Jammie Thomas Decides To Appeal Constitutionality Of $1.92 Million Damages Award

from the and-away-we-go... dept

As we speculated earlier this week, given the silence from the Jammie Thomas camp since the $1.92 million verdict against her, we assumed she was gearing up for an appeal -- and that's now been confirmed. Thomas' lawyer has announced that Thomas has decided to appeal, questioning the constitutionality of the statutory damages awarded, which was the obvious attack point. It will be interesting to see who gets involved in actually managing the appeal.


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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jul 2nd, 2009 @ 6:42am

    Sigh

    Okay, it seems pretty clear that Jammie needs some help organizing her priorities in life, so I'm going to offer her my help with a little "To Do" list for her to complete today:

    Step 1: Get her financial information together

    Step 2: Call the RIAA's lawyers and let them know you're ready to settle for a fair amount

    Step 3: Eat lunch

    Step 4: Initiate a lawsuit against her lawyers for acting like first year law students, trying fun John Grisham theories instead of giving her good advice

    Step 5: Go to City Hall, locate her birth certificate, and put in a request to change her name to something that resembles a properly spelled name

    Step 6: Have a margarita. It's been a long day

     

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    C.T., Jul 2nd, 2009 @ 6:48am

    There's no doubt in my mind that Kiwi Camara and his partner will try to take the reins of the appeal. Jammie Thomas' long line of poor decisions leads me to believe she will let him.

     

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    James Stevens (profile), Jul 2nd, 2009 @ 7:32am

    Advice version 2.0

    She's got a real shot at this tho, there were problems with the constitutionality as the EFF pointed out a while back.

    Step 1: Get smarter lawyers.

    Step 2: Make sure not to lie about things this time and make sure not to destroy any more evidence.

    Step 3: Eat lunch.

    Step 4: Enlist Larry Lessig to the team. Congress hates him and he needs a big show so everyone can see that changes need to be be made with our oh-so-corrupt US Congress.

    Step 5: Toke on a nice, fat J because it's been a long day.

    Step 6: Download a couple Willie Nelson tracks on her cousin's computer and relax.

     

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    Paul Brinker, Jul 2nd, 2009 @ 7:55am

    if shes attacking the constiutionality...

    If she attacks the constiutionality then her lies in court dont mean anything in frount of the Supreem Court. There only going to rule weather giving twice someones life time earning to a large corporation over 24 songs selling at about 99 cents each is legal.

    When you think about it that way, it most likly is not. The court will not talk about her guilt at all and really does not care.

     

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      LostSailor (profile), Jul 2nd, 2009 @ 8:10am

      Re: if shes attacking the constiutionality...

      This may be a tough argument to make. This is not about just the constitutionality of the "excessive" damage award by the jury. The Supreme Court has ruled that sometimes excessive award by a jury are unconstitutional. But the court was ruling on instances where the law didn't set a penalty, the damages were entirely up to the jury to decide on.

      In this case, Congress has specifically considered and decided on the range of monetary awards in the statute. This is a different thing. The statute limits the available awards (at a rather ridiculously high amount, but still it's a limit) and the jury didn't award the maximum they could have. While this might seem excessive, whether it violates the constitution may be a difficult argument to make.

      I gotta agree with the first post. This is potentially a big mistake. Not to say Jammie shouldn't appeal on this issue, but she should recognize that if she loses, any settlement, if one is still offered, is likely to be far higher than if she negotiated a settlement now.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jul 3rd, 2009 @ 6:18am

        Re: Re: if shes attacking the constiutionality...

        I gotta agree with the first post. This is potentially a big mistake.


        The 1st poster is on crack. And no, not a mistake. Jammie has a big judgment- it matters not what she does. If the judgment stays at the end she'll be declaring bankruptcy. And what can TPTB do - take money from someone who has none?

         

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    Yermom (profile), Jul 2nd, 2009 @ 8:28am

    Yeah, but...

    1. She's not paying for the lawyers - incompetent as they are.
    2. Worst case, she declares bankruptcy and owes jack.
    3. Hunt down her parents and ask them WTF they were on when they NAMED THEIR CHILD, and send me some to smoke after my long day.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 2nd, 2009 @ 9:29am

      Re: Yeah, but...

      1. you get what you pay for, in this case people who appear to be acting more for themselves than their client

      2. She may not be able to bankrupt her way out of this judgement

      3. agreed.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jul 3rd, 2009 @ 6:23am

        Re: Re: Yeah, but...

        2. She may not be able to bankrupt her way out of this judgement


        But she can opt to not pay it. And no judge can force her to work then turn over money from said job.

         

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      romeosidvicious (profile), Jul 2nd, 2009 @ 9:46am

      Re: Yeah, but...

