Righthaven Fails To Show Up In Court As Ordered... When Confronted Says It Got Confused Over The Date

from the a-study-in-incompetence dept

As you may recall, when the federal district court in Nevada granted Marc Randazza's request to turn Righthaven's assets over to a receiver, for the sake of using them to satisfy the court ordered attorneys' fees in the Hoehn case, the court also ordered -- pretty damn clearly -- that Righthaven's principles, Steve Gibson and Raisha "Drizzle" Y. Gibson, appear in court on January 5th. Already, we knew that Righthaven had failed -- as required by the court -- to produce certain documents a week prior to this hearing (for which Randazza has asked the court to declare Righthaven in contempt). You may notice that the date on the calendar is now January 6th.

It's one thing to ignore opposing counsel. It's another to ignore multiple direct court orders, including one to appear in court. But... neither Gibson showed up in court yesterday. Nor did Righthaven's main lawyer: Shawn Mangano. According to Randazza, the judge then called Mangano who claimed that he "thought it was tomorrow" (but did not explain the failure to deliver the required documents).

This is pretty amazing. We've had people in our comments repeatedly asking about the January 5th deadline. If a bunch of our commenters can keep the date straight, can't the lawyer for the company being dragged into court? As I said, Righthaven's ability to do exactly the wrong thing at nearly every opportunity is stunning. And every time we think we can't be surprised any more, something like this happens. This is the most amazing study in incompetence we've ever seen. This is a company that failed to properly secure the copyrights it was suing over, chose not to use the DMCA's takedown procedures, often targeted questionable cases of infringement, sued people over clear fair use situations, used a completely bogus demand for domain names in the lawsuits it filed, has been accused of theunauthorized practice of law in multiple states, failed to list Stephens Media as an interested party as required by Nevada law (for which it was sanctioned), failed to file many documents on time, missed deadlines for certain important filings, failed to pay attorneys' fees owed, lost cases due not just to the failure to secure copyright properly but also to missing deadlines, had an appeal thrown out for failing to follow proper procedure... and, has been sued by their own process server for failure to pay its bills. And now this (and I'm probably missing some stuff!).

The judge has set a new hearing date for Monday, January 9th at 9am. I can't imagine that the Gibsons and Mangano could possibly think they can get away with missing that one, too -- but if you had asked, I never would have believed most of the things that Righthaven has done so far would ever happen in real life.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2012 @ 4:07am

    Given that judges have thrown people in jail for contempt for the enormous crime of forgetting to put their cellphones on silent, the generosity of the judge towards these people is staggering as they demonstrate nothing but contempt for the law, his court and himself.

     

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

  2.  
    identicon
    abc gum, Jan 6th, 2012 @ 4:29am

    Re:

    "the generosity of the judge towards these people is staggering"

    This must be that High Court I keep hearing about.

     

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

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2012 @ 4:40am

    Bet they dont turn up on the 9th either

    and bet the judge still does nothing. Afterall lawyers are involved.

     

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

  4.  
    icon
    Violated (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 4:49am

    Schedule

    All I can say is that when Andrew Crossley of ACS:Law was going down at least he was nice/wise enough to keep to the scheduled appointments.

    I don't know what the people behind Righthaven are thinking when this lack of an organized schedule not only got them into this mess in the first place but this policy will not win them any favours when it comes to sorting out their finances.

    He should also keep in mind that the Judge has many other options should he be found to be uncooperative. I expect currently the Judge just thinks he is an idiot and needs a push down the right path.

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Michael Kohne, Jan 6th, 2012 @ 4:54am

    Re: disrespect

    I have to say, after all that Righthaven has done, I'm a little surprised that the Judge hasn't called them in contempt. I think that a contempt charge (and perhaps a day or so in jail for all concerned) might get them to start obeying orders.

     

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

  6.  
    icon
    Spaceboy (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 4:55am

    Righthaven - Providing Guidance to the courts since 2010.

