Thursday, August 11, 2016

Surprising Development as Expert Witnesses are Disclosed in Copyright Infringement Case

If you are following my copyright infringement case on the Go Fund Me, you've probably heard about the surprising development during expert discovery.

First a little background on expert witnesses

Federal Rule of Evidence 702 provides that an “expert witness” is a witness who has “scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge that will help the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue.” Generally, expert witnesses review the evidence before the Court and express an opinion about that evidence from the perspective of science or a particular art, discipline, or industry.

These witnesses, as with all the other evidence in a case, must be disclosed during discovery (which all takes place months and possibly years before a trial), and the opposing side has the option of deposing them (questioning them under oath).

For my case, we have disclosed four expert witnesses:

Bruce Webster of Ironwood Experts

Bruce Webster is a computer forensics expert who will: (1) testify about the technical issues involved in proving that a certain person is responsible for online activity, and (2) review the evidence in this case and express opinions about whether the defendant was solely responsible for the sock puppets who attacked and harassed me, posted false reviews, and so forth.

Scott Bosworth of Nathan Associates

Scott Bosworth is an economist who testify regarding the economic losses I suffered as a result of the defendant's actions.

Josi Kilpack

Josi Kilpack is a successful author who will testify regarding copyright issues. She will review the evidence in this case and express opinions about the extensive copying and/or substantial similarities between Rushton’s work and the works she plagiarized.

Heather Moore

Heather Moore is a successful author and publisher who will testify regarding publishing industry issues. She will review the evidence in this case and express opinions about the nature and impact of Rushton’s actions as they relate to the publishing business, how they were calculated to maximize her profits, and how they inflicted harm, etc.

Rushton did not disclose any expert witnesses

When my attorney let me know that the defendant didn't disclose any witnesses, I was surprised. Why? Because this means that, at trial, Rushton will have no expert witnesses testifying on her behalf who could attempt to undermine our experts’ opinions or offer an alternative viewpoint from a technical standpoint.

I haven't heard of that happening before in a lawsuit.

What's next?

The defendant and her counsel have until the end of August 2016 to take the depositions of our expert witnesses. Once these depositions are concluded, we can move on to the next stage as we progress to trial. This "stage" will include several more motions before the judge, and I'll update about those when they happen.

A thank you

I am very grateful for the experts who are testifying on my behalf. They are intelligent, talented, honest peopleexperts in every sense of the word. 

And to those of you who have supported me through this case during the past two years, THANK YOU! My life took a huge deviation, but I'm back on track thanks to the great support of the writing and reading community. All your donations have gone straight to my attorney for expenses, who has worked hard and diligently on this case, despite having only received payments so far for only a tenth of his actual bill.

I could not have fought this case without you.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Community Site for Content-Rated Books

I'm so excited that My Book Ratings or MBR is finally online. MBR is a new free community website with a permanent database for content-rated books.

Now we need help to content-rate books!

With how society values have changed in the past years, it’s vital that books are also rated to protect families. Too many books targeted for younger readers contain graphic sex, extensive swearing, crude language, and other content not appropriate for youth. As a mother of seven, this concerns me greatly.

However, there are MANY great books available, if only we can find and share them. That’s where content-rated books come in. But there are millions of books, and while single or group efforts to rate books are commendable, I believe that only as a whole community can rating books be accomplished on a large enough scale to make a difference.

I hope you are willing to help create this important community resource for parents, teachers, teens, and children. If every person who reads this submitted only one or two content-rated books to the site, that would already make a difference! And if we all submitted ratings for every book we read from today forward, a miracle would begin to happen. I believe in miracles!

The site is and they are moving over the thousands of books from the database of their sister site, My Book Cave (a site for content-rated ebook deals). MBR has taken over six months to develop and is still undergoing fine-tuning.

Ways you can help this community effort

Content-rated book icon
  • Go to and rate the books you’ve read. Rate as many as possible so the database grows. No book will be listed on the site until it has been rated at least once. You can also rate other books already on the site. Rating a book is an easy, multiple choice form.
  • Tell family, friends (teens also), and others (including authors you know) to post content ratings on the books they’re reading (or have written).
  • Post this flyer online, pass it to family, friends, Facebook friends, etc. Ask them to pass it on.
  • Distribute the flyer to schools and libraries. (Librarians read a lot of books!)
  •  Talk to your children’s teachers and your book club groups to spread the news.
  • If you post about books online, download the associated MBR (MyBookRating) rating icon and post that as well with a link to the site (

Content-rating books is easy

The MBR site is beautiful and easy to submit content-rated books. You just need the book title, author name, and your rating. Soon authors will be able to claim their books and link them to their author profiles, too, which is cool, but not the point of the site.

I hope you will join this effort. If you loved a book read, share the content-rating with others so they can choose to read it. If you hated a book because of its content, do the same!