Pooh’s Think

… with comments

Concerns Inside and Outside the Home

The internet story that Mark Epstein is responsible for becomes more saddening as time goes on. Instead of spending time pursing his daughter who he has abused, Mark is finding more things to get angry about. On his new blog (safely removed from all his recent praise of Pooh’s Think), Mark is now wrangling with an alleged letter from Doug Phillips’ Attorney sent to Mark and his wife some time after May 22 (Mark does not give us the date of this letter):

“This letter is to advise you that I represent Doug and Beall Phillips. It is my view that under Texas and Federal law, your statements about the Phillips and your widely distributed letters of February 2005 and May 22, 2006 constitute actionable slander and libel. Were you convicted in a court of law for libel and slander, damages could be substantial.”

Mark dedicates an entire post for the purpose of criticizing how this attorney used legal language in this paragraph. Mark is upset that this attorney would try to intimidate him with the word “convicted,” instead of just saying “judgment.” Mark wants to know why Doug Phillips would try to intimidate him. Another patriarchical saga! Even Doug Phillips’ legal representation hired for the purpose of protecting Phillips, Phillips’ wife, and Phillips’ business is a meany-winnie. Why can’t Christian attorneys show some understanding and love? Mark also wants to know why this attorney used the word “slander” in additional to “libel.” Unfortunately, Mark’s prolific activities have forced this attorney to make broad use of legal vocabulary, since the lies were both spoken and distributed in writing (“statements about” and “distributed letters”). Mark also wants to know why the attorney did not state which laws he is referencing—hmmm, perhaps this attorney is lying; there may not be any statements about slander and libel under Texas and Federal law. Or, maybe this attorney would be pleased if Mark was forced to hire his own attorney to give him legal consultation. But who needs that when you have the Watchman to cover your story!….attorneys are at least responsible to continue representing you once they start. Lastly, Mark takes issue with the language “widely distributed.” Perhaps Mark would like to sue this attorney for libel. However, it could be possible that this attorney was predicting Mark’s real intent: to distribute their libelous story to the world wide web! Would Mark get angry if we were to now claim that his statements are “widely distributed?” Perhaps a “careful” look at this paragraph should include at least a skim of the entire letter–but no primary document forthcoming.

Hopefully, Mark will soon ask his wife to pull her blog and start informing us how things are going with his wife and children.


December 12, 2006 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Mr. Epstein’s sanctimonious whining is funny.

    “Mr. Hart is alleging violations of Texas and Federal law, but he does not state the specific laws he thinks were violated.”

    It’s not legally required that he do so, and besides, if he had, Mark would have accused him of trying to intimidate him with a lot of unnecessary jargon, right?

    “…why list both slander and libel? Why doesn’t he just list the encompassing legal term of defamation, since he is obviously accusing Jennifer and me of both written defamation (libel) and spoken defamation (slander)?”

    Because there are several types and forms of defamation, including, as you have so eloquently pointed out, spoken and written, also known more concisely and properly as slander and libel. Obviously Mr. Hart wanted to be precise in his communication and more closely adhere to legal principles than Mark.

    “Lastly, why does Mr. Hart use the term convicted (a term related to criminal procedure) versus the appropriate term in this case, judgment?”

    No, ‘judgement’ is in fact an incredibly imprecise and incorrect term. If the case received a JUDGEMENT in court, all that would mean is that the judge issued a verdict, which could in fact be anything. It is only if you are CONVICTED of defamation of character and other charges that you would be liable for punitive damages or compensatory awards.

    “Those who have followed this story from the beginning know the issue of intimidation has been raised in other forums (with respect to Doug Phillips’ behavior toward other individuals).”

    Yes indeed, and this first posted example of that much-alleged intimidation is pretty much your standard, precise, cut-and-dried warning letter. And, judging from all the accounts raised in other forums, it’s exactly what a responsible business man should do to protect his name.
    Excellent point about the “widely-distributed” defense.

    Comment by Counsel | December 13, 2006 | Reply

  2. Thanks Counsel. I didn’t know about the language of “convicted.” What bothers me about this is that the Watchman/Vance has been acting like there are bro bono attorneys watching over all this. But now that Mark is out on his own he doesn’t seem to have gotten or getting any legal consultation. Watchman was implicitly encouraging me to stick my kneck out like this too.

    Comment by Michael Metzler | December 13, 2006 | Reply

  3. “And, judging from all the accounts raised in other forums, it’s exactly what a responsible business man should do to protect his name.”

    What would our Lord have done?

    Comment by Just curious | December 15, 2006 | Reply

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