Randazza Seeking Sanctions Against Righthaven Lawyer For Going Through Charade Yet Again

from the again? dept

Two bits of Righthaven news here. Last week, we wrote about the company losing yet again and being told to pay legal fees, yet again. We noted that the minutes from the court had mentioned that Righthaven's lawyer, Shawn Mangano, had been scolded by the judge. Well, now the full transcript of the hearing is out, and it's worth the read (embedded below). Basically, the whole hearing was totally unnecessary, and was in part due to Mangano's failure to file the necessary documents on time (over which he appears to be confused). Either way, the whole hearing was pointless, and it's pretty clear that the judge is fed up and upset that such a hearing had to even be held in the first place. It sounds like the only reason sanctions weren't issued against Mangano is that the judge is not a fan of sanctioning attorneys at all, but suggests he came close in this case:
Well, I quite frankly think, Mr. Mangano, that you could have handled this a lot better if you would have placed yourself in the position of somebody other than yourself by looking at it and seeing what hoops you were making opposing counsel jump through that are totally unnecessary.

I have an extraordinary dislike for assessing attorneys' fees against attorneys, and I am not going to assess them against you under 1927. But I can tell you right now that I am right on the cusp of doing that.

I think you could have been a lot more civil and a lot more understanding about this. And I don't like to impose sanctions against attorneys, because I think it lives with them for a long time.

What happens to your client is another matter, and I am really not concerned with that. But I am telling you right now, you've got more stuff to do in this Court, and you better start thinking in terms of civility if you don't want me to jump on you with both feet.
While Mangano may have personally dodged a bullet in Colorado, that doesn't mean he gets to avoid similar problems back in Nevada. There, the Randazza Legal Group (who was also involved in the case above, and many, many other Righthaven cases) has filed for direct sanctions against Mangano, in yet another Righthaven case, noting that Righthaven has lost on standing so many times, that it's vexatious litigation to move forward with another lawsuit:
The fact is that after Mr. Mangano and his client lost the exact same argument eight times, Mangano still persisted in forcing this defendant to litigate the same issue a ninth time. It is the Defendants' position that perhaps the first time that Mangano signed pleadings in direct contravention with the 9th Circuit’s holding in Silvers, it could have been a forgivable attempt. The same may have been true for the second and third times, with declining defensibility. When it came to being told eight times that he brought an unsupportable claim before the court, Mr. Mangano under a clear obligation to exercise some degree of client control; to refuse to bring the exact same arguments; or to dismiss a case with an inescapable outcome, such as this one, rather than to force a defendant to litigate the same exact issue a ninth time on grounds identical to the previous eight defeats. Forcing this issue nine times had no effect except to punitively impose litigation expenses on this Defendant. This Defendant deserves to be made whole for the expenses incurred due to that misconduct.
I would imagine that it can't be much fun to be a Righthaven lawyer at this point in time.



Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    DandonTRJ (profile), Nov 16th, 2011 @ 8:11pm

    I really, really love TRG's writing style. "The undersigned has personally participated in email exchanges and phone calls with both Mangano and Randazza in which the vocabulary used by all parties would make a longshoreman blush ... Based on Randazza's out-of-context statements, nobody would mistake him for Ned Flanders." I've said it before, but I definitely aspire to blend that sort of flair into my legal prose. Especially when the opposition is so contemptible.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 16th, 2011 @ 8:19pm

    holy shit

    wtf is wrong with this judge...

    Lawyers are sacred, and clients are shit?

    That was a very disturbing thing to read.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    icon
    DandonTRJ (profile), Nov 16th, 2011 @ 8:24pm

    Re:

    (I suppose that should read RLG, actually. I was thinking "The Randazza Group.")

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    icon
    Atkray (profile), Nov 16th, 2011 @ 9:01pm

    Re: holy shit

    Having just witnessed the same thing in court today I can assure you this is not uncommon. 75 miles round trip through Utah road construction for a hearing that got punted 3 weeks down the road because of incompetence and a judge unwilling to hammer an attorney.

    People complain about lawyers but I firmly believe the root cause of the problems in the legal system is the judges.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Larry, Nov 16th, 2011 @ 9:30pm

    Re: Re: holy shit

    Fixed it for ya...

