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Roger Woody Blasts Away At His Foot

By Greg L | 12 May 2008 | Blogs | 9 Comments

This has got to be the dumbest lawsuit regarding a blog ever filed.  Christiansburg, VA developer Roger Woody, who owns Showcase Builders has filed a lawsuit against two bloggers who run Think, Christiansburg! and two other individuals with no connection with the blog whatsoever, seeking ten million dollars in damages and $350,000 in punitive damages.  Think, Christiansburg! has been complaining for some time about a colossal mountain of dirt that Showcase Builders is amassing in the town, and Woody is apparently fed up with being criticized for the actions of his company.  Unfortunately for him, he hasn’t figured out that being the target of factually-based criticism is not a sufficient basis for filing a dafamation lawsuit, and that in doing so, he’s just opened himself up to more public ridicule than he can likely imagine possible.

These citizens have been complaining about the irresponsible behavior of Showcase Builders for some time, who have been depositing fill dirt into a growing mountain across from a Christiansburg restaurant.  What seems to really have gotten Woody’s panties in a twist is that they’ve dubbed this mountain “Woodyville” (as seen in the picture above) and even printed up T-shirts to poke fun at him.  Parody and satire, being the protected free speech rights they are, would normally never be considered plausible grounds for a defamation lawsuit, but that requires you hire an attorney who is actually capable of locating his posterior with both hands.  Woody’s selection of legal counsel of late seems to be somewhat spotty, since just last month one attorney who had managed land use issues on his behalf managed to get indicted for 21 counts of forgery and lost his law license this April.

So now Roger Woody is going to try to put these people in the poorhouse.  As seems to happen fairly often in these cases, the lawsuit is filled with mistakes and may well end up making Roger Woody look like an even bigger fool than he’s demonstrated himself to be in the past.  Among the defendants in the suit is a county planner, and one of Woody’s commercial tenants, neither of which have any idea why Woody would be naming them in this suit.

Although Carter and Newell-Foutz have operated the Think, Christiansburg blog since September, Dorsett and Lindstrom say they are not affiliated with the blog.

Dorsett, a Montgomery County planner, said she was flabbergasted when she learned of the suit.

“Guess what?” she said Monday. “I’m getting sued for a blog I have absolutely nothing to do with. As a county planner, I try to stay as far away from these issues as possible.”

So while Woody falsely claims that these folks have damaged his reputation, which has allegedly resulted in numerous contracts for townhouse sales being lost, that’s going to pale in comparison to the actual harm Woody is doing to himself with this ridiculous lawsuit.  Who is going to want to do business with someone that acts like this?


H/T: I’m Not Emeril

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  1. Anonymous said on 12 May 2008 at 1:06 pm:
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    Look at all the free publicity he is getting. Name recognition, name recognition, name recognition.

  2. Anonymous said on 12 May 2008 at 1:40 pm:
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    How do I get into law school and join all the fun?

    I thought it was difficult to get a law degree and bass the bar.

    Are they not suppose to weed the bottom third of the law class the first year?

  3. Loudoun Insider said on 12 May 2008 at 5:17 pm:
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    Woody appears to be quite the a-hole.

  4. LoyalPatron42 said on 13 May 2008 at 2:37 am:
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    Ah hahahaha…Woodyville !!! Sorry…Involuntary outburst. That’s just kina funny though. Sucks for the restaurant.

  5. Ron said on 13 May 2008 at 7:36 am:
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    The bloggers who have been sued are less likely to be able to AFFORD legal help than Mr. Woody. And that’s the purpose of this lawsuit, to try to bankrupt the bloggers. Still this is a disgusting stunt.

  6. Brian said on 14 May 2008 at 11:12 am:
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    “How do I get into law school and join all the fun?

    I thought it was difficult to get a law degree and bass the bar.”

    It’s only difficult to get a law degree if you go to a decent law school. Just like with med school, not all law degrees are equal. As far as the bar goes, you get around a fair bit of stupidity if you spend enough money on test preps, live in a state with an easy bar exam (which would not be VA), or just be really good at tests. Also, being a lawyer doesn’t make you immune to that common trait in humanity where greed and/or desperation makes people ignore any shred of common sense.

  7. Kevin said on 14 May 2008 at 2:20 pm:
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    Originally, I was going to post a comment pointing out the one-sided aspect of this article. But, after following the links above and doing a little reading, it seems clear that, while the article could provide a few more facts and try to be a bit more neutral, it is on the mark for the most part. Also, looking over the blog in question, it seems to be quite civil and factual in its criticisms.

    The lawsuit claims the women “combined, associated, agreed, mutually undertook or concerted together for the purpose of developing a Web site on the Internet to be used willfully and maliciously”.

    Now, looking over that website, it’s clear that the site has a far broader purpose than to malign Woody, and the site does not have a malicious tone about it. Then again, perhaps I missed the article that accuses him of raping chipmunks.

    It is worth noting that there are 4 articles at the blog that come back from a search of the word “woody” but two do not contain the word (which could mean they have been changed since they were indexed) . There are about 100 articles on the site. So 2% of the site is devoted to criticizing Mt. Woody. It’s hard to see how that means the site was created to malign Mr. Woody.

    One article (What 189k Buys these days) has some photos of the area, which seems to be much more than some nice dirt. Another (Junk(y) Yard Wars) has what appears to be the main article about Mt. Woody. For me, it is returning a bunch of garbled text that claims to be in gzip format (a unix zip format) that mozilla does not handle well, and IE has trouble with the site too. Eventually I was able to view the article with IE. In that article, the mound of dirt actually does not look all that bad. In neither article is Mr. Woody actually mentioned, although there a few references to Mt. Woody. I have no way of knowing if the articles have been edited. Also, the comments following the articles don’t raise any eyebrows, and one lengthy comment actually defends Mr. Woody.

    So, to reiterate, 2% of the website articles show some photos of a mound of dirt they call Mt. Woody, and suggests it’s a eyesore, and should be moved. There is also a suggestion that the town leaders are being somewhat remiss in their duties. If that’s Mr. Woody’s definition of malicious, then he has a very thin skin, indeed. I hope the judge throws this one out.

    One interesting comment by the town’s officials in the Roanoke Times article is this one:

    “As long as (Woody’s) sites are stabilized,” Terpenny said of the Woody properties, “I don’t know that it’s appropriate to put a time frame on it.”

    But then, on another aspect of one of Woody’s projects: “We won’t let him leave it there,” Terpenny said. “Temporary is not permanent.”

    So, there’s no time frame, but it’s temporary. Woody has not submitted a plan to develop that property, it is being used as a dumping site for his soil and materials, but it’s not really zoned for that, it is supposed to have homes built on it. But Woody could keep dumping dirt on the site for 100 years and according the the town manager, it would still be ‘temporary’.

  8. TE said on 24 May 2008 at 6:15 pm:
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    As far as I know, none of us named in the lawsuit is a commercial tenant of Mr. Woody’s. The woman who wrote “Mt. Woody doesn’t hurt anybody” has had commercial property dealings with Mr. Woody.

  9. NRVaCitizen said on 7 Jun 2008 at 3:06 pm:
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    A funny thing about all this is that Woody is on record for complaining about other peoples property being an eyesore AND further sic’in town ‘Zoning Enforcement Police’ after the offending party. Maybe those property owners shoulda sued him? See where one of the people Woody has sued using FOIA requests to get town records and posted them at http://historiccambria.com/Town%20Information.htm. Just go into town minutes and query.

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