Team Prenda Smacked Around Again, Ordered To Pay Another $94,000
from the punching-bags dept
It appears that the courts are now just piling on when it comes to Prenda Law. In the case of Lightspeed v. Anthony Smith, the court that was one of the first to call out team Prenda for “flat-out lies” and then blasted their weak attempt to plead poverty — leading, instead, to holding Team Prenda in contempt — has struck again. Having lost badly on appeal, the district court slammed the lawyers again, arguing that Team Prenda lied to the court and obstructed the discovery process concerning where they hid their money. It ordered sanctions of $65,263 and asked Smith’s lawyers at Booth Sweet to submit their costs to be added on to the total. Those costs came out to $94,343.51 — and Prenda lawyers John Steele and Paul Duffy complained that the number was unfair.
Not surprisingly, the court is not buying what Steele and Duffy are selling:
Steele objects to the submitted expenses…. Steele?s objections are not well taken. As is customary for Steele, his objections minimize his misconduct and distort the facts of the case. For the reasons discussed herein, the Court finds that all of the submitted expenses are reasonable and recoverable. The Court awards sanctions against Steele and Duffy in the amount of $94,343.51, apportioned equally between Steele and Duffy. The sanctions shall be paid on or before August 10, 2015.
Note that this filing came out on August 10th. So the judge, David Herndon, basically said pay up now.
This litigation has been entirely frivolous. Moreover, Lightspeed?s counsel?s falsehoods and obstructionist tactics have created significant costs for Smith. The Court agrees that the submitted expenses, costs and fees are eminently reasonable given the history of this litigation and the more than a year Smith spent defending against obstructionist tactics and engaging in extensive discovery to obtain proof of Duffy and Steele?s misconduct.
Of course, with more and more of these types of rulings piling up, it still raises questions as to how the lawyers of Team Prenda are still allowed to practice law — with both Steele and Paul Hansmeier having moved on to a very similar scam in shaking down small businesses over seemingly trivial ADA violations.