An initial hearing date has been set for the lawsuit filed by ASQ’s William Levinson against Oxebridge for January 18th, 2018, at the Hillsborough County Courthouse in Tampa FL. Levinson is suing Oxebridge for defamation, after Oxebridge founder Christopher Paris characterized Levinson’s political articles as “racist” and after Paris posted a book review of Levinson’s “Risk-Based Thinking Handbook” on Amazon. Levinson was pulled from a speaking engagement by the American Quality Institute (AQI) after its founder, Sermin Vanderbilt, read his writings, calling them “hate messages.”

Levinson responded by sending unsolicited emails to 30-50 of Oxebridge clients, opening three Bahamas-based defamation sites against Oxebridge, posting multiple Ripoff Report postings defaming Oxebridge, and falsely claiming Oxebridge was a “bankrupt, empty storefront” on social media. Before Oxebridge could file a Federal defamation lawsuit, however, Levinson filed suit in Florida court. Against the advice of his own attorney, Levinson has maintained the defamation campaign throughout his own Oxebridge suit.

Levinson’s lawsuit is based on the charge that Paris is a “social justice warrior,” an insult used by the fringe right against those they view as political enemies. Levinson also argues that Oxebridge doesn’t actually exist, but is merely a “shell entity, with no appreciable assets or value, serving no other purpose that [sic] to provide the appearance of a distinct corporate entity.” Nevertheless, the complaint filed by Levinson treats Oxebridge as a defendant.

The hearing is in response to six motions to dismiss put forward by Oxebridge’s attorney. These motions are based on the legal arguments that Levinson failed to provide Oxebridge with a “pre-suit notice” as required by Florida law, that Levinson failed to cite specific example of where his company was defamed as alleged, that Levinson used “immaterial, redundant and scandalous” language in his complaint, and that Levinson failed to recognize the copyright “single publication rule.”

Levinson has since provided 20 “pre-suit notices” since the case was filed. These are typically filled with additional insults and personal attacks, as well as material which contradicts his current court complaint. In one such notice, Levinson admits he called American Muslim students “apes,” whereas his official court pleading claims he never did so.

The most dramatic dismissal motion invokes Florida’s “Anti-SLAPP” law, which is designed to have cases quickly dismissed when they are deemed frivolous and intended solely to chill the defendant’s free speech rights per the US Constitution. Oxebridge argues that Levinson’s ongoing harassment, including the lawsuit, is intended to silence Paris, an argument supported by subsequent documents written by Levinson wherein he demands a full and permanent ban on any reporting related to anything he does, whether regarding politics, the quality profession or even book reviews. If Oxebridge prevails on Anti-SLAPP, the case would be thrown out and Levinson forced to pay full attorney’s fees. The law is largely untested in Florida, however, and faces a steep hill only because Oxebridge’s attorney will have to educate the court on the law itself in order to obtain a ruling.

Another dismissal motion is based on the argument that Levinson’s complaint is a “sham,” and that he failed to provide actual evidence of the defamation he claims. Levinson did not provide evidence obtained from the Oxebridge website, but from the Elsmar anti-Oxebridge defamation site Osteinfo.com, and in many cases did not provide evidence at all. The use of the Elsmar materials raises the possibility that Levinson, along with certificate mill operators Daryl Guberman and Don Labelle, will be brought into the separate Elsmar Federal suit slated for re-opening shortly as a new contempt of court motion is put forth in that case. Levinson, Guberman and Labelle have all reposted material originally published by Elsmar in violation of a  Federal court order.

A second hearing for Levinson’s Oxebridge suit is expected in March, also to consider dismissal.

Meanwhile, Oxebridge has filed its first counter-salvo against Levinson, warning of a Federal lawsuit for cybersquatting and defamation. Oxebridge alleges Levinson violated the Federal Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act by registering the domain name “Oxebridge.biz.” Oxebridge further alleges that Levinson willfully defamed Oxebridge by falsely claiming that Oxebridge had filed bankruptcy, that it hacked its own website and that it illegally distributed ISO standards. Levinson is currently operating the anti-Oxebridge defamation site Osteinfo.net, after having taken his previous websites down at the direction of his attorney.

Levinson is represented by Mark Tischhauser of Tampa, and Oxebridge is represented by NeJame Law of Orlando.

Donations to the Oxebridge ISO 9001 User Legal Defense Fund may be made by clicking here.