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Judge Wright Orders Second Prenda Hearing, Tells Everyone They Better Actually Show Up This Time

from the encore! dept

This morning, Judge Otis Wright issued a new order in the big Prenda case, in which he’s set up a new hearing, for March 29th, and made it quite clear that everyone associated with Prenda had better show up this time. He’s rejected the motions from Team Prenda claiming that the court has no jurisdiction, saying that he’s satisfied that he has specific jurisdiction over everyone involved based on the evidence from the hearing this week, “because of their pecuniary interest and active, albeit clandestine participation in these cases.” Also, he’s clearly not pleased about the claims that the court has no jurisdiction over Team Prenda:

Not only does the Ex Parte Application lack merit, its eleventh-hour filing exemplifies gamesmanship. Accordingly, the Ex Parte Application is DENIED.

Judge Wright again notes that there is evidence of sanctionable activity, as well as the possibility of fraud on the court, and he’s ordering everyone involved to show up. The list has expanded somewhat. This is who is ordered to show up:

a) John Steele, of Steele Hansmeier PLLC, Prenda Law, Inc., and/or Livewire Holdings LLC;
b) Paul Hansmeier, of Steele Hansmeier PLLC and/or Livewire Holdings LLC;
c) Paul Duffy, of Prenda Law, Inc.;
d) Angela Van Den Hemel, of Prenda Law, Inc.;
e) Mark Lutz, of Prenda Law, Inc., AF Holdings LLC and/or Ingenuity 13 LLC;
f) Alan Cooper, of AF Holdings LLC;
g) Peter Hansemeier, of 6881 Forensics, LLC;
h) Prenda Law, Inc.;
i) Livewire Holdings LLC;
j) Steele Hansmeier PLLC;
k) AF Holdings LLC;
l) Ingenuity 13 LLC; and
m) 6881 Forensics, LLC.

Obviously, it is likely that there is a fair bit of overlap between the main players behind many of these entities. I note that he’s still asking Alan Cooper from AF Holdings to show up… but no longer demanding Alan Cooper, caretaker to show up. Basically, one last chance for Steele to prove that the “other” Alan Cooper really exists. I’m a bit surprised there’s no request for Alan Mony/Monay too.

Judge Wright even tells the lawyers from the other side — Morgan Pietz and Nicholas Ranallo — that they don’t have to show up, though they’re welcome to “if so desired.” In other words, they don’t have to do any more to prove the claims that they were making. The judge knows what’s going on.

In terms of what the hearing will cover:

These persons and entities are ORDERED to appear on March 29, 2013, at 10:30 a.m., TO SHOW CAUSE for the following:

1) Why they should not be sanctioned for their participation, direction, and execution of the acts described in the Court’s February 7, 2013 Order to Show Cause;

2) Why they should not be sanctioned for failing to notify the Court of all parties that have a financial interest in the outcome of litigation;

3) Why they should not be sanctioned for defrauding the Court by misrepresenting the nature and relationship of the individuals and entities in subparagraphs a–m above;

4) Why John Steele and Paul Hansmeier should not be sanctioned for failing to make a pro hac vice appearance before the Court, given their involvement as “senior attorneys” in the cases; and

5) Why the individuals in subparagraphs a–g above should not be sanctioned for contravening the Court’s March 5, 2013 Order (ECF No. 66) and failing to appear on March 11, 2013.

Furthermore, to prevent further gaming around claims of not having enough time to find out about this order, Judge Wright has ordered Brett Gibbs to serve everyone by tomorrow, and to file proof of service by Monday. Oh yeah, he also has to show up for the big hearing on the 29th.

Oh, and should Team Prenda decide not to show up on the 29th? Sounds like it won’t be a pretty picture:

Should the persons and entities in subparagraphs a–m above not appear on March 29, 2013, the Court is prepared to draw reasonable inferences concerning their conduct in the cases before the Court, including any inferences derived from their failure to appear. Failure to comply with this order will result in the imposition of sanctions.

And I had just been running out of popcorn….

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Companies: prenda, prenda law

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Comments on “Judge Wright Orders Second Prenda Hearing, Tells Everyone They Better Actually Show Up This Time”

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anonymouse says:

Re: Man...

