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Author Topic: Fascinating  (Read 21521 times)

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Fascinating
« on: Mar 09, 2007, 10:47:29 AM »
Well, I was in the middle of reading this thread and it disappeared. Apparently Mr Kaplan decided to erase it rather than discuss it.

I have turned off the 'Socrateaser' account and will be removing or disabling it for the time being.

We would like to find another attorney who practices family law to take over the management of this board. If you know of anyone who might be interested, please let me know: sparc@deltabravo.net

The message string was archived in its entirety, and I'll paste it in below for those who didn't see it.





Dear Socrateaser topic #13794
Subject: "IMPORTANT NOTICE -- ALL PARTICIPANTS PLEASE READ..."   Previous topic | Next topic
   
socrateaser   Thu Mar-08-07 05:22 PM
Member since Nov 22nd 2003
5728 posts    Click to add this author to your buddy list
#13794, "IMPORTANT NOTICE -- ALL PARTICIPANTS PLEASE READ..."


              

This may come as a real shock to many of you long-time participants, but for the past three months, the person who's been answering your questions is NOT the same person who was doing it for the previous 5 years.

Socrateaser has gone to, shall we say, a better place. I'm not at liberty to tell you where that place is, or even if Soc's still with the living -- but, the bottom line is that he ain't me and I ain't him.

Soc didn't even tell the management of SPARC that he was retiring from service, so if you're annoyed by this sudden announcement, don't complain to SPARC personnel, because they didn't know, either.

The reason why I didn't make this announcement immediately, is because I wanted to see if anyone here would notice anything different. From what I have observed, no one seems to be unhappy with the change -- even though they had no idea it occured.

So, at this point you're probably wondering why I'm bothering to tell anyone, since no one noticed the change. Well, frankly, unlike Soc, I am not in the position to continue to provide this service absolutely free of charge. That is to say, I enjoy doing a reasonable amount of pro bono legal service, but somehow I need to figure out some way to make a little spare change while maintaining this service.

To that end, I am very much open to the ideas of everyone here, because I don't want anyone to go without important help, nor do I want to scare anyone off. Some of the ideas that are floating around in my head are:

1. Obtaining a government grant to provide non-profit legal aid. This would probably be a difficult chore, and it's not something that I have any experience. But if someone out there does have experience in this area, I'd be very appreciative of any help you can spare -- maybe we can both make some money on the deal (although, I couldn't partner with you, unless you're an attorney -- that would be an ethics violation -- but if you put together a grant, then you could get paid for the work).

Note: some of you may wonder why I just don't partner up with SPARC. Well, the Rules of Professional Responsibility prohibit a lawyer from entering a partnership with a non-attorney to provide legal services. And, as SPARC is not owned by attorneys, a partnership would be a violation of the Rules. Ironically, if I were a partner in SPARC and no legal advice was provided, that would be fine. But, that would completely defeat the purpose of a partnership. So, this avenue is foreclosed entirely.

2. Charging a subscription fee (monthly/annual?).

3. Charging by the answer ($1.00 per -- payment up front for 10 questions at a time through PayPal).

Point is, I'm not trying to gouge anyone, but I need to be able to somewhat justify my time here.

There's also a potential silver lining. Some people need considerably more than just advice, and there are some occasions where I could do significantly more research than I'm willing to do at the moment, if you're willing to pay for it. One thing is for certain -- whatever I would charge would be ridiculously less expensive than you could get it anywhere else.

To summarize, I need some help -- both with ideas on how to make this a little more financially reasonable, as well as with feedback on what you like and/or don't like about this service.

I hope that I have already earned your trust, and that you will continue to support my effort to provide this important service to the public.

Feel free to respond directly to this post. That way everyone can bounce ideas off each other.

Respectfully,

Ken Kaplan, Esq.



"A child of five would understand this -- send someone to fetch a child of five!" -- Groucho Marx

 
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Replies to this topic
RE: IMPORTANT NOTICE -- ALL PARTICIPANTS PLEASE READ..., gemini3, Mar 08th 2007, #1
RE: IMPORTANT NOTICE -- ALL PARTICIPANTS PLEASE READ..., IceMountain, Mar 08th 2007, #2
response..., socrateaser, Mar 08th 2007, #3
      RE: response..., Jade, Mar 09th 2007, #4
      RE: response..., gemini3, Mar 09th 2007, #5
      RE: response..., mistoffolees, Mar 09th 2007, #10
      Yes. I agree. eom, tigger, Mar 09th 2007, #12
      RE: response..., SPARC Admin, Mar 09th 2007, #23
Well, notnew, Mar 09th 2007, #6
RE: Well, mistoffolees, Mar 09th 2007, #11
      My feeling on that, notnew, Mar 09th 2007, #14
      RE: My feeling on that, mistoffolees, Mar 09th 2007, #15
      RE: Well, SPARC Admin, Mar 09th 2007, #19
           This would have been nice..., olanna, Mar 09th 2007, #20
           RE: Well, mistoffolees, Mar 09th 2007, #22
                RE: Well, SPARC Admin, Mar 09th 2007, #25
I would like to know, MafiaMom, Mar 09th 2007, #7
corrected - find someone else who is willing to do it for free., catherine, Mar 09th 2007, #8
RE: IMPORTANT NOTICE -- ALL PARTICIPANTS PLEASE READ..., mistoffolees, Mar 09th 2007, #9
My thoughts., rdhdinwi, Mar 09th 2007, #13
I thought it was against the rules of SPARC to use someone else's, olanna, Mar 09th 2007, #16
RE: IMPORTANT NOTICE -- ALL PARTICIPANTS PLEASE READ..., SPARC Admin, Mar 09th 2007, #17
RE: IMPORTANT NOTICE -- ALL PARTICIPANTS PLEASE READ..., mistoffolees, Mar 09th 2007, #18
      my 3 cents, wysiwyg, Mar 09th 2007, #21
           RE: my 3 cents, SPARC Admin, Mar 09th 2007, #24
                RE: my 3 cents, mistoffolees, Mar 09th 2007, #26
                RE: my 3 cents, SPARC Admin, Mar 09th 2007, #31
                SPARC Admin, notnew, Mar 09th 2007, #27
                RE: SPARC Admin, SPARC Admin, Mar 09th 2007, #30
                RE: my 3 cents, wysiwyg, Mar 09th 2007, #28
Dear Soc: RIP, I cry_ in_the_dark, Mar 09th 2007, #29

