Morgan Pietz Objects To Duffy's Bond In Prenda Case, Points Out More Typical Prenda Tricks

from the check-for-john-doe dept

We were a bit surprised that Prenda Law's Paul Duffy actually filed a bond to cover the amount that Judge Otis Wright ordered Team Prenda to pay in legal fees for their shenanigans. To date, Team Prenda seems to go out of its way to play games and to avoid doing what the court is actually asking, so it seemed like a bit of a departure to see them actually file a bond (if a few days late, and with some protest). But, apparently, we should never underestimate Prenda's game-playing.

The lawyer opposing them, Morgan Pietz, has responded to the bond asking the court not to accept it until a variety of changes are made, and which highlights the type of petty activity that Prenda is well known for engaging in. The most brazen, perhaps, is the fact that Duffy made the bond be in the name of "John Doe" for the unidentified client, but Pietz points out that, given that's not the Doe's real name, it's possible that they may get a check that can't be cashed. That's the kind of thing that has Prenda's name written all over it -- doing something that pretends to be helpful, when inside they're laughing about the "trick" they pulled on people.

That's not all. Duffy, in his filing, had said that Pietz had not been cooperative in having a "meet and confer" to agree on what the bond amount should be. But Pietz tells a very different story, and provides the email evidence.
The first undersigned counsel heard about a bond, or payment, from any Prenda party (with the exception of Mr. Gibbs; his motions will be addressed by separate response) was on Monday May 20, 2013, when Paul Duffy sent a short email on the subject, offering to post a bond in the amount of 125% of the amount awarded in the Sanctions Order. Undersigned counsel dutifully responded later that day (to all parties), outlining a number of concerns about the amount and conditions that should attach to a supersedeas bond, reiterating concerns raised in the appellate response papers regarding no stay of the non-monetary aspects of this Court’s order, and requesting that Prenda respond with their views on the substantive topics raised. Exhibit 1.

On May 21, 2013, this Court issued an Order Denying Ex parte Application for Stay of Enforcement ; Order to Show Cause Re Attorney’s-Fee Award. ECF No. 164. The next day, after close of business on May 22, 2013, still not having heard anything regarding payment or a bond, undersigned counsel again emailed all Prenda parties in another attempt to meet and confer regarding appeal bond details. Exhibit 1. In response to the May 22 query attempting to spur further discussion on the several points raised by undersigned counsel previously on the bond issue, Mr. Duffy wrote back “You had no substantive points. If you think of some and can articulate them coherently I would be glad to consider them. Thanks for thinking of me.” Id. Shortly after receiving Mr. Duffy’s foregoing email, undersigned counsel pointed out to everyone that such a response was not very helpful, and invited the rest of the Prenda parties to respond in substantive fashion. Nobody did. Mr. Duffy, however, did write the whole group one more time, in nonsensical and vaguely threatening fashion, to indicate that has apparently made a conscious decision to send undersigned counsel’s email messages to the SPAM folder. Exhibit 1
In case you can't look at the exhibit, the email that Duffy wrote back to Pietz -- which was clearly not an automated response -- was the following:
Thanks for your message Sir/Madam! Unfortunately, due to your inappropriate language and messages, which are within the access of my young children, I must place you in my "spam" filter. Unfortunately, I delete such messages daily without reading them. I wish you a speedy recovery, and make it a GREAT day!
Among the other problems with the bond, is that only Duffy has signed onto it, and as Pietz points out, since there are many different parties, each appealing separately, it's not at all clear as to what happens if some are exonerated, while others are found guilty. And, of course, Pietz argues that the amount is way too low, because it should take into account the likely cost of the appeal as well. Oh, and Pietz also wants it to be clear that Team Prenda can't get out of paying the bond by declaring bankruptcy.

Basically, it looks like Team Prenda simply can't resist playing its games -- once again, seeming to think that it's so much smarter than everyone else, that it can run verbal rings around those exposing their efforts.

