Paul Hansmeier: Those Class Action Cases Are About Correcting Injustice

from the suuuuuuure dept

We recently covered the fact that a number of the Team Prenda Players were also involved in somewhat questionable class action objection lawsuits, mostly led by Paul Hansmeier, representing close family members and employees objecting to class action settlements (but apparently willing to “go away” for a fee). While we believe that many class action settlements are, in fact, questionable, the actions by Hansmeier and others in the various objections that were covered seem equally questionable, often appearing to basically jump in at the last minute to throw a wrench into the settlement works, then be willing to walk away for some amount of money.

Joe Mullin at Ars Technica scored an interview with Hansmeier, in which he repeatedly refused to discuss the copyright lawsuits and Prenda (or anyone associated with them), but did try to defend the class action stuff, arguing that it’s really done to correct injustices. In fact, when confronted with the note he sent a lawyer representing the class, offering to go away for $30,000, Hansmeier tried to spin it as having little to do with the money and being all about fixing those injustices.

If someone offered you $30,000 to go away from a case, I’m pretty sure you would take that money and go live to fight another day. We are motivated to correct injustices in the case. What we’re trying to address is the structure of the settlement. In another case, we did successfully encourage the judge to modify the case, although slightly. If [a settlement] gives money to a charitable organization that has nothing to do with the needs of the class—that’s something you can fight.

He also claims that the reason he’s representing family members and employees is because that’s what all lawyers do to establish themselves… or something like that.

Look, I’m not going to walk up to some guy on the street and say, “Do you have some kind of class action objection issue?” You start with people in your inner circle and expand outward. That’s how you start any business, including a law practice.

That’s one way of looking at it. I know a bunch of lawyers who have started independent shops as well, and I can’t think of any who have represented family members. They may have gotten early referrals from friends, but that’s about it.

And then the interview descends into “I’m not going to comment on that” over and over again as Mullin asks about the copyright cases, whether or not he’s intending to show up in Wright’s court, and even how he came to know John Steele.

Filed Under: , , ,
Companies: prenda, prenda law

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 “Paul Hansmeier: Those Class Action Cases Are About Correcting Injustice”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
G Thompson (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Absolute conflict of interest, highly unethical and full of bias.

You do not represent close family members unless absolutely egregiously necessary until at such time you can secure them other counsel that they agree too, and even then you should only act in an advisory capacity and not as counsel.

Same as representing close friends, its fraught with dangers not the least being that you could be called as a witness due to your friendship dependant on the case and if character is being brought into a case.

ltlw0lf (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Try reading the last paragraph: when I do, I get the feeling that a bit more got left out, it doesn’t read the same as the conclusion to any other article here on Techdirt.

I believe the last paragraph was more of a P.S. then anything else. The original Ars Technica interview ended as abruptly, as Mullen kept asking the pointed questions Hansmeier had no intention of answering.

Coen Bosun says:

yes, but is there data behind it?

I know a bunch of lawyers who have started independent shops as well, and I can’t think of any who have represented family members.

I’m sure that’s true. But does that have anything to do with whether any of your bunch of lawyers have represented family members? It seems unlikely that your bunch of lawyers routinely give you a list of their representees, or do you make a habit of asking them about their families and the history of their legal practice? Otherwise you’re just offering opinion wrapped up in rhetoric dressed up as data.

G Thompson (profile) says:

Hmmmm so to fight a perceived injustice in class action lawsuits for a not so hypothetical example it seems based on the legal jurisprudence and ethics of Paul Hansmeier you should just use another form of injustice like extortion, harassment, and duress instead.

How awesome is that hey?

It seems in Paul’s mind two injustices must make a right.. He’s only thinking about the charities no less!

G Thompson (profile) says:

These PDF’s found whilst laughing at the comments directed at Paul (and other prenda idiots) in the ARS article are PURE GOLD!

A good old fashioned Bench slappin flyer [pdf] – Print out, amuse your friends, invite everyone

The troll map of who’s doing what to whom – if you’re not confused you haven’t been paying attention.

all credit goes to John Henry Lawyer Esq. a legend—wait for it —dary gentleman

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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 »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

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