Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Dozier Internet Law: The Sky is Falling?

As usual, John Dozier, leading Internet Attorney - writes very interesting articles and Blogs. Yes, things are changing in Cyberspace -more and more people will be held accountable for their keystrokes - whether they are text messages, or IM's - get ready - a change is coming.

Source: Dozier Internet Law - by John Dozier

I keep seeing briefs from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Public Citizen, and a lot of apparently ill-informed "professors" imploring the Judges to, in effect, agree with them in cases or the Internet will collapse. At Dozier Internet Law we even have a name for them..."chicken little briefs". So before the sky falls, let me point out that these free speechers and civil libertarian types keep submitting briefs advising of our imminent demise if they do not win. Has anyone mentioned to them that they keep losing, but the Internet is still here?

The sky is really falling? Now this mantra has been carried out into the non-lawyer public arena and people are actually repeating this jibberish. The MySpace Suicide conviction is a good case on point. The argument is that if you allow a website to dictate the terms of use of its site, and criminalize the unauthorized "outside of terms" uses, it will cause everyone to stop using the web because of fear of criminal prosecution. This power to establish terms is without precedent, the argument goes.

Therefore, the Courts should take the law passed by Congress and signed by the President and change it. Considering the roles our branches of government play this is a philosophically corrupt argument. It also makes no sense whatsover. Without precedent??? Are you kidding me? Okay, I can accept the fact that EFF, ACLU and Public Citizen have an agenda and bias and prejudice is expected. But these "law professors" should know better. Here's why:

If you break your rental car agreement and don't return it, you have violated the rental car company's "terms of use". Who reads those things? And it is grand larceny.

If you buy a software program, copy it and begin selling copies contrary to the license terms (which no one reads), then it is criminal copyright infringement.

Those are just two of what could be a long, long list. Because "unauthorized use" is a basic element that is often used to show the "mens rea" (latin for "guilty mind") in order to convict someone. So, the MySpace suicide conviction is nothing more than a continuation of the law. This is pretty elementary and is usually covered in the first year of law school. But then it hit me..."law professors" with enough time on their hands to interject themselves into pending cases all around the country probably aren't teaching first year law school classes.

People are still renting cars the last time I checked. Apparently software programs are still being used too! Is everyone worried that if they violate the "terms of use" (contracts or licenses) they'll end up in prison? No. Because decent, law-abiding people know that if they don't act in a reckless, outrageous, grossly irresponsible way they will be safe. And that belief works just fine.

Well, the verdict is in and the defendant has been convicted. I don't see any panic online. Websites are still processing Christmas orders. Dozier Internet Law clients don't seem besides themselves with fear.

I did notice, though, that Friday night the moon was really bright and large. And I thought, just maybe, the sky was falling! I can picture 1,000 years ago..."chicken little" characters running through a town creating widespread panic with doomsday declarations and imploring the masses to run for the hills..."imminent catastrophic demise is upon us-the sky is falling!", they would cry.

Sounds familiar.

Fortunately there is a very logical, rational explanation...I saw online that it was the lunar perigee. Happens every 15 or 20 years. And I then imagined a learned astronomer going into the panicked streets of long ago and telling everyone that there is no emergency, "doomsday is not upon us, so take off your boots and forget about climbing those hills, the sky is not falling, there is no catastrophe, and you can all safely return to your homes."

He turns, wipes the sweat off his brow, gives me a wink, shakes his head in disapproval of the situation, and as he is greeted by his colleague I hear him whisper..."it's just those damn professors again".

Exactly.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Sue Scheff - Wit's End - Miami Herald


Posted on Sun, Dec. 14, 2008
Weston mother helps other parents

By JULIE LEVIN


When Sue Scheff was at the end of her rope trying to deal with her own out-of-control teenager, she admits she never could have imagined a time when she would become a leading voice in the field of parent advocacy.Yet the Weston author is rapidly becoming a familiar face in the national spotlight speaking about just that.


”I never went into this to become a national voice or figure, but that is what I have become,” said Scheff, author of Wit’s End: Advice and Resources for Saving Your Out of Control Teen.

Scheff appeared last month on the Lifetime Network’s daily television series The Balancing Act during an episode entitled “Plain Talk and Straight Answers for Parents with Troubled Teens.”

A taping with the Oprah Winfrey show also is planned.

Wit’s End, a 168-page book released earlier this year, is a tool for parents navigating the choices and methods available to help struggling teens.

Scheff, now a full-time parent advocate, said she wrote the book not as an expert or therapist but as a parent who endured a long and painful experience trying to help her daughter, Ashlyn.

Almost a decade ago, she watched her child go from promising athlete to troubled teen, repeatedly running away, being verbally abusive and having serious problems at home and school.

With no experience or help to fall back on, she enrolled Ashlyn in a residential treatment facility that wouldn’t allow her contact with her daughter for six months.

She would later learn her daughter endured months of beatings, sexual abuse, starvation and neglect.

”It nearly destroyed her,” Scheff said. “It took us two years to deprogram her after what they had done.”

The experience led Scheff to her new purpose. She founded a group called PURE, or Parents Universal Resource Experts, which she said has served thousands as a parent advocacy group.

Through Wit’s End, she provides parents with resources to help them sort out and evaluate treatment options, including therapeutic boarding schools and treatment centers.

”You step into an arena of teen help and you are bombarded with a barrage of information,” she said. “This is one way to help sort it out.”

In her newfound role as advocate, Scheff also has appeared nationally on the ABC news magazine program 20/20, The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet and Rachael Ray, among others.

Ashlyn, now 23, has seemingly rebounded and gone on to coaching gymnastics and becoming a mother herself.

Scheff said she would like their story to provide a light for other families.

”I think any parent out there struggling with a teen right now, you don’t see the hope and you don’t think you will ever come out of it. I didn’t think I would,” she said. “`But now I look back and see all those dark times have actually helped others.”

For information, visit http://www.suescheff.net/ and http://www.helpyourteens.com/ .

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Dozier Internet Law: New Laws are Coming

Want to know more about the Internet and the Legal Boundaries? Leading Internet Specialist Attorney, John Dozier Jr. is one of the best in the country and represents some of the top businesses in the world.

Keep in touch with the Legal World of the Internet at John's Blog at http://johndozierjr.typepad.com/dozierinternetlaw/

John W. Dozier, Jr. began practicing law in 1981 and has the highest rating (AV) by Martindale-Hubbell (meaning he has reached the "height of professional excellence and is recognized for the highest levels of skill and integrity"). Mr. Dozier is a "Legal Elite for 2008" as an Intellectual Property Lawyer through a peer selection process of the Virginia Bar Association and Virginia Business Magazine, was recognized through peer review as a "Super Lawyer" in Internet Law in the "Superlawyers" Magazine, was named as one of the top attorneys nationwide for 2008 in Intellectual Property Litigation in the Law and Politics Corporate Counsel Edition, and is peer selected as preeminent in the 2008 "Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers".

Dozier Internet Law: New Laws Are Coming from Dec. 11th, 2008

Have we now reached the point in which the web is so out of control that governmental authorities in the form of prosecutors and state Attorney General offices feel compelled to act? A federal prosecutor in LA gets a conviction of a mom for violating the terms of use of Myspace. The New Jersey AG sues JuicyCampus.com for consumer protection violations based upon misrepresentations in its terms of use. A Colorado prosecutor brings criminal charges against a poster for allegedly defamatory comments on Craigslist. What's going on here?

At Dozier Internet Law we have for a long while encouraged the self regulation and self policing of the web. History has told us that if that fails, government will get involved in one way or another. What we are seeing today is action by the executive and judicial branches of state government. Absent self policing, Congress, state legislators and even city and county governments will begin passing laws that will profoundly impact the web as we know it.

Codes of ethics for search engine optimization and affiliate marketers have been around for a while. So that industry is trying, at least. But what can web developers, web hosts, ISPs, and domain registrars do to send the message to the legislators that positive steps are being taken to provide a more safe, secure and civil Internet? Each can consider establishing strict guidelines and implementing them through their User Agreements and Acceptable Use Policies. Then, they can each aggressively enforce those rules. And there is no law prohibiting a business from deciding with whom it will do business absent discrimination being visited upon a protected class. And why not do so? In a time when Dozier Internet Law is defending lawsuits filed against webhosts, ISPs, software developers, and ESPs for the conduct of their customers, why would a legitimate business not police itself? There is no reason.

