Prenda's Brett Gibbs Tries To Avoid Answering Questions About Alan Cooper By Dismissing Case

from the cut-and-run dept

Another day, another story of questionable activity on behalf of copyright troll Prenda Law in regards to Alan Cooper. As you may recall, Alan Cooper, who was employed as a house caretaker for copyright troll John Steele (of Prenda Law, though at times he denies this), raised some concerns with the court in a few cases involving some mysterious shell companies -- AF Holdings and Ingenuity 13. At issue: the CEO named in the court papers for those companies was named Alan Cooper, and caretaker Alan Cooper believed that Steele or others at Prenda had faked his identity, as he had nothing to do with any of it. While Cooper has since sued Prenda and John Steele, this issue showed up in some other cases.

In one case involving Ingenuity 13, Prenda was represented by lawyer Brett Gibbs. Opposing lawyer Morgan Pietz asked Gibbs to confirm whether or not Ingenuity 13's Alan Cooper was a different Alan Cooper than Steele's caretaker, leading to a ridiculous conversation in which Gibbs played dumb and refused to answer the simple question. Pietz than took the issue to the court, who ordered Gibbs to answer some questions about Cooper. Gibbs' response was to claim that the judge should be thrown off the case for bias. Since that failed, Gibbs has moved onto the next strategy.

Simply try to walk away. He filed a notice saying he was dismissing the case (though he could file it again at some point). Effectively, he's trying to cut and run before having to answer those questions about Alan Cooper. Of course, in a situation where he should be trying to get out of court as quietly as possible, he chose, instead, to give the judge the equivalent of the middle finger: whining that he was dropping the case because the judge had made it "futile" to continue.
Plaintiff maintains its contention that it is factually impossible to identify a John Doe through an IP address without obtaining ISP subscriber information; as such, Plaintiff now dismisses this action without prejudice in order to avoid the futility of attempting to litigate these cases under such circumstances.
Of course, that's got nothing to do with anything. Gibbs appears to not want to answer the questions. Unfortunately, he may not be so lucky. After the case was already dismissed, the judge ordered a status report, and a future conference, concerning the questions raised by Pietz.

As a lawyer explained to the Fight Copyright Trolls site, it appears that, while the judge can't stop the case from being closed, he can still continue this line of exploration:
...the Judge retains authority/jurisdiction as to all remaining collateral issues such as sanctions as well as potential inappropriate conduct of counsel/parties. I believe that since the discovery order was issued after the dismissal, it is likely that the Court sees the dismissal as potentially motivated to hide inappropriate conduct or even perjury etc… Technically the judge could still allow discovery on the Alan Cooper issue or even order Gibbs or Steele or even “Alan Cooper” to appear and testify. If they refuse, the court can invoke its plenary contempt power. That’s when the ____ hits the fan.
We'll see where this goes, but Gibbs trying to sneak out on answering the questions, while at the same time whining about it to the judge, just seems to be him asking for trouble.




Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2013 @ 12:47pm

    You can't just dump a body in my courtroom and say "No further questions".

     

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

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2013 @ 12:50pm

    I can't take the suspense anymore! I want to see some sanctions now, just to keep me going. It doesn't have to be anything big. Maybe just a tiny fine or the opening of a state bar ethics inquiry. Just a taste, that's all I want.

    STOP TEASING ME!!

     

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

  3.  
    icon
    JohnnyRotten (profile), Jan 30th, 2013 @ 12:57pm

    Re:

    Funniest thing I've read all day. Well done sir, you wins the internets.

     

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

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2013 @ 12:59pm

    'seems to be him asking for trouble'. let's hope that Gibbs, Steele and all others involved in the scam these so-called lawyers are trying to execute comes back, bites them in the arse and gives them more than the amount of trouble they have been giving everyone they have been trying to con!

     

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

  5.  
    identicon
    ralph, Jan 30th, 2013 @ 12:59pm

    Prenda and the courts

    I have been following this saga for a while, through all the federal districts.

    What amazes me more than anything is the dysfunction of our courts.

    I guess nobody knows how to fix this.

    The hammer should have come down on Prenda long ago and they should now be sitting in jail.

     

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

  6.  
    identicon
    S. T. Stone, Jan 30th, 2013 @ 1:03pm

    Re:

    If this comment doesnít show up on Funniest Comments of the Week this Sunday, I donít know whatís wrong with this country.

     

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

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2013 @ 1:07pm

    Re:

    Well, technically you can. But you can't stop anyone from asking further questions anyway.

    Hilarious nonetheless. I thought Righthaven could not be outdone. Then along came Charles Carreon. I thought his lunacy could never be topped. And along came Prenda. I think, at this point, no serious copyright troll/attorney/law firm could ever in their wildest delusions hope to top them.

