Ex-Prenda Lawyer Brett Gibbs Pleads Poverty To Judge Wright

from the like-the-folks-you-shook-down? dept

While Brett Gibbs has “parted ways” with Prenda and its copyright trolling, from all appearances he was an instrumental part of many of its efforts. Of course, the three main players, John Steele, Paul Hansmeier and Paul Duffy, were quick to throw Gibbs under a bus in Judge Wright’s courtroom after Gibb’s repeatedly told courts that he was little more than a puppet for Steele and Hansmeier. In Judge Wright’s order, however, he lumped Gibbs in with Steele, Hansmeier and Duffy as being jointly and severally liable for the amount owed.

While Judge Wright’s most recent order told Gibbs to officially withdraw from the cases, it doesn’t mean that Gibbs has been let off the hook for payment. In response, it appears that Gibbs is basically begging Judge Wright for mercy, highlighting that he’s completely broke and has expensive medical bills due to his brain cancer. It is a sob story, and you do feel bad for the guy… but then you remember some of his actions during the course of all of these cases, including more than a few absolutely ridiculous claims and tactics in this case and in how he dealt with opposing counsel. And, of course, there’s the fact that he was involved in an operation that is being widely accused (by a federal court judge, among others) of perpetrating a massive shakedown scheme, threatening people with a lawsuit for gay porn if they don’t pay up.

Yes, it’s sad that Gibbs got brain cancer. I don’t wish that on anyone. And it’s sad that he’s got less than $500 in his bank account and over $50,000 in debts. But, perhaps he should have thought of all of that before getting involved in a scheme that threatens thousands of people with highly questionable lawsuits if they don’t pay up. Still, the main targets of Judge Wright’s focus are clearly Steele, Hansmeier, and Duffy, so it’ll be interesting to see if he agrees to let Gibbs off the hook in some manner.

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Companies: prenda, prenda law

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Comments on “Ex-Prenda Lawyer Brett Gibbs Pleads Poverty To Judge Wright”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Not over yet. Steele, Hansmeier, and Duffy need to feel the wrath of karma. Hopefully helped on it’s way with some payback is a bitch.

ACS:Law / 21st September 2010 / Payback is a Bitch

Steele, Hansmeier,Duffy / ??????? / Payback is a Bitch

It’s time for the victims of these copyright trolls to get together and push for payback.

Josh in CharlotteNC (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I’ve been trying to come up with something that doesn’t make me look like an insensitive jerk, but am utterly failing.

(Here’s proof that you have to be brain damaged to agree with Prenda.) Argh. That’s just as bad.

Actually, now that I think of it, and remember Mr. Nazaire, is there something to be said for Prenda (Steele, Hansmeier, Duffy) intentionally hiring local lawyers that are easy scapegoats when something goes bad?

Loki says:

Re: Re: Re:

I don’t have the least bit of sympathy, or feel the least bit of insensitivity for not caring about his current situation.

How many of the people these clowns extorted/blackmailed money from were broke or had serious medical problems or financial burdens and paid up despite not being able to afford to? He didn’t think about, or care, about any of them, so why should any of us care about the fact he is now in the same boat.

Mainly, though, I have no sympathy because after all the lies and BS he has peddled, I don’t believe for a minute he’s actually broke. Let the IRS do an audit and come back and say he’s really broke, then I might believe him.

And if it turns out he is, indeed broke, then on top of everything else, he’s a dumbass for letting his “partners” screw him out of a decent share of their spoils.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

He never should have signed on for a percentage of “net profits”…..

You would think being a lawyer (and not just some famous movie star) he would have had a little better understanding of how things were going to play out… Meaning his ‘firm’ was never going to show any profit from these efforts, all the funds will be in some offshore shell companies.

Consumers pay $1,000,000 in ‘settlements’
Prenda – charges $2,000,000 in processing and handling fees
Shell companies – pocket $1,000,000 in cash and $2,000,000 in processing and handling fees.

I know it doesn’t make any sense… IP math is HARD

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

This is not the first time, and won’t be the last time, he has trotted out the ever popular but I have brain cancer refrain.

I’ll repeat what I said on popehat about it…

Its a shame that Gibbs scrubbed the web of his blog about his cancer.
The Wayback Machine shows it vanished end or 2011 start of 2012.

I know that we are supposed to have sympathy for people suffering from a disease, but when they trot it out like a trick pony over and over and over to deflect the heat? yeah no.

But but but gays!
But but but hackers!
But but but mean emails!
But but but I have bills!
But but but cancer!

But but but fraud!
But but but you represented yourself as much more important at Prenda previously!
But but but your umpteenth play for sympathy makes me ill.