   
gemini3   Thu Mar-08-07 07:26 PM
Member since Nov 09th 2006
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#13795, "RE: IMPORTANT NOTICE -- ALL PARTICIPANTS PLEASE READ..."
In response to Reply # 0


              

I guess I'll be the first to touch this one. I haven't been around here nearly as long as some of the others, and I can only speak for myself, but my personal feeling is that the reason this site is so valuable to me is because it's free. I certainly appreciate the considerable amount of time it takes to keep up with all of the posts on here, and how much information you need to keep up with in order to answer them accurately - however, if you're looking for a place to make a few bucks, I don't feel this is it.

As a NCP, I have spent thousands of dollars fighting for what should be a given - time with my children and the right to have a say in how they are raised. My first shot out I did it pro se because my ex had run us into the ground financially before she left me for another man and took my kids with her. The second go round, I had a lawyer who took thousands of dollars and did nothing for me. Now, in addition to fighting the ex in court, I'm also having to sue that lawyer. I'm going 'round for the third time now, and I hope to god I've gotten it right because I am mentally, emotionally, and financially spent.

It's a very, very small comfort to have one place (that I know of) where I can go and have some basic legal questions answered and get the support of other people in my shoes without encountering yet another person who has their hand out for my dollar. It seems to me that the right person for this "job" would be a person who feels that the time they spend is justified by the help they give others in need. That's why I, for one, come here.

I know you're not "looking to gouge anyone", I just don't think this is the right place for what you're suggesting. I feel kind of offended by it, honestly, as I'm sure many people would when finding out they've been given something under false pretenses, and now that they have come to rely on it are asked to start paying for it. Not cool, in my book. Maybe I'll be in the minority with the way I feel about this - but you won't find me paying to use this message board. Good luck to you.

 
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IceMountain   Thu Mar-08-07 08:32 PM
Member since Mar 12th 2004
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#13797, "RE: IMPORTANT NOTICE -- ALL PARTICIPANTS PLEASE READ..."
In response to Reply # 1


              

I have to agree with Gemini here. I guess the one overwhelming thought in my mind is that you took this job on 3 months ago knowing the amount of time Soc invested in this board and knowing that it was pro bono work.

I remember reading a post maybe a few weeks ago where you casually mentioned that you may start charging for things like research, etc. and I also remember the red flag it immediately put up!!! I thought it was completely out of character for soc because I always felt that even though he sometimes got irritated with people/posts, he genuinely enjoyed helping the people on this board.

I would hate to see this board go away because I, too, have relied on Soc's wisdom to guide me through some difficult situations. I have passed this site on to others knowing that they would get the answers they needed at no charge.

Soc was good at what he did. If he didn't know a particular rule or a state-specific code he wasn't afraid to say so and tell you that you would have to research it yourself because he didn't have time. It was one of the things you had to respect about him, because he said it like it was.

Bottom line is I don't think you should charge a fee, no matter how minimal. I think you will lose alot of respect from alot of very good people if you do. Soc's forum is the glue that holds this forum together... without glue things just don't stick

 
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socrateaser   Thu Mar-08-07 09:10 PM
Member since Nov 22nd 2003
5728 posts    Click to add this author to your buddy list
#13798, "response..."
In response to Reply # 1
Thu Mar-08-07 09:11 PM by socrateaser

              

Well, okay. I appreciate your input, good or bad. I understand your annoyance, but I don't think it's entirely fair.

The operators of SPARC are able to advertise here and generate income as the result of my providing advice for free. Unfortunately, I can't even negotiate for a portion of that income without violating the ethics rules, because they are not attorneys.

So, I either have to work for free, or I have to create my own website so that I can collect whatever advertising revenue there might be, to offset the cost of providing the service for free. But, if I open my own website, then that doesn't exactly help SPARC, so I'm damned if I do, and damned if I don't.

Re your "false pretenses" comment. When you use that phrase, you are essentially accusing me of committing a felony. I have not induced anyone here to permanently part with their money/property by use of a misrepresentation or promise. So, like I said, I understand your sense of outrage, but I don't think I deserve quite this level of criticism.

The alternative to my stepping in to help here would have been pretty much an instantaneous ceasation of service -- three months ago.

Anyway, I appreciate your thoughts, regardless, and I'm sorry if you feel betrayed.