Update: And... Judge Wright has just basically agreed with Pietz, conditionally granting the bond, but only if Duffy makes a bunch of changes to deal with the claims that Pietz brought up, and also says they need to add another bond for $135,933.66, to get the total up to $237,583.66 which is the amount Pietz argued was proper given the circumstances.






Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    Arsik Vek (profile), Jun 7th, 2013 @ 11:41am

    I love the line from Pietz' May 22 email


    "I wanted to follow up and inquire: were you planning on complying with the Court's order, and, if so, when?"

     

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  2.  
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    Anon E. Mous (profile), Jun 7th, 2013 @ 1:48pm

    Thanks for posting this article Mike! I thought everyone should get this news!

    I cant wait for Prenda's response to Pietz filing with Judge Wright, I expect a lot of fury, anger and pouting and a big whine about poverty.

    I can't wait to see Judge Wrights ruling and see what he say's in it about Prenda blowin g off the meeting with Pietz for the bond requirements and conditions which was in his order.

    This will be most interesting

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    darthskeptic, Jun 7th, 2013 @ 1:53pm

    Update- Pietz' objections were granted. Prenda entities have a week to agree to the conditions and two weeks to post a $156k bond. http://ia601508.us.archive.org/28/items/gov.uscourts.cacd.543744/gov.uscourts.cacd.543744.176.0.pdf

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    darthskeptic, Jun 7th, 2013 @ 1:55pm

    Re:

    Corection- 136k bond

     

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  5.  
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    Anon E. Mous (profile), Jun 7th, 2013 @ 1:59pm

    Re:

    I didn't think that Judge Wright would object to it, it will be interesting to see how Prenda re-works the bonds conditions and if everyone else has to cough up their part of it.

    Another defeat for Prenda, wonder if Stelle and Duffy are throwing a temper tantrum

     

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  6.  
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    Anon E. Mous (profile), Jun 7th, 2013 @ 2:03pm

    Re:

    I didn't think that Judge Wright would have any issues with Pietz objections, I mean who in their right mind would trust anyone associated with Prenda?

    It will be interesting to see if everyone has to pony up for their share of this bond, but I would bet that Duffy and Steele are throwing a tantrum right now

     

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  7.  
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    weneedhelp (profile), Jun 7th, 2013 @ 2:03pm

    Obvious troll is obvious.

     

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

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2013 @ 2:30pm

    "As the Prenda Turns"

    I was beginging to worry that, with all the attention the US government domestic spying was getting, I wouldn't get an installment of "As the Prenda Turns"! The government spying is important .. Prenda is entertainment.

     

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  9.  
    icon
    Anon E. Mous (profile), Jun 7th, 2013 @ 2:35pm

    I love that Judge Wright agreeded with Pietz in his requested for additional monies for the bond

    "Further, the Prenda parties shall be required to post an additional bond in the amount of $135,933.66 (which is the $237,583.66 total, minusthe $101,650.00 bond that the Prenda parties other than Mr. Gibbs have already posted) to cover costs on appeal, which includes attorneys fees shall be subject to all the same conditions as the bond noted above".

    I love the fact that Judge Wright threw in this gem into his order:

    "Failure to post the additional bond within 14 days shall result in the imposition of additional sanctions".

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2013 @ 3:08pm

    'avoid doing what the court is actually asking'

    so how come these idiots get 'asked' by the Court? anyone and everyone else get 'told' by the court. it almost seems like judge Wright is helping the Prenda crew to play the games rather than exerting his authority. perhaps if he weren't being so lenient, they would get the message?

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2013 @ 3:23pm

    Gotta love an attorny who lets his childern read his email. That sure makes me feel like he is compentent and will keep my private communications safe.

     

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  12.  
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    apauld (profile), Jun 7th, 2013 @ 3:32pm

    Re:


    ^^^^^

    Great point, yeah, Duffy is just trying to be an a$$hole, but he also comes off as a complete loser of an attorney.

