P2P Shakedown Lawyers Apparently Still Sending Subpoenas To Get Info On Defendants Who Had Cases Dismissed

from the there's-an-ethical-issue-here dept

About a month ago, we pointed out an effort by an anonymous concerned citizen who has been tracking the massive increase in these P2P file sharing shakedown lawsuits, that are all about sending “pre-settlement” letters and getting people to pay up, rather than really taking all these people to court. So far, the courts have been pretty good about dumping many of the cases that involved thousands of defendants, noting that it makes little sense to put them all together in a single case. The person who made that epic spreadsheet is continuing to keep it updated, and it shows about 110,000 people sued:

Of course, what this also shows is that approximately 40,000 defendants have been dropped from these cases, mainly after judges pointed out how bogus it was to join so many defendants into single cases. However, the EFF is noting that it’s received reports that some of the law firms involved in these schemes may still be sending subpoenas to defendants already dismissed from cases. Similar to Evan Stone’s sending subpoenas before a judge had okayed it, this suggests a massive breach of legal ethics. Sending a subpoena on someone that a judge has already dismissed from the case? That seems like a strategy for trouble.

Filed Under: , , , ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “P2P Shakedown Lawyers Apparently Still Sending Subpoenas To Get Info On Defendants Who Had Cases Dismissed”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
28 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

Right. And the potential defendants themselves aren’t being subpoenaed. Their ISPs are. The potential defendants are only receiving notice from their ISPs that their subscriber information is the target of a subpoena issued to that ISP. (I say “potential” defendants, since technically, they’re not named defendants yet.)

Cutting through the FUD, the only real issue is whether any law firm is submitting new subpoenas to ISPs related to potential defendants who have already been dismissed. Show me that and you’ve shown me a headline. (Like with Mr. Stone (allegedly).)

For all we know, these are subpoenas that were issued before the Doe defendants in question were dismissed, right?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

By the way… Way to go really FUDing this one out! Unless you can show us a subpoena that was dated subsequent to the Doe defendants in question being dismissed, there is not necessarily foul play. I know you qualified your statements, but the implication of what you think is perfectly clear. You are quite good at what you do. ๐Ÿ™‚

Thomas (profile) says:

lawyers..

are far more concerned with “earning” money rather than paying any attention to such silly silly things as ethics or legal procedures. As long as they can get away with it most of the time there’s no reason for them to change their tactics. If they collect 500,000 from pre-settlements while being fined 25,000 by judges for improper behavior they are still ahead of the game.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

Well, in the complaints, each Doe defendant is identified by their IP address and by their ISP. I think it’s a simple matter to keep track of which Doe defendants are identified in any given subpoena. Once a Doe defendant is dismissed, is it anyone’s duty to inform an ISP that has already been issued a subpoena of the dismissals? If so, whose duty is it, the clerk of the court or the plaintiff? I dunno.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

Only if the reply with the IP, date, and their name and information. If it is like some of the examples we have seen here, they provide their names and claim innocence, but don’t seem to provide the data required to match.

The subpoena will resolve the issue, as at that point they may actually have names to match to dates and IPs to work from.

It’s nice to know that Mike thinks that the lawyers are somehow able to devine things out of thin air.

Jackie says:

Patentable business scheme?

I just thought of something! And I am NOT saying that these people are doing it. But it would be a great business model to buy an ISP, buy a few videos with really skanky titles (the type people would be embarrassed do let their friends, family and business associates know about), use lousy software so that people could download the videos and then sue them for piracy. It would be a kind of high tech badger game!!! Can I patent this idea?

vivaelamor (profile) says:

Re:

“Show me that and you’ve shown me a headline. “

The EFF claim to have received reports from Does (potential defendents) whose cases have been dismissed. I can understand if you don’t believe the EFF’s claims, but otherwise I’m unsure what you’re getting at.

“For all we know, these are subpoenas that were issued before the Doe defendants in question were dismissed, right?”

I believe the EFF wouldn’t be bringing the issue up if that were a likely case. Again, maybe you don’t trust the EFF, but there has been no serious suggestion so far that they’re making the issue up.

vivaelamor (profile) says:

Re:

“If it is like some of the examples we have seen here, they provide their names and claim innocence, but don’t seem to provide the data required to match.”

You don’t appear to understand what’s going on. The ‘shakedown’ lawyers are being forced to drop certain Does (potential defendents) from the lawsuits, at which point they only have the IP details and haven’t necessarily been contacted by anyone. Some of these Does are apparently receiving letters from their ISP that correspond to case ID’s that are listed in the database of dismissed cases.

Further information, apart from the date of the subpeaona, is irrelevant. The lawyers are apparently issuing subpeaonas for cases which have been dropped or dismissed. The cases wouldn’t, in all logic and common sense, be dismissed by the subscriber details (which are unknown at that point), but by the case IDs.

Please please tell me you understand now and aren’t claiming the lawyers need to have special powers to read the case IDs.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

The EFF claim to have received reports from Does (potential defendents) whose cases have been dismissed. I can understand if you don’t believe the EFF’s claims, but otherwise I’m unsure what you’re getting at.

I believe the EFF wouldn’t be bringing the issue up if that were a likely case. Again, maybe you don’t trust the EFF, but there has been no serious suggestion so far that they’re making the issue up.

The EFF is only claiming “that some Does are still receiving notices from their ISP?s informing them that their identities are being sought in relation to” cases where that Doe was dismissed.

The EFF is not saying that any lawyer is inappropriately submitting any new subpoenas to any ISPs after such a dismissal. The only one suggesting that is Mike. The EFF wouldn’t ever stoop that low.

The fact is we don’t know either way whether any lawyers are doing anything wrong here.

It seems just as likely to me–in fact more likely–that these subscribers are receiving notices pursuant to subpoenas that were issued before these Doe defendant’s were dismissed. It takes time for the ISP to get the subpoena, look up the subscriber’s information, and then inform the subscriber that they are the target of the subpoena.

This is just a standard Techdirt FUD piece.

vivaelamor (profile) says:

Re: Re:

‘The EFF is only claiming “that some Does are still receiving notices from their ISP?s informing them that their identities are being sought in relation to” cases where that Doe was dismissed.’

Was that an echo?

“The EFF is not saying that any lawyer is inappropriately submitting any new subpoenas to any ISPs after such a dismissal.”

I guess they’re just looking into the issue for fun then.

“The fact is we don’t know either way whether any lawyers are doing anything wrong here.”

I don’t see where Mike implied that any definite wrongdoings were going on.

“It seems just as likely to me–in fact more likely–that these subscribers are receiving notices pursuant to subpoenas that were issued before these Doe defendant’s were dismissed. It takes time for the ISP to get the subpoena, look up the subscriber’s information, and then inform the subscriber that they are the target of the subpoena.”

Why does that seem more likely? You haven’t given us any new information and there is no logic I can see to support the statement.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop ยป

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...
Loading...