"A child of five would understand this -- send someone to fetch a child of five!" -- Groucho Marx

 
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Jade   Fri Mar-09-07 03:42 AM
Member since Nov 01st 2006
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#13800, "RE: response..."
In response to Reply # 3


              

>Well, okay. I appreciate your input, good or bad. I
>understand your annoyance, but I don't think it's entirely
>fair.
>
>The operators of SPARC are able to advertise here and generate
>income as the result of my providing advice for free.
>Unfortunately, I can't even negotiate for a portion of that
>income without violating the ethics rules, because they are
>not attorneys.
>
>So, I either have to work for free, or I have to create my own
>website so that I can collect whatever advertising revenue
>there might be, to offset the cost of providing the service
>for free. But, if I open my own website, then that doesn't
>exactly help SPARC, so I'm damned if I do, and damned if I
>don't.
>
>Re your "false pretenses" comment. When you use that phrase,
>you are essentially accusing me of committing a felony. I have
>not induced anyone here to permanently part with their
>money/property by use of a misrepresentation or promise. So,
>like I said, I understand your sense of outrage, but I don't
>think I deserve quite this level of criticism.
>
>The alternative to my stepping in to help here would have been
>pretty much an instantaneous ceasation of service -- three
>months ago.
>
>Anyway, I appreciate your thoughts, regardless, and I'm sorry
>if you feel betrayed.


Couldn't SPARC pay you a retainer? Corporations hire attorney's all the time. One that I worked for had at least 2 attorney's on staff and they were paid a salary.

This way you wouldn't be a partner and you could get paid for giving out legal advice.

 
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gemini3   Fri Mar-09-07 04:25 AM
Member since Nov 09th 2006
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#13801, "RE: response..."
In response to Reply # 3


              

The benefit of this board, and the reasons that the operators of SPARC can charge for adevrtising, aren't based soley on Soc's forum. I think that, while the forum would be missed, there is still a lot of very beneficial information on here. I doubt all of their advertisers would pull out if there wasn't a "Dear Socrateaser" board.

I don't really buy the "damned if you do, damned if you don't" bit. They would still exist without this board. If the demise of the entire site was at stake, you might have wanted to notified them right away, instead of posting under Soc's name for 3 months before making everyone aware of the situaton.

My "false pretenses" comment wasn't intended as a criminal accusation, and I'm really surprised that you would go there.

 
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mistoffolees   Fri Mar-09-07 06:09 AM
Member since Sep 18th 2006
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#13806, "RE: response..."
In response to Reply # 3


              


>The alternative to my stepping in to help here would have been
>pretty much an instantaneous ceasation of service -- three
>months ago.
>

Well, no. The honest alternative would have been for Soc to tell SPARC that he was retiring and giving up the board. SPARC could have then posted a notice asking if there were any other attorneys who were willing to do it.

No one would have been misled and you wouldn't have to feel put-upon. And SPARC could have found someone who did this because they cared about people.

 
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tigger   Fri Mar-09-07 06:17 AM
Member since Mar 22nd 2004
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#13808, "Yes. I agree. eom"
In response to Reply # 10


              

eom

 
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SPARC Admin   Fri Mar-09-07 08:11 AM
Member since Nov 20th 2003
149 posts    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to add this author to your buddy list
#13820, "RE: response..."
In response to Reply # 3


              



>The operators of SPARC are able to advertise here and generate
>income as the result of my providing advice for free.
>Unfortunately, I can't even negotiate for a portion of that
>income

There is rarely if any income from SPARC; in most cases it operates at a loss and always has. This site isn't here to generate income.


>So, I either have to work for free, or I have to create my own
>website so that I can collect whatever advertising revenue
>there might be, to offset the cost of providing the service
>for free.

You are welcome to do this if you want.


> But, if I open my own website, then that doesn't
>exactly help SPARC,

Don't worry about SPARC. If necessary we'll find another attorney who can help out. We understand your desire to be paid, but it's just not something we can agree to instituting here.

SPARC - Separated Parenting Access & Resource Center

 
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notnew   Fri Mar-09-07 04:48 AM
Member since Mar 08th 2006
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#13802, "Well"
In response to Reply # 0


              

I have noticed a different tone in responses.

I have been on this site for about 7 years under several different sign in names.

When I first discovered this site, I was desperate. I had a rotten attorney who let my ex's attorney put the screws to me while encouraging me to be the "bigger person" and give in to all the ridiculous demands being placed on me.

As a result, I had to file bankruptcy, got assault charges against me that stuck when I was the one assaulted, etc. When I fired my attorney and discovered this site, I became empowered and in control of my case. Things didn't always go the way I wanted and I have the burden of trying to battle orders that had already been put in place that are detrimental to my cause (relationship with my child). Additionally, my ex had one of those great attorneys who has absolutely no problem being dishonest, manipulating, and is generally a lower life form than plankton.

Had I not discovered this site, I KNOW things would have been much worse. I was able to use a lot of insight and knowledge gained from this site and my own research to undo some of the damage that orders already in place were causing. This site helped me with some of the "details" in procedural process that I would have otherwise missed out on. The bulk of the research was done on my own, but this site and Soc filled in a lot of missing pieces.

I have a great deal of respect for Soc and the service he provided here on this site. I understand it was a time consuming labor of love. He HAD to care about the cause of family law to give it the time and attention he did. While I know nothing personal of him, I have always imagined he was an older person nearing retirement.

I am angry at you for impersonating him. I feel we have all been duped. I too have referred many people to this site and will not do so any longer. Deceit, dishonesty, hiding behind curtains, smoke and mirrors. I have to deal with that shit from my ex and her attorney for too long and see no end in sight. Now my child is behaving in the same manner. It makes me sick. And I don't like feeling like the same thing has happened here.

