Team Prenda Ordered To Pay Yet Another $64k In Yet Another Case
from the it's-adding-up dept
The bill for Team Prenda to pay out to opposing attorneys keeps getting bigger. Over in Minnesota in Guava LLC v. Merkel, a case that had fallen off the radar for many, the judge has ordered Guava, local lawyer Michael Dugas and Paul Hansmeier’s Alpha Law Firm to cough up $63,367.02 in attorneys’ fees. If you don’t recall, Spencer Merkel, the defendant in this case dropped quite a bombshell in this case back in January, in which he revealed that he had agreed to take a dive for Prenda. As his declaration noted:
Michael offered me a settlement deal. The deal consisted of the following parts:
a. I would agree to be sued.
b. Prenda would ask for, and I would provide, a copy of the bit-torrent log from my computer. The excuse for gathering this log is that it would corroborate the IP address evidence that they had already gathered through the use of Prenda’s sottware.
c. Prenda would, upon receipt of the information, dismiss the case against me.
4. In discussion of the settlement, Michael stated that he did not know of any pro bono attorneys in Oregon, but could provide the name of an attorney who might take my case in Minnesota. Because I cannot afford to pay an attorney, I agreed to be sued in the state of Minnesota. I then retained my attorney, Trina Morrison, based on the information provided to me by Prenda Law.
In that same filing, he also notes that while he was making this deal all of the communication was from “Prenda” law, and he was surprised when it was Hansmeier’s Alpha Law Firm that actually sued.
It would appear that the judge in this case, Tanya Bransford, has a pretty good understanding of the scam being pulled as well, because she also says anyone associated with these firms are no longer allowed to file these kinds of cases without first posting a $10,000 bond:
Plaintiff Guava LLC, Michael K. Dugas, Esq., Alpha Law Firm LLC and any of their agents, officers, directors, employees, representatives, affiliates, and successors, are hereby enjoined from filing any future civil action against the John Does or the ISPs, without first posting a bond with the Court in the amount of $10,000, or such other amount as the Court deems appropriate, and without first obtaining a certificate of authority from the Minnesota Secretary of State.
This is just the basic order in the case, though a full explanation is forthcoming. I imagine it will be a worthwhile read.