Recently we have seen high profile calls by Public Citizen for web hosts to be willing to bring their financial resources to the table to defend the misconduct of their customers. We, and other lawyers in the know, call this type of a host "bullet proof hosting" or "black hat hosting". The reputation of these hosts, to say the least, is anything but stellar. No legitimate host would want those labels. And there is no business reason to do so. Is this the type of protection a web host would freely offer up to a $7 a month customer? Of course not.So, on the one hand we have a pressing need to self regulate and self police, and efforts being made within industries and specific businesses to do so. On the other hand, there is the move afoot by the free speech and anti-business property rights groups to do everything they can to encourage misconduct. If the Public Citizen advice is followed that would be an invitation for legislation, a solicitation for more governmental intervention by the executive and judicial branches, and a recipe for disaster.

Web hosts should not only develop, implement and enforce strict guidelines aimed at returning safety, security and sanity to the online world, but undertake an industry-wide effort to establish a Code of Ethics and performance standards and good practice certifications. "Bullet proof" and "black hat" hosts need not apply because, well, you are ruining it for everyone.

Some of these free speech expansionsist public interest groups might think that high profile litigation surrounding new laws would be a good thing for fund raising. I am sure it would be. Is their advice motivated by greed? Or just a fanatical, one sided perspective nurtured by their long standing support of the scofflaws?
Here's the lesson, perhaps.

Is the message for web hosts that if you freely associate with outlaws, you find yourself thinking like them? I don't know. But it could explain Public Citizen's position

Monday, December 15, 2008

Weston mother helps other parents


Posted on Sun, Dec. 14, 2008
Weston mother helps other parents
By JULIE LEVIN


When Sue Scheff was at the end of her rope trying to deal with her own out-of-control teenager, she admits she never could have imagined a time when she would become a leading voice in the field of parent advocacy.
Yet the Weston author is rapidly becoming a familiar face in the national spotlight speaking about just that.

''I never went into this to become a national voice or figure, but that is what I have become,'' said Scheff, author of Wit's End: Advice and Resources for Saving Your Out of Control Teen.

Scheff appeared last month on the Lifetime Network's daily television series The Balancing Act during an episode entitled ``Plain Talk and Straight Answers for Parents with Troubled Teens.''

A taping with the Oprah Winfrey show also is planned.

Wit's End, a 168-page book released earlier this year, is a tool for parents navigating the choices and methods available to help struggling teens.

Scheff, now a full-time parent advocate, said she wrote the book not as an expert or therapist but as a parent who endured a long and painful experience trying to help her daughter, Ashlyn.

Almost a decade ago, she watched her child go from promising athlete to troubled teen, repeatedly running away, being verbally abusive and having serious problems at home and school.

With no experience or help to fall back on, she enrolled Ashlyn in a residential treatment facility that wouldn't allow her contact with her daughter for six months.

She would later learn her daughter endured months of beatings, sexual abuse, starvation and neglect.

''It nearly destroyed her,'' Scheff said. ``It took us two years to deprogram her after what they had done.''

The experience led Scheff to her new purpose. She founded a group called PURE, or Parents Universal Resource Experts, which she said has served thousands as a parent advocacy group.

Through Wit's End, she provides parents with resources to help them sort out and evaluate treatment options, including therapeutic boarding schools and treatment centers.

''You step into an arena of teen help and you are bombarded with a barrage of information,'' she said. ``This is one way to help sort it out.''

In her newfound role as advocate, Scheff also has appeared nationally on the ABC news magazine program 20/20, The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet and Rachael Ray, among others.

Ashlyn, now 23, has seemingly rebounded and gone on to coaching gymnastics and becoming a mother herself.

Scheff said she would like their story to provide a light for other families.

''I think any parent out there struggling with a teen right now, you don't see the hope and you don't think you will ever come out of it. I didn't think I would,'' she said. ```But now I look back and see all those dark times have actually helped others.''

For information, visit www.suescheff.net.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sue Scheff - Parents Universal Resource Experts - Parenting Teens Today

As a parent advocate, I have been hearing from parents weekly that are at their wit's end. After going through a very difficult time with my daughter, I know how it feels to be helpless and not know where to turn.

That is why I created Parents Universal Resource Experts - to help educate parents today's teens and finding healthy resources for them.Learn from my mistakes - gain from my knowledge.

You don't have to make the same falls I did, watch for the warning signs, prepare yourself with information to help you when you are at your wit's end.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Sue Scheff: Drug Free America


Parenting today has become more challenging than ever. Social Networking is expanding a new area of concern for parents - and today more than ever, parents need to be informed and keep updated about substance abuse, teen drug use, huffing, drinking, inhalant use and other harmful habits. Peer pressure, the need to fit in - combined with kids suffering with low self esteem can lead to negative behavior.


Stay informed - visit http://www.drugfree.org/ to keep yourself educated.


The Partnership for a Drug-Free America is a nonprofit organization that unites parents, renowned scientists and communications professionals to help families raise healthy children. Best known for its research-based national public education programs, the Partnership motivates and equips parents to prevent their children from using drugs and alcohol, and to find help and treatment for family and friends in trouble. The centerpiece of this effort is an online resource center at drugfree.org, featuring interactive tools that translate the latest science and research on teen behavior, addiction and treatment into easy to understand tips and tools. Research conducted by AP and MTV recently showed that kids see their parents as heroes— at drugfree.org, parents can connect with each other, tap into expert advice for children of all ages, and find the support they want and need in their role as hero to their kids. The Partnership depends on donations from individuals, corporations, foundations and other contributors. The Partnership thanks SAG/AFTRA, the advertising industry and our media partners for their ongoing generosity.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sue Scheff: Dozier Internet Law - Top Ten Blogger Personas: The Mobosphere Unveiled

John Dozier, one of the leading Internet Lawyers in the country, wrote a very compelling article describing how Internet Slander and Defamation can be started. Who are the people hiding behind their keypads? Actually getting a thrill from harming others.

Are you a victim of Online Harassment, Internet Gossip, Cyber Slander, Internet Defamation? Find out more about where your perpetrator's motivation is. As a victim of this malicious conduct, this article by John Dozier can really explain so much about how revenge has become e-venge!

Top Ten Blogger Personas: The Mobosphere Unveiled

Ever since Congress passed Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act giving immunity to interactive service providers for publishing the defamation of others, a wide range of characters has arisen and infiltrated the mainstream blogosphere. Instead of becoming a source for obtaining reliable information, the blogosphere, and user generated content, is at risk of becoming a less credible information source. Dozier Internet Law defamation lawyers are constantly battling these “black hat” forces and over the past several years we have acquired quite an insight into this underworld; an anonymous and covert society bent on terrorizing businesses. These are our internal thoughts on the matter, and not scientific analyses. We are not psychiatrists; just defamation lawyers and trial lawyers trained for almost fifty years to figure out the human nature of clients, witnesses, and juries.

All too often blog attacks are simply protection rackets and extortion schemes in disguise. We have been working on documenting the organizational structure and operational methodologies used by these racketeers. For now, let’s take a look at the entire panoply of characters we seem, as business defamation lawyers, to run into. For those businesses under attack, it is essential that you first identify the publisher’s persona and motivation before beginning to identify the proper strategies for addressing his often seemingly legitimate posts. We don’t go into details on how we work with clients to deal with each type of personality, but the tools vary considerably from being passive, to utilizing SEO services, to implementing reputation management initiatives, to pre-litigation and lawsuit actions.

Defamation Lawyers Pursue Bloggers

1. Pickpocket

This is the guy who used to wait on street corners for elderly ladies to pass. He enjoys attacking defenseless people and stealing covertly using deception. This type of blogger will steal your copyright protected content, have the search engines push your prospective clients to his site, and then run ads and otherwise direct the traffic to your competitors. He could be an affiliate marketer for a competitor getting a share of the revenue, or he could simply be running Google or Yahoo ads on his site. Pickpockets also take great pleasure in stealing your trademarks…surreptitiously using your mark in hidden tags, meta tags, hidden redirect pages, or through a myriad of search engine optimization techniques, all in the hopes of re-directing your prospects to a competitor and taking money from you.

2. Wacko

We usually identify a wacko situation quickly. There are distinctive characteristics of his communications. The wacko is usually a “follower”, someone looking to gain attention and recognition, but escalates what may have started as fair criticism into more and more outrageous claims. Most sophisticated business people immediately view the poster as a “nut case”, particularly when an excessive amount of time or energy disproportionate to the merits of the subject is expended. But it is not easy for the typical browser on the web to see the pattern, usually spread over multiple web properties.