The statement that you make that Soc didn't inform management he was retiring or "dead" as you allude sounds wrong to me. NOBODY makes the committment that Soc did to this site for so long and then just walks away with no explanation. There is something else going on here. Soc stands on his principles and beliefs. I do not believe he would have done this just because he felt like it.

Let me make it clear, I still think this site in general is a good idea for support and exchange of ideas. But, it doesn't matter to me weather YOU or someone else "runs" Socs board for a nominal fee or free; I won't post questions here or advise anyone else to do so.

This forum "Dear Socrateaser" needs to be discontinued.

I am sorry that I did not get a chance to say goodbye to what feels like a friend. I am sorry I did not get to say "THANK YOU" for all the wonderful things done.

And I don't mean to offend you Ken, but the way you have done this makes me feel towards you as I feel towards a lot of lawyers. Like I may need to wash my hands after shaking yours. I also suspect that you may have been a long time poster on here from time to time. I am not sure, but that Ken thing seems to ring a bell for some reason. Maybe you committed a misguided mistake. But resolution is not a simple matter here.

I understand the position you are in regarding receiving funds for this advice on-line and the conflict it presents with the "code of ethics" you are supposed to adhere to. That is not what I have a problem with. Please understand I am NOT upset that this forum is finished. I am upset that you impersonated someone else and after you got tired of living in his shoes because it's too much work, you spring the truth on us and hold out your hand for our money!

As another poster wrote, you must have been well aware of the committment Soc gave to this board. If you weren't prepared to take it on, then you shouldn't have. You also should have been up front about the change. How can I trust someone who lied for three months? I can't.

Good luck in your endeavors.

If you ever come into contact with Soc in your travels, please tell him he is sorely missed and we SO appreciate everything he has done to make this world a little better for those of us so battered by this f***ked up legal system. To me, this is just another kick in the teeth by this same system. I am truly sorry.

BTW - please change your sign on name on here. You aren't Socrateaser.

 
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mistoffolees   Fri Mar-09-07 06:15 AM
Member since Sep 18th 2006
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#13807, "RE: Well"
In response to Reply # 6


              


>Let me make it clear, I still think this site in general is a
>good idea for support and exchange of ideas. But, it doesn't
>matter to me weather YOU or someone else "runs" Socs board for
>a nominal fee or free; I won't post questions here or advise
>anyone else to do so.
>
>This forum "Dear Socrateaser" needs to be discontinued.

Please reconsider.

While I agree that Mr. Kaplan has been dishonest and has betrayed a very serious trust, please give SPARC a chance to rectify the situation. In fact, send them your concerns. Perhaps Soc really didn't tell SPARC. Or perhaps Mr. Kaplan convinced SPARC that nothing would change.

I'm hoping that SPARC will tell him to jump in a lake and then post a notice asking if any other family law attorneys are interested in taking over. Please write to SPARC to tell them of your displeasure.

I don't completely agree about the Socrateaser name. 'Socrateaser' is really a name for the board. Perhaps if they left the board name as 'Socrateaser' and had the person responding sign with their own name (either their real name or a handle)?

 
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notnew   Fri Mar-09-07 06:26 AM
Member since Mar 08th 2006
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#13810, "My feeling on that"
In response to Reply # 11


              

Mist,

I know you've been on here for several months and posted many times to Soc. I've been reading his posts for 7 years. I've seen a lot of stuff on here. Sometimes it made me laugh and sometimes it made me feel sorry for what people are going through. Sometimes Soc was gruff and sometimes he made me smile.

I feel that Socrateaser chose his handle because of who he was and it was a part of the person, not just a "forum".

Soc had personality and a flair.

If they want to produce another forum that does essentially the same thing, then go for it. However, to me, this board represented a cause that a PERSON was involved in. Continuing the forum in his name with someone else just feels wrong to me.

BTW - I understand that you feel Ken was rough in his response to John Jay and his concerns about the upcoming custody battle his ex is bringing. However, I have to agree with Ken that John is pretty paranoid and worrying excessively about things. Ken has been very rough with some when it has been unwarranted.

I see that it appears Ken has never even practiced family law. When you've never walked in these shoes, you have no idea how it feels.

 
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mistoffolees   Fri Mar-09-07 06:55 AM
Member since Sep 18th 2006
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#13811, "RE: My feeling on that"
In response to Reply # 14


              

As I said, I guess I'm approaching the naming as a buisness thing - SPARC (and the original Socrateaser) created a brand image for this board using the Socrateaser name. They are entitled to build on that - as long as they're not misleading people. For example, when Dear Abby retired, they made an announcement of the change, but kept the name. Frankly, I don't feel all that strongly about the issue because I can see both sides. If the majority feel that the board name needs to be changed, I wouldn't oppose that, but I think it's not necessary - as long as they're honest about making sure that the PERSON is not mistaken for the original Socrateaser (this IS a major deception, IMHO).

While I think that John was a bit paranoid, there are ways of telling him that without coming across as a horse's rear. If the new Soc really did have the level of empathy required for this 'job', then he could have been much more gentle - and still gotten the message across. That was one of my points - peoples' LIVES are at stake here and it's perfectly natural to be nervous and even a little paranoid. Part of the value of this board is that people can get advice (even being told that there's nothing to worry about) without feeling battered. But as you said, this isn't the only case.