    "People complain about lawyers but I firmly believe the root cause of the problems in the legal system (starts with) the judges.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    ChimpBush McHitlerBurton, Nov 16th, 2011 @ 9:31pm

    Re: Re: holy shit

    Remember, Judges used to be Lawyers.

    Which reminds me: Why don't snakes bite attorneys?

    Professional courtesy.

    CBMHB

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    icon
    G Thompson (profile), Nov 16th, 2011 @ 9:35pm

    Re: Re:

    All briefs from Randazza & Co are absolute masterpieces of wit, sarcasm, and Shakespearean smack downs!

    One day someone needs to place them all in one volume and include it in every class on how to write legal briefs ;)

    On another note: Could Mangano loose his immunity, not just court sanctions, if it can be shown this alleged misconduct is egregious enough under US civil torts?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    icon
    davnel (profile), Nov 16th, 2011 @ 9:45pm

    Criminals

    To paraphrase Mark Twain (with apologies to same):
    There are only two true criminal classes in the world, lawyers and politicians, and they're in cahoots.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    icon
    DandonTRJ (profile), Nov 16th, 2011 @ 9:54pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I'm with you! Certainly would have livened up my first-year legal writing course. As for a tort claim, you'd have to look to the particular jurisdiction's Model Rules governing attorney conduct, but I could conceive of someone bringing a standalone suit for legal abuse (such as the vexatious litigation here) or malpractice by the same.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 16th, 2011 @ 9:58pm

    Does anyone but Mike care about Righthaven?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    icon
    Bergman (profile), Nov 16th, 2011 @ 10:25pm

    Not much fun now? That presumes that it was ever fun to be a lawyer for a copyright troll. Even snakes have standards, and you know you're doing poorly as a lawyer when the snakes stop extending you professional courtesy.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 16th, 2011 @ 10:26pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Is it a big secret who exactly writes these briefs? I'm 99% sure that it's not Marc Randazza himself.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 16th, 2011 @ 10:27pm

    Re:

    You clearly are not a man of humor - if you can't read an article about Righthaven and bust out in laughter...

    Either that, or you're just another anti-Mike troll who didn't get the memo in time to be at the top of the comments.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 16th, 2011 @ 10:28pm

    Re:

    ...even less fun to be a lawyer for a copyright troll and be cannibalized by a law firm, which is run by another copyright troll.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Hans, Nov 16th, 2011 @ 10:34pm

    Re:

    It's really amusing that the AC's used to argue long and hard about how wrong these judges were, how Mike was an idiot, how Karl didn't know what he was talking about, blah, blah, blah. They used to drone on about how the agreement actually didn't violate the prohibition on licensing the right sue, when it so obviously did, et cetra, et cetera, et cetera.

    Now that RH has been excoriated, they give us the "does any one care" routine. Total worthless windbags.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    icon
    A Guy (profile), Nov 16th, 2011 @ 11:54pm

    It's just kind of sad at this point. Except for the fact that they should have just moved to dismiss all the cases and declared bankruptcy to save costs already, I'd feel bad for them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    peter, Nov 17th, 2011 @ 3:55am

    Wow

    "I don't like to impose sanctions against attorneys, because I think it lives with them for a long time. What happens to your client is another matter, and I am really not concerned with that."

    That is dangerously close to 'protect your own and screw the rest'. The Judge is only saying that his actions are so close to the edge that even the Old Boys Club can't protect him.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    icon
    Marcel de Jong (profile), Nov 17th, 2011 @ 4:30am

    Re: Re:

    The other shill-trolls are still asleep after their marathon trolling session, yesterday.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Mango, Nov 17th, 2011 @ 5:38am

    Every time I see Shawns name I cannot help to think of the SNL character Mango.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Nov 17th, 2011 @ 5:41am

    Re: holy shit

    Actually there is a good reason for it. Lawyers are not supposed (as a general rule) to impose their own opinions on cases. Rather they are supposed to argue the client's case to the best of their ability. It follows that the judge would usually presume that the (bad) actions of the attorney are taken under direct instruction from the client (and against the attorney's better judgement). That way no client can ever argue that they were denied justice because no attorney was prepared to present their case.