3. Druggie

Or, maybe “liquid courage” would be more appropriate. This guy is exactly what comes to mind. During the day this blogger is a normal guy, but at night he returns to the sanctity of his home, gets drunk or high, and goes out on the web looking for “hook-ups” and blogging on his “hang-ups”. This guy is hard to detect as a fraudster, and sometimes won’t recall what he said online the next day while under the influence. He posts aggressive, false and arbitrary attacks on whatever issue of the day (or night) catches his fancy.

4. Alien

No, not from another world. But from overseas. In a far, far away place, without any treaty with the US, in a country without an effective legal system and no notion of business or personal property ownership rights. Many of these types operate out of certain Russian provinces, but the blogs, postings and communications appear to be from the customer down the street. This individual usually has an ulterior motive, often working with the criminal discussed below. He has no fear, until he takes a vacation to Turkey and US federal agents grab him for extradition, which is exactly what happened on a case in the not so recent past.

5. Nerd

This is the guy who is scared to talk with a girl, but behind the keyboard, all alone, morphs into a Casanova. This empowerment of anonymity creates an omnipotent persona, and for the first time the nerd feels the effect of power and control, gets an adrenaline buzz when he exercises it, and he exercises it often, usually creating or perpetuating a volatile situation in which he feels he can outsmart the “opposition”. There is no principle involved. His blog postings are all about the adrenaline. It is hard to know if you are dealing with this type online…his posts are intelligent and on their face credible. But, once you identify the nerd blogger, he cowers and goes away, usually forever.

6. Rookie

Enjoy debating a thirteen year old? They are out on the net acting like adults, posting statements and play-acting like a grown-up. The challenge, of course, is that most people reading the posts have no idea these are coming from a kid. The tip off can be the utter immaturity of the posts, but most often the kids can sound credible criticizing, for instance, a CPA’s method of calculating RIO on REIT holdings, because they can mimic earlier posts. There is no insidious motive here; just kids having fun as the hormones kick in. But the readers of the blog posting don’t know that.

7. Sadist

This person attacks others, causes pain, and revels in the results in ways not worthy of mention. He loves to create, direct, control, and unleash a firestorm of criticism about a company just to create pain and damage. This type of person may often by the prime instigator of the online attacks, and tightens the noose by escalating the attack rapidly, almost as if in an obsessive state. You will find a sadist going to many sites and blogging, and he usually lets you know it was him because he uses his real moniker. He has characteristics of a stalker, and he is most likely to be the one that starts recommending direct physical violence against the executives of a company. This person is not motivated by money, but by the pure enjoyment of pain being visited upon innocent parties.

8. Bankrupt

No, not morally bankrupt. Actually bankrupt…no money, no assets, no prospects for work, and nothing to lose. These bloggers post without fear of the consequences or any regard for the truth because you “can’t get blood out of a turnip”, you “can’t get water from a rock”, and all these other sayings handed down, we surmise, through his generations. This is usually not a smart guy, but his postings are damaging and inflammatory. Many will own and control blogs without any concern about the consequences of liabilities that might arise through the perpetuation and “enhancement” of posts, and sometimes will post to their own blog and act like it was from a third party.

9. Criminal

Career criminals, no less. Like the convicted felon running a sophisticated extortion scheme against a very prominent business. Or the owner of an open blog avoiding service of process with guard dogs protecting his compound. The thieves and crooks of the world are online today; and the criminals often have both an organization and a highly effective and surprisingly coordinated operational plan in place to target a business. Rumors of $500,000 a year payoffs seem to promote this problem, which emanates from more of a “mobosphere” than the blogosphere.

10. Mis-Leader

This person is in no manner a leader. This blogger has a hidden agenda, but he just makes it sound like he is a totally objective commentator. He can create an appearance of authority and the casual visitor to his blog does not question the legitimacy. This type of persona is hard to figure out. One of the most pervasive practices is to control a blog and allow negative posts against all except his generous advertisers. Another common technique involves omission; not disclosing conflicts of interest or the existence of a business or personal relationship because the readers of the blog would totally discount the commentator’s posts as unreliable and biased.

Dozier Internet Law Defamation Lawyers

In closing, most of the blogosphere is legitimate, offers honest opinions and comments that add value to an open dialogue, and is an excellent example of the exercise of constitutionally protected free speech. As business defamation lawyers, we seen another side. The “mobosphere”, on the other hand, operates outside of the spotlight and often uses reckless, irresponsible, false and defamatory statements for personal or professional gain, all too often focused on self gratification and pecuniary benefits. As businesses attempt to leverage user generated content (“UGC”) into a valuable tool in the Web 2.0 environment, the proliferation of the scofflaws interrupting the free flow of credible speech in the online world puts at risk the reputation and integrity of UGC and raises the very real risk that consumers will begin viewing web content with disdain and suspicion.

Dozier Internet Law defamation lawyers offer a free consultation to qualified businesses and professionals undergoing attacks from the scofflaws of the web.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Sue Scheff: Internet Defamation Can Cost You

Back in September 2006, I was awarded over $11.3M jury verdict for damages. They were defamatory and false statements about my organization, myself and my family.I fought back, and won!

The defendant attempted to have the judgment set aside - although she was firmly denied in July 2007, she filed an appeal.

It is official - she loses again in the appellate court, and the $11.3M judgment stands firm!Free speech is still in tact, but it will not condone defamation.

Remember, think before your post - sometimes keystrokes can be costly!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Dozier Internet Law: Public Citizen Lawsuit Thrown Out of Court

A lawsuit filed by Ronald J. Riley through his lawyers at Public Citizen against Dozier Internet Law has been summarily tossed out of Federal Court in Richmond, Virginia today. Judge Henry E. Hudson, declining to even entertain oral arguments on the points, found that Riley and Public Citizen's assertions in the lawsuit don't belong in Federal Court and are nothing more than defenses to the lawsuit Dozier Internet Law had already filed in state court against Riley.


This major setback for the litigation team at Public Citizen, and Paul Levy in particular, follows by a day or so another major loss for Public Citizen in the "Jones Day" litigation in which the Federal Court refused to even consider the arguments in the brief filed by Public Citizen, Paul Levy, and others, and found for Jones Day, and against Levy's position, by rejecting motions to dismiss the trademark infringement lawsuit filed by the mega-law firm over the use of its name online. Jones Day had earlier reportedly requested the Court to discard the Public Citizen brief on the grounds that Public Citizen's lawyers were biased.


Paul Levy, recently a labor lawyer relatively new to the online legal scene, has developed a reputation for publicly denouncing lawyers, judges, and anyone supporting legal interpretations with which he disagrees, and he continues to suffer legal setback after legal setback as his interpretations of the law are regularly rejected across the country by the Courts.




Earlier today, the Federal Court also reinstated the lawsuit filed by Dozier Internet Law against Ronald J. Riley by rejecting Levy's arguments and returning the case to State Court for further proceedings after Riley and Levy had removed it to Federal Court. Judge Henry Hudson declined to listen to oral arguments, and then stripped Riley and Public Citizen of Federal Jurisdiction.




The briefs and orders are available on the Pacer system. Although the issues were elementary and the deficiencies of the Riley and Public Citizen arguments obvious, the briefs are informative with respect to the interesting arguments and legal positions Levy continues to offer up to the online world.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Sue Scheff: Learn from my Mistakes - Parent and Teen Help

Are you considering any of the following programs for your child? Take a moment to read my experiences - http://www.aparentstruestory.com as well as my book where you can hear my daughter's experiences for the first time - order today at http://www.witsendbook.com/ .

Choosing a program is not only a huge emotional decision, it is a major financial decision - do your homework! Learn from my mistakes - Gain from my knowledge!

