The Doctrine Of Truth – Open Letter To Jared Hope & Patrick Francey

September 17th, 2012 · 7 Comments · Landlord Rescue Trademark

Hello Readers,

I’d like to say I wan’t surprised when I received the following letter Jared Hope & Patrick Francey’s lawyer. There is a couple of defenses to a libel accusation the most obvious one being truth. That is if you say the truth about someone then it’s not libel. You are also allowed to make jokes and fun of people and use hyperbole and exaggeration. Lawsuits that allege defamation in order to curtail fair criticism – known as “SLAPPs” (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) – should not be permitted, either online or offline. Lawsuits that allege defamation in order to curtail fair criticism – known as “SLAPPs” (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) – should not be permitted, either online or offline.

Ltr to R Berube

BERSENAS
JACOBSEN
CH0UEST
THOMSON
BLACKBURN LLP

BARRISTERS, SOLICITORS

33 Yonge Street
Suite 201
Toronto, Ontario
Canada M5E 1G4

T: 416-982-3800
F: 416-982-3801

September 12, 2012

Delivered Via Courier

Dear Ms. Berube:

Re: Notice of Libel and Request to Cease and Desist
File No: 301096

Peter M. Jacobsen

Direct Dial: 416-982-3803
pjacobsen@lexcanada.com

We are lawyers retained by Patrick Francey and Jared Hope. We have reviewed many of the blogs authored by you and posted at http://landlordrescue.ca. A number of those posts are defamatory of Messrs. Francey and Hope. The offending posts are attached to this letter as Schedule “A”.

We demand that the offending posts referred to in Schedule “A” be removed from your website and any other forum you may have posted them, such as Linkedln, forthwith and in any event no later than Monday, September 17, 2012. We further request that no further blog postings regarding Messrs. Francey and Hope be available on your website, http://landlordrescue.ca, and that you undertake to not publish any further commentary about them.

We trust that you will agree to the above-noted requests. However, in the event you do not, you will leave our clients with no option but to commence a civil action against you in defamation to vindicate their reputations. Again, we hope that this will not be necessary. Please be advised that Schedule “A” to this letter will not only serve as a reference to the offending posts and assist you with the above-noted requests, but it will, along with this letter, also serve as a Notice of Libel pursuant to the Libel and Slander Act, RSO 1990, c L.12 in connection with this letter.

We further hereby provide you with notice pursuant to the Courts of Justice Act, RSO 1990, c. C.43 that in the event we are required to commence a civil suit, our clients will be seeking: i) pre-judgment interest from the date of this letter to the date of judgment; ii) their full indemnity costs of the proceedings; iii) a mandatory injunction requiring you to forthwith and immediately remove, or cause to be removed, the offending posts referred to in Schedule Page2 “A”; and iv) damages for harm to reputation including, and without limiting the generality of the foregoing, punitive and exemplary damages.

Lastly, we request that you keep in safekeeping all earlier drafts of the offending posts listed at Schedule “A”, as well as all notes, documents, tapes and other materials on which the offending posts were based. Should you have any questions or wish to discuss this matter, please do not hesitate to contact our office in writing.

Yours truly,
Peter M. Jacobsen

PMJ/CCD

SCHEDULE “A”- OFFENDING POSTS

1. Another Important Voicemail For Jared … :September 11, 2012
a. Location:
i. http://landlordrescue.ca/
b. Defamatory content
1. “I’m not sure of a more perfect example of why what you guys are doing is so wrong and has been so wrong for over a year. This is exactly what must stop. It is not ok for both of you and your business to keep using my business name Landlord Rescue. This speaks to confusion and important problems as well as privacy issues for your business and your tenants. Why do I have to be the one to tell you this is wrong?” I was actually wrong here and this has been corrected in the post. The name Landlord Rescue was changed to… Landlord Resource Center.

