Category Archives: N&T News

Important and Exciting News About Nerd & Tie!

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 AnimeCon.org/Chrono 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 AnimeCon.org 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 AnimeCon.org 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 AnimeCon.org CEO Ryan Kopf is Now Suing Pher Sturz Too

So many of you already know that in December AnimeCon.org 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).

So Ryan Kopf is Suing Me

Update (7/5): After being initially dismissed in Iowa, Kopf has refiled the case in Illinois.

So we do a lot of stuff here at Nerd & Tie. We’re starting a new convention, produce a podcast, just launched a new show, run panels at conventions, maintain a geek news blog, and provide in-depth coverage about conventions. That last one is a particular point of pride for us, as we do our best to dig for stories most other convention news blogs avoid or don’t take time to investigate. Most of that coverage starts with reader tips sent to us via our contact form or email address.

AnimeCon.org/Chrono LC CEO Ryan Kopf has apparently taken issue with our coverage of some of his events though, and last week I was served a petition at my home. Ryan Kopf is suing me for defamation in the state of Iowa.

The case (CVCV295431) is specifically about the following two articles:

Now, I don’t want to discuss details, but I still stand by what I wrote – as do Nick and Pher (who co-created Nerd & Tie with me). I have secured legal counsel, and intend to fight.

But this isn’t going to be cheap for me.

Because of this, I’m launching a GoFundMe campaign to try and cover my legal costs. If you can contribute, please do – as we aren’t exactly a big operation here at Nerd & Tie, and can only continue with the help of people like you.

Wish us luck… and, y’know, help out if you can.

Update: People have been asking for a full copy of the petition, so I took some quick photos of the document.

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Update (2/26): Pher Sturz has now also been named in the case.

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

Update (7/5): After being initially dismissed in Iowa, Kopf has refiled the case in Illinois.

The Nerd & Tie Expo is Having a Black Friday-Cyber Monday Sale!

So are you as excited about the Nerd & Tie Expo (September 23-25, 2016 in Eau Claire, WI) as we are, but have been waiting for the right moment to preregister? Well that moment is coming up! In the grand tradition of Black Friday (and the completely media invented Cyber Monday) we’re having a sale!

From Friday November 27th until Monday November 30th, we’re temporarily slashing prices on both Preregistration and Sponsorship packages. How much are we slashing the prices? Some by a little, and some by a lot. This is how it breaks down:

That’s the cheapest price we will ever offer the Gold Sponsorship for, so it’s kind of a big deal. Prices will snap back to their normal levels on December 1st, so make sure you take advantage of this awesome deal while you can!