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2013 @ 4:02pm

    Re: "As the Prenda Turns"

    Indeed. And entertainment of the finest sort it is! I've recently been catching up on Arrested Development (TOS) before graduating to Arrested Development (TNG), and Prenda's antics to date seem to have been lovingly hand-stitched from the same whole cloth -- perhaps even the very same bolt -- as the sitcom, but with a truly gratuitous dose of irony thrown in for good measure. And with special attention paid to the WTF(?!) aspects of the story, and emphasis on cliff-hangers! Can't yet figure out who the George-Michael and Maeby roles are, but it looks as though Team Prenda has so far provided at least four or five seasons worth of material for character and plot development before the inevitable denouement, at which point they'll attempt to blow town on the eve of their arrest by stealing a permanently-moored luxury cruise ship after trying to magically make all the incriminating evidence disappear by putting it on a personal yacht and blowing it up. You heard it here first!

    Serving suggestion: Your choice of titles needs revision, as As the Prenda Turns suggests a soap opera, rather than a highbrow, true-to-life sitcom.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2013 @ 4:47pm

    A child that reads the attorney's email? Surely even Prenda has heard of client privilege which is likely to be violated by a child reading said attorney's email.

    Sure smells bogus to me. Not to mention the Doe on the bond itself. That's pretty much a guarantee that Prenda is still playing games.

     

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  15.  
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    blorp, Jun 7th, 2013 @ 4:58pm

    So great

    Love Judge Wright. Good on Pietz for pointing this stuff out, and good on Wright for putting the boot in.

    I can hardly wait to see what turns up on the docket over the next week.

     

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  16.  
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    Raul, Jun 7th, 2013 @ 5:42pm

    Karma

    As Pietz pointed out in these proceedings Prenda is imploding with all its federal suits either having been dismissed or being on the defense of motions for sanctions or attorneys fees. They have a few state lawsuits pending in Illinois but are being besieged by very capable attorneys so I doubt those lawsuits are generating much money. Accordingly I wonder if these guys can afford to collateralize the additional bond or meet the conditions on the first imposed by Judge Wright.

     

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  17.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Jun 7th, 2013 @ 5:44pm

    Re:

    It's called 'giving them all the rope they need to hang themselves'.

    By giving them as many chances as he has for them to explain their actions, any appeal(s) they file are not going to go over well for them the second the judge learns what sort of crap they tend to pull when in a courtroom.

    Or put another way, Judge Wright has provided them countless opportunities to show their character, and in particular their honestly, which they have failed miserably to do, and when any future judges can safely assume that team prenda are going to be lying as much as they can, odds are they're going to treat any statements given by them as suspicious, and that is not going to be good for them.

     

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  18.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jun 7th, 2013 @ 6:45pm

    Re: Re:

    statement did not need qualification.

     

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  19.  
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    Trelly (profile), Jun 7th, 2013 @ 7:01pm

    Gotta protect the kids ...

    So he is ok with his kids reading his confidential emails, including those with his porn producing clients (which may very validly contain adult content) and presumably doesn't place his clients emails into the junk folder, yet the attorney of the opposition needs to be placed in junk?

    Yeah, that says a lot not just about his legal skills and ethics, but also about his parenting skills.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2013 @ 7:07pm

    Paul Duffy and horse with no name just hate it when due process is enforced.

     

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  21.  
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    Matthew Cline (profile), Jun 7th, 2013 @ 7:21pm

    My guesses:

    1) Duffy will claim that a bug in his spam filtering software caused Pietz to be put in his spam list, without Duffy being aware of it.

    2) Duffy will accuse Pietz of unprofessional behavior for not attempting to contact him by phone after the email stopped working.

     

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  22.  
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    Matthew Cline (profile), Jun 7th, 2013 @ 9:19pm

    Oh, and also:

    3) Pietz's request that the bonds be made payable to him rather than John Doe is evidence that his client doesn't actually exist.

     

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  23.  
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    Internet Zen Master (profile), Jun 7th, 2013 @ 9:45pm

    Re:

    Funny. I thought the person who didn't exist was Alan Cooper, Prenda's always-absent CEO... oh wait.