Academy of Ivy Ridge, NY (withdrew their affiliation with WWASPS)
Ally Schools - Marketing Arm - Jane Hawley
Canyon View Park, MT
Camas Ranch, MT
Carolina Springs Academy, SC
Cross Creek Programs, UT (Cross Creek Center and Cross Creek Manor)
Darrington Academy, GA
Help My Teen, UT (Adolescent Services Adolescent Placement) Promotes and markets these programs.
Gulf Coast Academy, MS
Horizon Academy, NV
Lisa Irvin (Helpmyteen)
Lifelines Family Services, UT (Promotes and markets these programs) Jane Hawley
Mark Peterson - Teen Help Marketing Arm
Majestic Ranch, UT
Midwest Academy, IA (Brian Viafanua, formerly the Director of Paradise Cove as shown on Primetime, is the current Director here)
Parent Teen Guide (Promotes and markets these programs)
Pillars of Hope, Costa Rica
Pine View Christian Academy (Borders FL, AL, MS)
Reality Trek, UT
Red River Academy, LA (Borders TX)
Respect Academy, NV
Royal Gorge Academy, CO (recently closed)
Spring Creek Lodge, MT
Teen Help, UT (Promotes and markets these programs)
Teens In Crisis
Tranquility Bay, Jamaica
Alert - rumor is that a new program is Mexico is opening soon.
ALERT - It is also rumored that there is a short-term program in or near Oceanside, CA - which may be connected with this organization.

Visit http://www.helpyourteens.com/ for more information.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Sue Scheff Speaks with Kim Iverson


Sue Scheff talks with Talk Show Radio Host, Kim Iverson about her new book, Wit's End! and helping to educate parents on today's teens.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sue Scheff: Victorious Again Proving Internet Defamation vs Free Speech

It has been almost 2 years since I won the unprecedented $11.3M jury verdict for damages that was done to me. In these past 2 years I have been contacted by many victims of Internet Defamation and Slander. You can feel literally powerless - however also know, that with my case, the truth is always your defense.

There have been many articles written about this new rage and growing concern not only with parents of teens online, but with business owners and regular people.

I didn't ask to become a limited public figure, and many people don't ask for this - with all the media attention I can be considered this since my initial victory in September 2006.

I will continue being a voice against Internet Defamation - as well as working with my Senator and Congresswoman towards new legislation to help protect individuals and their careers.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Dozier Internet Law: $11.3 Million Sue Scheff Defamation Judgment Confirmed on Appeal

Dozier Internet Law is constantly battling the scofflaws of the web. On the one hand, the Internet as a whole opens up the world to everyone. On the other hand, it opens up the world to, well...to everyone. Defamation laws and related judicial interpretations evolved historically at a time, and in an environment, in which there were inherent protections that served as a filter of sorts. Today those protections are lost to the ability to distribute attacks to millions overnight. Want to physically picket a business? You have to invest time and disclose your identity if you are going to coordinate and show up at a business. Want to print and distribute flyers, or take out an advertisement or run a commercial? Expensive, of course. And newspapers and television wouldn't print, even as ads or commercials, alot of the outrageous claims and statements being readily distributed online.

Once in a while, Dozier Internet Law sees comments encouraging such illegality from what might seem to be credible sources. But the application and interpretation of laws dealing with disparagement and defamation and other lawlessness will eventually catch up with the online scofflaws, and defending misconduct by claiming you saw a blog by a lawyer saying it was legal is not a defense.

On October 15, 2008 the District Court of Appeal of the State of Florida just rejected an appeal from the Defendant and confirmed a JURY judgment on behalf of Susan Scheff in the sum of $11.3 Million, of which $5 Million was for punitive damages (on behalf of Susan Scheff and her very small business), against an individual who took it upon herself to publish allegedly defamatory statements online. Read the plaintiff's comments by Sue Scheff about "free speech".

Online defamation and product disparagement is a huge issue, of course, and businesses are under attack. This judgment is just another example of the legal system catching up with online misconduct. And instead of a real attempt to establish standards and self police and self regulate, one blogger organization has started selling insurance to bloggers. It strikes me that insurance coverage is a wonderful thing for the businesses under attack. At Dozier Internet Law we hear from dozens of victims of online blog attacks each week, it seems. The possibility of insurance coverage is great. Online defamation promises to be a growth industry for trial lawyers. Another example, I surmise, of an unanticipated and unintended consequence...but this time of mammoth proportions.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Sue Scheff Victorious Again - $11.3M Jury Verdict Stands Firm

Back in September 2006, I was awarded over $11.3M jury verdict for damages. They were defamatory and false statements about my organization, myself and my family.

I fought back, and won! The defendant attempted to have the judgment set aside - although she was firmly denied in July 2007, she filed an appeal.

Today, it is official - she loses again in the appellate court, and the $11.3M judgment stands firm!
Free speech is still in tact, but it will not condone defamation.

Remember, think before your post - sometimes keystrokes can be costly!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Sue Scheff Shares Her Story with the Florida Sun-Sentinel


'Wit's End' book offers advice to help out-of-control teens


By Liz Doup South Florida Sun-Sentinel
October 8, 2008


A decade ago, when her 14-year-old daughter spiraled out of control, Sue Scheff didn't know where to turn.


As a result, the Weston mom sent Ashlyn to a residential program that harmed rather than helped, she says. It was a drastic move after her daughter had temporarily run away and threatened violence.


In hindsight, Scheff wishes she had looked more closely at schools and asked more questions. To help parents avoid her mistakes, she started researching programs that offer professional treatment in a residential setting. She put what she learned in the recently published book, Wit's End: Advice and Resources for Saving Your Out-of-Control Teen (Health Communications Inc.; $14.95). She also created Parents' Universal Resource Experts Inc. (helpyourteens.com).

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Sue Scheff - When Does Free Speech Online cross over to Internet Defamation?

It seems Internet Harassment, Online Slander, Cyberbullying and other abuses in the World Wide Web is growing! I am contacted on a daily basis from victims of today's newest lethal and legal weapon to harm others - keystrokes!

You have to wonder what possesses people to feel the need to hurt others so malicously. With all of today's critical issues such as hunger, the war, homeless people etc.... We have a new group of people that simply have too much time on their hands - and take pleasure in hurting others. E-Venge seems like a good name for it.

If you think about it - it is a cowardly act. They hide out behind their computers and just strike their keypads - usually anonymously.

Read through this Blog and you will see that free speech is still in place but it will not condone defamation.

Blogging is fun, the Internet can be educational - but remember, what you post today can come back to haunt you tomorrow. And could be costly to you!

Visit my updated Podcast Website on E-Venge at http://www.suescheffpodcasts.com/

Monday, September 29, 2008

Sue Scheff: "Learn from my mistakes - and from my victories!"

ARE YOU CONSIDERING ANY OF THE FOLLOWING PROGRAMS FOR YOUR TEEN? OR PRE-TEEN?

Take a moment to read my experiences - http://www.aparentstruestory.com/ as well as my book where you can hear my daughter's experiences for the first time - order today at http://www.witsendbook.com/ .

Choosing a program is not only a huge emotional decision, it is a major financial decision - do your homework! Learn from my mistakes - Gain from my knowledge!

Academy of Ivy Ridge, NY (withdrew their affiliation with WWASPS)
Canyon View Park, MT
Camas Ranch, MT
Carolina Springs Academy, SC
Cross Creek Programs, UT (Cross Creek Center and Cross Creek Manor)
Darrington Academy, GA
Help My Teen, UT (Adolescent Services Adolescent Placement) Promotes and markets these programs.
Gulf Coast Academy, MS
Horizon Academy, NV
Lisa Irvin (Helpmyteen)
Lifelines Family Services, UT (Promotes and markets these programs) Jane Hawley
Majestic Ranch, UT
Midwest Academy, IA (Brian Viafanua, formerly the Director of Paradise Cove as shown on Primetime, is the current Director here)
Parent Teen Guide (Promotes and markets these programs)
Pillars of Hope, Costa Rica
Pine View Christian Academy (Borders FL, AL, MS)
Reality Trek, UT
Red River Academy, LA (Borders TX)
Respect Academy, NV
Royal Gorge Academy, CO
Sky View Academy, NV
Spring Creek Lodge, MT
Teen Help, UT (Promotes and markets these programs)
Teens In Crisis
Tranquility Bay, Jamaica
There is a rumor a new program in Oceanside, CA "is opened" - short term - parents need to be aware.
There is a rumor a new program in Mexico is opening - parents need to be aware of this.

There are good programs - take your time to do your research - for helpful hints in finding safe alternatives visit http://www.helpyourteens.com/

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Sue Scheff: Reputation Defender a Priceless Service


ReputationDefender has expanded again - Now many people can take advantage of their MyEdge services!

I have used MyEdge for almost 2 years now have been extremely happy with their team of professionals. I was very excited to hear they have recently offered to a wider audience with reasonable costs.
Maintaining your Online Image has become a priority for so many people.