Now, the fact that Ken has not practiced family law is, IMHO, a MAJOR issue. People are coming here for family law advice and are getting it from someone who isn't an expert. To me, that's a far more serious infraction than his pretending to be someone else. If they both had good family law backgrounds, the substitution would be dishonest, but not cirminal. If Ken really doesn't have family law experience, I think he IS acting in a criminal manner - or nearly so. If he were charging for family law advice (even $1 per question), I think he would clearly be in the criminal arena (try practicing without a license, fraud, and probably a few more things). The fact that he'd even suggest this makes me wonder if he's a very good lawyer even in the area he does specialize in.

Time for SPARC to take action. Dump him and look for a family law volunteer.

 
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SPARC Admin   Fri Mar-09-07 08:00 AM
Member since Nov 20th 2003
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#13816, "RE: Well"
In response to Reply # 11


              


>While I agree that Mr. Kaplan has been dishonest and has
>betrayed a very serious trust, please give SPARC a chance to
>rectify the situation. In fact, send them your concerns.
>Perhaps Soc really didn't tell SPARC. Or perhaps Mr. Kaplan
>convinced SPARC that nothing would change.

1) Soc didn't tell us- we didn't know that the ID had changed hands until after the fact.

2) No agreement was made regarding charging anyone for anything, this is not what this site or board is about.



>I'm hoping that SPARC will tell him to jump in a lake and then
>post a notice asking if any other family law attorneys are
>interested in taking over. Please write to SPARC to tell them
>of your displeasure.

We are contacting Mr. Kaplan to see if this can be resolved and ask for your patience while we see what, if anything, can be worked out. No fees will be charged by SPARC or anyone else for anything on this message board.


>I don't completely agree about the Socrateaser name.
>'Socrateaser' is really a name for the board. Perhaps if they
>left the board name as 'Socrateaser' and had the person
>responding sign with their own name (either their real name or
>a handle)?

When we were finally informed that the change had taken place we decided to allow the name to remain. It was suggested that Mr Kaplan introduce himself to the members here; apparently that was not done.

If Mr Kaplan decides to discontinue his support, we'll solicit other attorneys who would like to manage this board. The name will probably remain the same.

SPARC - Separated Parenting Access & Resource Center

 
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olanna   Fri Mar-09-07 08:06 AM
Member since Mar 19th 2004
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#13817, "This would have been nice..."
In response to Reply # 19


              

instead of feeling dupped. Many of us noticed a difference in the "testiness" if you will, of his replies, but put that off to whatever might have been going on his life. The last thing we need is sugar-coating, I know. But no need to be short with the desperate!

Thanks for clearing it up.

Children give meaning to everything parents do.

 
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mistoffolees   Fri Mar-09-07 08:11 AM
Member since Sep 18th 2006
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#13819, "RE: Well"
In response to Reply # 19


              


>If Mr Kaplan decides to discontinue his support, we'll solicit
>other attorneys who would like to manage this board. The name
>will probably remain the same.


Thanks for all your clarifications.

Might I suggest that you consider leaving 'Socrateaser' for the forum name but having the moderator use a different name for his responses. Perhaps 'Socrateaser administrator' or something else. The reason for this is that many people consider 'Socrateaser' to be first and foremost a person's name rather than a forum name and are concerned about the possible confusion if someone new uses the same name.

 
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SPARC Admin   Fri Mar-09-07 08:18 AM
Member since Nov 20th 2003
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#13822, "RE: Well"
In response to Reply # 22


              

>The reason for this is that many people
>consider 'Socrateaser' to be first and foremost a person's
>name rather than a forum name and are concerned about the
>possible confusion if someone new uses the same name.

Understood.

Socrateaser himself may not be satisfied with the way things have turned out with the use of his name still in effect, so a name change is likely to occur regardless of who is managing this message board in the future.

SPARC - Separated Parenting Access & Resource Center

 
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MafiaMom   Fri Mar-09-07 05:30 AM
Member since Mar 22nd 2004
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#13803, "I would like to know"
In response to Reply # 0


              

What your full name is, and what attorney's office you work for. I did a google on your name, and not much comes up for you. What DOES come up, is not in family law. Frankly, that in itself is also suspicious. If you do not have experience in family law, how are the fine people here to know that your services are even worth paying for?

I don't post on this particular forum. Never had a need to. However, I've been a member of SPARC for a lot of years and have friends that do. I care about them, and their safety and the quality of advice they receive. If someone is asking for their money, and they may be possibly asked for personal information, I believe they should know to whom they are asked to give it to, and be able to verify your credentials...especially since you have not been forthcoming about this situation thus far.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
When asked if the cup is half empy or half full
My reply is I'm just happy to have a cup!~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 
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catherine   Fri Mar-09-07 05:55 AM
Member since Mar 21st 2004
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#13804, "corrected - find someone else who is willing to do it for free."
In response to Reply # 0
Fri Mar-09-07 06:45 AM by catherine

              

You don't earn trust by doing that. You destroy trust.

----------------------------------------------
I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it.

Voltaire

 
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mistoffolees   Fri Mar-09-07 06:04 AM
Member since Sep 18th 2006
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#13805, "RE: IMPORTANT NOTICE -- ALL PARTICIPANTS PLEASE READ..."
In response to Reply # 0
Fri Mar-09-07 06:06 AM by mistoffolees

              

Since you asked....... You're probably not going to like the answer, but I'm not going to sugar coat it.


1. You seem to be answering about 10 questions per day. If you charge $1 per day, you would make $10 per day - more like $5 or 6 after paying all the taxes. If $5 per day is that important of an issue to you, you're probably not much of a lawyer.

I'd feel a lot more sympathy if there were 100 questions per day on this board and it was a major time sink. I just don't see it.

