John Steele Shows Up In Judge Wright's Court; Bet He Wishes He Hadn't

from the so-you-made-it? dept

While John Steele insisted he only "just" found out about the hearing in Judge Wright's courtroom today, and insisted that it would be nearly impossible to make it, with Judge Wright quickly rejecting Steele's request, it appears that Steele somehow found a way to get to the courtroom on time this morning. And, while I'm sure that not showing up would have been a really bad decision, that doesn't mean that being present was a particularly enjoyable experience. Adam Steinbaugh was in the courtroom and has a detailed writeup of the continually no-nonsense Judge Wright's latest opportunity to respond verbally and in-person to John Steele's nonsense.

If you don't recall, the specific hearing was in response to Steele's motion for sanctions against Morgan Pietz for supposedly violating Steele's due process rights in "not serving" him the documents in the case since Steele began representing himself ("pro se"). As pretty much everyone who has been following the case has noted, the idea that Steele was not actually aware of the filings is pretty close to nil, and the decision to play more "playing dumb" games in front of Judge Wright -- who has made it abundantly clear that he is not impressed with John Steele's games -- is looking increasingly bad.

Steele appears to be betting heavily that arguing that his due process rights were violated is his best chance to somehow emerge from the deep pile of trouble that he's in. He's going to have a rather difficult time making that case, though, he must (at the very least) have to know that Judge Wright was going to shred him to pieces today -- and then hope he can make some progress in the inevitable appeal. That's still going to be a long shot, and I imagine that Judge Wright is going to do everything possible to make it abundantly clear to the judges handling the appeal just how ridiculous Steele's claim is -- starting with the details of today's hearing.
Judge Wright walked in promptly at the scheduled time. The first thing he noted is that Steele and other Prenda affiliates had kept submitting last-minute documents to the court, as late as this morning. Paul Hansmeier, for instance, had filed a motion to appear by telephone—“for what, I don’t know,” mused Wright, as Hansmeier’s motion was not the subject of the hearing.

He didn't like all the new filings, either. Among them were thick complaints from Mark Lutz and John Steele, to the California State Bar concerning former Prenda lawyer Brett Gibbs. “Why do I care?" snapped Wright. "You assumed I needed more paper?”

Defense lawyer Pietz was working with Gibbs, said Steele. Therefore, Gibbs' misdoings were part of a "pattern of fraud" by Pietz. Wright tossed it aside: the hearing today was about Steele's knowledge of particular filings, he said.
You get the feeling that Wright long ago had more than enough of Steele's bullshit, and Steele either doesn't realize that or simply can't stop. From there, the focus was on Steele's claims that he was unaware of what was happening in the case. Wright came prepared to have Steele explain how he could have possibly not known what was happening in the case -- including with suggestions that Steele was now actively trying to set things up so he could claim he was not being served.

Then the court's flat-screen monitors popped up with a copy of Steele’s substitution of attorney form. Had Steele ever seen this document, Wright demanded to know?

Steele sat for an awkwardly long period of time staring at the monitor before answering. "I'm sure I did at some point," he said. Wright asked if the address was correct, and Steele said that it was not.  The incorrect address was listed twice on the form, said Wright—and it was never corrected.

Next method of contact? Steele's e-mail address, which was sending bounce-backs to lawyers who tried to contact him. Steele said that he shut it down because of “spam and hacking and attempts to mess up not only my e-mail but websites.” At some point, he “literally could not open” his e-mail account, he said. He had used an auto-responder to tell people about his alternative address until June, he said.

Wright asked Steele if he had another e-mail address. "I have an old one,” Steele responded.  “Were you planning on letting anyone else in on it?" Wright asked, noting that the court’s Local Rules require litigants to provide an e-mail address if they have one.

Steele tried to flip the story over to his "due process" claims, and Judge Wright shut him down sarcastically. Steinbaugh's recounting is worth reading so head on over to get all the details of that part of the exchange. It includes Wright telling Steele it's "laughable" that Steele is claiming that opposing attorney Pietz is the one who has shown a "pattern of fraud." Either way, Steele's insistence that his due process rights are being violated, and that he knows he has to go through this process just to get to the appeal become quite clear:

Steele also had trouble identifying any legal authority for the motion to reconsider. He kept invoking the Fifth Amendment, saying that alone was the authority.