Awww i was hoping he would have given this to a higher court and included some criminal charges on top of everything else. They are going to get away with this with being disbarred and not allowed to practice law in the future ever again, that wont stop them they will just get another lawyer to sign off on everything they want done, or forge a lawyers signature. They need to be punished for this and punished hard, jail time for fraudulently claiming data from verison and there other actions in this case. Maybe then they would be more careful if they ever got involved with trolling again.

Anonymous Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I hate to rain on your parade, but it is far more likely that the manufacturers or distributors will be the benefactors of this windfall. Current popcorn on the shelf was bought a long time ago, and I am not sure that Prenda is strong enough world wide to impact the market long enough to have influence on prices at the next crop.

Someone who know how, what’s the trend in the popcorn commodities market?

alanbleiweiss (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

as supermarket shelves empty of all their popcorn stock, manufacturers will ramp up production, temporarily improving farmer revenue. Farmers will base this coming year’s crop volume on this data.

When the dust of the case settles, there will have been an overproduction problem and supermarkets will end up reversing their increased purchase efforts.

Manufacturers will then, in turn, have to lay off thousands of workers as the popcorn bubble bursts.

Eventually, farmers will have no choice but to sell off the over-produced corn however they can, and take massive financial losses extending out into next year’s crop.

Others impacted will include corn oil producers, cannola oil producers, cardboard manufacturers, cardboard recyclers, 3rd party contractor trucking companies, and a host of others.

In the end, the government will have to step in and tax LOLcats to compensate for the popcorn industry bail-out.

Loki says:

Just remember, for those playing at home, that like Righthaven, these are the sort of “upstanding people” the Copyright maximalists hire to represent their interests.

When your arguments are so hollow and without merit that you have to resort to essentially illegal/immoral activities that far exceed the perceived wrongs of so-called “pirates” you’ve lost the fight before it’s even begun.

That’s why the really hate the internet, because not only does it break their business model, but it allows people to see what one hand is doing while watching the other one. The days of sweeping things under the rug are long gone (at least until governments can find a way to break the internet).

Edward Teach says:

Re: Re: Aye, mate!

Do we mean like the DoJ, mate?

Aye, in this day and age, some scurrilous adventure like the 1980s “Iran-Contra” debacle would no longer be swept under ye metaphorical carpet, lad! Even if the scurvy dogs at the NY Times chose to sit on a story for years, like the shameful and unconstitutional NSA dragnet surveillance, any reporter with a well-cut jib could get the story out anyways! Arrrrr! Shiver me sides! WikiLeaks could still do that sort of thing!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

There is so much wrong with your post it’s hard to know where to begin.

First, in this case it appears that the lawyers and the clients are the same people/entities.

Second, assuming that a genus is a certain way because a species of the genus is a certain way is logically flawed.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Actually your incorrect. Steele and Co. represented other companies on numerous occasions. When some clients appeared to be dissatisfied with the promised returns they dropped them. (Even if some of the “settlement” negotiations for those cases are still happening… one wonders if the actual rightholder in those cases is being paid any longer.)

At some point the shells appears and had copyrights transferred in from real companies, one was left to wonder if this was just a way to try and protect the original rightsholder from getting splashed with mud or if this was when they started outright purchasing the copyrights as investments.

As was described in the depo they look at copyrights as having huge value that has just bee drained by pirates, and they have invested into them and once they stop the piracy the copyrights will be full of money again. Because people like looking at porn stard who were hot 10 years ago. o_O

These actions are supported by broad over reaching laws that protect a business model, and these are the people who have taken it to the extreme. But it is totally allowed under the system demanded by the other cartels to protect their IP.

Or did you forget when the RIAA sued everyone and failed miserably. Its one thing to claim someone committed the sin of downloading Nickelback and owes millions with a straight face, its much easier to get a “settlement” when you accuse them of downloading ‘Anal Adventures With Grandma Part 7’.

The evidence used by the current trolls is actually on par with that of 6 Strikes. Cloaked in mystery and claims to be able to prove someone with their name on the account is in fact the infringer.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

First, your =/= you’re. Yeah, it’s petty, but when your FIRST STATEMENT is about me being incorrect, I figure it’s worth pointing out.

Second, “in this case” =/= “on numerous occasions.”

Third, all that stuff about the RIAA and 6 strikes has no relevance to my post.


