Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

August 17, 2007

Mediated Settlement in Harlan Ellison v. Fantagraphics Released to Public

By David P. Welsh

The mediated settlement between parties in the suit filed by Harlan Ellison against Fantagraphics, Gary Groth, and Kim Thompson has been finalized and released to the public. (A PDF of the complete settlement document is available here.)

Here are some of the highlights:
1. The action initiated by Ellison has been dismissed.

2. Neither party admits any liability in the action.

3. No monetary payment will be made by either party, and each will bear the burden of their own legal fees.

4. "(1) Defendants shall refrain from making ad hominem, personal attacks on the Plaintiff so long as Plaintiff shall live, and (2) Plaintiff shall refrain from making ad hominem, personal attacks on the Defendants so long as Defendant shall live (or be in existence, in the case of a business entity)." They need not refrain from comment or criticism of each others' "work, writings, advocacy, public statements or other public activities, broadly construed."

5. Neither party will offer any comment on the settlement.

6. Two passages will be removed from Tom Spurgeon's Comics as Art: We Told You So, a history of Fantagraphics in particular and independent comics in general.

7. The interview with Ellison will be excised from future printings of The Writers, edited by Spurgeon.

8. Ellison will permit the defendants to post on his web site for 30 days a rebuttal of no more than 500 words regarding Ellison's comments that Groth had embezzled "funds in the Fleisher litigation and solicit[ed] contributions to the Fantagraphics Legal Defense Fund under false pretenses, and that likened Mr. Groth to a child molester." No liability will attach to the Defendants as a result of anything included in the rebuttal.

9. There will be no further solicitations for donations to the Fantagraphics Legal Defense Fund, though the Defendants may continue ongoing auctions of original art and other items, provided they state that proceeds from the fund-raising auctions will be used defray legal costs already incurred.
The document concludes with a few pages of legalese that I believe come down to, "Let us never speak of this, or sue over it, again."

This entry was written and placed by David P. Welsh as a favor to this site, without editorial oversight or intrusion.
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink

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