As someone that was nearly destroyed in Cyberspace - I know how critical it is to be aware of what is looming on the World Wide Web.


After winning a jury verdict for over $11M for Internet Damages to my organization, my family and myself online - I will continue to use be a voice for others that are being maligned online - and continue to encourage people to look to the future - and know it will be safer online with services like ReputationDefender on your side.


As a parent advocate, I also suggest parents consider signing up for ReputationDefender/MyChild and start protecting your child's privacy today!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sue Scheff on South Florida Voices


Recently I was featured on South Florida Voices - sharing Wit's End! as well as helping parents with today's teen. Learn from my mistakes - gain from my knowledge - learn more - order Wit's End today at www.witsendbook.com

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

DOZIER INTERNET LAW - FIGHTING BACK! As the Internet Is Being Used as a Weapon, John Dozier Fights Back!


I recently read the complaint Dozier Internet Law vs Riley and couldn't believe how low people will stoop to harm others. It is obvious Riley has a lot of time on his hands and clearly is being held accountable legally! YES - let's work toward making these people that believe their keystrokes are anonymous wake-up! Be careful - you could be served!


The product of an investigation spanning the course of a year, the lawsuit sets forth in detail how Ronald J. Riley allegedly built false credentials through, among other tactics, claiming false affiliations with MIT and Harvard, creating executive positions by surreptitiously forming his own companies and organizations and appointing himself "President", "Executive Director", or "Senior Fellow", and misappropriating the identity of defunct organizations, including "The Alliance for American Innovation", a powerful lobbying group that had fulfilled its mission and had closed down. The suit alleges that Riley is using those credentials to generate clients for invention promotion, marketing and consulting, and targeting unsuspecting inventors and entrepreneurs.


The legal action describes Ronald J. Riley's alleged attempts to silence his online critics, and his challenges to the anonymity of bloggers and online commentators, with threats to obtain log files and IP addresses and "track down" those disclosing his fraudulent misconduct. The Complaint details how Riley allegedly used attacks against competitors and infringed on trademarks to generate clients, including the use of "anchored text" links fraudulently misdirected to Riley's websites.


The lawsuit alleges that Ronald J. Riley has "perpetrated one of the most successful business credential frauds ever committed upon the inventor and entrepreneur community."

Monday, September 15, 2008

Bloggers Test the Limit of Free Speech

Read through this Blog and you will see that free speech is still in place but it will not condone defamation.

Blogging is fun, the Internet can be educational - but remember, what you post today can come back to haunt you tomorrow. And could be costly to you!

Bloggers Test the Limit of free speech: http://www.capecodonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080914/NEWS/809140333

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Internet Defamation and Cyber Slander

Since winning my unprecedented lawsuit in September 2006 - with a jury verdict for damages done to my family, my organization and myself - over $11M - I am contacted on a daily basis from other victims of Internet Harassment, Abuse, Slander and Defamation.

This is a growing problem with today's expanding Cyberspace and more and more businesses being rated online. It has been stated that many time that many clients, when they seen negative posts on someone or a business, will usually not take the time to find out if it is Internet Gossip or fact.

I have heard from small business owners who have filed bankruptcy, struggling professionals that had one client or former employee take revenge with the keypad, as well as potential job applicants not getting a job after a firm did an Online Search.

This is becoming a serious problem and needs to be addressed.For those that believe that free speech will condone defamation, think twice - and read about my case. This is not about free speech - this is about people intentionally and maliciously destroying others with a few keystrokes in what is being called E-Venge.

I continue to answer as many emails as I can hoping to give others the support in the fact they are not alone.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

National Suicide Prevention Week - Teen Suicide Prevention


Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in older children and teens. And statistics show that suicide rates in teenagers are on the rise.


That makes it even more important for everyone to raise awareness of suicide prevention, especially now during National Suicide Prevention Week.


In addition to learning to recognize the risk factors and warning signs of suicide, spread the word about the availability of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline — 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Dr. Gary Nelson, Author of “A Relentless Hope” Surviving Teen Depression recently talked about this serious subject of teen suicide - http://www.wtap.com/daybreak/headlines/27988159.html

Learn more about Teen Suicide.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Wits End! Trials and Tribulations of Raising a Teen!


Weston, Florida - Parent Sue Scheff knows all too well the frustrations of dealing with a troubled teen. Being a single mom was tough, but as daughter Ashlyn reached her teenage years, the problems became too much to handle. Bad decisions and difficult situations left Sue Scheff with no choice but to look to outside help for her troubled teen and salvation for strained family.What she didn’t know continues to haunt her. Seven years after her devastating travels through the teen help industry,Sue Scheff has become an advocate for safe alternatives and parent education. Through her organization, Parents Universal Resource Experts, Scheff has helped numerous families safely and successfully find help.



"Leap, and the net will appear!" Julia CameronListen to my new Radio Show, Journeys from the Heart...


Embracing the Path back to Love on Wednesday mornings at http://www.sedonatalkradio.com/

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Sue Scheff presents: Becoming a part of your government and getting your teen involved


America may be the world’s most powerful democracy, but even the strongest democratic government only succeeds because of the participation of its citizens. However, the voting participation percentages of Americans are some of the worst in the world for major modern democracies. Due to this alarming fact, one of the most pressing responsibilities of good citizens is participation in the democratic process.



If you wish to become a productive citizen, Democratic participation does not end with simply voting, one must influence others to participate as well. There are many ways to get fellow community members out to the polls to vote. Luckily, the act of voting is one of the best ways to get others to vote. Leading by action is an important tool for good citizens, because we all know actions speak much louder than words.



You can also put an “I voted” sticker on your car or even offer to drive someone to a polling place to promote community voting participation. Simply sharing your knowledge about candidates, as well as times or places to vote will influence greater participation in those around you. Use this poll locator to find polling places around your area and be sure to share that knowledge



An extremely important part of the democratic system is manning the polling places themselves. The importance of this job is extremely underrated and overlooked, but its Democratic necessity is undeniable. The poll workers help maintain the ability for everyone to have an honest and fair place to vote, which is the basic foundation of our political process. Anyone can volunteer to work at a polling place and be a part of the American political system. Working at a polling place puts you on the front lines of the government system, allowing you to become the gate keeper to American Democracy. Working at a local polling area is a classic example of productive citizenship.



Another classic and positive good citizen practice is writing letters to your regional congressional representative when you feel import issues require their attention. Often people have problems in their community but do nothing, when even one letter sent to a state or regional representative can solve the problem or at least bring attention to your community needs. A good citizen becomes a spokesperson for their community, and when problems arise they can lead the charge to solve them. Writing these letters shows other people that you are taking an active role in the government process, and this action is what good citizens stand for.
City council meetings are another great way to become involved in your community. Any member of the community can attend these meetings and have their voice heard by the local government. You can go and say whatever you want and the local government must to listen to your words.



One very simple and small key to good democratic citizenship may at first seem insignificant, but actually provides the foundation for all future political processes. When at dinner, bring up political issues and facilitate family discussions on important political matters. This will get your kids thinking about politics, so they may be more likely to talk about it a school, which will spread this idea of civic thought to other kids. Putting your family in an active and citizenship oriented mindset creates important building blocks to good citizenship because you are ensuring the growth of healthy democratic thought and deliberation to younger generations. Passing political knowledge and good citizen habits down to your children ensures that your legacy as a good citizen continues well into the future.



Learn More - Click Here.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

School is Open - Parenting Teens Can be a Challenge - Be Prepared!




My first book, Wit's End! Advice and Resources for Saving Your Out of Control Teen offers sound advice based on first hand experiences with my own teenage daughter. Although we hope and pray that parents don't have to struggle with their teens and tweens today, it is best to be prepared! Order today at www.witsendbook.com!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Sue Scheff on ABC News - WPBF-TV


What a great experience to share my book, Wit's End! and story with Lisa Hayward at ABC News in West Palm Beach!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sue Scheff Talks about Wit's End! On Here's Help Talk Radio


I was honored to be a guest on the Y-100 Here's Help Radio Show talking about my new book, Wit's End! as well as parenting teens today.


About Here's Help, Inc.


Founded in 1968, Here’s Help has become one of Miami-Dade County’s premiere providers of residential and outpatient substance abuse treatment, annually serving 800 adolescents and young adults starting at the age of 13. Funded by local, state and federal contracts, Here’s Help has excelled as a substance abuse treatment provider and is lauded by the Departments of Corrections, Department of Juvenile Justice, Department of Children and Families (DCF), and Probation and Parole for its treatment, educational and preventive services.