     

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

  7.  
    identicon
    anonymous, Jan 6th, 2012 @ 4:57am

    Righthaven were ok whilst they were able to extort money out of people using threats of court action and massive fines. now they are on the receiving end of court actions, which they (and many other law firms etc) richly deserve, they dont seem to have a clue how to deal with it. hopefully, this whole escapade will end extremely badly for them and their associates!

     

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

  8.  
    identicon
    abc gum, Jan 6th, 2012 @ 5:03am

    Re: Re: disrespect

    Righthaven - the lindsay lohan of IP holding

     

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

  9.  
    icon
    Ima Fish (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 5:17am

    "Confused Over The Date"

    Bad argument. I would have told the judge, "Your honor, some pirate stole my Corvette and I couldn't find another ride to court."

     

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

  10.  
    identicon
    frosty840, Jan 6th, 2012 @ 5:22am

    Re:

    You mean "some pirate downloaded my Corvette" I think...

     

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

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2012 @ 5:23am

    It was just a simple mistake! They thought the court date was January 5th, 3012.

    On a totally unrelated note, Righthaven is also totally confused why people keep on saying it's 2012 rather than 3012.

     

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

  12.  
    identicon
    abc gum, Jan 6th, 2012 @ 5:30am

    Re:

    Or ... they figured the world would end anyways.

     

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

  13.  
    icon
    Ima Fish (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 5:33am

    Re: Re:

    Yeah, that'd work.

     

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

  14.  
    identicon
    Pixelation, Jan 6th, 2012 @ 5:40am

    An app for that...

    Let's see, they can't remember when their court date is. Oh, right, "There's an app for that".

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2012 @ 5:40am

    Re: Re:

    Well, if a severe enough beating is administered to them, the world might actually end, at least for them.

     

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

  16.  
    identicon
    Call me Al, Jan 6th, 2012 @ 5:40am

    Re: Re:

    Hows that for a business plan. Getting agreements to delay payment of fines, costs etc until 22 December 2012 on the basis the world ends the day before.

     

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

  17.  
    icon
    Mike C. (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 5:50am

    Re:

    But don't you see... the judge is just helping out by providing guidance to the lawyers. Issuing a contempt citation wouldn't be proper guidance so that's why he's not doing it....

    /throw the buggers in jail

     

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

  18.  
    icon
    DannyB (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 6:04am

    Amazing study in incompetence

    > This is the most amazing study in incompetence we've ever seen.


    I beg to diff.

    For those of us who have been watching SCO for nearly nine years now (anniversary on March 6, 2012), Righthaven doesn't hold a candle to SCO's nor SCO's lawyers' incompetence.

    Never attribute to incompetence what can be adequately explained by malice -- when intellectual property is involved.

    While I admire Righthaven's attempts at incompetence, please don't suggest it is more amazing than SCO's incompetence.

     

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

  19.  
    icon
    DannyB (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 6:06am

    Re:

    Don't think the judge is being generous.

    He is just trying to be fair. Maybe they really were confused. He's now giving them enough rope to hang themselves.

    What do you think will happen if they miss their next court date? He will probably throw away the key.

     

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

  20.  
    icon
    DannyB (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 6:08am

    Re:

    It's the other way around.

    Righthaven said that the courts are providing guidance to others who would use Righthaven's business model of suing.

    In this case, I think it will end up being guidance on how to stay out of jail.

     

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

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2012 @ 6:10am

    The reason they didn't show up is simple...

    2012 is a leap year - so there's an extra day, which means that everything happens a day later!

     

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

  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2012 @ 6:12am

    Re: Re:

    He's way past being fair and they've already been handed enough rope to hang themselves multiple times and indeed have done so.

    This judge is being like a doting uncle with a reputation for sternness but desperately trying to avoid actually being stern with pizzle,drizzle and mango.

     

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

  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2012 @ 6:15am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Hopefully, he will realise on Monday that hoping for that crew to get a clue is a waste of time unless he is actually willing to use the cluebat on them.