    - Does "Who's on first" skit in actual court.
    - Steals a man's identity.
    - Accuses judge of bias, after he begins questioning who "Alan Cooper" is.
    - Further refuses to answer questions concerning who is "Alan Cooper".
    - Accuses another attorney of representing a non existent client.
    - Claims there are no defendants, so says giving them IP addresses is okay.
    - Has a defendant "take a dive" in lieu of being sued and then after sued him anyway.
    - Plagiarizes (word for word) a failed filing.
    - And now this.

    Prenda Law. The gift that keeps on giving.

     

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

  8.  
    icon
    BeaverJuicer (profile), Jan 30th, 2013 @ 1:13pm

    When Righthaven finally got bitchslapped into oblivion, I was sad. I didn't know where to turn for my Stoopid Troll entertainment.

    Then I figured out how to "Keep Calm and Carreon" (You see what I did there?) but that seems to have been short lived too.

    But now, I have John Steele and Prenda Law. I have to tune in daily to see what antics they will be up to next. Every day it's a new episode! I want to see what silly things Brett Gibbs will get into today. Will he finally get the discovery he seeks? Or will the real Alan Cooper one day mysteriously walk into the courtroom? What role does John Steele play in all of this? The season finale is heating up to be one of TechDirt's most exciting ever.

     

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

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2013 @ 1:13pm

    And for the grand finale of the film-
    Brett Gibbs and John Steele arrive in Antigua and get picked up by US marines and whisked off to Guantanamo Bay.

     

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

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2013 @ 1:14pm

    Re: Prenda and the courts

    Sorry,

    Nobody could afford a hammer at the standard government rates, so they had to settle for a 'stern talking to'...

     

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

  11.  
    identicon
    troll, Jan 30th, 2013 @ 1:15pm

    These guys give trolls a bad name.

     

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

  12.  
    icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), Jan 30th, 2013 @ 1:19pm

    Re: Prenda and the courts

    This. How is it that this guy has not already been slapped with the mother of all Contempt Of Court citations?

     

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

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2013 @ 1:20pm

    This is all just a delay tactic by John Steele. They'll refile after they find an Alan Cooper body double.

     

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

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2013 @ 1:23pm

    Re: Prenda and the courts

    I don't get it either. Why can't the judge demand answers re: Alan Cooper be provided *within the hour* or they're in contempt? Or sanctioned, or whatever?

    These turdhurlers are openly spitting on the court system, in a judge's face, and are privy to who knows how many people's personal information to abuse however they wish...

    If any nails ever needed hammering, it's conmen like these.

    It's really not even funny anymore. It's grotesque.

     

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

  15.  
    icon
    Gwiz (profile), Jan 30th, 2013 @ 1:32pm

    Re:

    This is all just a delay tactic by John Steele. They'll refile after they find an Alan Cooper body double.

    Has anyone thought to search through Craigslist for ads offering "Employment opportunities for people with the name Alan Cooper"?

     

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

  16.  
    icon
    DannyB (profile), Jan 30th, 2013 @ 1:33pm

    It seems I'm not the only one

    I'm not the only one entertained by Righthaven, Carreon, and now Prenda et all.

    Perhaps TD should try to follow another entertaining IP litigation gone wrong after this one ends. They are great for comedy relief in between other IP and Tech related happenings.

     

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

  17.  
    icon
    Chosen Reject (profile), Jan 30th, 2013 @ 1:37pm

    Re:

    Plot twist: They arrive in Antigua and the WTO approves even further sanctions against the US for exporting that garbage.

     

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

  18.  
    icon
    dennis deems (profile), Jan 30th, 2013 @ 1:40pm

    Re:

    This was me, not noticing I was signed out (again)

     

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

  19.  
    icon
    Gwiz (profile), Jan 30th, 2013 @ 2:12pm

    Re: Re:

    Ha. Just for kicks I Googled "Craigslist Alan Cooper"

    Apparently a sharp commenter over on the Fight Copyright Trolls blog has already thought of this last November:

    http://fightcopyrighttrolls.com/2012/11/30/copyright-troll-prenda-law-is-accused-of-usi ng-a-stolen-identity-for-their-offshore-plaintiffs/comment-page-1/#comment-55922

     

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

  20.  
    icon
    Andrew F (profile), Jan 30th, 2013 @ 2:32pm

    Re: Prenda and the courts

    Due process takes time. Courts also have other cases to deal with. When you have cases where even a day's delay could cost someone millions of dollars, dealing with crap like this is low priority.

     

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

  21.  
    identicon
    ralph, Jan 30th, 2013 @ 3:04pm

    Re: Re: Prenda and the courts

    I see. So, let me see if I have this right. Thousands of defendants, most of whom don't have the means to defend themselves and understand nothing about the law, are being leaned on by Prenda.

    This is happening over and over again the same way, with clever variations, in numerous districts and Prenda keeps on trucking along.

    In the meantime, some guy who is in a position to lose millions of bucks a day is more important than these other people.

    I'm sorry, but this is dysfunctional. I understand it is a judge's job to follow due process. So perhaps what we need are more reasonable copyright laws along with judicial reform so small matters are not allowed to clog the courts indefinitely.

