Saturday, December 6, 2014

My Response to Michael Robertson's Spin-filled Blog Post

Robertson tries to spin the story, but Wikipedia has the facts.

In Jun of 2011, Michael Robertson posted a blog on his site entitled "Jury Finds Kevin Carmony and Chad Olson Liable for Fraud and Conspiracy."  I thought I'd respond here.

Anyone who followed this matter knows this was Robertson's feeble attempt to spin the story and try to clear HIS name in this matter, since it was he who ended up losing and being found liable for hundreds of thousands of dollars.  However, rather than me trying to defend myself, I figured the best defense is the truth, as reported on Robertson's own Wikipedia page with footnotes to the actual rulings:

In 2008, Robertson attempted to sue Linspire's bank, Comerica, in an attempt to get Comerica to refund severance payments which had been made to laid-off Linspire employees. Robertson alleged the severance payments were actually funds which had been embezzled by the laid-off employees. The San Diego Police Department investigated and quickly came to the conclusion that this was a simple dispute between Robertson and Linspire's CEO at the time, Kevin Carmony, and no embezzlement or other crime had been committed.[10] Robertson lost the lawsuit without it getting past summary judgment.[11] Robertson then filed a civil suit against the six former employees directly, for which he was counter sued. The jury sided largely with the employees, awarding a $238,000 judgement against Robertson.[12] A smaller judgement of $80,000 was awarded to Robertson, however, this judgement was vacated and set aside by Judge Taylor.[13] Judge Taylor stated in his ruling, “It is plain to the court that Linspire [Robertson] was not required to act in the protection of its interests as it did. Rather, Linspire [Robertson] approached this case as a vehicle for a test of will as between Robertson and Carmony.”[14]
In an effort to defend the names of the former employees being sued by Robertson, a website critical of Robertson called was launched in February 2008. The site states that it is "dedicated to shedding light on the REAL Michael Robertson," and discloses information and facts about Robertson. In an attempt to have the site taken down, Robertson had Linspire (renamed as Digital Cornerstone) file a lawsuit, claiming the site violated trademark law. In 2010, Robertson lost the lawsuit with the court saying the site did not infringe on any trademarks and was protected as free speech. Judge Judith F. Hayes stated in her ruling, "...the Court finds the general purpose of the website to be a free speech forum wherein Defendant criticized the management of Plaintiff."[15][16]
Bottom line, Robertson and his massive ego (which even the Judge commented on in his ruling as being Robertson's motive) unsuccessfully attacked his former employees, lost hundreds of thousands of dollars, was ordered to pay attorney fees, and the only judgement that went his way (which is what his blog post was about), was vacated and set aside by the Judge.  But, of course, Robertson failed to do a follow-up blog about that part.  I, nor Mr. Olson, ever had to pay Robertson one dime in this matter.  Robertson lost at every turn, and I was NEVER found guilty of anything, and the only small civil judgement was set aside.


PS:  To read the details of the case and the final outcome in more detail, including exact figures Robertson was ordered to pay, go here.  Also, visit to read about the REAL Michael Robertson, as told by dozens of people who have worked closely with him.