Brent (profile) says:

Whichever of these dudes created the fake Alan Cooper had to drop a huge F-bomb when he read all of this since he will definitely be getting sanctioned. Unless… he goes to the bathroom, puts on a disguise and comes back as Alan Cooper..who shortly thereafter becomes ill, has to go to the bathroom, and is unable to return (which would be announced to the court by the original guy that went to the bathroom, obviously). I think i’ve seen that movie before though.. didn’t work even with Hollywood magic.

out_of_the_blue says:

Mike now has a legal anomaly to occupy him.

Continues proving my notion that he has no interest in what works for every day. Appears to be condition where over-stimulated adolescent brains need a constant stream of new thrills, and can never focus long enough to grasp complexities. — Mike’s stimulation occurs at a VERY low level, that’s even worse.

Take a loopy tour of Techdirt.com! You always end up at same place!
Prenda Law! A staple in the “At The Bench” series. Mike sez (short version): “Wow. Wow. Wow. … The story is gripping.”

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Mike now has a legal anomaly to occupy him.

“”Continues proving my notion that he has no interest in what works for every day. Appears to be condition where over-stimulated adolescent brains need a constant stream of new thrills, and can never focus long enough to grasp complexities. — Mike’s stimulation occurs at a VERY low level, that’s even worse.””

That comment being written by someone who continuously has the condition where his over-sized stimulated adolescent brain needs a constant stream of new thrills and can never focus long enough to grasp complexities and whose stimulation occurs at the ‘VERY’ low level now that is priceless lol

Violated (profile) says:


So Judge Wright gives them one last chance to defend themselves where it seems likely they will skip this hearing as well when their own answers will land them further in the do-do.

This seems done to avoid them mounting a later appeal when any later Judge can see their unreasonable conduct now ruining their changes.

Well it would have been nice had they been virtually swinging from trees by now, with their companies forever destroyed, but Justice is never that fast or brutal.

Edward Teach says:

Re: Hmmmm

In the case of lawyers misbehaving, instead of commoners, mate, it’s very rare to see anything other than a slap o’ the wrist, mate!

I don’t expect that this “hanging judge”, even if inflamed with righteous anger by the comic gyrations of dogs like Prenda Law, will do much to said dogs. Look at how much guff the Utah judges put up with from The SCO Group, no sanctions issued there. Look at how much bilge the USA’s lackey DoJ got the 9th Circuit to ship in the NSA surveillance cases (http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2007/08/nsa-hearing-ope/). The 9th Circuit dropped the whole sordid mess, despite prima facie unconstitutionality, mate! Punishment of lawyers is a simple farce, “high court” letting off the nobles, whilst grinding me and thou very finely between the wheels of so-called Justice! Arrr!

Violated (profile) says:

Re: Re: Hmmmm

I will wait and see if these very dishonourable acts are fairly punished which is the true nature of Justice.

Maybe they should follow the UK example when since being a lawyer is already a shady profession then the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal exists to provide some self-regulation to avoid bad lawyers being a bad name to the profession.

Back on January 16, 2012 the SDT upheld 10 out of 12 charges of gross misconduct against former speculative invoicing troll Andrew Crossley of ACS:Law. He was banned working as a lawyer for 2 years and was ordered to pay ?77,000 ($116,100) costs. He lost his home, his business, his wife, his car and more ending in his bankruptcy.

Maybe the United States has a few things to learn when indeed bad lawyers will be bad until you force them to be good through harsh punishments.

This is no simple not following the rules but deceiving the Count in many ways simply to shake down subscribers for cash if they were guilty or innocent.

Yes you do need to string them up with a sign around their necks reading “bad lawyers”.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Of course not. Who would they arrest? The people being served? If they aren’t served, they don’t have notice – and the order to show cause for missing the previous hearing isn’t until this next hearing, so they can’t be arrested for that until they actually miss it (if they can be arrested for missing it at all.) Gibbs? He’s been ordered to serve them, but there are any number of reasons why someone would fail to serve that many people within one day. The judge would have to let him at least attempt to show cause.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I can only hope. Judge Wright is my new hero. Never before has any Judge finally connected all of the dots and been horrified by the picture.

I’d like to hope if I did help in some small way that I’ll get to join the footnote club with you and DTD.

