Deep Dive: Prenda Law Is Dead

from the no-one's-pining-for-the-fjords dept

Ken White blogs at Popehat. He's a litigator and criminal defense attorney at Brown White & Newhouse LLP in Los Angeles. His views are his alone, not those of his firm.

All of my coverage of Prenda Law is collected here.

Today the Prenda Law enterprise encountered an extinction-level event. Faced with a federal judge's demand that they explain their litigation conduct, Prenda Law's attorney principals -- and one paralegal -- invoked their right to remain silent under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution. As a matter of individual prudence, that may have been the right decision. But for the nationwide Prenda Law enterprise, under whatever name or guise or glamour, it spelled doom.

Hail, Hail, The Gang's All Here

The crowd gathered early outside of the courtroom of United States District Judge Otis D. Wright II. As before, the spectators included journalists, former Prenda defendants and their lawyers, law clerks and externs, interested citizens, and Electronic Frontier Foundation activists. The little crowd went awkward-party-foul silent when a team of lawyers and nervous- looking men in suits filed into the courtroom. Some of us glanced at the chart that attorney Morgan Pietz created to see if we could match faces. We soon saw that we could. Bets regarding who would show up in response to Judge Wright's Order to Show Cause were won and lost with some good-natured cursing.

A swarm of attorneys quickly checked in with the court clerk and took their places. On one side, attorneys Morgan Pietz and Nicholas Renallo looked calm. They had boxes of materials they wouldn't need, and notes they wouldn't have to consult. On the other side of the room, eight attorneys prepared to answer Judge Wright's questions, mostly for naught. In the gallery, Brett Gibbs -- unhappy witness at the last hearing before Judge Wright -- sat looking sallow and grim. Paul and Peter, the Hansmeier brothers, sat together, looking ridiculously young and out-of-place. Paul Hansmeier's face was beefy-red. John Steele looked conspicuously slick and immaculate in an impeccable suit, like a corporate executive in a bad Robocop sequel. Paul Duffy, Mark Lutz, and Angela Van Den Hemel stared straight ahead.

Not With A Whimper, But A Bang

At a few minutes past the hour the door to chambers slammed open and Judge Wright marched out and took the bench. Before he sat he strode back and forth once behind his chair, surveying the gallery and running his tongue over his teeth. Then he sat, and called the case. Attorneys announced their appearances -- Brett Gibbs, Paul Hansmeier, John Steele, Paul Duffy, Angela Van Den Hemel, and Prenda Law all had counsel, but Peter Hansmeier and Mark Lutz did not. When Paul Hansmeier's attorney announced Mr. Hansmeier was present, Judge Wright asked where he was. Paul Hansmeier stood. "Front row," ordered Judge Wright, stabbing a finger at the first row of benches behind Hansmeier's attorney. John Steele received the same treatment, and sat next to Hansmeier. One of the attorneys pointed out that Peter Hansmeier and Mark Lutz were present but not represented. "Welcome, sir," Judge Wright said to Peter Hansmeier, not entirely convincingly. "Is there an Alan Cooper -- any Alan Cooper present?" asked Judge Wright, referring to allegations that Prenda Law had stolen the identity of a Minnesota caretaker to serve as an officer of dummy clients. No such person was present.

Judge Wright wasted no time. He announced that he was "pleasantly surprised" that the people he had summoned had arrived. "It should be clear this court's focus has shifted dramatically from litigation of intellectual property rights to attorney misconduct -- such misconduct as brings discredit to the profession," he began sternly. "I have questions for those present -- including Mr. Steele. Mr. Steele can choose to answer those questions, or not."

Steele's attorney rose and said, in light of the "concerns" that Judge Wright had raised at the March 11 hearing, and "serious allegations" made by Judge Wright, Mr. Steele would be invoking his Fifth Amendment right to decline to answer questions. I expected a murmur in the courtroom, but there was a silence like after a thunderclap. "The word fraud was used," said Steele's lawyer. "It should have been," shot back Judge Wright. Steele's lawyer gamely continued, saying that Steele was also precluded from answering by the attorney-client privilege. "You think there is a difference between these clients and Mr. Steele?" demanded Judge Wright, referring to allegations that the Prenda Law plaintiffs were mere dummy entities concealing attorney interests in the cases. Steele's lawyer said there was a real difference, but Judge Wright was clearly unconvinced. He made it clear, though, that Steele didn't have to answer questions. "He doesn't have to answer if he thinks it may incriminate him," said Judge Wright. "I'm not saying that the answers would incriminate him," protested Steele's lawyer, thus muddying the question of whether his client was entitled to take the Fifth, "but you leave my client with no choice."

Judge Wright grew steadily and visibly more outraged. "I want to know if some of my conjecture is accurate -- and the only way to know is to have the principals here and ask them questions. This is an opportunity for them to protect themselves," he said. But Steele's lawyer confirmed his client would exercise his right to remain silent. Attorneys for Paul Hansmeier, Paul Duffy, and Angela Van Den Hemel confirmed their clients, too, would invoke their rights to remain silent. Judge Wright did not -- unless I missed it -- confirm whether Peter Hansmeier or Mark Lutz would answer questions.

An Opportunity To Be Heard

Heather Rosing, appearing for Paul Duffy, Angela Van Den Hemel, and Prenda Law, rose and asked Judge Wright for an opportunity to present "about a half hour" of argument on the points in his Order to Show Cause. Look: when you are a lawyer, representing a client, you have to stand up. You have to hold your ground even in the face of a furious federal judge. When a judge is yelling at you, however unsettling it is, you have to hold fast and remember you are there to represent the interests of your client against the terrible power of the court. Heather Rosing stood up, and has my admiration, whatever I think of her clients.

