Category Archives: N&T News

Important and Exciting News About Nerd & Tie!

So Ryan Kopf is Suing Me… Again

We do a lot of stuff here at Nerd & Tie. We produce a podcast, are helping start a new convention, and provide in-depth coverage of the con scene. That last bit is one of the things we’re most proud of, but is also what’s led to some of our biggest headaches.

As those of you who follow this site may be aware, for the first half of 2016 I found myself fighting a lawsuit LC CEO Ryan Kopf filed against me in the state of Iowa. It was over some of the coverage of his events I’ve written over the last couple of years (mostly these two articles). He later amended the suit to include Nerd & Tie co-creator and contributor Pher Sturz.

It should be noted that Pher was added to that suit solely because of posts made on his personal Facebook page in support of me.

Eventually things ended, with the case against myself and Pher Sturz being dismissed on jurisdictional grounds. We had hoped that would be the end of this situation, but unfortunately rather than take the minor PR hit and move on, Mr. Kopf has decided to keep this going.

Late last week both Pher Sturz and I were served once again.

You see, Ryan Kopf has had his attorneys refile the case in the state of Illinois in late June. You can read the new petition (2016-M3-003898) here, but it is almost identical to the amended petition filed in the Iowa case. Pher and I are both named, along with Nerd & Tie itself (although that last bit is less important as Nerd & Tie is not its own legal entity — as I am the sole legal owner of the site).

Now, as I said last time, I don’t want to discuss details, but I still stand by what I wrote.

Unfortunately though, legal fees and lawyers are not exactly cheap, and we expect costs to be much higher this time around. So while we hate to do it, we’re asking for your help again.

I’ve launched a new GoFundMe campaign, and if you can help contribute we’d appreciate it. We’re asking for $6,000 right now, although we may need more down the road. I know it’s a lot of money, but theres a good chance this case is going to drag out longer than the last one.

Honestly we appreciate any help you can give us.

Find Us at 2D Con RIGHT NOW!

So we know it’s a bit late to say this, but right now the Nerd & Tie Expo Super Awesome Road Show TeamTM is at 2D Con in Bloomington, MN! If you come to the con, you’ll find our fine folks manning an ambassador table — and you can preregister!

Pher is there, so make sure you say hello! He also may end up hosting a tournament or two. It’s a fun convention, we’re fun people, and in this great big universe, what else could you ask for?

I mean, besides pie. We all want pie as well.

Hopefully Our Final ‘Ryan Kopf v. Trae Dorn’ Update

Update (7/5/2016): Kopf has refiled the Lawsuit in Illinois

So for those of you not following along, for the last several months LC CEO Ryan Kopf has been suing some of us here at Nerd & Tie. He began by directly suing me (Trae Dorn), and then later expanded the suit to include Nerd & Tie contributor, co-host, and co-creator Pher Sturz. If you’re not sure who he is, Kopf directly runs Anime Zap!, QC Anime Zing!, Con+Alt+Delete, Animinneapolis, Metacon and Anime Midwest (and has ties to Black Materia, Inc and Anime California).

As the suit progressed, my lawyer successfully got the suit against me dismissed on the grounds of personal jurisdiction (as Kopf tried to sue us in Iowa). Before the judge could even hear Pher’s motion to dismiss though, Kopf’s lawyer attempted to fight this. Even after the case was dismissed against Pher Sturz, I was still dealing with motions to reconsider.

Well, today I have good news.

This last week, the final motions to reconsider were finally denied. With that, I have been assured by my lawyer that (fingers crossed) this entire mess is done. Since its true that since the case was dismissed on the grounds of jurisdiction, Kopf could refile the suit in Indiana (where I am actually based) though. If this occurs, we’re certain things would still go in our favor — as I stand behind the factual correctness of all of the articles published here on Nerd & Tie.

Because, as we all should know, American defamation law does not apply to true statements and opinions.

We’d like to thank everyone who helped support us through this. The majority of our legal defense was paid for by readers like you who chose to contribute to our GoFundMe campaigns, and the fact that you all were willing to put your hard earned money to support this rinky-dink website means a lot. Hopefully what’s published here will continue to be worthy of your support.

(I will say that if you still are willing to help out, Pher Sturz still owes a couple hundred dollars to his lawyer. His GoFundMe is still open if you still have any spare cash you can throw his way.)

Update (7/5/2016): Kopf has refiled the Lawsuit in Illinois

Find us at No Brand Con 2016!

So we’re heading to No Brand Con tomorrow in the Wisconsin Dells. As per normal, we’re bringing the full show of awesomeness, and Pher and Nick are doing their Otaku Tonight thing too… so yeah it’ll be fun.

And I totally copied that first paragraph from our post about this from last year. I mean, with a tweak to the city name, but still.

All con long, you can stop by the Nerd & Tie Expo table and register for our upcoming convention in Eau Claire, WI. Pher will be there most of Friday and Saturday, and Nick and Trae will be there at various points throughout the weekend. Some of the Nerd & Tie team you never see publicly will be there too — and they want to be your best friends.

Nick and I (Trae) will be scattered throughout the Artist Alley as well, so you should stop by their tables and say hello. It’s fun. But besides random table sitting, we’re doing panels too. Here’s our full schedule! Continue reading Find us at No Brand Con 2016!

Yet Another Update on ‘Ryan Kopf v Trae Dorn’

So it’s been a few weeks since we updated you on the current state of the lawsuit filed against us by Ryan Kopf in the state of Iowa.