(if you playing the home game SJD and DTD have both been mentioned in footnotes in court rulings and I’ve been jealous of that trophy.)

Edward Teach says:

Re: Re:

Why, attorneys get “high court” treatment, don’tcha know?


Just like in Boulder Colorado, when John Ramsey did not go to jail instantly. If that had happened in poorer Denver neighborhoods, someone would have been charged that very day.

High Court for attorneys and other rich entities.

Low Court for commoners who deserved to be squashed anyway.

Anonymous Anonymous Coward says:


Let’s see, they have had a week or so of notice, and suspecting that those involved are not stupid, merely underhanded and greedy, they have had a week to find an international conference of some sort that they desperately need to attend (oh, and create a back trail of documentation that this obligation is ‘not new’ and ‘is’ necessary).

In their minds the scenario plays out with them living on a tropical isle reaping their just rewards with undereducated, submissive females (or other depending on preference) attending their every need.

Bubba, BTW, says hello, and that as your new cellmate for the evening he will be obliged to listen to all your complaints, first hand, and with all the energy one can muster.

Rikuo (profile) says:

Re: Excuses

“Let’s see, they have had a week or so of notice, and suspecting that those involved are not stupid, merely underhanded and greedy, they have had a week to find an international conference of some sort that they desperately need to attend (oh, and create a back trail of documentation that this obligation is ‘not new’ and ‘is’ necessary).”

I think you’re giving Steele and his pals too much credit. They’re lawyers, not professional forgers. For the back trail documentation to stand up to muster would require much more time, effort and skill than they have.

Anonymous Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Excuses

It also occurs to me that they have possibly forged (albeit, apparently not well) a number of documents already. How else would your caretakers signature wind up on articles of incorporation, by accident?

What other falsehoods exist that might have been perpetrated? Without going into the list, there have been several, including IP=person to accost. It may be that forgery is merely a tool for more egregious offenses. Time will tell, but it can be fun to speculate.

Where’s my gorp? Popcorn causes bloat!

Violated (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Most Judges do not allow cameras in their Courtrooms but under Rule 980 a Judge can use their discretion to approve cameras being used.

Due to the high public interest in this case Judge Wright may approve a video camera recording. Anyone interested needs submit form MC-500/MC-510 at least 5 days prior the event where the Court Clerk will then inform the Judge that a request has been filed.

I would have loved to have seen Judge Wright in the recent Court hearing when the description alone sounds epic.

Anonymous Coward says:

It sounds like Judge Wright has reached the end of his rop with Team Prenda Law. What it also sounds like is that Prenda Law is on Strike 2 and that this is the last chance for Prenda Law to defend itself in court.

If they fail to show, Judge Wright will effectively be throwing the book at Prenda Law by instituting sanctions, penalties and other less pleasant ‘legal wranglings’ which will effectively turn them impotent.

Judge Wright didn’t even give them enough rope to hang themselves with. This order for the end of this month looks like Prenda Law’s last chance.

This is better than the drama in those soap operas and far far better than the drama between the Democrats and Republicans in Congress. We’re actually getting our money’s worth here.

Anonymous Coward says:

By god, do I ever wish the dumb “popcorn” meme would die. Yeah, we get it, the case is hilarious and we’ll all be hitting F5 like morons come the 29th. But we won’t be hitting F5 with nasty butter-sauce fingers because that shit gets all up in your keyboard and then it smells like popcorn forever and you get fat because smelling popcorn makes you hungry.

It was kind of funny for a day or two, now the horse has been dead for so long that you’re all ganging up together to beat on its skeleton.

DannyB (profile) says:

Shame on Judge Wright

Judge Wright should have been more helpful in letting people know whether they should book round trip or one way airline tickets to the March 29 hearing. Do they need to worry about hotel reservations? etc.

How are people supposed to make travel arrangements without sufficient information.

Maybe Prenda Law can file an objection on that basis.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Shame on Judge Wright

For Steele there is already a bed reserved for him.

Well actually its half a bed in a cell, and a naked 500pound trucker called Big Dave is on the other half….but its something.
And Steele won’t be given much of a choice when he has to file his briefs…on the floor.

Edward Teach says:

Re: Re:

Aye, mate, I can feel it in my bones that you’re oh so happy that the scurvy dogs of Prenda Law are about to get righeously punished by The Law.