2. Legal Offers To Settle- Part Deux: September 4, 2012
a. Location:
i. http:/ /landlordrescue.ca/
b. Defamatory content:
1. Photo of person making an “L” with her thumb and forefinger on her forehead:
11. “So people here is an example of a trademark dispute resolution written by an asshat.”
iii. “Considering that they bought the website Landlordrescue.com it’s kind of hard to believe they didn’t know of my existence, especially when they copied my logo as well.”
IV. “I couldn’t sign this because it is my belief that this is a complete lie and I don’t sign documents with lies on them.”
v. “Sharing the name I invented and made famous with a bunch of yokels like Jared Hope and Patrick Francey sounds as thrilling as wisdom tooth extraction.”
VI. “Uhmmm no, nope, guess what, I reserve the right to tell the entire world, past, present and future what a bunch of dishonest businessmen Jared Hope & Patrick Francey are. Even when they are caught red handed, they continue with their bad behaviour. I keep talking about it they keep behaving badly.”

3. Don’t Worry Folks, Jared Is On It … :August 31,2012
a. Location:
i. http:/ /landlordrescue.ca/
b. Defamatory content:
1. “I would have been very scared of his loud voice if I was frightened of wankers.”
11. “I wasn’t exactly feeling this either because in my opinion blogging about their bad behaviour is the only recourse that has worked at all.”
111. “Too funny I’m not the one being sued and running an unlicensed property management company.”
IV. “Frankly it just feels better because WTF they stole my business name from me.”

4. Tenant Doesn’t Like Jared Hope: August 29,2012
a. Location:
i. http:/ /landlordrescue.ca/
b. Defamatory content:
i. “Jared Hope’s a bad Landlord … Tsk Tsk Tsk”
ii. “Maybe Jared or Patrick gave his girlfriend genital warts.”

5. More Emails … :August 27, 2012
a. Location:
i. http://landlordrescue.ca/
b. Defamatory content:
1. “Since the day those guys applied for the trademark of my business name … I have been getting misdirected and deliberate emails from people.”
11. E-mail from anonymous: “I am just letting you know that in Alberta Landlord rescue does not hold a business license in Edmonton or Grand Prairie. They have a woman with a criminal record for theft from her employer as their rental manager in Grande Prairie. [ … ]”

6. Answering Comments On The Trademark Issue: August 25,2012
a. Location:
i. http:/ /landlordrescue.ca/
b. Defamatory content:
1. “I guess I should just own that I don’t like people stealing from me.”
11. “I also resent that you feel that it’s ok for Jared and Patrick to outright steal my intellectual property, but I shouldn’t have a hissy fit about it or write nasty shit about them while paying thousands to defend myself from their thievery.”
111. “These are scum bags, I have lots of complaints and misdirected emails to prove it.”

7. More Reflections on Business: August 24, 2012
a. Location:
i. http:/ /landlordrescue. ca/reflections-business/
b. Defamatory content:
i. “Then there’s the ideas that are pure rot. Like the one that came to the mind of Jared Hope & Patrick Francey & CO to steal the name of Landlord Rescue. That was bad, but being big important men they ignored me until the Globe & Mail Article about the trademark. So it’s been a bad idea since then and it’s never going to be a good idea.”
11. “In any case I do owe Jared and Patrick a debt of gratitude, first they provided me with a valuable opportunity to inform landlords of the dangers of genital warts. I’m not sure that has ever happened before. Second, fuck it, I’m not this gracious the Public Service Announcement will have to do. Next week the joys of genital herpes animation staring
Don, Patrick, Jared & the loser of the Bum Fight.”
111. “Still I do want to prevent the scourge of unlicensed property management companies in Alberta … ”

8. Hey Jared Hope! Chris from REIN Wants To Speak To You: August 23,2012
a. Location:
i. http://landlordrescue.ca/hey-jared-hope-chris-rein-speak/
b. Defamatory content:
i. “For all those who might not understand why it’s a bad idea to steal someone else’s business name consider this … ”
ii. “See most people when informed that they have been caught red handed leaving the store with cases of pop under the cart at least try to pretend they “forgot”. They then leave as quickly as possible. Not Jared, he sticks around telling me what a great guy he is, instead of signing the damn agreement and slinking back to the the nether regions of Albertazthan to Grande Prairie.”
111. “The best way not to come into contact with me is not to steal my business name and trademark it.”