2. If you start charging for your advice, that would be considered a retainer and you'd have additional legal responsibility that you don't have now. Furthermore, you might easily get in trouble for practicing law in states where you're not licensed. Is that worth $5 per day?

3. I wasn't hear 5 months ago, but I've noticed an increasingly hostile tone in your responses. For example, "The fact that you are afraid of her trying to file for custody, after 10 years, suggests to me that you should consider seeking professional help, yourself. I'll just keep saying it: you're being unreasonably paranoid and you need to stop." You've completely lost the ability to put yourself in someone's shoes. People come here because they're scared to death and don't know where to turn. A little bit of caring wouldn't hurt. In another case, you threatened to ban a poster for saying "perhaps you should consider whether this is a big enough issue to fight over", claiming that they were offering legal advice.

Furthermore, I don't think the money will change this. Even if you were charging $1 per question, I don't think your attitude will change. If you're still going to act like you're doing the world a favor and can't be bothered with people beneath you, it's just not worth it. And, frankly, I don't think your attitude would change even if you WERE collecting a lot of money.

4. There are a lot of people spending way more time than you are on the other SPARC boards for no compensation. They do it because they want to be helpful and care about the people who are in a bind. If you aren't in that position, do everybody a favor and get out. Let SPARC find an attorney who really does care about helping people and is willing to invest the 15 minutes a day it takes to answer 10 questions.

5. Charging for the service will destroy (or greatly lessen) its value for many people. Some of the people begging for help have no resources and perhaps just need a little encouragement to get started. For many of them, having to open a Paypal account and transfer $10 might be enough to keep them from going here for help. You're either here to help people or you're not.

6. Seems to me that you're guilty of a professional responsibility violation, anyway. People here were familiar with Soc and taking advice from him and you impersonated him without telling anyone. At the very least, that seems like a slimey thing to do. At worst, it's unethical.

Bottom line, if you're no longer willing to do this, no one's going to hold it against you. If that's the case, get out of the way and let SPARC find someone who IS willing to help. There are undoubtedly lawyers out there who have the goodwill to do this willingly and without attitude.

 
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rdhdinwi   Fri Mar-09-07 06:18 AM
Member since Mar 19th 2004
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#13809, "My thoughts."
In response to Reply # 0
Fri Mar-09-07 07:16 AM by rdhdinwi

              

I have only used Soc a few times over the years for very basic questions instead of bugging our attorney. While I thought it was very helpful and convenient to have this at our disposal, there's no way (at least in my mind) that any one attorney could possibly know all the ins and outs of every state's varying divorce laws. Therefore, I kept my questions very basic. I have been a member of these forums for 8+ years now and can certainly understand change. What I can't understand or condone is Soc just up and leaving without notice to anyone (those that trusted him and relied on him) and also your taking up as him without any kind of notice to those who are posting here thinking he is you. That comes across as very untrustworthy on your end. Even when Dear Abby was handed off, the readers were told. Ok, so now you're telling everyone. I truly can see both sides of the issue in regards to the paying for advice although I think it would have come off alittle easier if you had introduced yourself from the beginning, gotten used to everyone, them to you, and then start asking about this. Ease yourself in a bit instead of charging in like you did. To pay $1 per question is minimal enough for most people to afford but if you only make $1 per question, is it still worth your while to do this? Will you still be able/willing to provide the kind of answers/advise people are seeking and have become accustomed to receiving. However, given that several people already have found out that you are not a practicing family law attorney, then in my mind, the fee becomes nothing more than a way for you to earn money. Howcan you charge anyone a fee for advice when this is not what you specialize in? I would have no trouble paying a fee for an experience family law attorney to offer his advice but I do if its someone who is not experienced. What is your law specialty? If its not family law, what kind of experience have you had with family law that makes you feel you are justified in giving any kind of advice on these matters? I wouldn't pay a real estate attorney to advise me on our estate planning issues any more than I would pay a PI attorney to handle my divorce issues.

Those are my two cents.

Rd

"I'm not too short, you're too tall!"

 
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olanna   Fri Mar-09-07 07:28 AM
Member since Mar 19th 2004
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#13813, "I thought it was against the rules of SPARC to use someone else's"
In response to Reply # 0


              

ID and password. For as long as I have been on these boards, and that is quite a while, I have known several people that were posing as others that got their access cut. It's scary that as a board moderator you were allowed to do this, when the rest of the mods are held to a higher standard.

I think in light of this, you need to assume your own name, Ken. Those rules weren't put in place for some but for all. So maybe you should be Kenateaser or something.

Thanks for the support the past three months. I think if most of the people that showed up here weren't as desperate as they come, they would already *be* paying and atty. After all, Soc did it for years without charging a dime, and I can only imagine that there are even more desperate, divorcing people coming here today. Isn't there some way you can keep doing this as a free service, write it off as a pro bono service, and be done with it? Limit your time here to a few hours a week, or something?

I do pro bono in my own field, mostly for non-profits dealing with seniors. I am literally at their call, when I can I be. Could you do something like that?

Children give meaning to everything parents do.

 
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SPARC Admin   Fri Mar-09-07 07:51 AM
Member since Nov 20th 2003
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#13814, "RE: IMPORTANT NOTICE -- ALL PARTICIPANTS PLEASE READ..."
In response to Reply # 0


              

I'm sorry Ken, but you cannot do this. If you wish to discontinue your support here, that's fine, but we're not going to charge anyone for anything on this site. It's been SPARC's mandate from the start to provide services for free and that hasn't changed. We won't create additional financial hardship for people who are already in a difficult position to begin with.