Judge Wright was uninterested in hearing legal argument, as opposed to testimony or evidence. "My clients have a right to a reasonable opportunity to be heard," Ms. Rosing protested. "Excuse me?" thundered Judge Wright, probably thinking -- not unreasonably -- that Ms. Rosing's clients could have filed briefs in advance to address any legal arguments they had, and that Ms. Rosing's clients have been evading questions for months. Judge Wright began to count off the questions he wanted answered. "I'm looking for facts," he said. He wanted to know who directs Prenda Law's litigation efforts, who makes its decisions, whether there is another Alan Cooper, and what happens with the money Prenda Law makes from settlements. Ms. Rosing answered (wisely, and properly) that she could not personally testify to those things. Why, Judge Wright demanded, did Prenda Law conceal its attorneys' financial interest in the cases? "There's no evidence that they have an interest," Ms. Rosing protested. "Excuse me?" Judge Wright boomed even louder. Were there windows, they would have rattled. "Have you read Paul Hansmeier's deposition?" he demanded, referring to the bizarre deposition in which Paul Hansmeier failed to explain Prenda Law's shadowy owners or flow of funds. "I have," Ms. Rosing said, but stood her ground.

Ms. Rosing suggested that she might file a brief addressing her arguments. "Do so," said Judge Wright acidly. "We're done," he said abruptly, and stormed off the bench. The whole hearing took about fifteen minutes.

Death Comes For Prenda Law

The significance of today's hearing cannot be overstated.

Yesterday I wrote about the tools Judge Wright had at his disposal to sanction or otherwise punish Prenda Law's principals. It appears to me he likely won't invoke his contempt power, but the other remedies -- his inherent sanctions power, and referrals to state bars and to the U.S. Attorney's Office for criminal investigation -- remain available. I expect a detailed written order.

By invoking their Fifth Amendment rights, Prenda Law principals John Steele, Paul Hansmeier, Paul Duffy, and paralegal Angela Van Den Hemel have avoided incriminating themselves. In light of the evidence adduced -- evidence that Prenda Law may have created sham entities to conceal its lawyers' interest in litigation, and may have misled courts across the country -- that was very likely the smart thing to do. I might have advised it myself if I were representing them. With respect to their individual exposure to potential criminal consequences, it stops things from getting worse, which is often an attorney's first task.

I'm a criminal defense attorney. I cherish and support the Fifth Amendment. Its invocation here was completely lawful. But its invocation will have catastrophic consequences for the Prenda Law enterprise, which cannot possibly continue. When they appeared today, John Steele, Paul Hansmeier, and Paul Duffy were not merely individuals facing the overwhelming power of the state. They were also officers of the court and, according to the testimony of Brett Gibbs, the very attorneys who directed nationwide litigation for the Prenda Law enterprise. Judge Wright ordered them to answer for the conduct of that enterprise in his court, as he had the right and power to do. Their invocation of their Fifth Amendment rights in the face of that order is utterly unprecedented in my experience as a lawyer. In effect, the responsible lawyers for a law firm conducting litigation before a court have refused to explain that litigation to the court on the grounds that doing so could expose them to criminal prosecution.

However well grounded in the individual rights of Steele, Hansmeier, and Duffy, the invocation eviscerates their credibility as lawyers and the credibility of Prenda Law as an enterprise in every court across the country. I expect that defense attorneys will file notice of if in every state and federal case Prenda Law has brought, through whatever guise or cutout. The message will be stark: the attorneys directing this litigation just took the Fifth rather than answer another judge's questions about their conduct in this litigation campaign. I expect federal and state judges across the country will take notice and begin their own inquiries. Moreover, Prenda's lawyers may face adverse consequences from the invocation in Alan Cooper's counterclaim against them. A defendant's exercise of the right to remain silent can't be used against him or her in a criminal case, but it often can in a civil case.

Some inquiries will come quite quickly. In the Northern District of California, where Prenda Law's Paul Duffy is fighting Morgan Pietz's demand for attorney fees in a case Prenda Law tried to dismiss, Paul Duffy has asked to appear by telephone, but Judge Edward Chen has rejected the request and ordered Duffy to appear in person on April 18, 2013. Duffy will once again have to decide whether to assert his Fifth Amendment rights. Moreover, he likely now has an irreconcilable conflict with his putative client. He may seek to withdraw before April 18.

The consequences for the individuals behind Prenda Law may arrive slowly -- particularly by the standards of Twitter and anxious blogs. But they will come -- and they may come from many directions at once.

Prenda Law may still be standing. But it's dead.


Reader Comments (rss)

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    out_of_the_blue, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 12:57pm

    BUT ARE THE STORIES OVER?

    Or is this silly drivel going to YET run on at Techdirt?

     

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    S. T. Stone, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 12:57pm

    And that, gentlemen, proves that you can kill a monster.

    You just need a pissed-off man in a robe with a small hammer to lead the charge.

    Seriously, may the Divine eternally bless Judge Wright.

     

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      Ben (profile), Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 1:19pm

      Re:

      Robe? Hammer? Otis Wright is THOR!!

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 2:25pm

      Re: AMEN!

      A heartfelt Thank You to Judge Wright from the Midwest Does! We prayerfully and respectfully ask for the other US States District Courts to follow the example of Judge Wright and call these people, Guardaley, pornographers, lawyers and their shell companies, to task for having jeopardized the integrity of the entire US Judicial System and terrorized hundreds of thousands of innocent US citizens with their "not_so_special_spin" on the speculative invoice scheme. Thanks to all the bloggers and their courage to stand up and fight and then encourage the other Doe's to follow along. We appreciate everybody's efforts in helping to protect America's John Doe's.

       

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      otakucode (profile), Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 6:37pm

      Re:

      If I were free of personal ethical concerns, why would I not start an agency which does exactly as Prenda Law has done today?

      Because they got yelled at? Millions of dollars can buy very good ear plugs and even quite effective therapy should the worry of being seen poorly in the public eye for 5 minutes (do you remember their names even now?) keep me up at night.

      Until there are monetary damages awarded which EXCEED the entire amount these guys gained from the venture (which will never happen), all this case does is establish a legitimate new business model. What is profitable is the only thing that matters to enough people that no other penalty can dissuade them.

       

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        nasch (profile), Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 7:18pm

        Re: Re:

        Don't forget, they could be disbarred as well. Then they would have to find a totally new career. That would be a pretty good deterrent against other attorneys, regardless of any monetary penalties.

         

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          That One Guy (profile), Apr 3rd, 2013 @ 12:25am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Disbarment without a massive monetary punishment isn't really that significant though. 'Oh no, I can no longer act as a lawyer, guess I'll just retire on the millions I made extorting people before I got shut down, woe is me...'

