Minnesota Lawyers Board Asks State Supreme Court To Smack Paul Hansmeier Around A Bit
from the please-do dept
Grifters just keep grifting. Paul Hansmeier, former copyright troll and more recent ADA troll, is being referred to the Supreme Court of Minnesota for discipline. Last seen trying to weasel his way into bankruptcy to avoid several judgments against him, Hansmeier has had his law license suspended and is facing the possibility of more than a decade in prison.
Now there’s this, which asks how much schadenfreude can one person possibly provide?
The board that disciplines lawyers in Minnesota filed a complaint Tuesday in the Minnesota Supreme Court against Paul Hansmeier, alleging that he had tried to defraud the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Minnesota by hiding or misrepresenting his assets.
Hansmeier has 20 days to respond to the complaint.
The state Supreme Court is already familiar with Hansmeier’s, um… work, having said this about him in 2016 when indefinitely suspending his bar license.
Hansmeier committed misconduct in the first matter by bringing a lawsuit for the sole purpose of conducting discovery to find the identity of others against whom claims could be made, making misrepresentations to the tribunal, filing articles of termination for a corporation that contained false statements. failing to comply with discovery requests, failing to pay attorney fees assessed against him, and transferring funds out of his law firm in order to avoid paying sanctions. In a second matter. Hansmeier committed misconduct by participating in the initiation of a lawsuit without a basis in law and fact, making false and misleading statements to the court, failing to pay attorney fees assessed against him by the court. and submitting to the court a financial statement that was false, misleading, and deceptive. In a third matter, Hansmeier committed misconduct by bringing a frivolous action for an improper purpose. And in a fourth matter. Hansmeier committed misconduct by testifying falsely during a deposition, bringing a frivolous claim, and perpetrating a fraud upon the court.
The petition [PDF] is a little longer and delves into Hansmeier’s seedy history, starting with his years with Prenda, which is summed up pretty nicely by Minnesota’s Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility.
Before respondent was suspended, respondent, with other lawyers, purportedly on behalf of various entities that held the copyrights to various adult films, instituted hundreds of litigations in state and federal courts throughout the country alleging either copyright infringements via improper downloading of the films over the Internet or wrongful interception or hacking of usernames and passwords to gain access to the purported clients’ websites.
Respondent was sanctioned in many of these matters.
Those sanctions were levied in four different lawsuits, racking up nearly $500,000 in fines and fees Hansmeier was supposed to pay. Rather than do that, Hansmeier tried to drum up a belated legal defense fund by engaging in ever more mass litigation, wielding the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) as a tool of extortion against a number of small Minnesota businesses — a business model of his that’s now being investigated by the FBI.
To dodge the sanctions, Hansmeier filed bankruptcy. This was as deceitful as any other litigation he’s been involved in. Hansmeier shuffled assets around to keep them from creditors, sold his home without the bankruptcy court’s permission, and failed to update the court when his cost of living expenses decreased dramatically.
The OLPR is asking for more fees to be assessed against Hansmeier, as well as possible disbarment. Hopefully, someone will inform the inmates he’ll be rooming with that he’s not a font of coherent legal strategy, despite his many years as a practicing lawyer.