Learn more at http://www.helpfl.com/ .

Monday, August 18, 2008

A Mother's and Daughter's True Story - Wit's End! - Advice and Resources for Saving Your Out-Of-Control Teen

Learn more about Wit's End at www.witsendbook.com and author Sue Scheff at www.suescheff.com -the response has been overwhelming! If you are struggling with your teen today - pick up Wit's End and learn more!

Friday, August 15, 2008

The INTERNET - Has it become a WEAPON?

Since winning my unprecedented lawsuit in September 2006 - with a jury verdict for damages done to my family, my organization and myself - over $11M - I am contacted on a daily basis from other victims of Internet Harassment, Abuse, Slander and Defamation.

This is a growing problem with today's expanding Cyberspace and more and more businesses being rated online. It has been stated that many time that many clients, when they seen negative posts on someone or a business, will usually not take the time to find out if it is Internet Gossip or fact.

I have heard from small business owners who have filed bankruptcy, struggling professionals that had one client or former employee take revenge with the keypad, as well as potential job applicants not getting a job after a firm did an Online Search. This is becoming a serious problem and needs to be addressed.

For those that believe that free speech will condone defamation, think twice - and read about my case. This is not about free speech - this is about people intentionally and maliciously destroying others with a few keystrokes in what is being called E-Venge.

I continue to answer as many emails as I can hoping to give others the support in the fact they are not alone.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Is the Internet Being Used as a Weapon rather than a Tool? - E-Venge - A growing problem

It seems Internet Harassment, Online Slander, Cyberbullying and other abuses in the World Wide Web is growing! I am contacted on a daily basis from victims of today's newest lethal and legal weapon to harm others - keystrokes!

You have to wonder what possesses people to feel the need to hurt others so malicously. With all of today's critical issues such as hunger, the war, homeless people etc.... We have a new group of people that simply have too much time on their hands - and take pleasure in hurting others. E-Venge seems like a good name for it.

If you think about it - it is a cowardly act. They hide out behind their computers and just strike their keypads - usually anonymously.

Read through this Blog and you will see that free speech is still in place but it will not condone defamation.

Blogging is fun, the Internet can be educational - but remember, what you post today can come back to haunt you tomorrow. And could be costly to you!

Visit my updated Podcast Website on E-Venge at http://www.suescheffpodcasts.com/

Friday, August 8, 2008

Sue Scheff, "Are Your Considering Residential Therapy for Your Teen? Do Your Homework."

Are you considering any of the following programs for your child?

Take a moment to read my experiences - http://www.aparentstruestory.com/ as well as my book where you can hear my daughter's experiences for the first time - order today at http://www.witsendbook.com/ .

Choosing a program is not only a huge emotional decision, it is a major financial decision - do your homework! Learn from my mistakes - Gain from my knowledge!

Academy of Ivy Ridge, NY (withdrew their affiliation with WWASPS)
Canyon View Park, MT
Camas Ranch, MT
Carolina Springs Academy, SC
Cross Creek Programs, UT (Cross Creek Center and Cross Creek Manor)
Darrington Academy, GA
Help My Teen, UT (Adolescent Services Adolescent Placement) Promotes and markets these programs.
Gulf Coast Academy, MS
Horizon Academy, NV
Lisa Irvin (Helpmyteen)
Lifelines Family Services, UT (Promotes and markets these programs) Jane Hawley
Majestic Ranch, UT
Midwest Academy, IA (Brian Viafanua, formerly the Director of Paradise Cove as shown on Primetime, is the current Director here)
Parent Teen Guide (Promotes and markets these programs)
Pillars of Hope, Costa Rica
Pine View Christian Academy (Borders FL, AL, MS)
Reality Trek, UT
Red River Academy, LA (Borders TX)
Royal Gorge Academy, CO
Sky View Academy, NV
Spring Creek Lodge, MT
Teen Help, UT (Promotes and markets these programs)
Teens In Crisis
Tranquility Bay, Jamaica
There is a rumor a new program in Mexico is opening - parents need to be aware of this.

There are good programs - take your time to do your research - for helpful hints in finding safe alternatives visit http://www.helpyourteens.com/

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Sue Scheff Founder of Parents' Universal Resource Experts (P.U.R.E.) and Author

Sue Scheff is a parent advocate who founded Parents’ Universal Resources Experts, Inc. (P.U.R.E.) in 2001 and Author. She has been featured on 20/20, The Rachel Ray Show, ABC News, Lifetime Television, CBS News, Canadian CBC Sunday News Magazine, CNN Headline News, Fox News, BBC Talk Radio, and NPR, Newsweek discussing topics of Internet defamation as well as her work helping troubled teens and their families through her organization.

To learn more about P.U.R.E. http://www.helpyourteens.com/ and to contact the author, visit http://www.suescheff.com/.

I defeated the one of the largest teen help programs (WWASPS aka Carolina Springs Academy) in both a jury trial and the Supreme Court of Appeals. I went on to win one of the largest jury verdicts of $11.3M for damages done to me on the Internet.I have fought back and won!

My book "Wit's End!" is now available.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Sue Scheff Featured on The Lifetime Channel


What a great opportunity to showcase my new parenting book, Wit's End!


Today Kristin Stattel, Author and Youth Advocate, and myself were featured on The Balancing Act - a Lifetime Television Series.


Speaking of my new book, Wit’s End! on this segment, Kristin also shared some of her experiences when she was struggling during her youth years. Her upcoming book, It’s All Good! will help teens to better understand the pressures of today’s society and give them inspiration and hope. Kristin is an amazing young adult who spends her time giving back to others as well as going to college. She is a mentor to so many youths!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

INTERNET LAW - Bullying and Cyber-Bullying Prohibited under Florida Law

Source: Internet Business Service Law

Bullying and, in particular, cyber-bullying is becoming a frequent practice among the American youth. Incidents are reaching such daunting results that state legislatures are rapidly adopting measures. For instance, Florida Legislature adopted an anti-bullying, including cyber-bullying, law on April 2008. The law is called "Jeffrey Johnston Stand Up for All Students Act" (Fla. Stat. section 1006.147), named after Jeffrey Johnston, a 15-year-old boy who committed suicide after being the object of bullying, including Internet bullying, for two years. This new Florida law prohibits bullying and harassment of any public K-12 student or employee, and requires public schools to adopt measures to protect students and employees from the physical and psychological effects of bullying and harassment.


The Florida Senate, quoting to a report by SafeYouth.org, stated that "bullying behavior can involve direct attacks, such as hitting, threatening or intimidating, maliciously teasing or taunting, name-calling, making sexual remarks, and stealing or damaging belongings, or more subtle, indirect attacks such as spreading rumors or encouraging others to reject or exclude someone." It also stated that bullies are four times more likely than non-bullies to be convicted of a crime by age 24, with 60% of bullies having at least one criminal conviction.

Thus, this Florida law is considered a safety measure for schools and the Florida community. Section 1006.147, titled "Bullying and Harassment Prohibited," proscribes bullying and harassment in Florida's K-12 public educational institutions; in any educational program or activity conducted by an educational institution; or through the use of data or software accessed by a computer, computer system, or computer network of a K-12 public educational institution. Hence, using the school e-mail network, even while at home, to bully or harass other students is prohibited by this Florida law. The law expressly defines "bullying" as the act of systematically or chronologically inflicting physical harm or emotional distress on a student. The law also provides examples of conducts that may result in bullying:

1. Teasing;
2. Social exclusion;
3. Threat;
4. Intimidation;
5. Stalking;
6. Physical violence;
7. Theft;
8. Sexual or racial harassment;
9. Public humiliation; or
10. Destruction of property.

Harassment is defined as any verbal, written, or physical conduct that threatens, insults, or dehumanizes public school students or employees. Written harassment includes those committed through electronic means and the use of computer software. The conduct must be sufficient to place the student or employee in reasonable fear of harm against him or his property; and sufficient to interfere with the student"s school performance, opportunities, or benefits. The Florida anti-bullying law also penalizes those who induce or coerce others to bully or harass public school students or employees. Students, parents, volunteers, or employees that promptly and in good faith report bullying acts will be exempted from civil cause of actions against them.