          I agree with otakucode, unless penalties meeting or exceeding the gains are put in place, there really isn't a real deterrent to this kind of abuse of the system, which guarantees that more and more Prenda clones will continue to pop up.

           

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 3rd, 2013 @ 10:48am

      Re:

      Problem is, they have a lot of cases that will proceed without reaching the courts. They have sent and have information to send how many pay up or else letters? People who may fear litigation are paying them and may not be aware of this victory. Also, without recourse against the individuals involved, Prenda may be dead, but the people will just start a new scam elsewhere.

       

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    Zos (profile), Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 12:58pm

    personally, i've still got blueballs until the indictments start getting handed down.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 12:58pm

    Pretty much what I expected to hear.

    Since taking the Fifth is more or less equivalent to admitting to criminality, at least in the world outside the courts.

     

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      Noah Callaway, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 1:14pm

      Re: Pretty much what I expected to hear.

      This really shouldn't be the case. Watch this video, and recognize that the fifth amendment protects the innocent in many scenarios if you are wise enough to invoke it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wXkI4t7nuc

       

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      Zakida Paul (profile), Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 1:15pm

      Re: Pretty much what I expected to hear.

      I take the Fifth on my chicken molestation charge.

       

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      Wally (profile), Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 1:59pm

      Re: Pretty much what I expected to hear.

      Just as a non-legalese example....Cookie Law 101: Jar breaking:
      Kids (Prenda Law) break a cookie jar trying to get more cookies (make more money form "something everyone else does")..and there is one instigator (John Steele) who told them where to find them, how they can get more cookies, and even drew out the plans to do so. The cookie jar breaks (like Prenda's case) and mama is is asking how this happened. At first, one kid, the instigator, blames his imaginary friend (Alan Cooper)and then gives threatening looks to the others, when mama (United States District Judge Otis D. Wright II...sorry Your Honor) ain't lookin', to play along so they can get more cookies at the end. The instigator then tells her that the neighbor kid (objectors on the court being bribed with money) saw what happened and could testify that the imaginary friend saw everything.
      15 minutes later one of the kids speaks out (the paralegal...Gibbs) that he did participate, but didn't want to do it and was told to do it by his older brother because he wanted more cookies too.

      There is nothing for these children to say that cannot get them into further trouble from lying to their mother, so they clam up and say nothing more as their mother decides what to do as punishment.

      So what am I trying to say? Every time Prenda (the children) opened their mouths, in stead of being honest about what was going on and giving United States District Judge Otis D. Wright II (their mother) a straight answer, they decided to clam up and say nothing.

      Basically, any child can tell you that lying to your mother as a group brings down harder consequences on the whole to everyone than admitting what you had done was wrong on an individual basis and tanking the heat as the instigator. You still get punished, but your dignity and integrity (though...admittedly, I believe Prenda had none since the beginning of this case) will still be intact Prenda took the former and as a result will cost people their actual livelihoods. Only disbarment can occur from this for all members, associates, paralegals, and subsidiaries of Prenda Law and, that is exactly what these 12 morons did in the court room of the Honorable United States District Judge Otis D. Wright II.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 2:26pm

      Re: Pretty much what I expected to hear.

      It is not admitting to criminal conduct, but they are admitting that they dislike the case a lot and that there is likely something worth investigating under criminal law coming out of this case!

      They have already started the frame of a defence claiming that the judge abhors them and copyright. I imagine that they will continue this defence of a vengeful dirtbag judge in the criminal cases that inevitable will pop up.

       

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        Wally (profile), Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 3:21pm

        Re: Re: Pretty much what I expected to hear.

        Pardon my French, but Prenda is still royally fucked because of the conduct they held in "Representing" AF Holdings. It unraveled and had they actually showed up on the original day they were supposed to, pleading the 5th would have saved them from further retribution. At this point, they have to be disbarred from every state. They have committed perjury and contempt in trying to represent themselves.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Apr 3rd, 2013 @ 2:43am

          Re: Re: Re: Pretty much what I expected to hear.

          Completely agree. Just guessing what the future will hold in terms of Prenda trying to bend reality.

           

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 1:10pm

    "I expect that defense attorneys will file notice of if in every state and federal case Prenda Law has brought"

    I believe that should be "of it", not "of if"

     

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    Wally (profile), Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 1:16pm

    Patsies

    "John Steele looked conspicuously slick and immaculate in an impeccable suit, like a corporate executive in a bad Robocop sequel."

    I am willing to bet this was initially all John Steele's doing and others (stupidly) followed thinking he was legitimate.

    ""The word fraud was used," said Steele's lawyer. "It should have been," shot back Judge Wright. Steele's lawyer gamely continued, saying that Steele was also precluded from answering by the attorney-client privilege. "You think there is a difference between these clients and Mr. Steele?" demanded Judge Wright, referring to allegations that the Prenda Law plaintiffs were mere dummy entities concealing attorney interests in the cases. Steele's lawyer said there was a real difference, but Judge Wright was clearly unconvinced. He made it clear, though, that Steele didn't have to answer questions. "He doesn't have to answer if he thinks it may incriminate him," said Judge Wright. "I'm not saying that the answers would incriminate him," protested Steele's lawyer, thus muddying the question of whether his client was entitled to take the Fifth, "but you leave my client with no choice."

    Judge Wright grew steadily and visibly more outraged. "I want to know if some of my conjecture is accurate -- and the only way to know is to have the principals here and ask them questions. This is an opportunity for them to protect themselves," he said. But Steele's lawyer confirmed his client would exercise his right to remain silent. Attorneys for Paul Hansmeier, Paul Duffy, and Angela Van Den Hemel confirmed their clients, too, would invoke their rights to remain silent. Judge Wright did not -- unless I missed it -- confirm whether Peter Hansmeier or Mark Lutz would answer questions."

    I have a hunch that another "organization" was set up as a proxy by Prenda in an attempt to delay the inevitable.

    " I might have advised it myself if I were representing them. With respect to their individual exposure to potential criminal consequences, it stops things from getting worse, which is often an attorney's first task."

    Basically what Ken White is saying is that Prenda pleading the 5th does not automatically incriminate them....nor does it free them from their consequences...The 5th is in place to protect yourself from getting into more trouble for what you had done than what would happen if you kept talking about it.