    There is however a limit to this assumption - and in this case we seem to have almost reached it!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Nov 17th, 2011 @ 5:42am

    Re: Criminals

    Can we drop a big bomb on Cahoots?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Nov 17th, 2011 @ 5:53am

    Re: Wow

    It 's not the Old Boys Club - it's the consequences of what (in Britain) is called the Cab rank rule

    To Quote the Wikipedia article
    "A self-employed barrister must comply with the ‘Cab-rank rule’ and accordingly except only as otherwise provided in paragraphs 603 604 605 and 606 he must in any field in which he professes to practise in relation to work appropriate to his experience and seniority and irrespective of whether his client is paying privately or is publicly funded:

    (a) accept any brief to appear before a Court in which he professes to practise;

    (b) accept any instructions;

    (c) act for any person on whose behalf he is instructed;

    and do so irrespective of (i) the party on whose behalf he is instructed (ii) the nature of the case and (iii) any belief or opinion which he may have formed as to the character reputation cause conduct guilt or innocence of that person"

    Therefore judges are reluctant to reprimand lawyers because the result would be that lawyers would be unwilling to take unpopular cases and hence - somewhere down the line - an innocent person would be denied justice.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    icon
    DannyB (profile), Nov 17th, 2011 @ 7:03am

    Re: Ned Flanders cursing

    I haven't watched for many, many years. If I remember correctly, Ned Flanders cursed more than anyone else on the show ever.

    It's just that his cursings were more like "Oh, fiddely diddely!".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    icon
    DannyB (profile), Nov 17th, 2011 @ 7:08am

    Re:

    As Luke Skywalker said: I care.

    (Oh, is that copyright infringement?)

    I find the Righthaven cases to be extremely funny to the point of laughing out loud. It is one of the greatest comedy acts since SCO vs World+Dog or various Jack Thompson.

    And you would want to deprive us of such free amusement?

    Oh, nevermind. You probably think we should have to pay to watch a great comedy act, acted out in our courts, in public, with all of the court documents being public.

    In answer to your question: yes, people other than Mike care about Righthaven.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    icon
    DannyB (profile), Nov 17th, 2011 @ 7:11am

    Re:

    It's just kind of happy at this point.

    It was kind of sad when it seemed Righthaven might win these extortion shakedown lawsuits against bloggers.

    Now it's not only kind of happy, it's downright hilarious to watch Righthaven get smacked down again, and again.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    icon
    DannyB (profile), Nov 17th, 2011 @ 7:18am

    Re: Re: Wow

    A lawyer can act on behalf of his client, obey the local rules and the FRCP and act respectful of both the court and other parties at all times.

    Making your client's case is not acting badly.

    No matter who your client is. Even if they are as evil as SCO or Microsoft.

    Where lawyers should be punished is when they go outside of those well established rules. Vexatious litigation. Unnecessarily increasing the cost of litigation to other parties. Not being truthful before the court. Not acting respectfully to the court and other parties and their lawyers at all times. (No matter how nasty the dispute between the parties.)

    When lawyers go outside these bounds, they should be sanctioned.

    And it SHOULD live with them a long time. Isn't that the point?

    Mom says: Oh, billy, you stole that candy bar from the store? As a punishment I'm going to frown harshly at you for five seconds.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    icon
    Thomas (profile), Nov 17th, 2011 @ 10:38am

    Typical..

    for judges to refuse to sanction attorneys who go outside the established rules. Judges look at attorneys one way and ordinary people another way. Justice is definitely not blind.

    Maybe the judges need the support of the crappy attorneys for some reason?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Nov 18th, 2011 @ 5:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Wow

    I don't disagree with you - I was merely trying to explain why judges might appear to be rather lenient to lawyers. As you say, however, there is a limit to this and once it is crossed then severe sanctions are in order and they should be long term.

    I think the problem here is that we have lawyers who are actually interested parties - they effectively work for Righthaven. I feel that in these cases the leniency usually allowed for lawyers is inappropriate.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This