The Florida anti-bullying law also mandates each school district to adopt a code of conduct against bullying and harassment by December 1, 2008. This code of conduct must protect all students regardless of their status under the law but the school districts are authorized to create student categories when drafting their school policies. In any event, the code of conduct must include a general prohibition of bullying and harassment; a definition of these terms; an expected student conduct and behavior; description of the consequences of falsely and wrongfully accusing others of bullying and harassment; the procedures for reporting bullying and harassment incidents, including anonymous reports; a procedure for the prompt investigation of these acts; a procedure to determine whether the acts are within the district school system; a procedure to notify parents and criminal authorities; a procedure to refer victims to counseling; among others.

The Florida Department of Education affords an additional protection for victims of bullying and harassment by, first, monitoring district school activities, including transportation, through permanent collection of data (24 hours a day, 7 days a week); and second, enhancing the School Environmental Safety Incident Reporting System (SESIR). This program allows district schools to report bullying activities and conducts an annual database management workshop.

The Florida anti-bullying and harassment law is definitely well received and the first intent to control youth behavior, including Internet behavior. Yet, questions arise as to the consequences incurred when violating this law. It is not clear under the text of this law whether its violation merely includes school disciplinary actions or whether subsequent criminal actions will be sought. This is an important question whose answer is yet to come.

Law and sociology have been close partners for centuries; another important question is where are the parents parenting? A sociological answer to this question might take us to the genesis of most bullying and harassment problems which is essential for state legislatures and school officials.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Sue Scheff featured on CBS4 Morning Show



This morning I was on the CBS4 Jim and Jade in the Morning talking about my new book, Wit's End! Bringing awareness to parents that are considering residential therapy for their out-of-control teen as well as the giant organization, World Wide Association of Specialty Programs (WWASPS)/Carolina Springs Academy - which I defeated in a jury trial as they attempted to silence me - however I fought back and you can learn from my mistakes and gain from my knowledge.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Sue Scheff, "Learn from my mistakes when I was at my Wit's End!"

Help for Parents of Out-of-control Teens
Resources to help families in this critical time

(SOUTH FLORIDA)—In 2000, a teenager at a residential treatment center was locked-up in an isolation box for 17 hours with no windows, heat or air conditioning because she had tried to help a girl who was having a seizure. Later, that same teenager got food poisoning and was rushed to the ER (unbeknownst to her mother) because sewage had contaminated the food she was eating and sunk into the carpet of the living areas.

These are just some of the experiences that Sue Scheff’s daughter, Ashlyn, experienced while enrolled in a residential treatment program, supposed to be helping her cope with emotional and behavioral problems while building up her self-esteem. Furious about how Ashlyn had been treated, Scheff posted her experiences online about the program and was promptly sued for libel. Scheff won by a long shot.

Now parents can read Scheff’s story and learn from her mistakes in Wit’s End: Advice and Resources for Saving Your OUT-OF-CONTROL TEEN (HCI Books, July 2008). The book is the result of her years of effort to educate parents and provide them with the proper resources to care for their own difficult teen.

“I was desperate to find good help for my daughter, but this program ended up making things worse,” says Scheff. “My book provides positive, prescriptive help for families who want to put their children on the road to a safe, healthy adulthood. It is imperative parents do their homework and Wit’s End can offer a convenient outline to get them started.”

Parents doing their homework becomes even more important in light of a 2007 study released by the U.S. Government Accountability Office which uncovered thousands of allegations of abuse, some of which involved death, at residential treatment programs across the country and in American-owned and American-operated facilities abroad between the years 1990 and 2007.

For parents who need one-on-one guidance, Scheff founded Parents’ Universal Resource Experts (P.U.R.E.), an advocacy group that not only researches residential treatment centers and other teen help programs around the world, but helps educate parents to choose which facilities are best suited to match their child’s needs.

Sue Scheff is a parent advocate and the founder of Parent’s Universal Resource Experts, Inc. She has been featured in numerous publications and broadcasts, including: 20/20, The Rachel Ray Show, ABC News, CBC News: Sunday Morning, CNN Headline News, Fox News, BBC Talk Radio, National Public Radio and The New York Times.

For more information, please visit http://www.suescheff.com/ or http://www.helpyourteens.com/

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Sue Scheff Continues to Be a Voice Against Internet Abuse

Since winning my unprecedented lawsuit in September 2006 - with a jury verdict for damages done to my family, my organization and myself - over $11M - I am contacted on a daily basis from other victims of Internet Harassment, Abuse, Slander and Defamation.

This is a growing problem with today's expanding Cyberspace and more and more businesses being rated online. It has been stated that many time that many clients, when they seen negative posts on someone or a business, will usually not take the time to find out if it is Internet Gossip or fact.

I have heard from small business owners who have filed bankruptcy, struggling professionals that had one client or former employee take revenge with the keypad, as well as potential job applicants not getting a job after a firm did an Online Search. This is becoming a serious problem and needs to be addressed.

For those that believe that free speech will condone defamation, think twice - and read about my case. This is not about free speech - this is about people intentionally and maliciously destroying others with a few keystrokes in what is being called E-Venge.

I continue to answer as many emails as I can hoping to give others the support in the fact they are not alone.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Sue Scheff: Parents, are you considering residential therapy for your teenager?

If you are considering residential treatment for your child - be sure to read through this Blog - it will be very enligthening and help educate you on a loosely regulated industry - "teen help."

Be sure to take time to read www.aparentstruestory.com and order "Wit's End!" today.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Impact of Cyberbullying


Victims of cyberbullying may experience many of the same effects as children who are bullied in person, such as a drop in grades, low self-esteem, a change in interests or depression. However, cyberbullying can seem more extreme to its victims because of several factors:

Occurs in children’s home. Being bullied at home can take away the place children feel most safe.

Can be harsher. Often kids say things online that they wouldn’t say in person, mainly because they can’t see the other person’s reaction.

Far reaching. Kids can send e-mails making fun of someone to their entire class or school with a few clicks, or post them on a Web site for the whole world to see.

Anonymity. Cyberbullies often hide behind screen names and e-mail addresses that don’t identify who they are. Not knowing who is responsible for bullying messages can add to a victim’s insecurity.

May seem inescapable. It may seem easy to get away from a cyberbully by going offline, but for some kids not going online takes away a major place to socialize.

Source: National Crime Prevention Council.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

E-Venge - It can be costly

It seems Internet Harassment, Online Slander, Cyberbullying and other abuses in the World Wide Web is growing! I am contacted on a daily basis from victims of today's newest lethal & legal weapon to harm others - keystrokes!

You have to wonder what possesses people to feel the need to hurt others so malicously. With all of today's critical issues such as hunger, the war, homeless people etc.... We have a new group of people that simply have too much time on their hands - and take pleasure in hurting others. E-Venge seems like a good name for it.

If you think about it - it is a cowardly act. They hide out behind their computers and just strike their keypads - usually anonymously.

Read through this Blog and you will see that free speech is still in place but it will not condone defamation.

Blogging is fun, the Internet can be educational - but remember, what you post today can come back to haunt you tomorrow. And could be costly to you!

Visit my updated Podcast Website on E-Venge at http://www.suescheffpodcasts.com/

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Sue Scheff Discusses Wit's End! and Cyber Abuse


It was very exciting to be on Miami DayBreak to discuss my first book, Wit's End!
Over the past several months I have been on many radio and TV shows discussing both my book and the effect Cyber Abuse can have on peoples lives. My Podcast website will be updated shortly with many of these shows.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Web is Not Anonymous

My case and the unprecedented jury verdict for damages of over $11M has gained national and international attention. There are more and more people now fighting back against Cyberbullying and Internet Harassment.Take a moment to find out more about Internet Defamation and Invasion of Privacy.

Read More about how The Web is Not Anonymous by Dozier Internet Law:

Dozier Internet Law: The Web is Not Anonymous

Dozier Internet Law chases a lot of scofflaws. Sometimes the subject matter is copyright infringement, sometimes trademark infringement, often hacking and defamation. A reporter interviewing me last week was surprised to learn that individuals posting information online were not entitled to absolute anonymity and was surprised that you could subpoena information to identify the source of the publication of defamatory information in the airline industry. That got me to thinking a little about the knowledge base of most netizens.Yes, you can be identified.

For every instance in which Public Citizen wins a case preventing the disclosure of the identity, I suspect they turn down dozens of cases they know they can't win. There is no absolute right to privacy or anonymity online. Identities are disclosed everyday in litigation through a process called "discovery". And most people leave pretty good tracks.

