Magistrate Judge: Neither Ray Beckermann Nor The RIAA Vexatious

from the now-stop-name-calling dept

Remember last year when the RIAA sought to have lawyer Ray Beckermann declared a vexatious litigant and asked for sanctions? Well, a magistrate judge has now said that the RIAA's complaints were "largely overstated" (shocking, I know) and that Beckermann should not face any sanctions:
"Although defendant's counsel took an unusually aggressive stance and, at times, veered into hyperbole and gratuitous attacks on the recording industry as a whole, I do not find clear evidence of bad faith on counsel's part."
Beckermann had filed a similar complaint in response, claiming that the RIAA was vexatious, but the judge ruled against that one as well (again, I'd say reasonably). All in all, this looks like sour grapes on the part of the RIAA who wasn't used to any lawyers actually challenging its lawyers on its overly aggressive legal campaign. As the article notes, the federal judge overseeing the case could still rule otherwise, but on the whole, it seems like this little distracting tangent may be over.
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Filed Under: ray beckermann, vexatious litigant
Companies: riaa


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  • icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), 12 Oct 2009 @ 5:56pm

    Interesting...

    Can vexatious sanctions be placed on parties in litigation, or only their lawyers? From what I'm reading, I think it's a lawyers only thing.

    Because if parties can be included, it would make not settling frivolous cases that much more important in order to establish a pattern of vexatious lawsuits.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    ..., 12 Oct 2009 @ 6:22pm

    Vexatious Litigation

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Oct 2009 @ 9:52pm

    just because i had to look it up....

    vex·a·tious (v k-s sh s). adj. 1. Causing or creating vexation; annoying. 2. Full of annoyance or distress; harassed. 3. Intended to vex or annoy.

    vexatious litigation - litigation shown to have been instituted maliciously and without probable cause; "he got an injunction against vexatious litigation by his enemies"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Doctor Strange, 13 Oct 2009 @ 12:58am

    What's amazing is that in years of litigation, neither side managed to answer the most basic factual question in this case:

    MediaSentry caught somebody with the username "jrlindor@kazaa" sharing at least 11 copyrighted files on Kazaa from Marie Lindor's Internet connection. Who was it?

    The RIAA attorneys and their expert managed to bungle so many aspects of this case that they got spanked both in a court of law AND the court of public opinion. This, despite the fact that they probably had the facts on their side (not against Ms. Lindor personally, but probably against some relative of hers who brought a computer into her house and borrowed her Internet connection). They truly snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

    In the process, they managed to waste a lot of time and money ham-fistedly harassing the wrong person, destroying their own reputation and making opposing counsel into an Internet folk-hero at the same time. You know what they say about incompetence and malice? I know everyone says "RIAA? Must be malice!" but with those kind of results, I gotta go incompetence.

    I think this sort of exposes an interesting bug in the adversarial legal system: if the Plaintiff is incapable of getting to the factual bottom of a situation, and the facts don't favor the Defendant, there is nobody else whose job it is to try to reveal those facts. The truth, as it were, has no representation.

    Had the truth come out, this would have been a relatively straightforward case. But it didn't, and we are all poorer for it...except perhaps "jrlindor" who escaped a few thousand dollars in settlement costs for the low price of countless man-hours, probably hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal costs, and (I imagine) months or years of heartache for Ms. Lindor.

    Was it really worth it?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Lawrence D'Oliveiro, 13 Oct 2009 @ 3:10am

      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

      Doctor Strange loved:

      I think this sort of exposes an interesting bug in the adversarial legal system: if the Plaintiff is incapable of getting to the factual bottom of a situation, and the facts don't favor the Defendant, there is nobody else whose job it is to try to reveal those facts. The truth, as it were, has no representation.

      How do you solve that? Suppose it’s also the job of the Judge to investigate the truth. So now what happens if the Plaintiff is incapable of getting to the factual bottom of a situation, and the Defendant doesn’t do so, and the Judge is also incapable of getting to the factual bottom of the situation? The truth ends up with no representation.

      So now what if you bring in investigative journalism as a backstop? But then what what happens if the Plaintiff is incapable of getting to the factual bottom of a situation, and the Defendant doesn’t do so, and the Judge is also incapable of getting to the factual bottom of the situation, and the investigative Journalist also turns out to be incapable of getting to the factual bottom of the situation? You still end up with the truth having no representation.

      If someone isn’t doing their job, bringing in someone else to do their job for them isn’t likely to be of much help.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      ..., 13 Oct 2009 @ 5:07am

      Re:

      You're not biased at all, are you?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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