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  1. #1
    levicoff Guest

    Thumbs down Monterrey Institute for Graduate Studies: The Latest

    Some of you have recently e-mailed me to ask what has been happening with the MIGS lawsuit. I've been wondering that myself, as it's been a month since I last wrote to the friendly folks at MIGS, and they have been strangely quiet.

    The last official action was my answer to the court ("Answer to the Plaintiff's Original Petition"). Thus far, the court has not responded, and my take is that the folks at MIGS would simply like to see the issue quiet down.

    Despite the fact that I have had some fun with this, however, the fact remains that there is still a lawsuit which is active in the judicial system. Therefore, I have just sent MIGS an e-mail to remind them that I have not backed down, and I am delighted to reprint it here.

    The e-mail has just been sent, and as always, it was addressed to that wacky bunch of characters we have all grown to know and love: Enrique Serna, Armando Arias, Bruce Forman, Sheila Danzig, and Josh Bennett. (If you haven't been following this saga, you can find out who they are, as well as what this whole issue is about, on the DEGREE.COM v. Levicoff web page cited below.)

    So without further hesitation (big drum roll), here's the latest e-mail to MIGS . . .

    Happy anniversary, campers!

    It has now been three months since you, on behalf of DEGREE.COM, a/k/a the Monterrey Institute for Graduate Studies, filed your lawsuit against me. It has been two months since I have been served, and one month since I last dropped you a line to say howdy.

    And what has happened during that time? Mucho de nada, sport. And I have to admit, I'm disappointed. So in addition to posting this e-mail on the DEGREE.COM v. Levicoff web site, I'm also posting it on the alt.education .distance newsgroup and the degreeinfo.com forum.

    Why? Because my take is that you would like this whole affair to quiet down, which is why you did not respond to my last e-mail.

    But I don't want it to quiet down. At least not while there is an active lawsuit hanging over my cute little head.

    Now, as I recall, Enrique, on February 1, 2001, you e-mailed me [punctuation and grammatical errors in the original], "I am glad you are enjoying this time. My clients will file for Summary Judgment within a week or so in this case and look forward to meeting you here in San Antonio when I schedule the Motion for Hearing. We were notified that you have been contacting my clients faculty and alerting them of the suit. The more you do the greater the damages accrue against you. I have contacted a Pennsylvania lawyer that will serve as local counsel in the matter, my client plans to obtain a fast-track verdict against you and execute it. I strongly advise you to contact both local and Pennsylvania counsel to represent your interests. Have a nice day."

    Well, thank you, Enrique. I am, indeed, enjoying this time, and I always have a nice day. But I'm still waiting for your filing for Summary Judgment, and I still haven't heard from your "Pennsylvania lawyer who will serve as local counsel." All of which leads me to believe that you are a chickenshit.

    Well, not necessarily, but it's a nice thought. What I actually believe is that you have attempted yet another psyche-out, and once again you have found that it hasn't worked. I'm still laughing my ass off. And I'm still calling MIGS a degree mill.

    I have particularly enjoyed the last month. On one hand, Sheila and Bill Danzig resigned from the Board of Trustees; at least, their names have been dropped from your "Chairman of the Board's Welcome Letter" on the MIGS web site. On the other hand, the State of Florida has posted the actual handwritten copy of DEGREE.COM's 2001 Uniform Business Report, filed on 2/15/01, and the very first name that appears is "William Danzig, GP-Member, Oxbridge Limited Partnership." And, unlike the original Florida filing, which was signed by Josh Bennett, the UBR was signed by "William Danzig, Manager."

    Of course, you can imagine the joy I felt when I read the form - I didn't even know about the Oxbridge Limited Partnership, and I am gleeful at finding out more about it should this case move to discovery. Really, folks, my discovery list is starting to look better - and longer - than my weekly list for the supermarket!

    Even better than that, I was delighted to learn the membership of DEGREE.COM, L.L.C. - In addition to Bill Danzig, the members listed on the UBR are Josh Bennett and . . . golly, you! And you are listed at the same post office box address used by Josh Bennett in the original Nevada filing for DEGREE.COM. Which, I'm sure, attests even more to why Texas is hardly the jurisdiction for this case. Even a judge would laugh his or her ass off at that one.

    But the list of board members is not the only thing that has shrunk on the MIGS web site. It seems that your faculty list has also shrunk. I guess we'll have to wait until the deposition phase to find out why . . .

    But, whoops! The MIGS web site is not the only one that has shrunk either. It seems that Sheila has done quite a bit of house-cleaning. The DEGREE.COM ads have been dropped from her own web sites, the nsmi.com site now kicks over to danzig.com automatically, and the link on Sheila's site to freeresearch.com has mysteriously disappeared. But I'm not worried - I happened to do some hard-copy printouts the very morning she made the changes, printed them out again later that day, and ended up with the best before-and-after picture one could even begin to salivate over.

