Brett Gibbs Returns The Favor: Points Out That Steele And Hansmeier Were In Control Over Florida Prenda Farce

from the you-throw-me-under-the-bus? dept

While all of the attention on Prenda lately has been on the case being overseen by Judge Otis Wright in California, we shouldn't forget about the Sunlust case in Florida that really was probably the start of the fall of the house of Prenda. That was the case with the Abbott & Costello-worthy hearing, in which various lawyers were all trying to distance themselves from the case, with Prenda Law insisting it had nothing to do with the case, despite the attendance of the attorney (who was trying to get out of representing Sunlust), who said he'd been hired by Prenda supposedly as a representative of Sunlust, but who knew nothing at all about the company, and of course the magical appearance of John Steele, who insisted he had nothing at all to do with anything and certainly (oh, no no) was not practicing law in Florida, and was just there because of his general interest in the case. And, of course, the magical testimony of Mark Lutz, the "official representative" of Sunlust, despite not knowing anything about the company. If you haven't done so in a while, go back and check out the transcript. It's always a fun read.

The latest in that case is that Graham Syfert, the lawyer representing the defendants, has filed a notice about how they're fine with dropping the request for sanctions against Brett Gibbs and Matthew Wasinger. Wasinger wasn't in the courtroom for the crazy hearing, but had been a previous lawyer (hired by Prenda) representing Sunlust who had requested to withdraw after learning a bit about how Prenda worked. He thought he had been allowed off the case when that had not actually gone through. As we noted earlier, Wasinger had apologized profusely and revealed some of what happened with Prenda. As for Gibbs... that's where it gets more interesting.

As we've noted recently, Paul Hansmeier and John Steele have both been trying to throw Brett Gibbs under the bus in the California case, by arguing that Gibbs is the lawyer on the case, and he was in charge of everything. That's not particularly believable. They pointed to previous cases in which Gibbs made vague declarations about being in control over these cases to argue that, despite Gibbs comments to the contrary elsewhere, they weren't pulling the puppet strings. Sooner or later, you knew that Gibbs would hit back at being thrown under the bus.

Syfert sought, and got, declaration from Brett Gibbs clarifying how Hansmeier and Steele were the ones completely behind the Sunlust litigation. It's pretty damning. As Syfert notes in his filing, while this declaration slightly contradicts earlier statements from Gibbs, it seems pretty clear that this is a case of "eventual truth coming to light."
The contradictions within the statements of Gibbs are indications of an eventual truth coming to light- not a fundamental deception. He has decided to expose the actors that he was referring to in his previous affidavit, and show that the managment of the litigation in this case was handled by both John Steele and Paul Hansmeier.
The declaration itself is pretty straightforward. Basically, Steele and Hansmeier were in charge, and Gibbs was just the puppet.
For example, the decision to file the Sunlust Action was made by Messrs. Steele and Hansmeier, the settlement parameters were given to me by Messrs. Steele and Hansmeier, and it was Messrs. Steele and Hansmeier who gave me instructions concerning how to advise the Florida counsel in the Sunlust Action. Moreover, I believe it was Mr. Steele that was responsible for locating the various Florida counsel to handle the litigation in Florida on behalf of Prenda Law....

I was told by either Paul Hansmeier or John Steele that Mark Lutz would show up at the November 27, 2012 hearing in the Sunlust Action. I believe that it was either John Steele or Paul Hansmeier that made this decision. I was not part of the decision making process which led to Mark Lutz appearing at the November 27th hearing.
In other words, Gibbs is finally starting to come clean. I imagine there will be more forthcoming. At some point, you have to wonder if Paul Duffy is going to break from Steele and Hansmeier as well. So many of the stories suggest that Steele and Hansmeier really managed this aspect of Prenda's business, even as Duffy was the only official principal of Prenda. At some point, you'd think that it would make sense for Duffy to come clean on the relationship details to avoid being tarred with the same brush as Steele and Hansmeier.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    jackn, Apr 12th, 2013 @ 12:30pm

    you say "attorney Mark Lutz "

    I don't think that correct

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

  2. identicon
    correction, Apr 12th, 2013 @ 12:46pm

    I don't believe Mark Lutz is an attorney. Rather he was a paralegal and the one making the phone calls on behalf of Prenda.

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

  3. identicon
    Glen, Apr 12th, 2013 @ 12:55pm

    I don't know which I'll enjoy more, team Prenda throwing each other under the bus or Judge Wright smacking the whole team down.

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

  4. icon
    JohnnyRotten (profile), Apr 12th, 2013 @ 1:02pm

    Reservoir Dogs

    This will eventually turn into the last part of Reservoir Dogs where they end up in a circle, with every villain ends up shooting the villain to his left - leaving no survivors.

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

  5. icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Apr 12th, 2013 @ 1:18pm


    argh. Sorry, there was an editing session done that changed some words around... Never meant to say that Lutz was an attorney.

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

  6. icon
    Get off my cyber-lawn! (profile), Apr 12th, 2013 @ 1:26pm

    Like a Coyote in a snare

    chewing at whatever part it needs to get get loose....

    Wonder if any of these jokers is going to show up dead & then be blamed for the whole mess to start with?

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

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2013 @ 1:30pm

    I can not but think that Judge Wright is watching all this from the sidelines, soaking in verification of what he suspects but making no comment to setup any claim once again of bias in his court room. I am sure he has his finger on the pulse enough to be aware of all that is coming out across the nation, even if out of his jurisdiction.

    No matter how he rules, if there is a way to wiggle and squirm, including a way to appeal to some other court outside of Judge Wright's reach that it will surface again to provide continued couch potato entertainment. Still, no matter how it is wrangled, Judge Wright will put his opinions and his ruling as well as his remarks and the end of this farce and it will weight heavily on any future reference dealing with Prenda, as is already being shown here and in yesterdays' articles.

    The rats are all attempting to abandon the sinking ship and for the head rats, there seems to be no where to swim to. Such revealings as in this article show no dry land within reach type of search.

    Does anyone get the feeling that the hammer is getting close to striking with the might one would suspect of Thor wielding? It sure looks like all the participants are seeking cover and finding nothing that looks substantial enough to provide safety.

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

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2013 @ 1:40pm

    Wall Street stunned as popcorn futures shoot up 900% in after hours trading. Film at 11.

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

  9. identicon
    Lurker Keith, Apr 12th, 2013 @ 2:21pm


    Mjolnir may be in hand, but I think the Hulk may be the one doing the smashing with it.

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

  10. identicon
    Lurker Keith, Apr 12th, 2013 @ 2:23pm

    This came ot me after hitting Submit...

    Sorry for the double post...

    "Hulk smash with Magic Gavel!"

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

  11. icon
    BentFranklin (profile), Apr 12th, 2013 @ 3:14pm

    Love to see them all turning on each other. Trolls are perhaps the last group on earth that could ever beat the prisoners' dilemma.

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

  12. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2013 @ 5:16pm


    Why pick just one? I'm waiting for the real Alan Cooper to be revealed as...

    Charles Carreon.

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

  13. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2013 @ 7:51pm

    Nice going, Chicken Joe. This is the best your glorious copyright enforcers can come up with? What a laugh.

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

  14. icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Apr 12th, 2013 @ 8:28pm

    Re: Re:

    But he plays one on the phone....


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

  15. identicon
    Chilidoag, Apr 12th, 2013 @ 8:54pm

    The Bus Driver

    Can we get someone to buy and send a bus drivers hat to Judge Wright??

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

  16. icon
    Niall (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 7:07am

    Re: This came ot me after hitting Submit...

    "Hulk smash puny Troll God!"

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

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