“How? You got this from the Fifth Amendment? This is absurd," retorted Wright. "Last time I let you assert [the Fifth Amendment], and let you go right back to the airport!"

"That's a different Fifth Amendment right," responded Steele. The court's actions here amount to an illegal "taking," which wasn't right. "My rights... I get them no matter what,” he said. His June motion had not been argued or heard, he said, as it was denied “within minutes.”

“You’re getting all the due process you can stand!” said Wright. Steele’s arguments had been made—by Steele. Steele, growing audibly and visibly frustrated, replied, “If Your Honor doesn’t care, [then] this is an appellate issue.”

Judge Wright also is well aware that it appears that Steele has been working closely with the rest of Team Prenda on all of these efforts, and called Steele out on that:
Wright had only a few more questions. “Who typed your papers?” he asked. Steele sheepishly responded: “I typed part of it," and some was typed by others.

“I couldn’t help but notice [that] Peter Hansmeier’s notice, Paul Hansmeier’s notice, Mark Lutz’ notice, and your motion... all followed the exact same format,” said Wright. They even had the same footer. "They're almost indistinguishable. No way they were not typed by the same person."

“It’s called cutting and pasting!” Steele bellowed.

"Raise your voice again and I’m going to introduce you to the United States Marshals," said Wright. "Get out.” Wright stood and walked off the bench.
It's not too difficult to guess how this is going to end up, and, like so many things that John Steele seems to do in court these days, it seems fairly likely that his plan is going to backfire in a big bad way. While Steele seems to be betting on a happier outcome at the appellate level -- and, is possibly even baiting Judge Wright to try to use the emotional and sarcastic responses in his own favor on appeal -- there's so much overwhelming evidence piling up against Steele, that it would be somewhat amazing if the appeals court doesn't end up with the same conclusion as Judge Wright concerning which parties are involved in questionable behaviors here.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
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    Ehud Gavron (profile), Jul 12th, 2013 @ 4:43pm

    bating?

    Steele "bating" Judge Wright.

    Wow.

    E

     

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  •  
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    Internet Zen Master (profile), Jul 12th, 2013 @ 5:48pm

    Professionalism

    Steele clearly has none.

     

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Jul 12th, 2013 @ 5:48pm

    OMG! TWO PRENDA POSTS IN ONE DAY!

    Mike claims to have a degree in economics, can't ya tell? But he really gets off on inside lawyering. Following a few exceptionally crooked lawyers closely is what he does instead of developing thoughts on copyright or patent systems and how to fix them for the benefit of all society. It's some kind of mania, plus hell of a lot easier than thinking.



    Take a loopy tour of Techdirt.com! You always end up same place!
    http://techdirt.com/
    Where economist Mike brags of hanging out with the really cool kids: lawyers!

     

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    •  
      identicon
      RD, Jul 12th, 2013 @ 6:00pm

      Re: OMG! TWO PRENDA POSTS IN ONE DAY!

      OOTB claims to have a degree in copyright pandering and "the law is the law!" ideology, can't ya tell? But he really gets off on attacking those who managed to succeed where he has failed all his life. Sucking the dick of Big Media and worshiping at the altar of Big Copyright is what he does instead of actually doing anything creative or constructive or successful. It's some kind of mania, plus hell of a lot easier than thinking.

      FTFY

       

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    •  
      identicon
      S. T. Stone, Jul 12th, 2013 @ 6:02pm

      Re: OMG! TWO PRENDA POSTS IN ONE DAY!

      Following a few exceptionally crooked lawyers closely is what he does instead of developing thoughts on copyright or patent systems and how to fix them for the benefit of all society.

      Yeah, because God forbid Techdirt — a blog partially dedicated to calling out copyright and patent trolls — follow the saga of a handful of crooked lawyers who attempted to use copyright trolling to pervert the function of copyright in an attempt to turn the legal system into a money-making enterprise.