     

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

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2012 @ 6:38am

    Timeline?

    Would someone put this story into one of those pretty timeline graphics? My theory is you will be able to spot the point their spirit broke and the downward spiral began.

     

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

  25.  
    icon
    A Guy (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 6:44am

    Re: Timeline?

    If I had to guess, I'd bet it is right at the point where they were not allowed to acquire the copyrights properly and resume the cases.

    It was all downhill from there.

     

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

  26.  
    icon
    ken (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 6:47am

    Miscarriage of Justice

    Righthaven has consistently missed deadlines and always has basically the same lame excuse. If they miss Monday's deadline and Judge Pro does nothing it will be a severe miscarriage of justice on his part.

     

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

  27.  
    icon
    V (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 6:48am

    Time to put them down...

    Hasn't this saga gone on long enough? Why aren't the lawyers in this firm held in contempt and put into jail? If they were in a nice, warm jail cell and then summmoned to court by officers on their trial date, I'm quite sure they would be there.

    They've already made a mockery of the justice system with their gross misinterpretations of the law, their bypassing of existing law and their cloak and dagger tactics of hiding important facts from the judges.

    Think of all of the people's lives and businesses that have been ruined because of them.... and now... they beg for mercy.... for... understanding?

    Ironic.

     

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

  28.  
    identicon
    Smion, Jan 6th, 2012 @ 6:56am

    Dale Cendali?

    Is Dale Cendali still involved with these clowns, or did she realise that the ship was sinking long ago and cut loose?

     

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

  29.  
    icon
    CD (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 7:04am

    LLC

    Good thing Righthaven is an LLC and not a Corporation. Otherwise, since the Gov thinks corporations are people, the court could issue a WARRANT for Righthaven.

    Then all we have to do is wait for Righthaven to be caught speeding. Or maybe they'd use Dog Chapman for bail bond since they cannot pay fees ordered by court and we see them running scared on A&E.

     

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

  30.  
    icon
    CD (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 7:05am

    Re: LLC

    Well I did put in a URL but it's not showing underlined....

    pay fees ordered by court links to:
    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110927/22251216119/righthaven-desperately-trying-to-avoid-pa ying-legal-fees.shtml

     

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

  31.  
    icon
    ken (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 7:17am

    Being a day late or not showing up at all is the norm with Righthaven not the exception. They always have the same lame excuses. Just like they abused copyright law they are now abusing the deference that Judges tend to give lawyers.

    If they do not show up again someone may want to check to make sure Steve and "Drizzle" Gibson have not skipped town or the country.

     

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

  32.  
    icon
    Adam Wasserman (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 7:17am

    FUDBuster

    Is FUDBuster still around?

    Do you still feel that your prior (http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110423/01033814013/another-judge-slams-righthaven-chilling-effec ts-that-do-nothing-to-advance-copyright-acts-purpose.shtml) interpretation of the law is the valid one in light of the fact that federal judges disagree with you?

     

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

  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2012 @ 7:25am

    Re: Re:

    No, they downloaded and hence stole the court date after it leaked via wikileaks!!

     

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

  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2012 @ 7:26am

    Re:

    Righthaven were ok whilst they were able to extort money out of people using threats of court action and massive fines.

    And yet...

     

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

  35.  
    icon
    Blaine (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 7:45am

    Chilling thought

    Think about this for a second....

    Righthaven with the power of SOPA.....

     

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

  36.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2012 @ 7:47am

    Re:

    "A man who carries a cat by its tail learns something he can learn in no other way." (attribution unknown).

    I hope the judge hands them a passel or two of cats.

     

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

  37.  
    icon
    ChronoFish (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 7:51am

    It's not incompetence

    I disagree that it's incompetence. I think they fully know the law and know how to stall. In theory they could have been held in contempt of court....but they haven't been.

    This is like watching a dance between the White House and Congress. From the outside it's bewildering. From the inside it's a well orchestrated chess match.

