Prenda Law Showdown Happening Monday: Judge Orders Everyone To Show Up In Court

from the get-yourself-some-popcorn dept

Okay... so I was just putting the finishing touches on a blog post about the latest filings from Prenda's Brett Gibbs and his opponent in a series of cases, Morgan Pietz, ahead of the planned hearing on Monday concerning various Prenda Law cases. As in the past, it was full of more attempts by Gibbs/Prenda to tapdance, with more evidence presented by Pietz that Prenda is up to no good (understatement of the year).

And... just as I was getting set to post it, I discover that Judge Otis Wright has had enough of the tap dancing, and has ordered just about everyone to show up in court on Monday for the hearing. And I do mean just about everyone.

John Steele? Yes. Mark Lutz? You bet. Alan Cooper? Oh yeah -- in fact, the judge ordered both Alan Coopers (the one claiming his identity was used by Steele and the one who supposedly "ran" AF Holdings) to show up, to see if there really are two of them. Paul Duffy? Yes. Paul Hansmeier. Yup. Of all the "players" from the latest filings, the only one missing may be "Allan Mooney" or "Alan Mony" or "Alan Moony" depending on which filing you're looking at (more on that below).
Sometimes it's difficult to actually get a sense of "tone" when you see some text, and that's doubly true of a court filing from a judge. But... this time, you get the feeling that Judge Otis Wright is not happy about all of this.

I expect that there will now be a flurry of filings with excuses and attempts to get out of appearing. I don't think that's going to work.

And... because I hate to let a perfectly good post go to waste, below is what I had originally written, but which has now been pushed down by this bit of breaking news. Consider everything below some additional background info for the main event coming Monday.
Brett Gibbs, who both is and is not a lawyer working for Prenda Law (depending on which time you ask him), continues his tap dance routine as we get closer to the expected showdown in Judge Otis Wright's courtroom on March 11th, in which sanctions against Gibbs, including the possibility of jail time, will be considered. The latest filing from Gibbs (filed by some lawyers he has hired to help him out), basically attacks nearly every statement in the declaration filed by the opposing lawyer, Morgan Pietz. It's really quite a work of art. First, he tries to get various declarations concerning evidence that Prenda sought to have AT&T identify IP address holders after Judge Wright had already ordered that such discovery stop. Gibbs claims that these declarations are "untimely." Then, pretty much every single statement from Pietz is challenged with a rotating list of claims, including: irrelevant, lacks foundation and/or personal knowledge, hearsay, improper characterization of evidence, assumes facts not in evidence, speculation and argumentative. Basically, nearly every single point that Pietz raises to show improper or questionable conduct by Gibbs and or Prenda should be ignored based on this filing. Given that Judge Wright hasn't exactly been swayed by Gibbs' arguments over the last month or so, I find it unlikely that he's going to be swayed by all of this tap dancing.

Oh, and still no indication of who Alan Cooper is.

However, in the same case, Pietz has also filed another document presenting evidence that suggests that Alan Cooper may not be the only name that was "faked" as a part of all of these lawsuits:
First, there was Alan Cooper. Mr. Gibbs has no real explanation for the Alan Cooper situation, other than to disclaim responsibility and deflect blame for the apparent fraud, etc., to his supposed “supervising” attorneys at Prenda Law, Inc. Unfortunately for Mr. Gibbs, it is his name on the pleadings and "counsel can no longer avoid the sting of Rule 11 sanctions by operating under the guise of a pure heart and empty head." Smith v. Ricks, 31 F.3d 1478, 1488 (9th Cir. 1994). Hopefully, Mr. Cooper himself can address theses issues at the March 11 hearing.

Now, there is also "Allan Mooney" a/k/a "Alan Mooney" a/k/a "Alan Mony." Newly discovered facts suggest that Alan Cooper may not be the only person who has had his identity misappropriated by Prenda in connection with its shell companies. Although some details are still hazy, suffice it to say that undersigned counsel (and many others) would very much like to question the real "Allan Mooney" on the record, under oath. Similarly, there is widespread interest in a subpoena to obtain testimony and records from the Minnesota bank that employs the notary who supposedly notarized Mr. Mooney's signature on legal pleadings filed in other jurisdictions. Then, of course, there is also Anthony "Salt Marsh" Saltmarsh. In short, "Alan Cooper" was not a mistake; there appears to be a pattern.
Furthermore, Pietz points out, the "rotating case" of characters that Prenda uses, seems to involve constantly switching roles so they can't be pinned down.
Another pattern with Prenda is that all of the persons involved constantly change hats; who is acting in what capacity seems to fluctuate to suit whatever the instant legal predicament happens to be. Inconsistencies include:

  • Mr. Gibbs is counsel of record for AF Holdings, LLC (e.g., C.D. Cal. No. 2:12-cv-5709, ECF No. 1) (7/2/12); Mr. Gibbs is "in house counsel" for AF Holdings (N.D. Cal. No. 3:12-cv-4221, ECF No. 22, p. 2) (1/30/13)3; Mr. Gibbs is not in house counsel to AF Holdings, and has never been anything other than AF Holdings’ "independent contract attorney" (ECF No. 49, p. 3) (2/19/13).
  • John Steele is "of counsel" to Prenda (Exhibit D) (4/20/12); John Steele is "not an attorney with any law firm" when questioned by Judge Scriven (Exhibit N, p. 135)(11/27/12); John Steele is back to being "of counsel" to Prenda in the St. Clair County Guava case (Supp'l. Dec. 15 (ECF No. 53)) (2/13/13).
  • AF Holdings copyright assignment is executed by Alan Cooper (e.g., C.D. Cal. No. 2:12-cv-5709, ECF No. 1) (12/20/2011); "Salt Marsh" is the "AF Holdings Owner" (Exhibit R) (7/20/12); AF Holdings is owned by a mystery trust, and never had any other members or employees other than its manager Mark Lutz (ECF No. 52, p. 28) (2/19/13, 11:00 a.m.); AF Holdings is owned by Livewire Holdings, LLC (ECF No. 49, fn. 1) (2/19/13, 6:00 p.m.).
  • Guava, LLC files a petition supposedly verified by client "Alan Mony" (ECF No. 51-1) (11/20/12); Prenda confirms "Alan Mony" is the client's name (Exhibit FF, p. 5) (2/12/13); Prenda files new verification, now spelling the purported client's name as "Alan Mooney" (Exhibit GG) (2/21/13); however, the real name of the "client" (who may or may not have agreed to lend his name to Prenda's efforts) is probably "Allan Mooney" (ECF No. 52, pp. 15–16).
  • Pietz has even spent the time to put together a graphic in which he tries to map out the various characters at play here.
    Given all of this, it seems likely that Judge Wright isn't going to simply agree that everything Pietz has to say is "irrelevant" and "lacks foundation." At some point, Gibbs, or someone else from Prenda is actually going to have to produce Alan Cooper and/or possibly Allan/Alan Mooney/Mony/Moony/etc. Watching Prenda's lawyers continue to try to tap dance their way out of this is really quite an astounding thing.

    Filed Under: alan cooper, brett gibbs, john steele, mark lutz, morgan pietz, otis wright, paul duffy, paul hansmeier, prenda, prenda law
    Companies: prenda, prenda law

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    1. identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Mar 2013 @ 7:04am


      Ha! Hilarious.

      And by the way, the mysterious Mr. Salt Marsh may or may not be also known as Peat Bog, 'Sneaky Pete' Bogg, Peete Bogge, and/or Alan Money.

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