    Putting it lightly...I think the real reason Prenda Law pleaded the 5th was because they knew that every time they opened their mouths...it was an utterance of a bunch of lies. I hope Ken comes on the comments here on Techdirt to openly talk about all this.

    " the attorneys directing this litigation just took the Fifth rather than answer another judge's questions about their conduct in this litigation campaign."

    That means they have nothing to say and by pleading the 5th, they basically gave up. It might brings no further but no lessor penalties on Prenda from this point on, and on its various associates/shells. However, I could imagine that the reputation of these fools is now known at a global scale and their legal practices (well illegal practices) will ultimately hurt them no matter what Judge Wright has in store for them.

     

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      nasch (profile), Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 7:22pm

      Re: Patsies

      I think the real reason Prenda Law pleaded the 5th was because they knew that every time they opened their mouths...it was an utterance of a bunch of lies.

      They clearly have no problem lying, the trouble was they got caught.

       

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        Wally (profile), Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 10:51pm

        Re: Re: Patsies

        Perjury and gerrymandering/intimidating a defendant or witness gets one immediately disbarred in Ohio. This case automatically killed any Prenda cases going on in this state...if any.

         

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    Connor Clawson, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 1:29pm

    Prenda may as well have went on and confessed to there misconduct and make it a quick and painless death of there careers. Pleading the fifth is only gonna prolong there inevitable fate.

    Prenda brought this on themselves from day one. There's a reason why Greed is one of the 7 deadly sins, and they learned first hand today why this is the case.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 1:53pm

    The real question is whether Team Prenda is going to complain when the impending judicial smackdown hits, or are they going to maintain the current trend of being smart enough to keep their mouths shut?

    The latter is more likely, but I can see Steele being enough of a slimeball to complain of unfair treatment, even after Judge Wright clearly gave Prenda every possible chance.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 2:15pm

      Re:

      My guess is that they will have representation that will complain for them without them having to say anything themselves.

       

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      Noah Callaway, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 3:12pm

      Re:

      It looks like they've now retained competent representation. I think they'll keep quiet and begin preparing a defense while trying to minimize signaling their future strategy in the event of a investigation / prosecution by the US Attorneys.

      I'm guessing the game of watching Prenda continually shooting themselves in the foot has ended. That said, I think the game of watching Prenda slowly die of the already inflicted wounds will still be quite entertaining.

       

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    cynumber9, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 1:55pm

    Sure wish there was more info on sharkmp4.

     

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    cynumber9, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 1:55pm

    Sure wish there was more info on sharkmp4.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 2:02pm

    So dramatic. If only you guys got this excited about everybody that breaks the law.

     

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      Digdug (profile), Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 2:23pm

      Re:

      Most such cases are not nearly as amusing or drawn out as this one though.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 2:28pm

      Re:

      Well, there's a fundamental difference between downloading 0s and 1s and performing heavy criminal activities. And given that they pled the Fifth after a federal judge questioned them....it's pretty safe to say that these guys knew what they were doing, and that it was if not outright criminal, very legally grey.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 2:38pm

      Re:

      It is a postman biting a dog: A lawyer getting his intentions questioned while trying to question other peoples intentions.

      With the kind of filings Prenda has made, the story gets a lot more interesting and it has become pretty clear that there are questions the Prenda-complex's representatives do not want to answer! It doesn't make them guilty of any wrongdoings, but they surely do not help answer the questions raised about their companys organsation and activities.

       

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        Violated (profile), Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 5:28pm

        Re: Re:

        It is quite safe to lay some changes against Prenda Law where the most obvious is that their Alan Cooper does not exist meaning a false signature on the cases Prenda started leading to a fraud on the Court.

        Now keep in mind that fraud making all following actions invalid when you consider all the people unlawfully shaken-down and all the money unlawfully extracted.

        Then there is evidence that Prenda has a financial interest in all cases making them part of one glorious unlawful million dollar theft/fraud.

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 4:53pm

      Re:

      "So dramatic. If only you guys got this excited about everybody that breaks the law."

      No drama here ... I find it refreshing to see unethical (an understatement) behavior receive its due. So many times the perp simply walks and the public is less surprised each and every time.

      Now, your second point. You have probably heard estimates that just about everyone breaks several laws every day - right? Many of our laws are rather stupid, but why should I get excited about them?

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 6:08pm

      Re:

      I don't see you demanding more news about people jaywalking or littering, do you?

      You're just mad that glorious copyright enforcers have to smash the law to pieces just to get anything done and these chumps messed things up big time.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 8:13pm

      Re:

      Yawn.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 3rd, 2013 @ 2:56am

      Re:

      Oh, we're always excited about *real* wrongdoers recieving *real* justice.

      You of course, are the opposite.

       

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      JMT (profile), Apr 3rd, 2013 @ 3:13am

      Re:

      It's a bit hard to get excited over copyright infringement. Perhaps you should divert your efforts to championing a law that protects from actual harm instead.

       

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    Wally (profile), Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 2:12pm

    Title Fix

    "Ding Dong!! Prenda's Dead! They lying firm...the trolling firm...DINDONG PRENDA LAW IS DEAD!!!"

    FTFY ;-)

     

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    A Non-Mouse, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 2:17pm

    Did they actually "plead the fifth"?

    Honest question for the real lawyers here: If Steele & Co. were never sworn in & never took the stand, then did they actually/legally plead the fifth? Their lawyers stated that if asked a question they "would" plead the fifth, but apparently that never happened. IANAL and have no idea if it makes any difference, but was under the impression the "pleading the fifth" was something done while on the stand, under oath, in response to a specific question.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 2:35pm

      Re: Did they actually "plead the fifth"?

      Very good point.

       

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      Lurker Keith, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 2:40pm

      Re: Did they actually "plead the fifth"?

      Yes, they plead the Fifth. The point of pleading the Fifth is to not incriminate yourself when the answer to the question is essentially an admission to a crime.

      Since any answers Prenda would give would be either perjury or an admission of criminal conduct admissible to other courts, they told the Judge they wouldn't answer any questions if they were asked.

      They just did it in an expedited fashion. They plead preemptively.

      It's like invoking your Right to Remain Silent before being Mirandized. Just because a cop MUST to tell you your Rights doesn't mean you have to wait for them to do so.