    Clearly RightHaven is not going to win, but at this point they are playing not to loose. So all they have left is their king. They'll be moving that sucker all over the board hoping for a stale-mate.

    Maybe they would rather go to jail than hand over documents or pay monies. Don't be surprised to find documents "accidentally" destroyed.

    -CF

     

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

  38.  
    icon
    ChronoFish (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 7:54am

    Re: LLC

    LLC IS a Corporation (Limited Liability Corporation).

     

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

  39.  
    icon
    DannyB (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 8:03am

    Re: Time to put them down...

    > Hasn't this saga gone on long enough?
    > Why aren't the lawyers in this firm held in contempt and put into jail?
    > They've already made a mockery of the justice system . . .
    > Think of all of the people's lives and businesses that have been ruined because of them . . .


    Those of us following SCO were asking the same questions and making the same comments years ago. SCO has truly been an education in how broken the US court system really is. And if you think that is bad, you haven't seen the bankruptcy court system yet. SCO has been in bankruptcy "reorganization" since Sept 2007. The whole thing reeks to high heaven.

     

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

  40.  
    icon
    hmm (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 8:04am

    Re: It's not incompetence

    The judge needs to make an order expressing forbidding the destruction of any and all data related to righthaven by any party to prevent this.

    That way its direct contempt of court if anything goes missing "accidentally".

    It's possible for a judge to issue such an order retroactively btw to cover all records since this began.

    BTW I now own the copyright/patent/other stupid IP method for "The Righthaven Show".

    Its a sitcom about 3 lawyers who don't have a fucking clue what they're doing and they get into all sorts of hilarious shennanigans whilst being given "guidance" from the big boss above.....

     

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

  41.  
    icon
    Atkray (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 8:29am

    Re: It's not incompetence

    What are these "documents" you speak of?

    We do have a note here from our nephew Chip explaining why he had to replace all of our hard drives because of a power surge we had.

    We think he may have set the date wrong on our computers too that's why we keep missing deadlines.

     

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

  42.  
    icon
    DH's Love Child (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 8:29am

    Re: The reason they didn't show up is simple...

    But not until after Feb 28. ;)

     

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

  43.  
    icon
    Pitabred (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 8:37am

    Re: It's not incompetence

    I dunno... all of the absolutely stupid errors here seem like they're first year student type errors, and the mistakes of someone who's scared and doesn't know what to do so they're just ignoring things and hoping they'll go away.

    I don't think it's malicious, but I do think it's a case of Righthaven being in way over their head and not knowing what to do.

     

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

  44.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2012 @ 9:13am

    Re: Re: It's not incompetence

    ...I'd watch it.

     

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

  45.  
    identicon
    PRMan, Jan 6th, 2012 @ 9:21am

    Re: FUDBuster

    He forgot to show up here too.

     

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

  46.  
    identicon
    MrWilson, Jan 6th, 2012 @ 9:26am

    Re: FUDBuster

    This is why I came for the comments. I wanted to see how silent the trolls were in regards to their earlier criticism of Mike's coverage of the cases.

     

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

  47.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2012 @ 9:33am

    Re:

    They are just counting down the days until the Mayan calendar ends in hopes that they can stall until the end of time.

     

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

  48.  
    icon
    Free Capitalist (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 9:55am

    Re: Re: It's not incompetence

    I don't think it's malicious


    I agree, to me these (in)actions come off as being palpably more indignant than malicious.

    Can someone make a criminal complaint and have it fixed so they are tried as adults?

     

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

  49.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 10:15am

    Re: FUDBuster

    Is FUDBuster still around?


    Pretty sure that FUDBuster = average_joe

     

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

  50.  
    icon
    CD (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 10:38am

    Re: Re: LLC

    I always thought it was Company, but your post made me second guess myself. So I googled "LLC". I don't know which is more credible... Wikipedia or a Government run agency, so I put both. They both say the same thing.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limited_liability_company

    http://www.irs.gov/businesses/sm all/article/0,,id=98277,00.html

    I even googled Limited Liability Corporation and all the links were pointing to Limited Liability Company.

