Righthaven Loses Again; Has To Pay Legal Fees
from the that-business-model-is-looking-great dept
Righthaven's disastrous legal strategy keeps getting worse day by day. The latest is that in one of its many cases, the company didn't just have its case dismissed, but a judge has ordered it to pay legal fees (see attached ruling below). In this case, it appears that (among the many other problems Righthaven has faced lately) it failed to serve the defendants properly or in a timely manner with an amended complaint. Because of that, the court dismissed the complaint. While the defendant had originally defended himself, when the judge called a hearing to discuss whether or not the defendant was properly served, one of the defendants (Michael Leon) retained a lawyer (J. Malcolm DeVoy IV from the Randazza Legal Group) on a pro bono basis. Righthaven fought having to pay legal fees, claiming that it had been under the impression that any fees would go to charity (this is not clear, but I assume that point had been raised earlier), and saying that there shouldn't be any legal fees because the representation was pro bono. The court, however, didn't buy any of that and pointed out that you can still reward reasonable legal fees for pro bono representation and accepted DeVoy's submitted fees of $3,815.00, even though most of the time was spent working on the filings to get those same legal fees.
Righthaven's business model was already in trouble with questions over standing and its failure to declare who had monetary interest in the cases. However, if judges now flip the equation and start requiring the firm to pay legal fees as well, the business model might go from bad to downright costly.