Your life is so hard.
Did you ever consider if anyone you accepted settlements from had medical bills or a disease?
Did you ever consider that you might have pushed them to decide between paying you off or medicine, rent, food?
And yet now you expect better treatment than you gave to others?

I anticipate people might be upset with me for appearing to be a heartless bastard.
Please read this post ?

Then understand this was NOT the first, second, third, fourth, or fifth time I found myself in that situation. That there is much more I did in the darker corners of the web? that talking people off the very real ledge takes a toll on any empathy I can feel for anyone connected to copyright trolling.

People don’t like to think about it, but consider the astronomical odds against there having not been a single tragedy caused/helped/pushed by their actions.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

‘Heartless’? I’d say not at all, this is after all a guy who has helped out and participated in the extortion of countless people, and I’m sure at least a few few of them had medical and/or financial problems that made his look inconsequential, yet they still got hit with a ‘pay us or get sued and pay even more’, consequences be damned.

Or put more simply: Extortionists don’t get the play the victim card.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Considering she was the woman who was outright bragging about the extortion racket her husband was/is involved in, I can’t say I’d feel too bad if she was indeed involved to some extent, even if it was just enough to make her sweat and wonder if she was going to face the justice system in the position of defendant; maybe that would give her a little empathy for the people her ‘dear’ husband has been shaking down.

out_of_the_blue says:

I need at least three sworn MD opinions before believing.

And independent audit of his finances, including how much insurance pays. My bet is Gibbs took care to hide assets when this extortion was clearly going awry, as did the others.

Too harsh? Well, justice isn’t about emotion, and remember, this is a LAWYER, who, had he put this over, would right now be rolling in unearned money.

Pragmatic says:

Re: Re: I need at least three sworn MD opinions before believing.

No, it’s not Blue 1 (the commies are coming!11!eleventyone!11), or Blue 2 (the thieving rich are robbing us blind, so lay off copyright, why don’t ya?!). With no identifiers (their usual themes/catchphrases) in place, I’d say it’s a random troll trolling them more than us.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: don't forget

“As for his health, Brett’s condition is stable (i.e. good), and is looking forward to hanging with all of his friends down in Grenada.”

FWIW, one can be in “stable (i.e. good)” condition with cancer, and still have a huge amount of medical expenses — including ongoing drug regimen and regular expensive checkups.

So, I don’t think that statement disproves anything in the filing.

DieTrollDie (profile) says:

Trust But Verify

Gibbs knows what he has to do before Judge Wright will even think of letting him off the hook. Yes, Brett, you are going to have to walk your sad little butt into the AUSA’s office and spill your guts on the whole operation. You brought upon yourself and know it it time to take your knocks. Care to lessen it (not be pardoned), then start talking. If you don’t, I feel nothing for your suffering – you earned it. I do regret your actions will affect your family, but you have the power to change that.


Internet Zen Master (profile) says:

If actually has Brain cancer

As somemone who’s lost a close family friend to brain cancer, I’d be more than willing to let him off the hook. Provided he tells us everything he knows about the inner workings of Prenda Law (even as the fall guy, i doubt that they kept him completely in the dark.

$500 in his account and $50,000 in debt? Yeah, that sounds pretty accurate for a patient with brain cancer. Those brain-cancer treatments are mind-blowingly expensive, and a lot of them are still experimental.

Even if he’s involved in a den of scam artists like Prenda “Law”, nobody should have to suffer something as crippling as brain cancer.

Side-note: Can anybody find out know where the tumor is located on Brett’s brain?

Anonymous Coward says:

Someone please take screenshots of all his admissions on that Caribbean wedding website. You just know he’s going to yank it off the internet.

“Your honor, I can’t pay the money! I’m sick! I’m poor!”

“If you are sick, why did you post that your condition is ‘stable (good)’ on your wedding page? If you are poor, then how did you afford a wedding in the Caribbean?”

*stammers* “um…. um… um… look over there! Gay marriage! Hackers!”

CTVic (profile) says:

That's rough

That’s a tough break, man. But you’d think that after putting yourself Fifty Grand in debt in pursuit of a legal education, you may have shown up to class on the days that the professors lectured on moral turpitude, fraud, RICO and settlement scams.

Glad I’m not in your shoes, Gibbs. Big debt and a tough financial situation really suck, but I think we just found a good motivation for engaging in shady legal practices.

Anon E. Mous (profile) says:

Sorry but as much as I fell Gibbs that he got over his battle with Cancer, I have to throw some serious side eye at his claims of poverty. Didn’t he just finish coming back from his Honeymoon?

Gibbs was a huge part of the Prenda Team, he hired the council in the Sunlust case and Gibbs in the case before Judge Wright is the one who asked to have Judge Wright removed from this case for “Bias”.