    However, your comment pointed me to the similarities between the two, so I'm sure it could be overlooked and then treated as a Corporation anyway.

     

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

  51.  
    icon
    Conscientiouspirate (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 10:49am

    Excuses

    I think I recognize this sort of behavior. The story on Monday will be about this note:

    "To my judge.
    This is Shawn's mom. Shawn can't come to court today because he has the flu. He mailed the paper he was supposed to send you, but I saw that the neighbors dog attacked the mailman and ate the homework, and now I'm too sick to do it again.
    (sign)
    My mom."

     

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

  52.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2012 @ 11:16am

    Re: Time to put them down...

    I think the issue is that the court wants a buncha documents too, my guess is Righthaven missed the deadline because the paper shredder broke down or summin.

     

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

  53.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2012 @ 11:19am

    Re: Re: FUDBuster

    I think that IP + same old schtick is more evidence than 'pretty sure'...

     

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

  54.  
    icon
    ltlw0lf (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 11:23am

    Re: FUDBuster

    Is FUDBuster still around?

    I kinda figured FUDBuster was Steve Gibson. He seemed to know a lot more about what the Righthaven guys were thinking than the rest of us. Then again, he was always very articulate, punctual, and not at all crazy so it probably wasn't Gibson after all.

     

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

  55.  
    icon
    Rikuo (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 11:53am

    Re: Re: Time to put them down...

    If the paper shredder broke down...wouldn't that mean they would HAVE the documents? Perhaps you meant to type "printer" instead of shredder.

     

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

  56.  
    icon
    Rikuo (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 11:56am

    Re: Excuses

    LOL. They more than likely would be stupid it enough to sign it "My Mom", with the way they've been acting.

     

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

  57.  
    icon
    Pitabred (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 12:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: It's not incompetence

    I'm not even sure it's indignant. I think they're just scared as hell and don't know what to do.

     

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

  58.  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 1:56pm

    Re: Re: disrespect

    > I have to say, after all that Righthaven has
    > done, I'm a little surprised that the Judge
    > hasn't called them in contempt.

    If I was that judge, I'd have issued a bench warrant to the sheriff for the arrest of the Righthaven CEO/president and the company's chief counsel.

    Let them cool their heels in the county jail over the weekend and see if their memory for court dates starts to improve.

     

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

  59.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 2:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: LLC

    In the US, anyway, a "company" and a "corporation" are legally the same thing.

     

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

  60.  
    identicon
    DC, Jan 6th, 2012 @ 2:28pm

    Re: Re: It's not incompetence

    An order to produce implies an order to not destroy. If in fact the lawyers destroyed any relevant documents during the course of the proceedings, I'm pretty sure that would be a felony.

    Correct me I'm wrong anyone.

    Comments AJ?

     

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

  61.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2012 @ 7:19pm

    Re: Re: FUDBuster

    These days joe is past the "criticise TD articles phase", now he's spiralled into a complete "act like a thoroughly deranged loon" phase.

     

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

  62.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2012 @ 7:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: FUDBuster

    Uh oh, he better watch out then. OotB might sue him for persona infringement.

     

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

  63.  
    icon
    btrussell (profile), Jan 7th, 2012 @ 2:35am

    Re: Re: FUDBuster

    I was fairly certain of this.

    He was proud as a peacock at his new word/acronym "fud."

    Now he is a key Ctrl freak.

    I don't think he goes to law school but rather lawn school. A daycare. Hence his mothers' (he calls her girlfriend or wife) choice of colour for the bathroom.

     

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

  64.  
    icon
    hmm (profile), Jan 7th, 2012 @ 4:55pm

    at this point

    The only thing thats going to get produced in court is a fake suicide note from everyone at Righthaven as they try to flee the country...........

    And the worst part? the fact the note turns out to be fake.....

     

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


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