       

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        Wally (profile), Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 2:48pm

        Re: Re: Did they actually "plead the fifth"?

        "Since any answers Prenda would give would be either perjury or an admission of criminal conduct admissible to other courts, they told the Judge they wouldn't answer any questions if they were asked."

        *Since the only answers Prenda could give would be either perjury and admission of criminal conduct admissible to other courts, they told the Judge they wouldn't answer any questions if they were asked.

        FTFY ;-)

         

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        G Thompson (profile), Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 8:58pm

        Re: Re: Did they actually "plead the fifth"?

        I'm not surprised they took the 5th, nor they did it expeditiously via counsel though the Judge could of made them all get on the stand one by one and cross them one by one getting the same answer for each one. Though that would of been a waste of time (except for one thing and 'll get to that)

        My opinion has always been that they would plead the 5th (if they showed up) they would of been ill advised not too in this situation especially with allegations of criminal misconduct being cast about by the court itself.

        Though the problem here is they plead it across the board on ANYTHING the judge wanted to question them on. Which also included the question of just whom their client was (ie: prove they existed) this is not something an attorney as counsel can refuse to answer due to their officer of the court standing.. Would of been interesting if Judge Wright had questioned them specifically just on that on the stand (and upon their other obligatory candours)

        No wonder he said "We're done" though. Prenda is dead and with it are the legal careers of everyone who was hauled before the court today.

         

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          nasch (profile), Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 9:02pm

          Re: Re: Re: Did they actually "plead the fifth"?

          Agh, would HAVE, would HAVE, man!

           

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            G Thompson (profile), Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 9:10pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Did they actually "plead the fifth"?

            If I could of, I would of, instead I didn't, of course.

            See my evil plan to annoy you is working..

             

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              nasch (profile), Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 9:23pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Did they actually "plead the fifth"?

              Admit it, you could of wrote it wright.

               

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                G Thompson (profile), Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 9:34pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Did they actually "plead the fifth"?

                To annoy you further

                And to discombubulate your brain with never getting the tune out again

                Actually I never really check comments for grammar that much, Don't really see the point. Spelling yes.. especially since my dyslexic keyboard always spells 'because' as 'becasue' and 'the' as 'teh'.

                 

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                  nasch (profile), Apr 3rd, 2013 @ 6:36am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Did they actually "plead the fifth"?

                  That is a bunch of nonsense up with which I will not put.

                  Actually I never really check comments for grammar that much, Don't really see the point.

                  Well not to beat a dead horse (oops I'm supposed to avoid cliches like the plague) I wasn't pointing that out just because you broke some rule I'm fond of. "Would of" doesn't even make any sense. Not that I didn't know what you meant have course.

                   

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      Wally (profile), Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 2:41pm

      Re: Did they actually "plead the fifth"?

      I am no lawyer, but it seems (and not to belittle you) painfully obvious that no matter what John Steele, or anyone else associated with Prenda Law, says will definitely incriminate them further. The "Plea of the 5th" will only protect someone from themselves doing any further damage than they already admitted to or had vast evidence implicating their guilt.

      The thing is. The 5th Amendment in this case is only useful for protection against further self-incrimination from Prenda not opening their mouths (since every word they said was practically a lie...Pleading the 5th seem a logical choice) now and does not protect them from the legal ire that they had already earned from The Honorable United States District Judge Otis D. Wright II, who already has evidence of Prenda's misconduct.


      Ken White, if you are seeing this, I ask that you correct me if I am wrong:

      Any misconduct recorded into the court system can be used against lawyers who have their plaintiff cases turn sour due to representative misconduct, and this evidence is admissible as evidence of misconduct when the law firm's conduct was evident during the case they handled for their client, and is called out.

      Funny thing too because if they had actually come to the court room when they were first ordered to in the first place, they could have pleaded the 5th on the misconduct presented in the entire saga that is Prenda Law up to that point. By showing contempt of court they have basically shot themselves in the ass because it allowed the previous evidence of misconduct they showed, when they were acting as the plaintiff representation of AF Holdings, admissible. In short, they missed the opportunity to plea the 5th and actually get away unscathed (thank God they were stupid).

       

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      Noah Callaway, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 3:18pm

      Re: Did they actually "plead the fifth"?

      Fifth Amendment protections apply in many scenarios outside of being on the stand, under oath. For example, the Fifth Amendment is the reason you have a right to remain silent when being questioned by police.

      The Fifth Amendment applies pretty much any time the government is asking you to provide information to it. The government cannot compel you to provide evidence against you that will later be used in a criminal prosecution against you. That latter portion is important, because they can provide you with blanket immunity and then compel you to provide testimony that would have incriminated you, had you not had immunity.

       

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        Wally (profile), Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 3:50pm

        Re: Re: Did they actually "plead the fifth"?

        "The government cannot compel you to provide evidence against you that will later be used in a criminal prosecution against you.They were already found guilty."

        Prenda was already found guilty of contempt after not showing up for the initial date Judge Write had set. Judge Wright just wanted an explanation to their behavior so he could make sense of his own referrals...you know Prenda is screwed when a federal judge gets so distracted by a legal firm's misconduct that he himself needs explanations from their side. It is totally useless to plea the 5th after you have been found guilty and told to show up for a hearing concerning evidence of said misconduct.

        Pleaing the 5th now only protects Prenda from the Gvt. using new information about Prenda from Prenda, that it does not already have on Prenda, without being incriminated further against based on that information. The conduct carried out by Prenda Law before they pleaeded the 5th can still be used against them and is already sufficient enough to get ANYONE remotely associated with them in the law firm partnership sense disbarred from the all State, and Federal District court systems.

        What is more striking is that even if they plea the 5th, it does not protect them from Judge Wright's letters or referrals to various state bars and other districts in the Federal Court System to have the entire company completely disbarred in the United States.

         

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        G Thompson (profile), Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 9:02pm

        Re: Re: Did they actually "plead the fifth"?

        The Fifth Amendment applies pretty much any time the government is asking you to provide information to it. The government cannot compel you to provide evidence against you that will later be used in a criminal prosecution against you.

        I notice that an officer of the IRS was there though ;)

        Not sure if in an official capacity, a personal capacity (just curious and on a break) or in an unofficial but lets see if something can stick capacity though

         

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    CommonSense (profile), Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 2:20pm

    Seems familiar...