      Did you foolishly beat your head on the wall today, or did some stupid youth hit you with an electric appliance today? You’re no fallen angel, you know; that label exists only in your dreams, and while I believe that anything is possible, you’re not convincing me that your out-of-the-blue insanity deserves to stay together with Techdirt. What’s the old saying, silence speaks a thousand words? Something like that, I’unno; I'm losin’ myself in thought here.

       

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    •  
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      Nigel (profile), Jul 12th, 2013 @ 6:21pm

      Re: OMG! TWO PRENDA POSTS IN ONE DAY!

      I see you still cant get form an opinion based on reality. Well done!
      Nigel

       

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    •  
      identicon
      CK20XX, Jul 12th, 2013 @ 8:04pm

      Go play with your stuffed tiger.

      Calvin: "When I grow up, I'm not going to read the newspaper and I'm not going to follow complex issues and I'm not going to vote. That way I can complain when the government doesn't represent me. Then when everything goes down the tubes, I can say the system doesn't work and justify my further lack of participation."
      Hobbes: "An ingeniously self-fulfilling plan."
      Calvin: "It's a lot more fun to blame things than to fix them."

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jul 12th, 2013 @ 8:53pm

      Re: OMG! TWO PRENDA POSTS IN ONE DAY!

      It is because he knows how to actually have a successful business by giving readers what they want. Right now, and forever more, shall we read of, make merriment, and jest about the follies of Team Prenda!

       

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

    •  
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      G Thompson (profile), Jul 13th, 2013 @ 12:05am

      Re: OMG! TWO PRENDA POSTS IN ONE DAY!

      I see you are now making admissions that Prenda et.al are "exceptionally crooked lawyers"

      Interesting.... what other dissonances are you currently about to spring forth. Well I guess it's easier than thinking about what you type isn't it OOTB

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Pragmatic, Jul 15th, 2013 @ 5:47am

        Re: Re: OMG! TWO PRENDA POSTS IN ONE DAY!

        So it's not an anomaly any more? Good. How long till Cathy admits that the Preciousss, I mean, Copyright, is one of the excuses being made for the surveillance state?

         

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    •  
      identicon
      DP, Jul 13th, 2013 @ 10:49am

      Re: OMG! TWO PRENDA POSTS IN ONE DAY!

      I don't OOTB has anything to shout about re. "obsessions". He appears to have more than a few of his own. In fact I would recommend a good psychiatrist or, failing that, a strait-jacket with a special mouth and foot clamp as he is always putting his foot in his mouth - oh, a hand restraint would be good as well to stop any further totally ludicrous, irrelevant and insulting posts. This person needs taking down several pegs, but I expect he will come up against the wrong person one day in real life and it will happen.

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 12th, 2013 @ 6:06pm

    I've read this writeup, and I read the other writeup at Ars as well, and there's one thing I still don't understand:

    As part of this hearing, was Steele required to provide a true and accurate e-mail address, and keep the account open for a set period of time?

    If not, can't all of these "you didn't send it to my correct e-mail" stunts simply continue forever?

    It takes less than 10 seconds to create a gmail account, and you can delete it the same day you create it.

     

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    •  
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      dante866 (profile), Jul 12th, 2013 @ 7:04pm

      Re:

      The issue at hand is that by closing down the account and not supplying another email address, or by destroying the email's, he can be considered in violation of destruction of evidence, as the claims of due process go both ways. Pietz can claim that steele is violating his due process rights by destroying email's and not providing lines of communication. Court rules state that you have to provide a reliable method of communication for court-issued documents, and failing to do so can find you in contempt or other legal quagmires...

       

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    •  
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      Arthur Moore (profile), Jul 12th, 2013 @ 7:10pm

      Re:

      I'm pretty sure that it's part of the courts rules to have a valid E-Mail address on file. The same goes with physical addresses, and telephone number.

      So he's been violating the rules, and the judge called him on it.

      I really think Judge wright is this close to slapping him with sanctions for all the bullshit he's pulling. On the other hand, he might be giving Steele enough rope to hang himself several times over. Especially in the appellate court.