Gibbs was a long time partner of this scheme and I used the word “scheme” lightly.

Gibbs should have to pay his share of the order for costs. Gibbs could have walked a long time ago when he knew what was going on with Prenda and their litigation tactics, but he chose to stay till the very end.

Now Gibbs is supposedly not with Prenda anymore, but yet he still has e-mail addresses at Prenda related ended entities.

I don’t but that Gibbs is totally out of the Prenda machine. I am more than wary that most of Team Prenda lawyered up before Judge Wright’s hearing, and the Gibbs did as well.

For a broke guy Gibbs sure can afford someone to represent him. Another rpoint of contention was that when Mark Lutz was all of a sudden the master CEO of these holding companies, why was Brent Gibbs listed as their corporate lawyer AFTER order to show cause was brought down?

In one of the California cases, there was a request for Prenda or AF Holdings to put up a 45k bond, and Prenda complained to the court that it couldn’t afford that bond and would not put a bond up, Gibbs was the lawyer in that case complaining about the bond.

Sorry but I see Gibbs and everyone else with Team Prenda trying the poverty angle. Sorry Gibbs, your health may have been ravaged at one time by cancer, but you are and were more than just a hired gun in this little conspiracy, your place in these lawsuits goes quite deep and your were part of this for YEARS!!

Gibbs is not as innocent as he claims and he deserves his share of this order for the 81k. Gibbs was also and has been listed in the documents as the lawyer for the Class Action Settlement Objectors suits.

Gibbs was the lawyer in the Class Action Settlement Objector Suit letter that said for 30k we will drop our objection to this settlement.

That 30k letter in that case was the one that the Lawyer handling that settlement sent a letter back to Gibbs stating he was in violation of the rules and could be seen as what it was.

As a matter of fact that letter was filed with the court and Gibbs was the author of a response letter back to the lawyer handing the settlement, where he told the other lawyer he was being unprofessional and launched a little attack in it.

Sound familiar? That is the Prenda Modus Operandi. Gibbs is far from a victim in all this and his participation in the Class Action Settlement Objectors game shows that he has been more than a willing participant in the copyright lawsuits and the class action objectors suits.

Sorry Gibbs, better get that chequebook handy!

anonymouse says:

Re: Re:

I wonder if the rest come forward if Judge Write can call for all their assets to be frozen and for the FBI to investigate fraud. I seriously want to know where the millions they were bragging about making have gone and i am sure that there will be a trail for them to follow, i mean seriously the money has to be deposited into an account then transferred into another then another etc and surely there is no case of them having lost in in some way as they have not reported that or asked for help to get it back. SO in the end they are all guilty and all need to pay towards this fine and Gibbs is one of them, damn it is only around 15 thousand each so if he has 50thousand debt i am sure he could take out another loan on his house.

Anonymous Coward says:

even though he may not be the worst of the bunch, he was still quite prepared to take his cut from any monies made from this extortion racket that was being run. i also wouldn’t wish illness of any sort on to anyone, but he, like the others, didn’t give a flyin’ fuck for the circumstances of any of those being shaken just so as to fill their coffers. no sympathy i’m afraid and hopefully nor will the judge(s)

DannyB (profile) says:

Brett diagnosed with Brain Cancer July 10, 2009


After working as an attorney for 2 years, Brett was diagnosed with Brain Cancer on July 10, 2009. While a devasting set back, he fought through it with Shannon at his side, and, well… now they are getting married in Grenada in April of 2013. As for his health, Brett’s condition is stable (i.e. good), and is looking forward to hanging with all of his friends down in Grenada.

Violated (profile) says:

Real Gems

Prenda really are following the ACS:Law example these days.

Let is remember that ACS:Law in the UK was making a good ?1 million to ?2 million on speculative invoicing. Andrew Crossley the only lawyer involved, before his downfall, had just purchased a new car and was working on a deal to buy a new luxury house.

Most interesting is that only a few months later when he lost his Court case against suspect infringers, where Speculative Invoicing came to an end, and he was punished by the SDT, that he did declare bankruptcy. Riches to rags in a short space of time.

My point is that I am sure a wise Prenda would shift all their profit to offshore tax havens away from USA eyes and knowledge where they declare bankruptcy as the punishment come rolling in.

It is not so hard living a bankrupt life when you can just take a really long holiday to spend your millions in untraceable cash, bearer bonds, gold bars and gemstones.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Wedding site now password protected

Personally I’d like to see Wright order the website seized for proof. Hell, even the fact that he had a Caribbean wedding should be plenty damning enough. How the hell is someone in poverty capable of affording a Caribbean wedding? Donations?

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