The Return of Stella

In Issue 1345, I said I “should” have some news about the True Stella Awards “by late next month.” That would be late …April. When COVID really geared up I wasn’t sure how my schedule would be affected (etc.), so I paused. I’ve now unpaused! Instead of working on a podcast last week, I finally finished up the setup work for my Stella plan.


Click to see the first case in the series.

Newer readers may not know much about the True Stella Awards: it was a spinoff from True that ran from 2002 through 2007, and covered crazy lawsuits. My premise was, if there is a problem with frivolous lawsuits in the USA — and I thought there was — why should anyone use bogus cases to illustrate that problem? If it was true that there was a problem, surely there would be current and True cases that I could find. And if it was really a problem, I should be able to find an example case every stinkin’ week!

Well: I launched, and virtually every week that I published (I took time off here and there), I actually ran two cases.

Book publishers and high-level literary agents quickly started calling. The result was my True Stella Awards book. When it went to press I removed all of the cases from the Stella site. Not because my contract required it: I just thought it was best to only have them in one place.

Well, it’s well past time that those cases should return to the Internet!

Posting the Cases Online

Yet there’s no sense in just posting the cases one by one with no context: by now, many have updates and conclusions! And shouldn’t I also publish some of the more interesting letters that made it into the newsletters? So that means I need to spend some research time, which means then some writing time, make choices on letters, etc. And design an attractive page presentation. (That part’s done. 🙂 )

I’ll have a classic case ready to publish each Wednesday. I’m not planning to write any new cases: my book says everything I really wanted to say on the matter. The discussion and conclusions written specifically for the book won’t be included on the web site: I figure that part “belongs” to the book publisher, in an exclusivity sense. But the cases and letters? They were published online long before I even had a book contract, so I figure those “belong” to me, especially since the contract didn’t specify I needed to take anything offline.

I actually don’t know how many cases there are — and some came out after the book was published. I expect it’ll take about two years(!) to get them all online at the rate of one/week, but I’m not going to try to hurry things up since I’m already pretty busy with True, the podcast, volunteer work, and more. Thus, if you’d like to get an email notification when a case is posted, you can sign up on the Stella site; see the footer or the sidebar. Meanwhile, Wednesday’s case is already posted to get you started. Enjoy…?

Update: The “best” comment on this page was turned into a blog post about the obliviot who made it. Meet Big Bad Joe.

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5 Comments on “The Return of Stella

  1. I remember the True Stella Awards quite well, and I *thoroughly* enjoyed them (I think I may have even bought the book). My reaction to this announcement is “YAY! True Stella Awards are *back*!”. I just signed up for the notifications.

    Enjoy revisiting the cases you remember, and discovering the cases you don’t! -rc

  2. I feel this is one of the biggest problems with mainstream media today: They only post the “latest and greatest” and you never hear “the rest of the story” as Paul Harvey used to say on his radio shows. I’m looking forward to your site to find out the *results* of these cases, something we rarely see on the MSM.

    It all really comes down to research, which is “usually” much easier these days. But research takes time, and most are so overworked they don’t have time to do the research. I won’t be able to find the final outcome for many of these suits since, as you say, a lot of it never gets into the news. But I’ve done research on several stories and got “the rest of the story.” -rc

  3. I will take the opposing view: while interesting from a historical point of view, I feel this is a waste of your time and resources. As you said, “my book says everything I really wanted to say on the matter”. Fine. Leave it at that.

    There are others out there dealing with this subject talking about more up-to-date cases (Lawful Masses comes immediately to mind). You have passed the torch. Let them run with it.

    I appreciate hearing a contrary view, but you’re not looking at the whole picture. I have indeed “passed the torch” to others, and am letting others run with it: I’ve made it clear I will not be working to lay out new cases and explorations of the problem.

    There is some irony in recommending Lawful Masses as a site covering “more up-to-date cases”, as this is their newly covered case today:

    …which very case was the “winner” of the 2007 Stella Awards! Indeed that was the final “winner” to be chosen as I retired the annual Awards after that.

    So what do I mean by “not looking at the whole picture”? First, that! To document the True Stella Awards’ place in the timeline of this ongoing effort, and not only set forth the record clearly, but to make the cases available when someone searches for information. Also, I’ve considered the “cost” (in time and “opportunity”) vs. “reward” factors, including income estimations that make that cost well worth the effort — and so far, after less than two days, income is exceeding projections. There are more factors, of course, but those are the two most important ones for me at this point, in order.

    I’m certainly not arguing you (or anyone else for that matter) should change your mind and read every case as they come out: it’s not for everyone …and never was. Yet the brand new email list to notify would-be readers of the Stella case postings already has hundreds of subscribers — after less than two days, with notice only going to Premium TRUE subscribers (so far). Clearly, there are a lot of people who do have interest, and it’ll be there for them. -rc

  4. I’m so excited about this!

    I started as a Stella subscriber and only signed up for TRUE when Stella stopped. So I guess Stella made me into the writer I am today 🙂

  5. True Stella Awards has always been my favorite RC publication. I still have the book, but it will be more fun to read a story a week. THANKS RANDY!

    Enjoy, Jim. -rc


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