    Wait, isn't this the moment when we hear that voice in the background go:

    "FINISH HIM!!!"

    :-)

     

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      Wally (profile), Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 2:44pm

      Re: Seems familiar...

      Shortly after a bloodbath of a finishing move we here the voice again:

      "Fatality...Flawless Vic-tory"

      :-)

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 3:48pm

      Re: Seems familiar...

      'Wait, isn't this the moment when we hear that voice in the background go:

      "FINISH HIM!!!"
      '

      Either that, or it's the part when the "Pursuit ~ Cornered" theme starts loudly playing in the courtroom.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 2:25pm

    "Prenda Law may still be standing. But it's dead."

    Oh great! That's just what we need, an undead copyright troll.

    Can the world get any scarier.

     

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    Violated (profile), Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 3:02pm

    Ding Dong the Witch is Dead

    No doubt now that Prenda Law is dead even if their death will now occur in slow motion. Prenda may pull the plug early but if not this death could well take weeks.

    Our best hope now is for Judge Wright to file criminal charges again Prenda Law, all their shell companies, and all the key players involved, when then these businesses will be Police raided and arrests made.

    Time they tipped all documentation into an old oil drum and to light the match when the only question that remains now is if there is enough evidence to ensure a conviction. The lack of appearance of one Alan Cooper is sure to be a major sticking point.

    Then one can only hope their bad actions leads to these lawyers being disbarred.

     

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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 3:18pm

    They still have cases open using other names in other courts.

    Check http://www.dietrolldie.com
    A state court case for what is going to be a copyright claim of some variety. With the defense lawyer who was already asked by a Judge in open court if he was in bed with the plaintiffs.

    Someone needs to start cutting off the hydra's heads and burning the necks to keep them from reforming.

     

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      Wally (profile), Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 3:25pm

      Re:

      "With the defense lawyer who was already asked by a Judge in open court if he was in bed with the plaintiffs."

      Sleeping with a client is illegal...even my profession you definitely lose your license to practice doing that.

       

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        That Anonymous Coward (profile), Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 4:25pm

        Re: Re:

        These case(s) (more than 1 IIRC) have a defense lawyer basically throwing the defense of his "client" to the wind and agreeing to not oppose them adding thousands of others to the case.
        As was seen in an affidavit filed in another case this could also involve a deal for the defendant to not owe anything (or a much lower amount) for agreeing to this fraud upon the court. We know of this tactic because they screwed up in one of these cases and kept making the threat calls and sending threat letters to the defendant and he got scared that they were going to ignore the deal. He filed the affidavit in an attempt to save himself from getting screwed over in the deal.
        I understand wanting to protect your client, but I do not understand creating a deal that allows them to screw thousands of other people to do it.

         

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          Wally (profile), Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 5:04pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Quite agreed TAC :-)

          Sorry my mind is in the gutter a bit, couldn't help but quip on the word use ;-)

          "I understand wanting to protect your client, but I do not understand creating a deal that allows them to screw thousands of other people to do it."

          In spite of the fact you made my current gutter-like mindset tick again, I will explain it.

          Pleading the Fifth is not a plea bargain or plea deal, it is an assertion of your rights to remain silent lest you incriminate yourself any further than what the current evidence gathered has shown you. The Miranda Rights added to it clearly say:
          "You have a right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in the court of law...".

          This does not protect you when there is already sufficient evidence against you in a civil matter such as attorney misconduct(which Prenda Law LCC already has), and often is used to protect one's self to make sure that when you are asked by law enforcement what you did, you save it for the court room. The latter is reserved only for criminal cases.

          In a civil case, it only forfeits one's rights or the rights of your client to speak on his or her own behalf (exactly as you had said...what is the point?)...even in written testimony which was what Mr Rosa wanted to present to Judge Wright.... Since this case involved severe attorney misconduct, US District Court Judge Wright has the power to sentence as he pleases within the bounds of the laws he must protect. While he cannot get more new evidence or information to use against Prenda, he can still use evidence given to him by the defendants of any previous case involving Prenda pertaining to their practices and extrapolate a pretty damaging referral from that alone. I mean really..Prenda could not have done any worse damage to themselves by pleading their 5th Amendment rights because it allows the judge to write up referrals to disbar Prenda and their associates...without any input from Prenda itself...information that could have allowed a much lessor consequence for them.

          Hell, they even tried to pull that shit of a lawyer in the room objecting and the Judge caught on right away.

          The whole point is that in this particular civil matter, Prenda pleading the 5th basically said "We give up. We are guilty, but we won't give you any answers because we don't have to do so....so FUCK YOU!".

          Ok I went a long way so I will have to give you the shorter version:
          Prenda is fucked. By the time any sentencing occurs, Prenda has already committed crimes of misconduct on a massive scale. So massive that the next step in sentencing would likely result in life imprisonment. By pleading the 5th, Steele and his associates avoid incriminating themselves any further than short of loosing their careers over this. As sad as all this is, I would have like to see the scum in a federal prison for life. But I also know that loosing one's career and livelihood is a much greater shame for a lawyer than being in prison.

           

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            That Anonymous Coward (profile), Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 7:11pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Being a lucky Doe in their defamation case I think it is safe to say there is no love lost.

            I will not be happy until they are laying the entire corpse open for the world to see and noticing the handful of other firms doing the same or worse in courtrooms still.

            They still have cases open, we haven't found all of them because state courts don't have PACER.

            I and others have devoted time and resources to helping people fight back against these types of cases for years, and this is only the 2nd high profile fall from grace, and even Stone didn't get disbarred. It is going to take jail time to curb the abuse of the legal system that is happening in the name of copyright.

             

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              Wally (profile), Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 10:44pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              There was no love list because they had none to give. I agree with you fully about the deserved jail time, I was giving my views from the plaintiffs' perspective as to why they pleaded the 5th. However, Judge Wright has the power to use Inherent Authority to cut Prenda Law to pieces concerning California State law...in which other judges in other states can use as collateral precedent. California might not give them jail time for their misconduct, but other states will. Ohio is likely one of those states.

               

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        G Thompson (profile), Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 9:05pm

        Re: Re:

        Sleeping with a client is illegal...even my profession you definitely lose your license to practice doing that.

