Judy Kay-Wolff

Bridge Winners

I was saddened and shocked to read the following on my BW site.  More to follow!

Bridge Winners received notice earlier this week of a lawsuit being brought against the company by a coalition of disgruntled members and former members who had been suspended or banned from our site for violating our policies. The lawsuit alleges censorship and other First-Amendment violations for our “silencing of dissent” and libel and slander for our publishing of articles that included cheating accusations. A Florida court today granted the plaintiffs’ motion for an injunction against our site, requiring us to shut the site down pending the outcome of the trial. Our lawyers are confident that we have a strong case on both counts, and we are fighting as vigorously as our meager resources allow.

We have filed an appeal and hope to have the injunction lifted and the site back up and running soon, but if our appeal is denied Bridge Winners will be down until the lawsuit is settled, and if the outcome is not favorable for us possibly forever. We have loved running the site, and we thank all of our members for making this such a vibrant community. It has been a labor of love. Our goal has always been to serve and enhance the game of bridge and the community of bridge players. We regret that the actions of a small minority may prevent us from continuing this mission.

Sincerely,
The Bridge Winners Team

Jason Feldman
Greg Humphreys
Eugene Hung
Robert Jungblut
Adam Parrish
Polly Siegel
Steve Weinstein
Gavin Wolpert


9 Comments

JRGApril 1st, 2016 at 8:47 pm

The injunction has been lifted, but the litigation continues. So the site is up and running again for the time being.

BobApril 1st, 2016 at 10:20 pm

Check your clock.

Judy Kay-WolffApril 1st, 2016 at 11:51 pm

Disregard the above as now I understand it was merely intended as a prank in connection with April Fool’s Day. But, after casting my eyes on so much ugliness, criticism and cynicism over time, it was very believable and the realistic possibility caught my vulnerability off guard.

The so-called judge who would issue such an injunction is the kind of judge to expect in the courtroom .. completely unknowledgeable about high level bridge. Time will tell.

Jane AApril 2nd, 2016 at 2:35 pm

Hi Judy,

When I first read the notice on the BW web site I thought it was an April Fools joke but couldn’t be sure because anybody can sue anybody these days and what is even worse, sometimes they win frivolous law suits. Although I enjoy BW a lot, I think this attempt at an April Fools joke was questionable. They certainly have the right to do it, it is their site after all, but I did not find it funny. No doubt there are a number of people who will suggest that I “lighten up”, but I am not a fan of pranks like this.

I respect all the time and effort the BW staff spend to enlighten us all about bridge and think they run a good and fair site. I hope they don’t do something like this again however.

Judy Kay-WolffApril 2nd, 2016 at 4:34 pm

Good morning Jane A,

The reason an April Fools joke never entered my mind was because there have been so many unnecessarily ugly, critical, nasty, self-aggrandizing remarks offered by a myriad of readers. Some people who have little else to offer try gaining the spotlight by being critical of those to whom they do not hold a candle and jump at opportunities to distort or misinterpret their words. We are living in a different world today and it becomes more obvious as time goes by. If the preceding had not transpired time and time again, I might have suspected an AF joke .. but where there is smoke, there is fire.

I, too, admire the following that BW has cultivated. However, it appears to many this attempt at humor has backfired.

Howard Bigot-JohnsonApril 2nd, 2016 at 4:36 pm

HBJ : Not a sensible thing to do , given the fact it is a highly plausible scenario. The whole issue of cheating and naming/shaming of individuals is fraught with danger with regards to potential costly and unwanted litigation.
Nevertheless the prank does reflect the dilemma governing bridge bodies are in , when incidents of cheating come to light. Individuals concerned need their rights protecting prior to any investigations , and only when guilt has been established in a proper and fair way can the individuals be named.
Perhaps as part of any membership to a bridge union or club should a term be introduced into the contract that any dispute must go to mediation immediately before embarking on seeking a court ruling.

Judy Kay-WolffApril 2nd, 2016 at 5:07 pm

Hi HBJ,

Your concern deserves great consideration .. with much attention drawn to trials, litigation, juries and many other questionable aspects of legal interference (though no doubt often necessary)! However, the question is: Which individuals should be sitting in judgment? The most frightening dilemma in my mind (as well as many other much more qualified and experienced people with whom I have discussed the problem) IS: Juries of non-expert bridge players (lay people) don't begin to fit the bill and IMHO would not have the foggiest idea of where to begin. We have problems here in the States where some (not all) of the committees lack the high-level expertise necessary to make a fair call. Certainly — egos, politics and favoritism get entangled in the mix.

To me (especially with the current investigations into aspects of cheating), if we continue on this path, our great game is heading for oblivion. And, the decision made on the current trials overseas will have a huge bearing on what happens to the game if PROVEN CHEATS are allowed to reenter the arena .. NOW or after a meaningless short, lenient sentence. The destiny of our high level game is resting in their hands.

I fear nationalism will play a huge personal role in the decisions. I hope I am mistaken.

Bill CubleyApril 2nd, 2016 at 8:01 pm

Judy,

Bridgewinners April 1 column a couple of years ago was noting the Vanderbilt winners had to forfeit for non-payment of dues by one pair.

As I noted at the time, and you may wish to now, “Call me Fishmael.” 😉

Judy Kay-WolffApril 2nd, 2016 at 9:53 pm

Hi Bill,

When an issue like the topical one has so many realistic possibilities, I consider it a poorly thought out joke. However, I do think the administrators have done an excellent job of keeping the nasty yappers away from the site and outdone themselves allowing people to exchange ideas. The only thing that bothers me is when the ‘know-nothings’ try to give the experts lessons.

Happy April 2nd. No fooling!

Cheers,

Judy

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