A new disclaimer #notchilled

As of today, these disclaimers are now necessary:

  1. All posts to this blog are made by me in my individual capacity. Any posts on my blog are not made on behalf of RWA or any of the other members of the Board of Directors for RWA. RWA has not approved these statements, and is not the speaker either directly or indirectly.
  2. From here on out, I will limit my discussion of the issues to an impartial explanation of the arguments made by the parties and the court proceedings, and I will discuss those proceedings only to the extent that those proceedings are a public non-RWA matter which I am discussing on a non-RWA website.
    • “Impartial” does not mean “not choosing sides.” Judges are expected to be impartial, and yet they must choose a side at the end of the day. I will tell you what I honestly think of the legal arguments before the court. If Dear Author makes a legal argument that I think is crap, I will tell you that I think so, explain why, and try to provide enough support that the intrepid can decide for themselves if I’m wrong. The same holds true for Ellora’s Cave.
    • From here on out, I will not discuss what Ellora’s Cave or its principals are doing, except to the extent required to discuss court filings.
    • I won’t tweet or link to the analysis of others or to statements by others.
    • I will not engage in advocacy for one side or the other.
  3. RWA may have matters regarding Ellora’s Cave come before it during the next two years. RWA must not only decide those matters fairly and impartially, it must be believed to be fair and impartial by all parties. Because of my prior involvement discussing the EC v. DA suit, I am officially updating my conflict of interest form with RWA to register that I have a conflict with Ellora’s Cave. Under section 17.3.13 of RWA’s Policies & Procedures manual, “[a]ny Membership Committee members, Directors, and RWA staff with a conflict of interest in an investigation cannot participate in the investigation or vote on the outcome, as applicable.” This means that if any matter at all involving Ellora’s Cave comes before RWA during my tenure as a member of the Board of Directors, I will not be involved in the discussion with the board and will not participate in the outcome of that decision.
  4. All comments made to these posts are the opinions of the individual commenters, and not my own opinion.
  5. The only one of the above requirements which was requested by RWA is the first. The rest are restrictions that I have voluntarily undertaken in order to make sure that there is adequate separation between me and the organization.

Thank you all for your understanding.

13 thoughts on “A new disclaimer #notchilled

  1. Re: #3: “RWA may not have matters regarding Ellora’s Cave come before it during the next two years.” Is that meant to be “may NOT,” or “MAY?”

    Please delete if I’ve misunderstood.

  2. Bummer. I get why you have to do this, but it just makes me a little sad.

    I’ve never really liked the idea of boycotts ever since my fundie parents were pushed into the stupid Disney boycott in the 90s. I don’t really see a point in them, because it seems like they hardly ever work. However, this situation seems to call for some sort of financial intervention from the readers. As I said to my DH two days ago, this @#%^ is bananas. B-A-N-A-N-A-S. I had no idea about any of this biz until I wanted to know when I could expect a series to have a new release. I discovered that there wouldn’t BE another book in the series because the publisher was having drama, and that led me to EC’s website, where I found Ms. Engler’s blog. I was alarmed by the tone of Ms. Engler’s blog, and found it frankly strange. Following that, I went to find out more information on this EC/DA business only to discover Dear Author, SBTB, and your blog here. What made me want to stop buying EC books was reading the blog of Ms. Engler and the @pubnt tweets. It’s my money to do with as I like. I’ll buy books that I think I’ll like, and I’ll say what I like about the books I buy. No, I will not shut up and give up both my money and my right to free speech. So that’s that I suppose.

    I will confess to having read all your books because they were smart and good, but I knew nothing about you as a person. I’ve developed a tiny girlcrush on you because you’re a lawyer who writes romance novels. I’m a stay-at-home-mama who is working hard on becoming a PhD in History
    (I’m a tortoise, not a hare), so I love me some smart girls. Also, <3 the juxtaposition of law/romance. Also smart women turn my metaphorical crank apparently.

  3. @Mzcue:

    Thank you. Editing error. It used to be “may or may not come before” and I decided that was redundant and didn’t fully edit. Fixed now.


    Just remember, “impartial” does not mean “not taking sides.” The standard I’m applying is more like, “What I would write in a bench memo to a judge” and less like “never saying anything bad ever again.” Impartial can still be harsh. You’ll see what that standard can look like in practice when I publish what I think of EC’s reply.

  4. I appreciate your posts. If it’s affecting your business life I understand the need for a disclaimer and a change in how you do things. I’m sure your future posts will still be informative and thanks again.

  5. It’s certainly understandable that you have to do this, but thank you for continuing to offer insightful commentary on legal issues affecting the publishing world. I’m grateful as both an author and a consumer, and as a member of RWA.

  6. Courtney, I’m sorry this just became a little more troublesome from you, but a lot of people rely on your help to interpret some of this stuff, so just know that you are immensely appreciated for all your efforts.

    Andarae, it just dawned on me that pubnt or pbnet or whatever, has done way more than DA ever did to lower my opinion of TE as a person and a business woman.

  7. Unlike everyone else who’s commented so far, I’m heartened by your commitment to transparency and being upfront about your roles and responsibilities rather than disappointed. So yay for disclaimers!

  8. You are on my favorite bad ass list. I’m all for disclaimers and being upfront about various hats and the responsibilities that come with said hats…so I think this is actually pretty cool. And I think limitations around badassery just means cleaned up, stronger, and more badass in the right hands.

  9. It’s disappointing that we live in a world where you need such a disclaimer. I hope you haven’t been threatened.

  10. @Josh:

    I disagree. I think disclaimers exist so that people are aware of the relationships between parties. There’s nothing disappointing about full disclosure and explanation, and I think we could do with more, not less, of it.

    But then, I am a lawyer. 😉

  11. Also, I take this to mean that your term as a member-at-large of the RWA board started on November 1st.

    I really don’t get why people don’t realize why a disclaimer on your part is necessary, especially considering the mess Tina Engler is making by acting as though she and EC are one and the same; they’re not, and if she’s treated their finances as if they are in fact one, EC is in even more serious trouble than we all think it is. But perhaps not everyone who reads entries on your blog realizes that you’re now part of the RWA board and owe RWA and its members a duty of care, transparency, and disclosure and that this has nothing to do with threats and everything to do with being above-board.

  12. @lawless: I think you are assuming just a tad too much there.

    I think most of us understand why the disclaimer is a good thing, even though we very much liked a slightly less guarded badass Courtney Milan.

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