In a whirlwind 48-hour period, a Federal court handed Oxebridge a series of early major victories in its “omnibus” anti-defamation lawsuit against ASQ Pennsylvania State Chair Bill Levinson and the operators of the self-accredited certificate mill, Guberman-PMC LLC. Oxebridge is suing the defendants for a number of allegations, including defamation, trademark infringement, cybersquatting, illegal wiretapping and cyberstalking.
Default Judgment Against Guberman-PMC
Guberman-PMC operators Daryl Guberman and Donald LaBelle elected to represent themselves pro se, refusing to hire an attorney. While this is permitted when a litigant is representing themselves as an individual, Federal Court rules prohibit corporations to utilize a licensed attorney. Judge William Jung repeatedly advised Guberman and LaBelle to retain counsel for G-PMC the corporation, giving them a July 1 deadline to do so. On July 2nd, Daryl Guberman notified the court that he had retained counsel, but his chosen attorney was not admitted to practice before the Middle District court and would have required special dispensation from the court. The court did not grant this, however, and on July 11th it entered a default judgment against Guberman-PMC LLC, handing Oxebridge a complete victory against the company.
Guberman and LaBelle have falsely accused Oxebridge and its founder Christopher Paris of supporting terrorism, engaging in criminal fraud, racism, antisemitism and an assortment of crimes. Through LaBelle’s press release distribution service, the two have published nearly 200 separate URLs of articles libeling Oxebridge.
Oxebridge will now motion the court for damages from G-PMC, even as the case proceeds against Guberman and LaBelle as individuals.
Court Throws Out All Motions to Dismiss
Two days earlier, the Court handed Oxebridge a number of other victories. Judge Jung denied a host of motions made by each of the defendants in which they each asked to have the case dismissed on jurisdictional grounds.
Guberman and LaBelle filed identical but separate motions to dismiss, but failed to follow Court rules and their motions were thrown out entirely. The two attempted to argue that they do not have a joint business relationship despite years of co-publishing promotional materials about their company, G-PMC, and issuing press releases announcing themselves as joint owners.
The court likewise threw out multiple motions to dismiss filed by ASQ’s William Levinson. Levinson hired two separate law firms and filed similar motions to dismiss, all of which were also denied by Judge Jung. Levinson tried to argue he had no business presence in Florida, but this was partly disproved by his appearance at the ISO 9000 Conference in Orlando in 2016 in which he promoted his services.
Levinson has falsely claimed on numerous social media outlets and websites that Oxebridge is bankrupt, and also claimed that it supported terrorism. Levinson created a number of anti-Oxebridge websites which defamed the company, attempting to hide his ownership of the sites by registering them in the Bahamas.
At the same time, Levinson is suing Oxebridge in Florida state court for defamation after articles on the Oxebridge website expressed the opinion that his political writings were racist and Islamophobic. Levinson has written some 15 years’ worth of political articles which brand Muslims as “savages” and “apes,” and wrote an article giving legal advice on how alt-right readers could run over Black Lives Matters protestors with their cars and claim self-defense later, calling it “justifiable homicide.” He has referred to American Jews as “oven-ready.” Levinson maintains he is not racist, and only commenting against terrorists.
Levinson nevertheless has the support of both ASQ and Quality Digest magazine.
Levinson is demanding that Oxebridge sign a contract which would prohibit it from ever reporting on anything Levinson may do, including his political writings. Oxebridge argues this amounts to a demand to surrender First Amendment rights to free speech and free press. The Florida court has ruled Oxebridge is a news organization.
Oxebridge readers may donate to this Legal Defense Fund in order to help maintain the positive momentum and ensure unfettered coverage of the ISO scheme and quality assurance profession.
CORRECTION 7/15/2019: This article was updated to correct the date the Court issued the default judgment against Guberman PMC.