The reason we Buccaneers are so happy about punishing Prenda Law is that Prenda Law appears to have tried to bend the entire legal system into a form of extortion – at worst simple blackmail, at best barratry.

Now, run along, don’t let your mommy know you’ve been reading blogs like this.

That One Guy (profile) says:

‘Should the persons and entities in subparagraphs a?m above not appear on March 29, 2013, the Court is prepared to draw reasonable inferences concerning their conduct in the cases before the Court, including any inferences derived from their failure to appear.’

I really hope I’m reading that last bit correctly, as what it looks like to me is the judge telling them that if they don’t show, he will assume that all the claims made against them in the various cases are true, and act accordingly.

Talk about incentive.

Anonymous Coward says:

Mmmmmm Nom Nom Nom

? ?? ? ? ? ?? )
? ? ?? ? ? ? ?)? (
? ? ? ? ? ? ?(? )
? ? ? ? o@o@o@o@o
? ? ? o@o@o@o@o@o
|? ? |? ? |? ? |? ? |? ? |@o@????The most anticipated event of the year!
|? ? |? ? |? ? |? ? |? ? |o@o????Premieres March 29th 2013
|? ? |? POP? |? ? |? ? |@o@? ?
|? ? |CORN? |? ? |? ? |o@o@ ? Prenda Law vs Judge Wright
|? ? |? ? |? ? |? ? |? o|@o@o@o

special-interesting (profile) says:

I worry a bit about the trial date being so far off. It would give the Prenda group time to polish up some halo and wings wearing act. It will surely be great theater to the extent that 10:30am is to late in the day to hear statements from all the lawyers of the lawyers and the testimony from the lawyers themselves.

I predict several of the witnesses will plead the 5th or better yet pull a senile Regan stunt with repeated ?I cant remember? statements. Of which am not sure that would help their defense. We are still at the discovery stage and these dudes seem to have a lot to hide.

Taking odds on whether or not all will show up? I think most will (except one of the likely forged Coopers and maybe one of the multiple Mooneys as well) be there. Lawyers in general are somewhat court savvy and know when presence is required or not.

There is NO way Judge Otis Wright is not serious and not showing up will get 3 times the pain. Recalcitrance (not showing up) at this stage would be bad as in please purchase your (metaphorical) coffin now the nails and hammers will be supplied by others. Warrants and or large daily fines will be issued this time.

Been said by others better but the reality of what will transpose on the 29th will surpass every bit of imagination we have now. A glory of human drama.

As I have stated before these activities seem like SOP for typical copyright law. The collective shivers sent down the spine’s of many a media firms legal department should be rewarding in many ways if not only for better practice of law. At least they will be sitting up very straightly.

At the very least I expect the DOJ to be quietly performing a thorough and detailed analysis of the Prenda and associated firms business practices both relating to the current circus and past cases Prenda and associates handled. These people have shown obvious criminal behavior and as such their past work needs further scrutiny.

-sniffs butter-

Nobody says:

They might be taunting the judge on Twitter, too...

There’s one @bittorrentbull on Twitter who is making fun of this judge for a past bankruptcy filing. The name on the account is Mr. Steele.

I don’t know what this is… some lame attempt to provoke the judge into doing anything that might disqualify him? Yet another case of stolen identity?

Whatever the case, I don’t see them leaving the next hearing as free men, though there’s a nontrivial chance that they will attempt to no show again. I am almost certain that will result in bench warrants being issued, but they’ve gone this far already.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: They might be taunting the judge on Twitter, too...

Oh lord he’s prolly drunk again.

He denied being @bittorrentbull once, and then we asked the porn star who was performing a scene infront of him if the picture matched and she said yes.

He thinks if he deletes a tweet it never happened, never heard of screenshots I guess.

They are going to try everything they can to find any reason to escape Judge Wright and get moved to someone who hasn’t seen past the smoke and mirrors yet. I think they will have a sad.

Mr. Applegate says:

WOW! This Judge shows a lot more restraint than I ever could!

I would have issued bench warrants and let them rot in jail for the next 15 days or so.

The way it is now, they will have all the money moved out of the states (I doubt much was here anyway).

They may in fact leave the country, and try to continue their ventures from afar.

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