      Judgments against individuals are not usually discharged during bankruptcy. A common example is the short sale to avoid a foreclosure. The mortgage company will sometimes agree and their loss is as taxable income for the individual but if they do not agree to accept the loss then the individual still owes the difference between the remainder of the lien and the short sale. This then goes to court where it is over quickly and the individual has a judgment against that is, in general, not discharged by bankruptcy. Many judgments are not discharged with bankruptcy. Given the publicity of this case I doubt this one would be. I don't think her legal team does either or she would be filing as a back up plan. The longer she waits to file bankruptcy the less chance she has of having it discharged. That last sentence is in practice and not a part bankruptcy code and IANAL.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 2nd, 2009 @ 8:34am

    This may go down as the worst legal advice ever given.

    You have to think there is a lawyer out there trying to puff up his own image with an appearance before the supreme court.

    I can understand sort of how Jammie got in trouble to start with, if it is this easy to talk her into doing something stupid over and over again.

     

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    Eagles in the Furnace, Jul 2nd, 2009 @ 8:45am

    If not her, then who?

    Taking the settlement the first time around would've been the truly prudent thing to do, as the jawdropping penalty she was just handed proves. Still, hers is the highest profile RIAA case on the planet (or is at least tied with the Harvard trial), and as such she's got no reason to NOT see how far she can take this. If anyone is going to try to set a precedent, it may as well be the person who's already lost. The amount of noise you make usually has a direct relation to the amount of attention you're paid, and she's got a national stage on which to protest the astonishing retardedness of her penalty. Still, as others have said, I hope she gets smarter about it.

     

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      Hulser (profile), Jul 2nd, 2009 @ 9:44am

      Re: If not her, then who?

      I find it interesting that in the same post, you point out that Jammie is in a very good position to set a precedent, yet deem this to be not "prudent" or "smart". I don't consider doing the right thing in spite of the risks as imprudent and stupid. I simply think of it as...well, doing the right thing.

      When I hear of companies who cave to outlandish copyright claims by settling, I realize that from a practical standpoint, it's cheaper than going to court. But by not fighting back, they allow similar types of extortion to go on. They're basically saying a big fuck you to any other company (or worse) individual out there. "Hey, I settled, so I'm covered. Now you deal with the problem."

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 2nd, 2009 @ 9:15am

    She doesn't have any money people. Her legal team is working for free. The RIAA cannot actually get any money from her.

    So she doesn't actually care what happens. I imagine she sees herself as fighting the good fight with nothing to lose.

    I do wish that her team would bring the artists to court and ask them how they feel about it though. I'd think the ones that oppose Jammie tick off their fans. The ones that turn on the RIAA will win fans.

     

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    SRS2000, Jul 2nd, 2009 @ 9:50am

    I would drag this insanity out for decades, if possible, if I were her.
    The more time it drags out the more the RIAA pays it's lawyers. Hell.. Maybe they will end up paying 1.92 million in lawyer bills.

    I wouldn't pay the RIAA a single penny.

    The RIAA needs to be very aware what humans are capable of when you push them into a corner. 2 million dollar judgments might just piss people off enough to exact severe revenge.

     

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    another mike (profile), Jul 2nd, 2009 @ 3:05pm

    lets tally this up

    Jammie probably shared media she wasn't authorized to share, and possibly didn't even mean to. But how many of us really know how to configure a file server? *crickets* Exactly. Then she likely tried to destroy the evidence against her.
    And all that gave the RIAA their first and only court victory against "piracy". But that's what? A 0.00001% trial success rate? And their own actions after the verdict will be brought up showing that even the RIAA thinks the reward was too much. The way they distanced themselves, they knew they couldn't defend getting a judgement that high.

     

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      Hyperion1400, Jul 5th, 2009 @ 7:53am

      Re: lets tally this up

      She didn't use a file server. Of all things, they caught her "sharing"(they still have yet to prove anyone actually DLed the songs and there by have failed to prove actual damages[god her lawyer sucks to not even consider that argument]) the files over Kazaa; a P2P system that has been dead for at least 5 years! All in all, it has been proven that she knew what she was doing(I think she has a CS degree or something similar); so even though her using Kazaa was probably the most retarded thing in human history, she can't feign ignorance.

       

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    Ray Gordon, Jul 4th, 2009 @ 6:06pm

    What about ASCAP?

    Could it not be argued that this is just an ASCAP violation rather than infringement?

    That the ASCAP agreement "estops" copyright claims, and that she should only be liable for the ADCAP fes, as it is just the "performance" she is downloading?

    What the public should do is boycott ALL RIAA artists until the judgment is lifted.

     

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