       

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  •  
    identicon
    CK20XX, Jul 12th, 2013 @ 7:13pm

    If John Steele weren't such a blatant con artist, I might actually feel a bit sorry for him. He's probably acting like he is because he's poured all his money and energy into this plan, and now it's not going like he planned and everything is falling apart. That's a difficult thing to back out of. It's been his reason for living for years now, and he doesn't have any friends to fall back on anymore. To own up to anything now basically requires him to cast away his religion, which is very difficult for most people to do.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 12th, 2013 @ 7:16pm

    For the record, the e-mail address he destroyed was a Gmail address.

    He couldn't get a Gmail address to open.

    Very believable.

    (He also claimed to have it for at least a decade when Gmail didn't go into beta until 2004; nitpicky, but why not.)

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 12th, 2013 @ 7:28pm

    So, horse with no name - how much time have you spent your life in Germany? Still thinking that Wright is evil evil evil and Steele is in the clear?

     

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  •  
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    Spaceman Spiff (profile), Jul 12th, 2013 @ 7:31pm

    Tell me why?

    And WHY do these dickheads still have licenses to practice law? Why aren't they disbarred already? Where is the US Bar Association in this case? Haven't they heard the term "due diligence"? They certainly are not practicing it...

     

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    •  
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      Nigel (profile), Jul 12th, 2013 @ 8:39pm

      Re: Tell me why?

      Because justice is often a slow process.

      Nigel.

       

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    •  
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      apauld (profile), Jul 12th, 2013 @ 11:56pm

      Re: Tell me why?

      'Due diligence' is actually only for lawyers that believe in the law, not for lawyers who believe the law is only there to be gamed for their own benefit.

       

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

    •  
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      art guerrilla (profile), Jul 13th, 2013 @ 4:05am

      Re: Tell me why?

      because it is a 'self-policing' profession...

      if it weren't tragic, it would be funny...

      really, tells you the his story of our society when you consider all the elites who set up 'self-policing' situations FOR THEMSELVES; funny us 99% can't get away with 'self-policing'...

      funny, that...

      art guerrilla
      aka ann archy
      eof

       

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  •  
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    Trelly (profile), Jul 12th, 2013 @ 7:55pm

    It's a bit weird that he can register bunches of websites, file doc's with the various courts across the country, talk to his buddies who certainly know how to do basic computery-type stuff, and publicly talk about his most awesome copyright tracking software that they built in-house ...

    but can't master the complexity or cost of free email.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Zem, Jul 12th, 2013 @ 11:09pm

    And here you are all proved wrong.

    and who says patents and copyright are stifling innovation and invention? John Steele has shown tremendous innovation and invention in his actions before the court! Bravo good sir, keep it up and stick it to the naysayers.

     

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    apauld (profile), Jul 13th, 2013 @ 1:11am

    “You're getting all the due process you can stand!”

    Is this Judge Wright foreshadowing/telling Steele in subtle terms that he is about to face lawyer hell? I do think it's a subtle way of Judge Wright telling Steele that he is hanging himself. And that is just great.

     

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      That One Guy (profile), Jul 14th, 2013 @ 8:50pm

      Re: “You're getting all the due process you can stand!”

      Not sure, but the judge might be referring to the 12-minute court case where every single one of them plead the fifth and refused to say a thing. If so, I'd imagine it would make him just a titch annoyed that Steele and co. are now whining that they 'didn't get their due process rights' and 'didn't get to present their side of the story'(Of course if Steele and co. hadn't had the threat of perjury charges hanging over the heads should they have been caught in a lie I'm sure they would have had plenty to say in the court that day...).

       

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    MM_Dandy (profile), Jul 15th, 2013 @ 8:10am

    No honor among lawyers

    It’s called cutting and pasting!

    I read this as either an admission or accusation of outright theft, er, I mean, piracy. Too bad Judge Wright had had enough by then to get to the bottom of that.

     

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  •  
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    sophisticatedjanedoe (profile), Jul 16th, 2013 @ 2:48pm

     

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