9. OMG Jared Hope and Patrick Francey Are Tools: August 21,2012
a. Location:
i. http://landlordrescue.ca/omg-jared-hope-patrick-francey-tools/
b. Defamatory Content:
1. “OMG Jared Hope and Patrick Francey Are Tools”
ii. Rendering of Bill Murray holding a sign that says, “You’re an asshole”
iii. “I have discussed with you that since I very first became aware of the theftof my business name (When landlords called and wanted to sue my company)”
iv. “If they don’t want to sign the agreement as written, I will start writing daily about the emails I receive, the confusing voicemails, their business dealings and their general assfuckery just because sometimes I want to and it’s a free country. Tim, I am very sorry to rant on about this but I’m so sick of these people. They are example of everything slimy and wrong.”
v. “I didn’t do anything wrong unlike those two slimy, sleezy, motherfuckers. So I’m going to post this, and their grandchildren can read it and everything else I write about them, because I can.”

10. Update On Landlord Rescue Edmonton’s Stealing of My Business NameSeptember
19, 2011
a. Location:
i. http:/ /landlordrescue.ca/landlord-rescue-edmontons-stealing/
b. Defamatory content
1. Update On Landlord Rescue Edmonton’s Stealing of My Business
Name”
11. “I have learned that making deals with people who are morally deficient enough to steal other people’s business names is about as wise as trusting your neighborhood crackhead with holding your money for a little while.”
111. “Honestly they go through all this convoluted effort to slip and slime around the regulations for property management in their province.Wouldn’t it be simpler to just comply? Idiots.”
IV. “Seriously that may very well be the reason they couldn’t buy A La Carte. No one who has worked as hard as I have to build a business with their blood sweat and tears would willingly consent to being associated with this kind of devious, manipulative bull shit.”
v. “We’ll see what RECA has to say about their illegal services.”

Without limiting the generality of the natural and ordinary meaning and/or legal and false
innuendos in the statements created by the words above, and their arrangement, the offending
posts, through the combination of words and their arrangement, produced defamatory statements
that in their entirety, meant and were understood to mean that Messrs. Hope and Francey:
a) stole and are improperly using a business name;
b) are losers;
c) copied a business logo;
d) lied in a legal agreement;
e) are dishonest businessmen;
f) have engaged in bad behaviour;
g) run an unlicensed property management company;
h) their company is not complying with applicable regulations; and
i) the services their company provides are illegal.
While some of the offending blog posts do not refer to Messrs. Francey or Hope expressly, read in their entirety, it is clear that the offending blog posts are about them.

My Answer To Mr Jacobsen, Mr Hope & Mr Francey

Dear Mr Jacobsen,

My opinion is… protected by law. In particular Section 2(b) of the Charter.

Your clients would also do well to read up on The Streisand Effect and The Santorum Effect

This may seem strange to you but I actually feel sorry for them both. I’m sure in their confused minds they think I’m an unreasonable harpy who calls them bad names and they don’t like it and would like me to stop. In fact in my very first blog post I told that what the proper course of action for an ethical person would be in a situation just like this. This is actually the opposite of what they continue to do.

Lets go back far in the mists of time when Mr Hope and Mr Francey apparently dreamed up the name Landlord Rescue for their business and bought the website.  (This is not my belief or opinion but just an assumption) At some point in time when I started being very loud and vociferous about it and was still trying to avoid the odious legal fees involved in the trademark dispute, they had the opportunity to man up and admit they made a mistake and back down. They abandoned the trademark application because they had absolutely no evidence they had used the name first.

Long before it got to court, before it went to the Globe, before this crap landed on your desk, Mr. Hope & Mr Francey had the option to say… Oops my bad! I have to pick another name, in fact they each have a web of companies and change names all the time, my search of their Ontario Inc. linked it to 11 other numbered and named companies. So why is it a big deal to them to change the name and turn over the trademark and behave ethically. The first time I contacted them about my site, their site wasn’t even built.

We had an opportunity to finish this dispute I signed the actual agreement and they can make it end any time they want by signing the agreement and stopping their assfuckery and douchebaggery.

An example of assfuckery would be changing their name from Landlord Rescue to Landlord Resource Center. The first word is identical and the second word shares the first three letters. They are still using the exact same website landlordrescue(dot)com. This is confusingly similar. This is why I keep getting their clients and tenants communications via email and phone. You’d think they’d be a little more interested in their clients and tenant’s privacy then they are.

Example of Douchbaggery: Hey I’m going to start a business called McDonald’s Restoclubs. That’s the same thing. Would you advise any of your clients to do that Mr Jacobsen?

The other option always available in a trademark dispute is just to buy the people out. Hey, I like your business name here’s some money. That hasn’t happened either.