        Really you need a license to practice sleeping with a client?

        Damn I knew I was in the wrong field! :)

        *rides slowly away on the grammar bus*

         

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    Anonymous Monkey (profile), Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 3:39pm

    Reminds me of something ...

    Click, Click, BOOM! 0_0

     

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      Wally (profile), Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 3:52pm

      Re: Reminds me of something ...

      Whatever information they are hiding, I hope it is something that can be used against the 6 Strikes policy here in the US.

       

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        Anonymous Monkey (profile), Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 4:16pm

        Re: Re: Reminds me of something ...

        That would be the final topping on this masterpiece ....

         

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          Wally (profile), Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 5:08pm

          Re: Re: Re: Reminds me of something ...

          Or the MPAA's involvement! That is another one I have thought about.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Apr 3rd, 2013 @ 12:51am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Reminds me of something ...

            Watch this as it turns out Prenda's an NSA front to try and get rid of copyright and replace it with something worse.

             

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        That Anonymous Coward (profile), Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 8:43pm

        Re: Re: Reminds me of something ...

        6 Strikes is easy.
        Show the press the Dtecnet DMCA notice they send on behalf of HBO demanding pages on HBO.com be delisted for carrying "pirated" content.

        For a client paying them they can't even make sure not to include that clients website in the takedown requests, and we are supposed to trust that they are doing an accurate job with 6 Strikes where they are using Vuze, in violation of Vuze's terms of service, to find IP addresses.

         

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    Alana (profile), Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 5:40pm

     

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    special-interesting (profile), Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 6:28pm

    I'm in love. Judge Wright is awesome by taking none of the usual from Prendaa and assoc. Few times has a judicial event produced such a swift no nonsense response. Am mildly surprised that all of them showed up in a rare case of common sense from these dudes. Showing up was the best thing they have done since I can remember. More shocked am I of their silence. Compared to their usual loud and litigious responses its unprecedented.

    This was the official opening and return shots of likely fraud allegations in the near future of which the legal trenches of criminal accusations/consequences and civil damages/awards are measured against ruin and risk. (From either perspective win or lose.) Its only a first step of the long legal road.

    Opening round; “What do you say to these allegations of (only paperwork?) fraud?

    Return fire; “No comment.”

    It seems the Prendaa group still wants to keep its cards hidden. Are they aces, duces or maybe even a joker? The bets are still on the table and now for a round of raises. (all side bets are paid off)

    A responding salvo has yet to be launched. Odds are still hard to measure. A rabbit hole is almost certain to exist but how deep?

    As expected all of this was totally unexpected. Complete surprise and no disappointed whatsoever as tensions still rise and higher expectations replace the old.

    One thing for sure is an unlikely thwarted judge siting in his chambers with a whole day to think about it... Since this was already a second chance event its at least possible that another hearing will be joined (somewhere) after some thorough investigation. Technically the court is waiting for a brief promised from Rosing to explain “where” the money goes (from settlements).

    This is kind of telling in that the judge may be looking for some measure the base fines on and where (as it seems all the shell firms are Prendaa firms) they might be levied. (just guessing) Not to late for a SWAT raid. (is a joke, hard to wish that on anyone.) However a search warrant would not be out of bounds.

    Now begins positioning for the next battle for justice. When, where and with what tools are good questions. The possible criminal trials for fraud are a good start but a few separate civil actions against them might prove more reveling. For that there would have to be disgruntled victims with valid complaints.

    Its still my best observation that any lawsuit or harassment seemingly legal or otherwise that targets a vulnerable social group (in this case pornographic aficionados) is discrimination. Shaming anyone with the threat of religious puritanical legal stone throwing has got to be a sin even amongst themselves. (Defined on a flattened/equalized moral scale.) Did they target or turn down other legal actions in favor of porn chasing as this would show an internal bias.

    The honey pot thing is just jelly on the bread. Are there any eye witnesses to them bragging? This is a real possibility since they have been quite loud mouthed until today.

    What is kind of nice is the somewhat interest of the general media although its unfortunate that it takes abuses such as this story to make obscure copyright law news. Blind hope desires real copyright re-legislation.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 6:28pm

    IANAL, but I'm hoping that the conclusion of this case includes a thorough shredding of the "suspect profiling" that Prenda does (see here), and winds up with Wright declaring that "IP address = person" is bullshit.

    What'd make it all the sweeter is if the RIAA throws a big tantrum and Wright pushes them into "plead the 5th" territory like he's done with Prenda.

     

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    otakucode (profile), Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 6:34pm

    Where's the money?

    So the bottom line is, their venture was profitable. And they will not be penalized monetarily. There's a word for things that cause all manner of sound and fury but at the end of the day turn a profit: The new way of doing business.

    Oh no, being debarred and yelled at by a judge... that will hurt so bad while I polish my Lambourghini. And considering that one aspect of our economy is that it becomes exponentially easier to make money the more money you have, getting in, making a big chunk of change, and getting out quick is entirely a reasonable prospect.

    I expect a thousand Prenda Laws to pop up around the country cribbing from Prendas playbook. The principals involved here will probably even get nice 6-figure consulting fees helping these new groups out!

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 7:11pm

      Re: Where's the money?

      They made nothing that substantial from any of the cases it seems because most of their net profit went towards litigation as they trolled on.

       

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      nasch (profile), Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 9:03pm

      Re: Where's the money?

      And they will not be penalized monetarily.

      What makes you say that? The judge hasn't even issued a ruling.

       

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    special-interesting (profile), Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 6:47pm

    On another note (in the same album)

    Have been reading up on the case at dietrolldie.com and this sentence has been repeated several times.

    http://dietrolldie.com/2013/04/02/red-alert-repost-lw-systems-v-christopher-hubbard-st-clair-cou nty-illinois-13-l-0015/

    “NOTE: We would caution you to NOT contact attorney Adam Urbanzcyk who is representing the “lead defendant” Christopher Hubbard in this case.  Due to potential collusion with the plaintiff, it may be that Mr. Urbanzcyk and his client Christopher Hubbard could be adverse to you.”

    What does this mean except some sort of trickery (possibly fraud?) or misdirection to get evidence by pretending to be a sympathetic. Would a 'lead defendant' be used as some sort of planned precedence for further legal arguments? Wth? Sounds like collusion with the Prendaa group to get outrageous agreements from the courts that apply to other cases filed at same court. (Circuit Court of St. Clair County, Illinois.)