For those of you not following along, at the end of last year CEO Ryan Kopf filed a defamation suit against me for articles published about his conventions here on Nerd & Tie. He later amended the suit to include Pher Sturz who had vocally supported me on Facebook. In February my lawyer filed for dismissal on jurisdictional grounds. In March that dismissal was granted, and that’s where we left you.

Well, a couple more things have happened since then.

First of all, Kopf’s attorney has now filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the Dismissal ruling and also a request to do jurisdictional discovery. A judge will hear that on April 15th (though we don’t know when we’ll know the results). We are, of course, resisting this.

Secondly, on the “good news” front, Pher Sturz’s motion to dismiss was granted. The dismissal was, unsurprisingly, granted on the grounds of Jurisdiction. It was ridiculous that Pher was ever dragged into this, and we’re exceptionally happy that it’s over for him.

So this post is a bit of an inverse of our last update. Pher Sturz now seems to be in the clear, while I still have a bit more to deal with. We’re optimistic though, and hopefully this will soon be over.

Update (5/9): This may finally be over.

Find Nick or Trae at a Con this Sunday!

So we know it’s a tad last minute, but did you know you could spend Sunday, April 3rd with either Nerd & Tie’s Nick Izumi or me (Trae Dorn)? Well, you can! Both Nick and Trae are going to be at two different events at the same time — in two different cities!

Nick will be at Karoshi Con at Northern Illinois University in Dekalb, IL. You can find him in the vendor room at the Ineffective Carnivore table, and I’m certain he’d love to see you. Ask him how his wedding was (spoilers: it was awesome).

I (Trae) will be elsewhere, down at the Spring INDYpendent Show in Indianapolis, IN. Held in conjunction with Who’s Yer Con at the Wyndham West Hotel and Convention Center, I’ll be selling comics and doing demos on Sunday. I will also tell you about Nick’s wedding if you want, but I’m not sure why you’d ask me.

So yeah, it’s all very exciting. For those of you who want to see us in the same place though you’ll have to wait a little longer… and by that I mean two weeks when No Brand Con comes around in the Wisconsin Dells.

The Current State of ‘Ryan Kopf v Trae Dorn’

Some of you may be aware that in December CEO Ryan Kopf filed a defamation suit in the state of Iowa against me for articles published here on Nerd & Tie. After I launched a GoFundMe campaign to cover my legal costs, Kopf had the lawsuit amended to include Pher Sturz (who had vocally supported me on Facebook).

Well, for the first time since this ordeal started, I’m happy to report some good news.

In February my lawyer filed a motion to dismiss on the grounds of personal jurisdiction, and I’m pleased to announce that yesterday that motion was granted. For now, it seems, I am (at least personally) out of the woods.

Now, this doesn’t mean this thing is over. The case is still active for Pher Sturz, and he’ll need to file his own motion to dismiss. That motion would also need to be granted by a judge, so the suit doesn’t end until that happens. Likewise, this also doesn’t prevent Kopf from trying to bring a case against me in Indiana (where I actually live).

But it’s still wonderful news, and things are moving in the right direction.

Update: Aaaand Kopf’s attorney has filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the Dismissal ruling and also a request to do jurisdictional discovery. Because of course he did.

Update (4/4): So more has happened since this was written.

So CEO Ryan Kopf is Now Suing Pher Sturz Too

So many of you already know that in December CEO Ryan Kopf filed a lawsuit in the state of Iowa against me for articles I published here on Nerd & Tie about his organization. After I was served, I quickly went public — starting a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for my legal defense (because, y’know, lawyers are expensive).

Pher Sturz, who co-hosts the podcast with me (and came up with the name for it — which is where the name of this site comes from), was very vocal in his public support for me. Pher did this because he’s a good friend, and wasn’t really any more inflammatory (and in most cases significantly less so) than most other people sharing the link.

Here’s the twist — after that happened, Mr. Kopf had the petition amended. Now it names not just me, but also now Pher Sturz as well.

You can read the full amended petition, but there are some basic things you need to know. To start, you may have noticed that “Nerd & Tie” was also named directly in the petition. We haven’t made a big deal about that only because it’s wholly inconsequential. We don’t talk about it that much, but for a very long time (and long before any of the mentioned articles were published), the ownership of the Nerd & Tie website has been solely in my hands.

There is no other legal entity, and I pay all the bills and personally own all the assets.

This means that Pher Sturz is not being sued for anything published on this website, but solely for posts he allegedly made on his personal Facebook page. I don’t want to go into the legal merits of Kopf’s case, but Pher’s never made any claims that haven’t been posted by others before him. It seems like his support of me is the only thing that has put him in the firing line.

To make this worse, Pher, frankly, doesn’t make a lot of money. And I know he won’t point this out himself, but he has a young daughter as well. Lawyers are really, really expensive and he needs to hire one fast. His original attempt to secure aid fell through, so now we’re reaching out to you — the Nerd & Tie readers.

Pher has launched a GoFundMe campaign (Titled ‘The Ryan Kopf is Suing Me Too! Fund‘) to try and get money together to hire someone, and I hope you’ll consider contributing. He’s asking for $3000 right now because (after fees) that’s effectively what he’ll need to get started.

Pher has also stated that any money raised through the GoFundMe campaign beyond what he ends up needing will be donated to the Joyful Heart Foundation, so even if this gets settled immediately your money will go to a good cause.

So please, please, please try to help him out.

Update (3/8): While the case is still active against Pher Sturz, a motion to dismiss has been granted for me (Trae Dorn).