Home Education Magazine Needs Your Support
Running a small business is never easy in any economy, but it can become nearly impossible to stay sane and calm when, in addition to running your business, you must defend it against lawsuits. My friend, Helen Hegener, the editor-in-chief and owner of Home Education Magazine, is currently in the midst of such a mess and she is asking for help to keep HEM operating.
In short, Helen and another party, Heather Idoni, were sued for libel because they published articles about Mimi Rothschild’s business practices. Helen writes,
Many friends are wondering about the lawsuit now that it's coming to an end, and asking questions on discussion groups, Internet forums, blogs, and privately. Long story short, the good news is we won in every important aspect. The bad news is it was a philosophical and moral win, not a material or financial one. It literally cost me everything I own and more; it cost my attorneys almost a year they could have been putting toward more important and constructive efforts; it cost my family dearly... But we won.
I'll share information about what happened during the hearings when I can, but I am not going to write anything substantial about the lawsuit without my attorney's approval, and we're still working on the resolution details. I deeply appreciate your patience and understanding; it's taken us almost a year to reach this point of resolution, a few more days won't make much difference.
Here's what I can share from PACER, the Public Access to Court Electronic Records:
Order of October 14: ORDERED that the above action is DISMISSED with prejudice, pursuant to agreement of counsel without costs.
My attorneys and I are still working on the agreement referenced above, so I can't say anything about it.
Order of October 13:
AND NOW, this 12th day of October, 2011, following oral argument, it is ORDERED the Motion for Leave to Withdraw as Counsel for Plaintiffs filed by Richard Hans Maurer (Document 45) is GRANTED.
It is further ORDERED Defendant Heather Idoni's Bill of Costs (Document 71) will be GRANTED. Plaintiff shall pay the bill of costs in the amount of $3,725.30 within ten days of this Order.
It is further ORDERED Defendant Helen Hegener's Bill of Costs (Document 72) will be GRANTED. Plaintiff shall pay the bill of costs in the amount of $2,988.00 within ten days of this Order.
People have been asking if they could share this news. Yes, please feel free to share it anywhere, via discussion groups, forums, blogs, newsletters, anyplace where people who've been wondering about this lawsuit will find that it's over and we're moving on now. But there's a little more I'd also like to have widely shared:
A friend wrote to ask about the costs involved; they'd heard that Mimi had to pay our attorney fees, but that is not so. The costs are enormous; almost a quarter of a million dollars now, and Mimi and her lawyer do NOT have to pay all our expenses. She will pay only my attorney's costs and travel expenses from the Oct. 7th hearing Mimi didn't attend, and they're pretty minimal, under $3,000. Still, it's an important victory in the sense that she's paying us, and we are not paying her a dime.
We did not receive any compensation for the loss of business from losing our web site and our ordering systems at the height of what is normally the best time of year for us. We not only lost the HEM site because of Mimi's harassment, but ALL our other web sites, even those not related to homeschooling. But perhaps the biggest and potentially most significant loss was my ability to communicate in my normal manner and volume. I've had a long-running problem with carpal tunnel syndrome, but I've kept the situation under control for many years by moderating the use of my hands. The extreme volume of typing with all the filing and emailing and communications that this lawsuit has necessitated has my hand almost crippled. I shouldn't be typing this, but hopefully it will help get the word out that this is over, and we're ready to set about the difficult task of rebuilding almost 30 years of work.
We need help. If you've ever considered becoming involved with this publication, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and explain what you'd be interested in doing. If you have no idea but just like the idea of helping, I'll be putting together a list of what we need and will post it at our HEM Networking discussion group on YahooGroups sometime in the next few days: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/HEM-Networking/
And if you can help financially, even a tiny little bit, you can send it via PayPal to email@example.com or via check to Helen Hegener, PO Box 759, Palmer, Alaska 99645 (yes, that's my personal address). I'm working on a 'Friends of HEM' web site, and I'll share more on that soon.
Thank you, everyone, for your support,
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Helen Hegener, Publisher
Home Education Magazine
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