google doesn’t seem to think so.

        What it makes me wonder is what other phrasing she decided against in choosing this particular way to both follow the letter of of the settlement (I assume) and still get her point across that she thinks it is BS (which I am again assuming is her intent).

      • azteclady 09/12/2015 at 11:08 PM #

        Well, I’m not a lawyer, so take this as pure, uninformed, speculative opinion: Jane won’t state unequivocally that she knows things she doesn’t know for a fact–after all, she didn’t get to see EC’s books–such as how many authors were paid within their contract terms, and so on, and so forth.

        However, it’s likely that part of the settlement terms are that she makes statements to that effect.

        So the whole, “it has been represented to me,” is the closest she can come to, “this is what I’ve been told (presumably by EC’s principals, through their legal representatives),” and still adhere to the terms of the settlement.

        Loudly implied, of course, is the second part of that sentence; to whit: “make of it what you will.”

      • Erin S. Burns 09/12/2015 at 11:28 PM #

        Oh for Pete’s sake, I like to think I’m a conspiracy theorist, but dang.

        “If I had to guess, I would say EC got their hands on something that could bury DA, and the settlement was a promise on their part not to release it. God only knows what that could be though.”

        If there was something even more explosive than her pen name, I seriously doubt she would have publicized the lawsuit or even fought it. And if EC had something like that, there’s no way in hell I can imagine JB/TA would give up the chance to drop that bomb.

      • azteclady 09/12/2015 at 11:32 PM #

        I agree.

        I would think that facing over one hundred and thirty thousand dollars in legal fees, would be more than enough reason to settle.

        Also, if EC had a hammer over Jane, the first thing that would have happened would be that The Curious Case of Ellora’s Cave would have quietly disappeared.

        Gee, would you look at that, it’s still up, and unedited.

        (Here’s the link to the comment Erin quoted above)

        Like I said, some people really love to complicate things, or have an axe to grind and must contort reality to conform to their internal dialogue.

      • Erin S. Burns 09/12/2015 at 11:36 PM #

        Yep, post would go down in that sort of instance for sure.

        If I had more energy I’d track back and see what’s underlying that particular conspiracy theorist’s perspective. I normally live for that sort of nitpicky curiosity (Exhibit: my ridiculous curiosity about word choice and discarded options) I’m just to danged tired at the moment.

      • azteclady 09/12/2015 at 11:43 PM #

        Heh, my mind wandered down the same path.

        At this point, though, I’m more interested in what the authors still caught in EC’s clutches (and I’m using the word advisedly), can do to get some redress, either in the form of accurate and timely royalties, or in getting their rights back.

        Of course, the decent thing to do, would be to pay royalties (and other business obligations) accurately and timely, and to revert rights when the conditions of the original contracts signed are met, but this is Jaid Black and company.

      • Erin S. Burns 09/12/2015 at 11:47 PM #


        It hurts my heart what those poor authors are going through. And there was no reason for it, and there still isn’t. Pay people or fess up and be honest, don’t keep building your house of cards higher.

        In that vein, was there resolution on the Ann Jacobs thing?

      • azteclady 09/12/2015 at 11:49 PM #

        I don’t have access to PACER to check for updates, but I don’t think anything final has come down from the judge.

        For what it’s woth, just a couple of hours ago, Ms Jacobs posted to #notchilled.

  3. Deirdre 10/12/2015 at 12:40 AM #

    I’d checked a few days ago, but double-checked tonight: no change on the case’s status.

    I’d have blogged, but I haven’t had enough bandwidth to yet. (We’re on vacation somewhere between Antigua and Guadeloupe at the moment.)

    • azteclady 10/12/2015 at 12:53 AM #

      Thank you, Ms Deirdre, good to know for sure.

  4. Laura 10/12/2015 at 2:47 PM #

    I donated, and could care less that Jane is Jen. I continue to be impressed by Jane-and Sarah Wendell-as they are clearly offering to refund the money of anyone who feels like they were “exploited” by not knowing Jane was a pubbed author. Cuz as well all know, being published makes you rich.

    • azteclady 10/12/2015 at 2:56 PM #

      Laura, I agree that it’s telling that Jane is offering to refund money to anyone who emails her–and that she has stated that any such requests will not be shared with anyone.

      On the other hand, you “could (sic) care less that Jane is Jen.” Bully for you. Others have quite valid reasons to feel betrayed by a lie perpetuated, not just by Jane, for a number of years.

      • Laura 11/12/2015 at 11:14 AM #

        Thanks for the “sic”, I’m a reader not a writer. I apologize for posting anything at all. Bully away.

      • azteclady 11/12/2015 at 11:18 AM #

        I’m also a reader, not a writer.

        Perhaps I should I apologize for having a different opinion than yours, and expressing it in my own blog?

        Nah. I’m striving not to indulge in the passive-aggressive thing that women have been conditioned to resort to, for generations.


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