Peter Beagle supports the mission to expose and fix bad business practices by Connor Cochran. (The long history starts in the sidebar.) Connor is also being countersued in relation to this site – Don’t believe any info about it sourced from him.
Court says “frivolous” in black and white. (10/24/17)
In a hail-mary move, Connor Cochran recently tried to get Peter Beagle’s entire lawsuit thrown out. Peter is suing for 15 causes. 14 of them prevailed, with the remaining one being covered by another one. Assuming no further delay, Connor will have to defend himself at trial for fraud and elder abuse in January 2018.
Connor’s pretext for attacking Peter’s causes was “lack of evidence” – it’s a circular argument when the evidence is being withheld. The court wasn’t fooled: “The fact that Beagle does not know how much money was unpaid is apparently due to Defendants’ refusal to provide him an accounting, as alleged.” (You can look at court records by searching case RG15794528, or read the judgement PDF.)
The judgement also grants truth to what close observers have known for a long time: “The vast majority of Defendants’ motion may accurately be characterized as frivolous.” Connor was just stalling and inflicting costs to try avoiding any consequences for wrongdoing.
In legal terms, frivolous doesn’t just mean silly. It means inherently unjust, lacking in merit, or otherwise unscrupulous – something done by bullies. Before the judge said it, our last post dug into Connor’s history of abusive legal tactics against his opponents (from elderly ex-clients to his own family). We’ve been describing Connor as “power abuser and bully” since 2014, when we promised the site would stay live until fairness is won. Now we’re happy to see validation for what we’ve been saying since the start, but even more happy for Peter. Peter’s case is alive and well, and nobody who is confident about defending would use such sleazy tactics to avoid consequences.
But Connor keeps trying. (The definition of insanity comes to mind.)
Connor is claiming that he wrote Peter Beagle’s work – a move to “humiliate and punish an old man he was supposed to be helping” – Peter fires back.
A comment from Connor describing how he intends to seize Peter’s recent novel In Calabria from its publisher and correct it with Connor’s own idea of how the book should be written:
Linked at SupportPeterBeagle.com, or from his friend/editor:
A statement from Peter S. Beagle, in direct response to Connor Cochran's claims of co-authorship to Peter's stories….
Posted by Deborah Grabien on Wednesday, October 25, 2017
Peter’s complete answer to Connor’s claims:
“I am 78 years old. I have been publishing professionally for almost sixty years. Telling stories, in one way or another, one medium or another, is what I do, and all I ever wanted to do. From the beginning, starting with my first book, A FINE AND PRIVATE PLACE, I have worked with various publishers and editors, most of them helpful, and a few truly excellent. Connor Cochran, at his best, was for many years one of this latter group. I have said this many times in public, particularly commending his sense of structure; he even suggested titles for several of my stories. I have been grateful over our long acquaintance for such things.
But he did not write my stories, as he is now claiming publicly. They are my work, and no one else’s – as are all my other books, all the way back to that first one, published in 1960, when I was twenty-one. They are my legacy.
To quote a remembered line from the classic movie All About Eve, “It is about time that the piano realized that it has not written the symphony.”
And to quote partially from the words of my lawyer, Kathleen Hunt, addressed to Connor Cochran’s former lawyer, Richard Mooney:
“Your claims are plainly false and inconsistent with the letter and application of U.S. copyright law. The statements may also constitute libel or other injurious action towards Beagle…. You surely knew that there is no evidence of a joint authorship relationship between Cochran and Beagle, that there was no objective manifestation to create a work of joint authorship, that the parties’ conduct at the time the works were created suggests a clear intent not to create a work of joint authorship, and that the statute of limitations had long expired. Under these circumstances, there can be little doubt that the sole purpose of your Correspondence was to fraudulently obtain authorship credit in the 27 Works in order to acquire leverage over my client in pending litigation.“
For fifteen years, over the counsel of true and knowledgeable friends, I trusted Connor Cochran implicitly with all that I believed to be of any real value: my work, and the future of my legacy. I was certain beyond any question that he was a man of honor and creativity. I will forever regret that I was wrong.
Peter S. Beagle”
The true fans are all behind you, Peter – we can’t wait to see you win.
Please spread the news, like these good guys are doing:
An Important Message from Peter S. Beagle: https://t.co/g29uWq9I6b
— Kurt Busiek Resists (@KurtBusiek) October 27, 2017
You know, I knew Peter BEagle's (nor former) manager was a slimeball, but even this is low. Claiming credit for writing some of Beagle's stories? I think the only stories he ever wrote were the lies he told the fans about their pre-orders. https://t.co/6cAfXaDRoh
— Gen Whitmore (@littletales) November 9, 2017
UPDATE (11/8/17): CONNOR’S COUNTERSUIT IS DEAD!
This came out within hours after our post went live. This is kind of burying the lede now, but SupportPeterBeagle.com has the update. It links the judgement PDF. As Peter’s site says, the countersuit is dismissed with prejudice (dead for good, no retries), and the court called Cochran’s bad behavior “unusual and egregious”.
Add those bolded words to the long list of Connor’s dirty legal tactics for leverage:
- When Peter sued, Connor attacked his mental health while working with Peter’s children to take conservatorship of his rights. Their own lawyer told them to drop the case, dumped them as clients, and released documents about why it was false and unviable.
- Connor sued Peter’s lawyer to attack her for simply representing his rights. He lost with a penalty of $25,000 in legal fees that he has refused to pay.
- The countersuit at Peter was the next attack.
They all failed, and at this point, Connor isn’t just getting one tap on the wrist for wrongdoing. The dismissal of his countersuit further says:
- Connor has 30 days to pay the $25,000 he owes to Peter’s lawyer.
- An additional $3,000 penalty is owed in 30 days.
- This behavior is likely to be taken into account with sanctions at trial.
Failure to comply in 30 days puts Connor in violation of court orders. Keep watching while things keep getting better and better for Peter and everyone on his side.
For those who don't know, Peter Beagle, author of The Last Unicorn, has been abused and driven into poverty by Connor Cochran for years, and when Peter was finally able to file a suit to get his earnings back, Connor counter-filed. But it's been thrown out! Very hopeful now https://t.co/W73DD18yKA
— Archantael ? Pangolin-Fox (@phoenixtheblade) November 9, 2017