Again, if you wish to discontinue your support here, we'll understand and look for another attorney who's willing to help out here.

SPARC - Separated Parenting Access & Resource Center

 
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mistoffolees   Fri Mar-09-07 07:57 AM
Member since Sep 18th 2006
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#13815, "RE: IMPORTANT NOTICE -- ALL PARTICIPANTS PLEASE READ..."
In response to Reply # 17
Fri Mar-09-07 07:59 AM by mistoffolees

              

Thank you.

However, given his increasing attitude, his obvious dissatisfaction with his role, and the fact that he is apparently not a family law attorney, I would request that you find someone else, anyway.

 
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wysiwyg   Fri Mar-09-07 08:08 AM
Member since Jul 29th 2005
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#13818, "my 3 cents"
In response to Reply # 18


              

110% agree with misto - please find someone more compasionate that can be honest about an identity - I am definatly quite leary now as I feel completely mislead and betrayed, many of us have a hard time showing our growing and sometimes paranoid and terryifying feelings, and found solace in Soc, only to find out that who we believed we were speaking to was not. I do not feel I can come back here and try and discuss our issues and problems, as it is - I see that Ken's confession is along the same lines as what we battle daily with our ex's and their legal counsel........I just feel as if hs is "one of them", the enemy, after all we have all been lied to and mislead. After being beat up on family court - we are paranoid, John may have a legitimate claim to be paranoid - after all we have been stalked and look over our shoulders at every turn, that does not make me any more or less paranoid that any one of us here. I am sorry Ken felt the need to mislead us and betray our trust by pretending to be someone he was not.

 
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SPARC Admin   Fri Mar-09-07 08:15 AM
Member since Nov 20th 2003
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#13821, "RE: my 3 cents"
In response to Reply # 21


              

The way you feel is understandable. Please allow us to see what, if anything, can be done to resolve this. If we can't resolve it, we'll see what alternatives there are. In any case, SPARC is committed to providing services without charge and will continue to do so.



>110% agree with misto - please find someone more compasionate
>that can be honest about an identity - I am definatly quite
>leary now as I feel completely mislead and betrayed, many of
>us have a hard time showing our growing and sometimes paranoid
>and terryifying feelings, and found solace in Soc, only to
>find out that who we believed we were speaking to was not. I
>do not feel I can come back here and try and discuss our
>issues and problems, as it is - I see that Ken's confession is
>along the same lines as what we battle daily with our ex's and
>their legal counsel........I just feel as if hs is "one of
>them", the enemy, after all we have all been lied to and
>mislead. After being beat up on family court - we are
>paranoid, John may have a legitimate claim to be paranoid -
>after all we have been stalked and look over our shoulders at
>every turn, that does not make me any more or less paranoid
>that any one of us here. I am sorry Ken felt the need to
>mislead us and betray our trust by pretending to be someone he
>was not.

SPARC - Separated Parenting Access & Resource Center

 
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mistoffolees   Fri Mar-09-07 08:23 AM
Member since Sep 18th 2006
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#13823, "RE: my 3 cents"
In response to Reply # 24


              

>The way you feel is understandable. Please allow us to see
>what, if anything, can be done to resolve this. If we can't
>resolve it, we'll see what alternatives there are. In any
>case, SPARC is committed to providing services without charge
>and will continue to do so.
>
>

Please don't focus on the charge issue. While everyone appreciates that this is a free forum, I don't think the tempest has anything to do with money. It's about a feeling of betrayal.

If you were to put a button on every page asking for people to make donations via Paypal because you're not covering your costs, I don't think anyone would blink an eye. Of course, requiring payment might cause some hard feelings, but it doesn't sound like that's in the cards.

 
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SPARC Admin   Fri Mar-09-07 08:37 AM
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#13828, "RE: my 3 cents"
In response to Reply # 26


              

>Please don't focus on the charge issue. While everyone
>appreciates that this is a free forum, I don't think the
>tempest has anything to do with money. It's about a feeling of
>betrayal.

It was suggested to Mr Kaplan that he introduce himself, and I bear some, if not all, of the responsibility of making sure that happened. I'm sorry I didn't follow events here more closely, and that was entirely my mistake.


>If you were to put a button on every page asking for people to
>make donations via Paypal because you're not covering your
>costs, I don't think anyone would blink an eye.

Donations have always been welcome but have rarely been forthcoming, and it's not something we're comfortable pushing. Maybe we should, but it goes against the spirit of what the site is all about.


> Of course,
>requiring payment might cause some hard feelings, but it
>doesn't sound like that's in the cards.

There will be no fees charged or required for the use of the SPARC site. That's just not something we can agree to in good conscience. We're totally understanding of Mr Kaplan's desire to be paid for his time but unfortunately that's not in keeping with the site's mandate.

SPARC - Separated Parenting Access & Resource Center

 
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notnew   Fri Mar-09-07 08:24 AM
Member since Mar 08th 2006
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#13824, "SPARC Admin"
In response to Reply # 24


              

Thank you for your prompt response.

I do realize this site is not a "for profit" endeavor. I remember some of your income producing attempts from time to time over the years. I remember when this was an ad free site.

Unfortunately, many of us who are here are in no position to incur membership fees to be able to participate on these forums. It is great that you guys recognize this and have managed to continue on.

I have known that Soc was independent from the SPARC Admin. I am sorry that things have ended this way. I know how much pressure going through my issues are to me alone. I can only imagine what it was like for him to hear all of this, be the answer guru, have a life and a practice too. Talk about pressure!