    Now, folks, you may ask (all together, now), why am I being such a ball-buster? Simple: Because as long as this lawsuit is alive, I'm the one who is not going to let you off the hook. Hell, why should I? I'm the one being sued.

    So here's my latest offer, kids . . . As you should be aware by now, the DEGREE.COM v. Levicoff web site has become quite popular. MIGS continues to be discussed on a semi-regular basis on both alt.education .distance and degreeinfo.com, as well as in the academic and professional communities.

    There has even been a poll on Yahoo e-Groups. While the poll sampling is rather small, the results are very revealing:

    What will be the outcome of the MIGS lawsuit?

    Goes to trial - MIGS wins 0.0%
    Goes to trial - Steve wins 12.5%
    Withdrawn by MIGS 25.0%
    Texas declines jurisdiction 12.5%
    Steve agrees to MIGS' terms and settles 0.0%
    Suit "dies on the vine" 50.0%

    Now, as you should already know, I don't particularly care which way the lawsuit goes. Not only do I plan on being the winner, such as it is, I believe I am already the winner. But if this poll is indication, you guys are not exactly standing on solid ground.

    So here's the deal . . . You drop the suit, and I'll stop talking about MIGS. I've been looking for a vacation from the Internet, and the only thing that has kept me from taking one is your ridiculous lawsuit.

    No dates, no deadlines, although I will want confirmation directly from the court that the suit has been dropped. And any time you drop it, I will drop the web site. Then I will gloat for a day or two - hell, even I deserve that - after which I will move on with my fun life.

    Think about the advantages (although I recommended you do so expediently, before the search engines start listing the web site) . . . No more delightful little epistles from me. No more reminders of this issue on newsgroups, professional and academic forums, or in the media (I assume you have been contacted by at least one reporter of whom I am aware who is on this issue). No more concerns about the DEGREE.COM and MIGS records I will have access to if this case moves into discovery; no more cringing at my gleeful reactions once I get my hands on those records.

    But think about what you will have . . . A chance that Oxbridge Limited Partnership's investment will actually see a substantive return. A chance that Armando & Co. (or, as I think of them, the California fruits, nuts, and flakes) will not blow their academic and professional credibility by being associated with MIGS. A chance that MIGS will actually survive to clean up its act and become a credible institution. An opportunity for Sheila to return to the business of selling whatever it is she sells without being ridiculed on the Internet, of which she loves being the Queen. (Isn't it fascinating that one of the degreeinfo.com threads that addressed this, "Ding-Dong! The Queen is Dead!" was not started by me? Think about it, kids . . . I have not initiated any of the discussions that have taken place about MIGS on the Internet. Other people have. Now, I'm not asking you to sue them - that would be as ridiculous as your suing me - but it should tell you that others have carried the ball.)

    Remember, if it were not for your lawsuit, this whole issue would have died down long ago. You are the wazoos who took a gamble that I would run scared, and who ended up making a mountain out of a molehill.

    So no deadlines, just an invitation. If you drop the suit I'll shut up - not because you have forced it, but because I have offered it. (And don't even think about asking me to sign an agreement to that effect, Enrique. You should already know better.) If not, I will react as anyone with a lawsuit hanging over them and post these delightful little epistles every so often to keep the issue alive to the public. And, should it go to trial, everything will go public, and that will make it all the more newsworthy. Ain't life a hoot?

    In other words, campers, it's time to shit or get off the pot. The introduction has played, I'm standing on the dance floor waiting to boogie, and you're still sitting in your chairs like bashful debutantes. You have caused your own seats to get hot enough that it's time to join me on the dance floor, or leave the dance. If you leave the dance now, you can save some face, if you come and dance you might end up looking like the Emperor in his new clothes - naked to the world.

    The usual hugs and kisses,

    Steve Levicoff, Ph.D. http://levicoff.tripod.com
    The DEGREE.COM v. Levicoff Web Site: http://www.angelfire.com/pa4/levicoff

  2. #2
    DWCox is offline member
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Nashville, TN


    [QUOTE]Originally posted by levicoff:
    [B]Some of you have recently e-mailed me to ask what has been happening with the MIGS lawsuit. I've been wondering that myself, as it's been a month since I last wrote to the friendly folks at MIGS, and they have been strangely quiet.

    Dr. Steve:

    You too would be smart to let this suit pass!

    I'm quite sure MIGS is losing students to all the bad press and I am equally sure if this (unpopular) suit makes it to court, you'll lose. And when you do your "I dare you" attitude isn't going to help you keep your furniture.


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