    Even if the attorney was legitimate and in good standing would not the action of placing such an ad or information in likely places be considered corrupt? Its got to be worse than ambulance chasing doesn't it?

    Just how much do these people have to hide and so far as can tell the rabbit hole is huge, deep and dark.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 3rd, 2013 @ 12:54am

      Re:

      tl;dr the rabbit hols leads to Alpha Centauri 34.

       

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      That Anonymous Coward (profile), Apr 4th, 2013 @ 7:54pm

      Re:

      lead defendant via his lawyer doesn't oppose them adding nearly every ISP in the US to the list of people they want names of. They submitted names of ISPs not IP addresses. They are trying for the whole ball of wax by backdooring these other does into the case.

      This is the lawyer where a Judge asked in open court if the defense lawyr was in bed with the plaintiff.

       

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    special-interesting (profile), Apr 3rd, 2013 @ 1:12am

    The rabbit hole does seem stellar in size and gravity well depth. lol

    To drive home the point it looks like business as usual for Prendaa unless this is the rope slacked off just to see what they are up to. (harder to press charges for alleged crimes than for evidence based prosecution) Pleading the 5th possibly gives them more time to supposedly run with the rope and squeeze the market for all its worth. As long as the rope is tied to a stake and finite in length it might be educational.

    To be honest am surprised at how this Prendaa group copyright legal battle field vs. society/culture keeps getting larger and messier with respect of tentative new data. With the legal weapons getting larger and dirtier ate each round and each time examined under new light.

    Keeping in mind that these guys are probably not the brightest bulb in the legal lantern (depending on opinion) the question stands; where one would learn of such apparent deviltry. What comedic local Jr. College evil genius course is offered to get ahead by legal shenanigans.

    Silly things like multiple shell firms 101 (remember the shell game?) Finding compliant first prosecution clients/victims to set favorable precedent? (a 504 level grad course) Locating new personnel out of thing air? (202a undergrad level with paperwork examples for the sleepy heads in class) Stonewalling (406 senior level) district judges? Civil suits to everyone (and their blogs and legal research sites) for liable/slander just to get more detailed info on the defendants? (ya gotta appreciate the PhD level gall on that one!)

    Closing out cases 306 for damage control? Possible honey pot seeding for the very items they are prosecuting for? (dark legal arts 604) Sending out thousands of intimidating demands for early settlements from vulnerable social groups? (dark legal arts 601) Taking advantage of culture and new technology to exploit the exploitable? (questionable legal philosophy 203) Just guessing/opinion on all this it all seems ridiculous and it never seems to end.

    Carrying on business amid any of that needs a steel heart and stone for blood. Any public prosecutor worth the voters salt would slather and bug eyes out at the opportunity to prosecute. Such activities, if true and provable, would be hated by both sides of the bench and any citizenry (who actually cared about the arcane details of copyright law) alike.

    Alright! The judges chambers have been empty for a while now. The staff is off for the afternoon. Some decision is expected, whats it gonna be? The accusations/evidence were written on note-it papers and pinned up on the dart board with a few shiny new darts have been delivered directly to your desk and the present evidence leads your aim to...

     

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    FM Hilton, Apr 3rd, 2013 @ 3:44am

    Not so fast, buster!

    "So the bottom line is, their venture was profitable. And they will not be penalized monetarily. There's a word for things that cause all manner of sound and fury but at the end of the day turn a profit: The new way of doing business."

    All those millions won't help you out when you're in Federal prison for an huge assortment of charges:

    Fraud on a federal court, tax evasion, mail fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud-and that's just the start of the charges that can be applied to this case. RICO can be added as well.

    Everyone at 'employed' at Prenda is now facing this wonderful assortment of criminal charges, with or without having taken the Fifth.

    Their criminality has become so transparent that the judge (bless his soul!) has finally gotten to the point where you do not want to go with any judge-the book gets thrown at you, the rules get applied and you go to prison for a very long time.

    I bet there are some very eager US Attorneys just itching to get their hands on this case. It's been coming, and they're just raring to go!

     

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

    •  
      icon
      nasch (profile), Apr 3rd, 2013 @ 7:48am

      Re: Not so fast, buster!

      Everyone at 'employed' at Prenda is now facing this wonderful assortment of criminal charges, with or without having taken the Fifth.

      I think you mean you believe they will face such charges soon. Right now they are not charged with anything.

       

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

  •  
    icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), Apr 3rd, 2013 @ 12:07pm

    Great Article. Thanks, Popehat

    Well written; made it easy to follow and understand.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    FM Hilton, Apr 3rd, 2013 @ 8:06pm

    Re: Not so fast, buster!

    "Everyone at 'employed' at Prenda is now facing this wonderful assortment of criminal charges, with or without having taken the Fifth.
    "I think you mean you believe they will face such charges soon. Right now they are not charged with anything."

    What do you want to bet the DOJ and various US Attorneys are just looming over the horizon?

    It's not what I believe that's important-it's what has been uncovered so far, and it looks pretty damned bad from where I sit-pleading the Fifth in a civil action is not a normal course of events and I'm sure the Court and other government entities definitely noticed it.

    From the amounts of money alone being bantered around, the IRS is probably very interested in the taxes of various parties.

    I'd really hate to be in anyone's shoes in that company, because all the Judge has to really do is pick up the phone,talk to some people and sign some paperwork.

    It's real easy to go from civil action to criminal complaint with enough reason-Prenda gave him far more than enough ammunition, and suspicion of criminality.

     

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

    •  
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      nasch (profile), Apr 4th, 2013 @ 8:23am

      Re: Re: Not so fast, buster!

      What do you want to bet the DOJ and various US Attorneys are just looming over the horizon?

      I am really, really hoping for jail time in this case.

      From the amounts of money alone being bantered around, the IRS is probably very interested in the taxes of various parties.

      Why, do you have reason to believe they haven't paid their taxes?

      It's real easy to go from civil action to criminal complaint with enough reason-Prenda gave him far more than enough ammunition, and suspicion of criminality.

      Although that will be up to prosecutors and not the judge.

       

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


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