While I think Socrateaser is an "owned" name. Whatver the SPARC Admin decides to do is fine with me.

Thanks again SPARC for your existence.

 
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SPARC Admin   Fri Mar-09-07 08:30 AM
Member since Nov 20th 2003
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#13827, "RE: SPARC Admin"
In response to Reply # 27


              


>I do realize this site is not a "for profit" endeavor. I
>remember some of your income producing attempts from time to
>time over the years. I remember when this was an ad free site.

It would be nice if the site paid for itself, but it's not the goal here. The site exists first and foremost to help people. I paid for it for years out of my own pocket and will continue to do so. The ads help a little but rarely cover the actual costs of owning and operating the site. And that's okay.



>I have known that Soc was independent from the SPARC Admin. I
>am sorry that things have ended this way. I know how much
>pressure going through my issues are to me alone. I can only
>imagine what it was like for him to hear all of this, be the
>answer guru, have a life and a practice too. Talk about
>pressure!

His contributions of time and expertise did not go unnoticed; I only wish I'd been informed of the change before the fact instead of after.

>
>While I think Socrateaser is an "owned" name. Whatver the
>SPARC Admin decides to do is fine with me.

Whatever happens, I think it's reasonable that whoever manages the board here does so under his or her own name, so the "Socrateaser" name will probably be retired with honors.

SPARC - Separated Parenting Access & Resource Center

 
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wysiwyg   Fri Mar-09-07 08:24 AM
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#13825, "RE: my 3 cents"
In response to Reply # 24


              

Thank you, I appreciate your time to work on the issue, I will continue to visit other SPARC boards.

 
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I cry_ in_the_dark   Fri Mar-09-07 08:24 AM
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#13826, "Dear Soc: RIP"
In response to Reply # 0


NM

If anyone speaks badly of you, live so none will believe it.

 
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TPK

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RE: Fascinating
« Reply #1 on: Mar 09, 2007, 10:49:28 AM »
How could Soc have just deserted the site as has been alledged??

Something sounds a bit fishy here.

Soc "seemed" like a straight shooter, it's hard to believe he just blew Sparc off and rode into the sunset.

If he died then tell us, don't dance around it.

Either he died or has some sort of legal trouble connected with this site.

Hard to believe he'd let someone else use his moniker and his sig line.

As for paying to use this site, I'll never do it. It costs us people money just to call our attorneys for the smallest issue. Coming here to post a quick question and get an answer for FREE is invaluable service.

It's too bad we never learned more about Soc. It would be nice to know his history, credentials and why he was here giving free advice on family law. From his posts it seems he was once in the same position as many of us are here with family law problems.

Bye Soc, you've been an outstanding contributor here and will never be forgotten.

notnew

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No charges ever
« Reply #2 on: Mar 09, 2007, 10:53:37 AM »
TPK,

Unfortunately you were not able to see the posts from before. SPARC Admin made it clear there would be no charges incurred for the service ever.

I hope they are successful in locating a new person to handle legal questions.

I for one have never personally met a lawyer who is willing to do something for nothing but "warm fuzzy feelings".

Weird that Ken just erased the whole thing. What a creep.

Well, now I'm MOVING PAST IT!

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RE: No charges ever
« Reply #3 on: Mar 09, 2007, 10:55:34 AM »
>TPK,
>
>Unfortunately you were not able to see the posts from before.
>SPARC Admin made it clear there would be no charges incurred
>for the service ever.

I've reposted the entire thread so people may see what transpired and so there is no misunderstanding about what was said.


>Weird that Ken just erased the whole thing. What a creep.

I was more than a little surprised myself, to be frank.

TPK

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RE: No charges ever
« Reply #4 on: Mar 09, 2007, 10:55:45 AM »
I actually did have time to read the thread. I tried posting to it myself and it was gone.

Was Soc still a practicing attorney while contributing here?


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RE: No charges ever
« Reply #5 on: Mar 09, 2007, 10:58:11 AM »
>Was Soc still a practicing attorney while contributing here?

I believe so.

To answer another question, I don't think Soc passed away, I think he simply had other things that took precedence over managing this board.

His knowledge, humor, and candor will be greatly missed. :(

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RE: No charges ever
« Reply #6 on: Mar 09, 2007, 11:01:13 AM »
Sparc has had no contact with Soc either verbal or written in the last 3 months??

mistoffolees

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RE: No charges ever
« Reply #7 on: Mar 09, 2007, 11:08:41 AM »
I wonder if you might prevail upon Soc to return just for long enough to find a replacement. I don't know his personal situation, so I don't know if it's possible, but perhaps something can be worked out.

mistoffolees

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RE: Fascinating
« Reply #8 on: Mar 09, 2007, 11:13:07 AM »

>As for paying to use this site, I'll never do it. It costs us
>people money just to call our attorneys for the smallest
>issue. Coming here to post a quick question and get an answer
>for FREE is invaluable service.
>

However, I would not object to a place to make donations. There are a number of free web sites which ask for donations - and I often do so.

SPARC Admin says that they've asked in the past with little response, but if there were a small Paypal icon in the corner, perhaps it might bring in a small stream of money. I'd certainly contribute if I could see how.

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RE: No charges ever
« Reply #9 on: Mar 09, 2007, 11:44:47 AM »
>Sparc has had no contact with Soc either verbal or written in
>the last 3 months??

No, and we have no way to contact him at the present time. Messages sent to his "socrateaser@yahoo.com" address go to Ken Kaplan as far as we're aware.

 

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