If the plaintiff is obviously going to lose the case, the courts won't let the plaintiff use discovery to identify a defendant. But if the case is arguably valid, there is no problem with issuing extensive and far ranging discovery to locate and identify a defendant. And it is a process used often by lawyers, but an issue not publicized by the extreme left wingers very often. That way, each "victory" they claim sounds significant. But most, frankly, are irrelevant or at least not significant.

At Dozier Internet Law we go after these anonymous types often, and with great success. Rarely does Public Citizen get involved. When they do, their involvement is an anomaly. We don't publicize all of the cases in which we are identifying, through discovery, anonymous scofflaws, but from the volume of press release type emails and blog entries flowing from Public Citizen, I can understand this reporter's misunderstanding.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Wit's End! is Now Available - A Mother and Daughter's True Story by Sue Scheff



From the same publishers that brought you the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series, now offers you "Wit's End!"

My story if filled with inspiration and hope as well as offers parents and people that work with today's pre-teens and teens, advice and resources for today's struggling teens.

The response has been overwhelming since we launched the book! I am very proud of my daughter who spoke for the first time publicly in Wit's End! Hear her story of what she endured at Carolina Springs Academy.

Most importantly- learn from our mistakes so you don't make the same ones.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Sue Scheff: Learn from My Mistakes, Gain from My Knowledge

Are you considering any of the following programs for your child? Take a moment to read my experiences - www.aparentstruestory.com as well as my book where you can hear my daughter's experiences for the first time - order today at www.witsendbook.com .

Choosing a program is not only a huge emotional decision, it is a major financial decision - do your homework! Learn from my mistakes - Gain from my knowledge!

Academy of Ivy Ridge, NY (withdrew their affiliation with WWASPS)
Canyon View Park, MT
Camas Ranch, MT
Carolina Springs Academy, SC
Cross Creek Programs, UT (Cross Creek Center and Cross Creek Manor)
Darrington Academy, GA
Help My Teen, UT (Adolescent Services Adolescent Placement) Promotes and markets these programs.
Gulf Coast Academy, MS
Horizon Academy, NV
Lisa Irvin (Helpmyteen)
Lifelines Family Services, UT (Promotes and markets these programs) Jane Hawley
Majestic Ranch, UT
Midwest Academy, IA (Brian Viafanua, formerly the Director of Paradise Cove as shown on Primetime, is the current Director here)
Parent Teen Guide (Promotes and markets these programs)
Pillars of Hope, Costa Rica
Pine View Christian Academy (Borders FL, AL, MS)
Reality Trek, UT
Red River Academy, LA (Borders TX)
Royal Gorge Academy, CO
Sky View Academy, NV
Spring Creek Lodge, MT
Teen Help, UT (Promotes and markets these programs)
Teens In Crisis
Tranquility Bay, Jamaica

Monday, July 7, 2008

Sue Scheff: E-Venge Can Carry a Heavy Price Tag

My case and the unprecedented jury verdict for damages (Internet Defamation and Invasion of Privacy) of over $11M has gained national and international attention. There are more and more people now fighting back against Cyberbullying and Internet Harassment.

Take a moment to find out more about Internet Defamation and Invasion of Privacy - read through this Blog.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Sue Scheff on Teen Internet Addiction

In today's society, the Internet has made its way into almost every American home. It is a well-known fact that the web is a valuable asset for research and learning. Unfortunately, it can also be a very dangerous place for teens. With social networking sites like Myspace and Friendster, chat rooms, instant messaging, and online role-playing video games, our children are at access to almost anyone. Sue Scheff, along with Parent's Universal Resource Experts™, is tackling the dangers of the web.

Keeping tabs on our teens' online habits doesn't just keep them safe from online predators. More and more parents are becoming wary of the excessive hours their teens spend surfing the web, withdrawing from family, friends and activities they used to enjoy. Internet Addiction is a devastating problem facing far too many teens and their families. While medical professionals have done limited research on the topic, more and more are recognizing this destructive behavior and even more, the potential mental effects it can have.

Though the web is a great place for learning and can be safe for keeping in touch, it is important that families understand the potential risks and dangers to find a healthy balance between real and virtual life.

The Basics: The Dangers of Teen Internet Addiction

It’s clear that, for teenagers, spending too much time online can really deter social and educational development. The Internet world is such that there is always something new to do and to distract one from one’s responsibilities. We all do it- take ten minutes here or there to explore our favorite gossip or sports site. There is nothing wrong with using the Internet as a tool for research, news, and even entertainment. After all, the World Wide Web is the world’s most accurate, up to date resource for almost any type of information.

But as the Internet evolves and becomes more tailored to the individual, it grows increasingly easier to develop a dependency on it. This is especially true for teens- a group that tends to be susceptible to flashy graphics and easily enticed by the popularity of social networks. In a sense, the Internet is the new video game or TV show. It used to be that adolescents would sit in front of the TV for hours on end operating a remote, shooting people and racing cars. Now they surf the web. Teens are impressionable and can at times be improperly equipped to handle certain situations with a degree of reason and rationality. And although they may have good intentions, they might be at risk of coming across something inappropriate and even dangerous.

Learn more about Wrapped in the Web.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Sue Scheff - A Voice Against E-Venge and More


Sue Scheff is a parent advocate who founded Parents’ Universal Resources Experts, Inc. (P.U.R.E.) in 2001. She has been featured on 20/20, The Rachel Ray Show, ABC News, Canadian CBC Sunday News Magazine, CNN Headline News, Fox News, BBC Talk Radio, and NPR, discussing topics of Internet defamation as well as her work helping troubled teens and their families through her organization.


To learn more about P.U.R.E. http://www.helpyourteens.com/ and to contact the author, visit http://www.suescheff.com/.


I defeated the one of the largest teen help programs (WWASPS aka Carolina Springs Academy) in both a jury trial and the Supreme Court of Appeals. I went on to win one of the largest jury verdicts of $11.3M for damages done to me on the Internet.I have fought back and won! My book "Wit's End!" is now available.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Sue Scheff: SAFE EYES - Protecting Your Kids In Cyberspace!


Safe Eyes 5.0 Parental Control Software Receives Parents’ Choice Award

Safe Eyes™ 5.0, the latest edition of Internet parental control software from InternetSafety.com, has earned a 2008 Parents’ Choice Approved award from the Parents’ Choice Foundation. The award is the latest in a series of honors for the parental monitoring software, including two consecutive Editors’ Choice awards from PC Magazine.

“If you think your family’s safety requires Internet filtering and monitoring, whatever level, this program provides an array of options to get it done,” said the Parents’ Choice Foundation in its recognition of the Safe Eyes product. The 30-year-old foundation is the nation’s oldest non-profit program created to recognize quality children’s media, including books, toys, music and storytelling, software, videogames, television and websites.

“This commendation from the Parents’ Choice Foundation reflects the growing concern that parents have over their children’s Internet use as well as the wide range of control choices that Safe Eyes offers,” said Forrest Collier, CEO of InternetSafety.com. “Every child and every family is different, so flexibility is essential. The product lets parents decide how their children use the Internet.”

Safe Eyes is a comprehensive program that enables parents to easily block objectionable websites, control Internet use by length of time as well as time of day and day of the week, block or record instant messenger chats, and block peer-to-peer file sharing programs that may expose children to dangerous material. It also allows parents to limit email use to certain addresses, and receive alerts when children post inappropriate or personal information on social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook.

The software provides broader controls than any other filtering product, including the ability to define which websites will be blocked by category, URL and keyword; receive instant alerts about inappropriate online behavior by email, text message or phone call; and remotely change program settings or view reports from any Internet-enabled computer.

Safe Eyes is also the only program of its kind that can be used in mixed Mac/PC households. A single $49.95 annual subscription covers up to three Mac and/or PC computers with the ability to customize settings for each child and enforce them on any machine. The product’s website blacklist is updated automatically every day, eliminating the need for manual updates. Safe Eyes can be downloaded at SAFE EYES.

All Parents’ Choice Awards winners are posted to the Parents’ Choice Foundation website (http://www.parents-choice.org/).

About InternetSafety.com

Established in 1999, InternetSafety.com specializes in providing Internet safety solutions. Its flagship software, Safe Eyes, is the two-time recipient of the PC Magazine Editors’ Choice Award and was rated as the #1 parental control solution by America’s leading consumer advocacy publication. The company’s Safe Eyes and EtherShield products are providing online protection for PCs and Macs in homes, businesses and schools across more than 125 countries.