Team Prenda May Be In Even More Trouble In Reopened Case

from the and-out-come-the-tricks dept

It would appear that more and more courts are coming to the full realization of the kinds of tricks it appears Team Prenda has been pulling over the past few years, and that means that the troubles for Team Prenda may be quickly adding up. The latest is that an old AF Holdings case in Minnesota, which had been voluntarily dismissed all the way back in October, was magically reopened back in June, as we discussed at the time. One of the interesting things we noted, was that the magistrate judge handling the case, Franklin Noel, demanded info on any settlements that Team Prenda received.

We hadn’t checked in since then, but Team Prenda has been scrambling since then — and a hearing is happening today — on the matter. The local attorney who had handled the original case, Michael Dugas, tried to get out of it, and hand the case over to Paul Hansmeier, with Dugas claiming that he “no longer represents” AF Holdings, but Noel wasn’t going to hear that. After all, he’s investigating possible fraud from the time when Dugas was on the case. So, Noel sent a simple shut up and show up response to Dugas denying his request with no explanation very quickly.

Paul Duffy also raised various objections and then tried to delay the hearing — but Noel more or less rejected that, pointing out that Duffy in his various roles seems confused about what’s going on here and what role he’s supposed to be playing. That is, Duffy raised objections “pro se” — basically as an individual representing himself — but Noel points out that Duffy isn’t actually a party to the lawsuit, Prenda Law is, and a company can’t represent itself pro se. Here’s Noel:

Paul Duffy filed a pro se objection to the order scheduling the case-management conferences. But the Court did not order Duffy to appear. Although Duffy purports to be “the sole principle [sic] of Prenda Law, Inc.,” he has not entered an appearance on behalf of the corporation. A corporation cannot appear pro se; it must be represented by counsel…. Duffy is an attorney, but he has not been admitted to practice before this Court. He has not sought to be admitted pro hac vice or by special permission of the court…

Given all this, he completely dumps Duffy’s pro se objections, striking them from the record, orders Duffy to show up anyway (by phone) as a representative of Prenda, and (of course) denies the attempt to postpone things.

And, finally, on Friday, Paul Hansmeier sent a letter rather than a formal filing to Judge Noel (officially coming from Hansmeier’s sketchy class action lawsuit objection operation, “Class Justice”), flat-out whining about a letter that another lawyer had sent to the judge, highlighting many of Team Prenda’s more questionable activities. There’s a funny part in which Hansmeier — who Judge Wright and others have clearly noted were part of the Team Prenda efforts — complains that “Prenda” is entirely different and it’s unfair to lump them together.

However, he does note that (as per the original order), the judge has been given all of the settlement communications between the various John Does — and even suggests that the court should unseal them to show that the “‘shakedown’ narrative is a canard.” And says that other courts “would benefit from learning how disingenuous the ‘shakedown’ narrative truly is.” Of course, he doesn’t mention anything about Alan Cooper or who actually signed the documents. And since that’s a big part of this…. Either way, we’ll see if Judge Noel agrees with Hansmeier soon — but his actions to date certainly suggest that he’s seen enough to recognize that something very, very questionable happened via his court.

Filed Under: , , , , ,
Companies: af holdings, 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 “Team Prenda May Be In Even More Trouble In Reopened Case”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Anonymous Coward says:

when you consider that Prenda are in this position because of what they tried to do and because of what the various courts allowed them to try to do, it isn’t just Prenda that should be under the spotlight. too many judges were too happy to let Prenda and other law firms that brought suits on behalf of certain porn industry companies get away with blanket waving through of rulings. there was virtually no thought that those accused may have been innocent, may have been intimidated or anything else. it was simply a case of ‘you are accused of doing so-and-so and therefore you are guilty!’ no one even bothered to check any of the charges against any of the accused. it was guilt by accusation, end of story!! what sort of legal system is that?

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re:

The law allowed this to happen.
The Judges are guilty of assuming a lawyer wouldn’t lie to them, officer of the court and such, and deserved more belief than random person off the street.

Sorta like how courts will believe police officers over other eyewitnesses.

The law is flawed, but the flaw runs into society itself. We assume because we made a law/rule/etc. that the problem is solved and no longer should be considered.

Anonymous Coward says:

This is why the internet is such a danger to people like this, because their activities rely on obfuscation and keeping one hand from knowing what the other is doing.

As more and more people look into these activities and compare notes and correlate discrepancies, it becomes harder and harder to maintain the various decpetions.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: What does this mean?

Prenda: ‘Here’s the names, here’s now much they paid us to settle out of court.’
Judge: ‘That’s nice and all, but I’m more interested in details, such as the settlement letters you sent them, the evidence you presented to persuade them to settle, and the terms of the settlements.’
Prenda: ‘I’m afraid details like that are covered by NDA’s that are part of each settlement order, and we cannot provide them to you.’
Judge: ‘Oh, but I insist…’
(And cue panicked Prenda)

JustMe (profile) says:

Any update from the hearing yesterday?

I *need* my Team Prenda fix this morning. Their antics are like a drug, a sweet sweet drug.

Also, A/C, In no way, shape or form do I see any trace of ‘competence’ in their actions over the past few years. What you ascribe to incompetence is more likely hubris; they thought that they were smarter than everyone else so why not keep the scams going? Of course, it begs the question as to why Duffy is starting the same game under a new name. I think that Duffy got used to the dirty money. It was a drug to him. A sweet sweet drug.

Anon E. Mous (profile) says:

The Prenda gang are simply trying their favorite tactics of Delay, Delay, Delay and then making the ususal noise that this doesn’t belong, this should be tossed out, this has no bearing etc etc etc .

Duffy I have to laugh at, he doesn’t even want to go on the record officially as a Prenda rep, so he tries to appear Pro se.

Hansmeier is no better, consider Hansmeier and Steele have been running around claiming to no nothing here goes Hansmeier sticking his nose into a Prenda case and under the name they are using for the other shakedown business they have going.

The Prenda gang has trouble on so many fronts it isn’t even funny, they have to keep changing law firm names because the stench coming from them is so well known they cant get far with them.

This is I believe is the 4th or 5th creation by now. The Prenda gang isn’t going to be able to escape the IRS criminal Division nor a Grand Jury looking into RICO.

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...