Again they have the option of stopping this any time by signing the agreement and stopping their behaviour. I literally have hundreds more emails and voicemails. That’s what’s wrong about confusing consumers in the first place. In fact, that’s why I’m so irritated, it’s like death by a thousand papercuts every few days I’m getting “Landlord Rescue Edmonton’s” communique’s

It’s just sad, and as their REIN friends turn to them and ask them what I’m writing about, they’ve had the power to stop this at any time, I’m a landlord blog not a trademark blog. I don’t want to write about them. Yes my opinion is that REIN is a cultish, expensive, confirmation bias inducing fancy membership club but do I write about it every day? No. I tell people how to rent their houses and apartments out and I’d really like to get back to that.

Why would the CEO of REIN Patrick Francey have anything to do with this trademark trainwreck? That’s actually a good question, what is in it for them?

Kind Suggestions To Jared, Patrick & Legal Counsel

  • Sign the Final Agreement fax it to 1-(647) 724-1619
  • Pick Another Business Name That Is Not Still Confusingly Similar to Landlord Rescue

In this way, we can both never have anything to do with each other again and all live happily ever after. The END

Or we can go to the Supreme Court to discuss Section 2 of the Charter. It will be expensive and I will win. I can add to to the bucket list of things I will have done as a result of being a blogger.

Lets Go To The Supreme Court And Discuss Free Speech, Protected Speech & SLAPPS

photo by: savebradley

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7 Comments so far ↓

  • Chael Sonnen

    You are going to get a degree from hard knocks. Seen this a million times. Someone who thinks they know more then they actually do.

    This is going to end ugly for you. You have resorted to these kinds of posts because you have no other alternative. You got screwed because of your own ignorance and now can’t own up to it.

  • Shannon Pineau

    I would have to disagree with the last comment. I think Ms. Berube is very fortunate to have this avenue to express herself and her feelings over what has happened here. I think if she wasn’t able to draw such wide attention to the situation through her blog she likely would have just been railroaded into submission. It’s also been a huge learning experience to read it and watch all of the events unfold – I know some things I will now do to protect my business!
    I was a member of REIN a few years ago and I think that’s why this has surprised me so much. I LOVED my experience with REIN – it was such a great group, so full of positive energy and it really helped me get a kick start in my real estate investing career. The main things they promoted endlessly were being an entrepreneur, building your business, networking and building great relationships with people. Taking an existing business name and trying to steal it while strong arming the current owner has gone against all of their principles and I’m very surprised to see that from a member of REIN.
    I think the only solution here is to admit they were wrong, stop this whole nasty process and choose a name that is completely different. Immediately! Then Ms. Berube can go back to doing what she loves without all of this stress and hassle hanging over her – I imagine this has just been a nightmare being consumed with all of this negativity and probably a huge financial burden as well.
    And maybe, just maybe…with that olive branch coming over…she might see fit to take down all of these posts. I bet it would have to be a pretty good apology though :)

    • Rachelle

      Well at least the public service announcement one about HPV. :)

      It really has been awful, especially the pretty constant barrage of other people’s phone messages and emails. It’s been very disappointing is all I can say. After the first telephone call I had with Jared I thought we’d have it worked out right quick. Now it’s a couple years later and we’re just escalating.

      I too like REIN people, I have never done the REIN meeting thing simply because I don’t like crowds. A good percentage of my clients are REIN members and we get on like a house on fire.

  • jesse

    I sure hope you’re getting legal advice with all this, Rachelle.

    I’ve seen a divorce case that left both parties hundreds of thousands of dollars poorer because they couldn’t let the other side win. This is starting to sound like that.

    • Rachelle

      Thanks Jesse,

      I’m pretty sure they’re about as interested in a Superior Court battle as I am but maybe they have money to burn. A charter case against even a pathetic miniscule blog like this one would attract a lot of attention. Not sure if you noticed but there are some really large media empires and online businesses who really wouldn’t like to have their rights railroaded and would probably love to have the envelope pushed back a little.

      Since the beginning I have tried to avoid going to superior court with them but in retrospect I should have embraced this early on and filed an injuction immediately.

  • xyz

    All I can say is there are some lawyers out there making a mint off of this…

    Lawyers WILL milk every dime out of both parties over this asinine bull shit…. rest assured.

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