     

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

  22.  
    icon
    sophisticatedjanedoe (profile), Jan 30th, 2013 @ 3:04pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    A darker version was posted yesterday:

    [...]I am just waiting for Alan Cooperís obituary to appear in a St Kitts and Nevis paper about his tragic passing and how he couldn't wait to testify and show us all how wrong we were about AF holding and itís many copyright cases [...]

     

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

  23.  
    icon
    charliebrown (profile), Jan 30th, 2013 @ 3:28pm

    Re: Re: Prenda and the courts

    Reminds me of the old joke "No wonder crime is out of control, criminals don't recess three hours for lunch!"

     

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

  24.  
    icon
    charliebrown (profile), Jan 30th, 2013 @ 3:30pm

    Re:

    Frankly, I'm sick of seeing "Prenda" in the TechDirt headlines. But I'm glad someone is enjoying it! =)

     

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

  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2013 @ 3:50pm

    Every time I think Gibbs is finally pinned down, he pulls one last ace out of his sleeve and has to be cornered again. It's like something out of the Ace Attorney series.

     

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

  26.  
    icon
    Matthew Cline (profile), Jan 30th, 2013 @ 4:31pm

    Is that really the motive?

    Alan Cooper (the caretaker) still has his lawsuit against AF Holdings and Ingenuity 13, saying that they used a copy of his signature. So merely dropping a single lawsuit isn't going to help them.

     

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

  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2013 @ 5:28pm

    Re: Re: Prenda and the courts

    Mostly because of 2 reasons:

    a) You can't accuse others of wrongdoing willy nilly and punish them according to what you think is best, you actually have to have some proof, about who is doing what, even if that seems obvious proof is a must in any decent legal system, so I do understand judges "exploring" the issues before coming down hard on the parties involved.

    b) All judges were lawyers once, they all have a favorable bias towards them and they all understand even if in a gut instinct way that they can't just punish lawyers all the time because it could be them sitting where they are and so they have more patience with lawyers than they would otherwise have with anybody else. This is a behavior empowered by the first reason, it can be bad but hey you take the good with the bad.

    With that said, Mr. Steele is nearing that threshold where he will find himself in hot water anytime now.

    His incompetence fulled by his arrogance will be the end of his career.

     

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

  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2013 @ 5:40pm

    So this is the behaviour of fine, upstanding citizenry that average_joe insists on defending. Fantastic.

     

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

  29.  
    icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jan 30th, 2013 @ 5:43pm

    Re: Re:

    Well then you definitely don't want to visit...
    http://fightcopyrighttrolls.com or http://dietrolldie.com
    Pretenda makes the headlines there ALL the time.

    And there is much more there than the headlines, you can see Does going from terrified to empowered. You can see discussions tearing apart the "facts" of the cases, and how badly they are crafted.

    I am very sad that no Judge has bothered to understand how Pretenda and others are avoiding paying millions in fees for these cases. We can't have PACER docs for free, but because you have a law degree you can avoid paying millions in fees by lumping hundreds/thousands into single cases?

     

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

  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2013 @ 5:44pm

    Re:

    And while we're mentioning average_joe, what do you, average_joe, think about all this, eh? Do you think they're operating within the boundaries of the law? Why won't you debate us on this? Rant! Rave! Wharr garble farble!

     

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

  31.  
    icon
    alanbleiweiss (profile), Jan 30th, 2013 @ 11:21pm

    Re: It seems I'm not the only one

    that's the beauty of how screwed up the IP system is in the U.S. - there are always going to be more Righthaven/Prenda/Carreon cases right around the corner.

    See the more recent TechDirt article on how Ericsson just sold 2,185 patents to a company reliant on the troll business model. With that many patents, it dramatically increases the chance that at least some slice of their attorney pool will be one of the candidates with the best potential to be among the next headliner.

     

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

  32.  
    icon
    Aztecian (profile), Jan 31st, 2013 @ 7:06am

    Deja Sue

    This reminds me of the second most amazing thing about the latter career of O.J. Simpson. After the verdict in the first most amazing thing, he made a hobby of pushing his legal luck.

    He has finally proved the rule about what happens in Vegas--and now it really looks like the alleged sleazeball Gibbs and whatever his company/organization/halloween costume he is currently wearing will do the same.

    I wonder... after losing repeatedly and becoming a poster child for trolling online, plus antagonizing a federal judge or two... what's the next act?

    I do remember what it was for O.J.

     

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

  33.  
    icon
    btrussell (profile), Feb 1st, 2013 @ 3:20am

    Re: Re: Re: Prenda and the courts

    "a) You can't accuse others of wrongdoing willy nilly and punish them according to what you think is best, you actually have to have some proof, about who is doing what, even if that seems obvious proof is a must in any decent legal system, so I do understand judges "exploring" the issues before coming down hard on the parties involved."


    This is six strikes states we are talking about?

     

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


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