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 8th, 2013 @ 6:56am

    Re:

    which would be interesting claim given the fact this whole issue started because the sued/threatened that non existent john doe.

     

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  25.  
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    DannyB (profile), Jun 8th, 2013 @ 8:47am

    Re: Re:

    > Judge Wright has provided them countless opportunities to show their
    > character, and in particular their honestly, which they have failed miserably to do


    Actually, I think Prenda and conspirators have done an outstanding job of demonstrating their level of honesty and character.

     

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

  26.  
    icon
    DannyB (profile), Jun 8th, 2013 @ 8:50am

    Re:

    > Gotta love an attorny who lets his childern read his email.
    > That sure makes me feel like he is compentent
    > and will keep my private communications safe.

    Beyond the issue of privacy and confidentiality of communications, there is the issue of letting children read the email of an lawyer who works for the worst kind of pr0n producers.

     

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  27.  
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    DannyB (profile), Jun 8th, 2013 @ 8:53am

    Re:

    Not just horse with no brain, but also out of the mind.

    Why aren't they here defending their Prenda buddies. Maybe Prenda and conspirators' actions are each an anomaly. Each. And. Every. One. Each misstep was just another anomaly.

     

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  28.  
    icon
    DannyB (profile), Jun 8th, 2013 @ 8:58am

    Re: Re:

    Pietz's client's IP address must exist, as you point out. So how can Duffy claim his client does not exist?

    Maybe just for fun and to amuse judge Wright, Duffy could make the bond and the check out to the IP address, since an IP address == a person. I'm sure everyone involved would find it highly amusing.

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Edward Teach, Jun 8th, 2013 @ 9:00am

    Re:

    > so how come these idiots get 'asked' by the Court?

    Because they're lawyers. Judges make decisions for the betterment of the legal profession.

    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=976478

    If some ordinary group had perpetrated the kind of nonsense that Prenda has, the FBI would have thrown them in the klink. Instead, all of the Judges involved have let Prenda off with warnings, or maybe not even that.

    It's a travesty, but very revealing.

     

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  30.  
    icon
    Matthew Cline (profile), Jun 8th, 2013 @ 3:50pm

    Re: Re:

    I think that their accusation was that while the John Does do exist, none of those Does actually contacted Pietz, and he's just pretending one of them contacted them. Which is a stupid claim to make since they don't have any evidence for it, but it's not quite as stupid as you're making it out to be.

     

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

  31.  
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    apauld (profile), Jun 8th, 2013 @ 8:18pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I know, but I liked enough I felt compelled.

     

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

  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 8th, 2013 @ 9:26pm

    Re: "As the Prenda Turns"

    Prenda=world, worm, or spit pig?

     

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

  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 8th, 2013 @ 9:31pm

    Re:

    Exactly. They might try to claim later that the Doe was not them, but Prenda's attorneys.

     

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

  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 8th, 2013 @ 9:33pm

    Re: Karma

    By afford, you mean still in the black on the scheme. I'm sure they have other assets.

     

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

  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 8th, 2013 @ 9:38pm

    Re: Gotta protect the kids ...

    porn producing clients

    But actually, there's no production or clients. Their sole business was a shakedown, with a minimal involvement of actual porn.

    It may even transpire that the torrent was empty.

    The metadata alone was sufficient to make the case.

    Does this remind me of another scandal...?

     

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

  36.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 8th, 2013 @ 9:47pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Reminds me of a Swiss numbered account.

    "An account identified solely by number, sir? Can't be. We were forced to give those up some years ago. You will have to give a name. We have no record of that."

     

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

  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 10th, 2013 @ 6:02am

    Re: Re: Gotta protect the kids ...

    But actually, there's no production or clients.

    There were clients once upon a time. Back when Prenda first started. See the story about the guy complaining about how Prenda wouldn't tell him any details about what was actually going on.

    It's just at some point they decided they wanted all the money themselves, and then they set up the shell games.

     

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


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