Monday, March 1, 2021

Zak Smith Sues Gen Con / Peter Adkison for Defamation, Interference with Business Expectancy, Violation of the Washington Consumer Protection Act, and More

Let me say straight off the bat, my personal opinion of Zak Smith, based on my interactions with him online over the years, is that he is a wannabe bully. He is also extremely talented as an adventure writer and when he is on target he has few that can match him. I still think he's a POS.

All that being said, I suspect that Gen Con / Peter Adkison will be paying out on this lawsuit. As was pointed out to me, the filing was likely timed as the statute of limitations to file such a suit is 2 years from the date of the incident, and it's likely there were attempts to negotiate a settlement prior. Now, it's all public and NOT the kind of publicity Gen Con needs less than six months prior to - hopefully - going back to an in-person convention this year.

I personally think the major allegation is Interference with a Business Expectancy, as my understanding is that the bar that needs to be met to prove such is relatively lower in the State of Washington than other jursidictions.

I shared this news on the podcast last night, for those that aren't excited about reading a 13-page lawsuit:


  1. I am 49 years old and never dreamed in my entire inebriated life that I might see the term "Facebook Reply" within the body-text of legal documentation. 'Amidst the smoking remains of the burned tavern you discover a charred but serviceable Mug of Disbelief.'

    1. "To use the Mug, fill it with any alcoholic beverage. For each mugful drunk choose one of the following: Automatically recognize any lies told to you for the next five minutes. See through any illusion for the next five minutes. Or add ten minutes to the duration of one or both of the other effects.

      Usual rules for overindulging apply. While any of the effects are active, you perceive all creatures fitting your personal sexual preferences as having Charisma 18."

      That about right? :)

  2. Innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. I hope he wins, no matter what people think of him.

    1. You're innocent for the purposes of the law. As in, we can't throw Zak S in prison until he has been proven guilty. That isn't the standard for how individuals or organizations need to handle someone though. If someone runs up and punches your kid, you don't need to wait until its proven in a court of law to say, "I don't want you near my kids because you abuse them."

      Stop bending over backwards to defend someone like Zak S.

    2. I didn't punch the kid though, so there goes that argument.

  3. Zak knows there is little love between us and my personal opinion of Zak is well known and stated above. I hope the truth comes out, whatever that might entail.

    I doubt Peter's lawyers will want this to go to discovery. I suspect the truth in the end, will likely be elusive. I bet there will be a settlement, unless Zak really wants it to go to discovery.

    1. I will 100% make sure the truth is not even slightly elusive by the time all this shit is over.

      I have no interest in a merely technical win. The truth will come out.

    2. Peter's lawyers... As in Peter Adkison of WOTC...

      The guy who admitted to sexual relations with his employees when he ran Wizards of the Coast, and thought he did nothing wrong:

      Ohh this is rich...

    3. @Tenkar

      Gen Con banned Jeremy Hambly(I dont like him, but still) for getting punched in the face near the convention center before, I just assume he's not really expecting to deal with legal hangups. Banning someone for the crime of being accused of bad shit in a different state seems weird. I thought Gen Con was a business, this made it look like it was being run as a high school glee club

  4. Thank you Erik for posting all of this.

    Whatever Zak's faults, nobody deserves to be ruined by a mob that gangs up on someone on the basis of unproven allegations in order to signal their virtues.

    It will certainly be interesting to see what comes of this...

  5. This hobby always seems to devour its own. Shit’s whack, yo.

  6. Whiteknighting is a cheap hobby and everyone of us is free to signal their virtue or affirm their values by taking any stance they wish in any issue, even when they don't fully comprehend it.

    But any individual who feel they have been wronged by allegations, or by actions taken on the basis of those allegations, also have the right to demand that some judicial truth be extracted from that muddy mess and laid oud for everyone to see.

    I applaud Zak for doing just that.

  7. In the Age of the Internet, Facebook, and Twitter, folks don't bother to remember legal concepts such as slander and libel. This suit should be a wakeup call, at least for the gaming community -- if you say something negative about someone in a public forum, make sure you can back up your statements with facts. Even with facts, be judicious when commenting.

    I don't know any of the involved parties and won't comment regarding what any of them may or may not have done.

  8. Gencon didn't have to mount the white horse and virtue signaling but they just can't help themselves. They are guided by woke religion zealots who care more about inclusion and racializing/sexualizing Gencon than just making it a place where we all forget about our immutable characteristics and play games. It's gross. Their questionnaires are so sad, asking tons of questions about 'safety'. It's a 65,000 person convention. There are felons, rapists, deviants of all kinds lurking in the crowds, if you don't feel safe stay the F home.

  9. Friday - Payday! Barkeep, TWO Mugs of Disbelief, please.



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