Two bits of Righthaven news here. Last week, we wrote about the company losing yet again
and being told to pay legal fees, yet again. We noted that the minutes from the court had mentioned that Righthaven's lawyer, Shawn Mangano, had been scolded by the judge. Well, now the full transcript of the hearing is out, and it's worth the read (embedded below). Basically, the whole hearing was totally unnecessary, and was in part due to Mangano's failure to file the necessary documents on time (over which he appears to be confused). Either way, the whole hearing was pointless, and it's pretty clear that the judge is fed up and upset that such a hearing had to even be held in the first place. It sounds like the only reason sanctions weren't issued against Mangano is that the judge is not a fan of sanctioning attorneys at all, but suggests he came close in this case:
Well, I quite frankly think, Mr. Mangano, that you could have handled this a lot better if you would have placed yourself in the position of somebody other than yourself by looking at it and seeing what hoops you were making opposing counsel jump through that are totally unnecessary.
I have an extraordinary dislike for assessing attorneys' fees against attorneys, and I am not going to assess them against you under 1927. But I can tell you right now that I am right on the cusp of doing that.
I think you could have been a lot more civil and a lot more understanding about this. And I don't like to impose sanctions against attorneys, because I think it lives with them for a long time.
What happens to your client is another matter, and I am really not concerned with that. But I am telling you right now, you've got more stuff to do in this Court, and you better start thinking in terms of civility if you don't want me to jump on you with both feet.
While Mangano may have personally dodged a bullet in Colorado, that doesn't mean he gets to avoid similar problems back in Nevada. There, the Randazza Legal Group (who was also involved in the case above, and many, many other Righthaven cases) has filed for direct sanctions against Mangano, in yet another Righthaven case, noting that Righthaven has lost on standing so many times, that it's vexatious litigation to move forward with another lawsuit:
The fact is that after Mr. Mangano and his client lost the exact same argument eight times, Mangano still persisted in forcing this defendant to litigate the same issue a ninth time. It is the Defendants' position that perhaps the first time that Mangano signed pleadings in direct contravention with the 9th Circuit’s holding in Silvers, it could have been a forgivable attempt. The same may have been true for the second and third times, with declining defensibility. When it came to being told eight times that he brought an unsupportable claim before the court, Mr. Mangano under a clear obligation to exercise some degree of client control; to refuse to bring the exact same arguments; or to dismiss a case with an inescapable outcome, such as this one, rather than to force a defendant to litigate the same exact issue a ninth time on grounds identical to the previous eight defeats. Forcing this issue nine times had no effect except to punitively impose litigation expenses on this Defendant. This Defendant deserves to be made whole for the expenses incurred due to that misconduct.
I would imagine that it can't be much fun to be a Righthaven lawyer at this point in time.