Court Case Finally Over
The law suit Nase originally tried to bring against us had no legal merit, and rather than allow the court to examine evidence about his extraordinary health dramas, Nase threw his case and ran. At the close of the hearing on October 6, 2005, the Hon. Judge Kenneth Johnson instructed the opposing sides to reach a settlement, including paying some of our costs. Nase offered us $15,000 to shut down our web site, but we refused. He offered $10,000 to remove the Debunking link from David Pascoe's personal rosacea page - at the time, this was the only permanent link to our site. The last thing we wanted was for Pascoe to take it down, so we rejected this bid without even informing him.
Nase's final offer was an unconditional $8,000 towards our legal expenses, which we accepted. The money had to be paid in full by January 31, 2006, and the terms of the settlement were to remain private. Although the Indianapolis Star report mentioned a "confidential settlement", we were careful never to discuss the money. Everyone understood that if the details leaked out, we would lose the $8,000.
In an attempt to provoke us into revealing the terms of the settlement so he could get out of paying, Nase posted ridiculous lies about what had happened in court, including the claim that he had won because we backed out. (One example from his web site: "Debunkers' settled during court case to avoid telling the truth under oath".) When it was clear that we wouldn't play ball and he would be penalised for not handing over the money, Nase came up with a scheme to get the debt cancelled. He told the court that we'd broken the agreement, he asked for us to be censured for contempt of court (a completely irrelevant issue), and he asked Judge Johnson to punish us by closing down our site for whatever length of time the judge thought appropriate.
To back up his claim that we'd broken the agreement, Nase presented the court with a faked-up page from our web site, to which had been added this boast: "and Nase actually had to pay our court fees." He also claimed that a Debunker had leaked the news and it was now all over the rosacea community. Both pieces of information had very conveniently been brought to his attention by someone named Jonathan Gamache.
We were astonished to learn that Nase was asking the court to trust Gamache's oath because in August 2005, after Gamache was banned from the Rosacea Forum for joking about people dying in terrorist bombings on the London underground while dead bodies remained unrecovered in the tunnels, Nase had emailed his approval of the ban in these words: "Mike just told me this morning that they banned Jonathan and I said that was a good move. I do not want to be involved with anyone like that." (Our added emphasis.)
The Last Hearing
The hearing was on March 23, 2006, and ran for three hours. It was again in front of Judge Johnson. Nase had to take the stand and be cross examined by our attorney, Ron Waicukauski. The judge scrutinised the electronic files for our web site, which proved that the words alleged had never appeared there at any time, and rejected Nase's claims. Nase lost on every count and was ordered to pay the money within ten days. We can freely discuss this now because taking the case back into open court automatically made it a matter of public record.
Technically, it is perjury to present a court with faked documentation. In a criminal case, the penalty for perjury is up to three years imprisonment. Nase was lucky that the civil courts are not as concerned, especially when the faked material is amateurish and easily disproved.
One particularly interesting piece of cross-examination related to a couple of Nase's stranger Forum posts at the end of 2005. After claiming that he would be away for several weeks to recuperate from "major surgery" scheduled for December 14, he was back posting within a day or two. On December 17, Nase claimed of an earlier break, "I was away for a couple months for a discectomy", when the records clearly showed that he had only been off the boards for 18 days.)
On the witness stand, Nase said that the words he claimed breached the confidentiality of the agreement had been up on our web site for at least two days, October 26 - 28, when he "so happened to view it". Asked why he hadn't complained until January 31, he said it was because he was watching the site and "waiting for additional changes". When asked to confirm that he had seen no other breaches between October 28 and January 31, Nase said he had only been able to check our web site a few times because he could barely use his computer following the discectomy on December 14.
A I actually stopped doing the site from December through probably the first week of February. I only viewed it a few times.
Q I thought you were holding off and checking regularly in order to see if there were further breaches of confidentiality?
A I had undergone surgery for a ruptured disc, a ruptured spinal ligament and bone chips from my spinal cord.
Q And that prevented you from checking in?
A I was on my back and on 80 milligrams of Oxycontin and still the muscle relaxants, so I was out, yes.
Q So that prevented you from checking?
A And I was supposed to be prone. So the bone would calcify.
Q But I suppose you were still communicating by e-mail with Mr. Gamache in January, correct?
A I would have moments where I would try.
(from the official Transcript of the Cross-Examination of Geoffrey Nase)
It is surprising that Nase would dare say under oath that he was too weak to look at our site because the archives for the Rosacea Forum record that in the 17 days after December 14, he made 158 posts, with another 301 posts in January, including 51 on a single day, January 3. (None of his many deleted posts are included in that tally.)
The most bizarre claim was Nase's statement that one of the reasons he had dropped the case was because we'd asked him questions about a family suicide. It was completely untrue. Our attorney could only ask questions that were strictly relevant to the case, which basically limited it to topics Nase had himself publicised, for example, by writing about on the boards. No one we know had ever before heard of the existence of this particular family member, let alone the supposed manner of his death.
Payment in Full
Despite the court order to pay up within ten days, Nase stalled and asked to be allowed to pay the $8,000 at the rate of $25 - $50 per month, which would have allowed him to stretch payments over 13 - 26 years. Given the boasts about how incredibly successful his consultancy business was doing, we found it hard to understand why he would need more than a quarter of a century to raise $8,000.
We filed a Notice of Failure to Pay and Request for a Status Conference and the judge held the Status Conference on May 15. Judge Johnson pointed out the serious legal consequences of committing fraud on the court by promising to pay money and failing to do so. He then declared the settlement agreement null and void because Nase had breached it and scheduled another hearing on the matter for June 13. Rather than appear before the judge again, on May 19 Nase wrote out a check for the full sum and signed a revised settlement agreement that excluded any confidentiality term.
End of the Line
Nase has threatened many members of the rosacea community with legal action, and never with any real hope of succeeding. To the best of our knowledge, every one of these bluffs has now failed spectacularly, from the grandiose lawyer's letters demanding up to a million dollars per person in damages, to the claims that he would bankrupt all of his detractors and take away their homes. Nase lied repeatedly on the boards about what was happening. He made wildly contradictory statements on almost every key issue, and every word harmed him. That is why he lost.
Nase has since claimed that he will be moving his law suits up to federal court level. This would be impossible after agreeing to dismiss his claims with prejudice in the lower court. Note the relevant clauses of the revised settlement agreement, signed by Nase on May 19, 2006:
# 1 Nase shall dismiss with prejudice all claims that he has asserted or could have asserted against Defendants in Cause No. 49D02-0508-CT-031726, Marion Superior Court (the "Lawsuit").
# 4 Nase agrees to release and forever discharge Defendants and all other persons associated with Defendants in the debunkingnase website, from any and all claims and rights of action, known or unknown, of every kind and description that he may have against them.