Team Prenda Ordered To Pay Yet Another $64k In Yet Another Case

from the it's-adding-up dept

The bill for Team Prenda to pay out to opposing attorneys keeps getting bigger. Over in Minnesota in Guava LLC v. Merkel, a case that had fallen off the radar for many, the judge has ordered Guava, local lawyer Michael Dugas and Paul Hansmeier's Alpha Law Firm to cough up $63,367.02 in attorneys' fees. If you don't recall, Spencer Merkel, the defendant in this case dropped quite a bombshell in this case back in January, in which he revealed that he had agreed to take a dive for Prenda. As his declaration noted:
Michael offered me a settlement deal. The deal consisted of the following parts:

a. I would agree to be sued.

b. Prenda would ask for, and I would provide, a copy of the bit-torrent log from my computer. The excuse for gathering this log is that it would corroborate the IP address evidence that they had already gathered through the use of Prenda's sottware.

c. Prenda would, upon receipt of the information, dismiss the case against me.

4. In discussion of the settlement, Michael stated that he did not know of any pro bono attorneys in Oregon, but could provide the name of an attorney who might take my case in Minnesota. Because I cannot afford to pay an attorney, I agreed to be sued in the state of Minnesota. I then retained my attorney, Trina Morrison, based on the information provided to me by Prenda Law.
In that same filing, he also notes that while he was making this deal all of the communication was from "Prenda" law, and he was surprised when it was Hansmeier's Alpha Law Firm that actually sued.

It would appear that the judge in this case, Tanya Bransford, has a pretty good understanding of the scam being pulled as well, because she also says anyone associated with these firms are no longer allowed to file these kinds of cases without first posting a $10,000 bond:
Plaintiff Guava LLC, Michael K. Dugas, Esq., Alpha Law Firm LLC and any of their agents, officers, directors, employees, representatives, affiliates, and successors, are hereby enjoined from filing any future civil action against the John Does or the ISPs, without first posting a bond with the Court in the amount of $10,000, or such other amount as the Court deems appropriate, and without first obtaining a certificate of authority from the Minnesota Secretary of State.
This is just the basic order in the case, though a full explanation is forthcoming. I imagine it will be a worthwhile read.

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  1. icon
    silverscarcat (profile), 8 Aug 2013 @ 7:07pm


    I'm already out of popcorn...

    Who wants pie?

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

  2. icon
    rw (profile), 8 Aug 2013 @ 7:12pm

    Re: Sheesh...

    I'm in!

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

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Aug 2013 @ 8:57pm

    Copyright law's best and brightest. Break the laws for the glory of copyright.

    average_joe and out_of_the_blue must be so proud.

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

  4. identicon
    JustSomeGuy, 8 Aug 2013 @ 9:25pm


    My schadenfreude levels are reaching an all time high.

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

  5. icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 8 Aug 2013 @ 9:55pm

    Yet these law firms and lawyers are TOTALLY uninvolved with each other.

    something something and monkeys might fly out of my ass.

    Hopefully the full ruling will be something that can be cited in all of their other cases using Judaical Notice.
    I mean getting someone to play patsy so you can do an end run around the courts concerns your abusing the system... seem like that SHOULD be some sort of ethics and legal violation.

    Waiting to see if they get slammed like they need to be, or if the can has been kicked down the road for another Judge to deal with. Pass the buck isn;t how the law should work.

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

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Aug 2013 @ 12:57am


    Of course they are. To them, lawbreaking is something "dirty pirates" do.

    For their side, it's okay to commit immoral campaigns of terror against filesharers, as it'll intimidate people into giving them money, which they *obviously* deserve. /sarc

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

  7. icon
    Ninja (profile), 9 Aug 2013 @ 3:35am

    Re: Sheesh...

    I've got some chicken pie with eggs, cheese and corn here but I'm afraid they aren't as much as we had popcorns =(

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

  8. icon
    Ninja (profile), 9 Aug 2013 @ 3:36am


    something something and monkeys might fly out of my ass.

    Have you met Jim Carey lately? (or Morgan Freeman?)

    I'm betting they'll end up with quite unhealthy debts with the justice ;)

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

  9. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Aug 2013 @ 3:42am

    #6 is interesting.

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

  10. icon
    Anon E. Mous (profile), 9 Aug 2013 @ 8:31am

    What I love the most about the Judge's ruling in this case and the fraud upon the court that perpetrated is that this ruling will now be brought up in other courts where Prenda and their Craigslist found local counsel have been using this same scheme.

    It is interesting to note one again the Hansmeier who claims to have nothing to do with Prenda or any of the associated cases of Prenda has once again been determined to be the point man in all this.

    I would like to know who put the torrent files on Mr Merkel's computer for Prenda to "find". Could it have been good old Steele or was it Hansmeier or his brother Peter.

    Should be interesting with the Prenda case LW Systems with local Craigslist stooge Adam Urbanczyk working supposedly for a defendant in St Clair County court in Illinois.

    In that case this there is a pretty much carbon copy agreement for discovery Between Prenda and the client and Mr Hubbard (Adam Urbanczyk who is supposedly the defense counsel for Mr Hubbard).

    Collusion much? I believe so, lets hope much like in the Minnesota case that someone who isn't working for Prenda Law, will point out to the court how Prenda seems to be foisting another fraud upon the court.

    By the way for those that want to read more about Prenda's Case LW Systems vs Hubbard you can do so at this link at DTD: -county-illinois-13-l-0015/

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

  11. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Aug 2013 @ 10:05am

    John Steele is a MUGU.

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

  12. identicon
    Trelly, 9 Aug 2013 @ 11:02am

    So, when they finally present their appeal to the federal appeals court in November will they have to take the 5th (again...)? Taking the 5th in their own appeal would be just too awesome to watch.

    This is hilarious since all these verdicts are coming in with new evidence.

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

  13. identicon
    Myk, 11 Aug 2013 @ 4:12am

    Response to: Anonymous Coward on Aug 9th, 2013 @ 10:05am

    Once a mugu, always a mugu.

    Question:I haven't seen any mention via the various channels that the bond/s imposed by Judge Wright, and the $500/day J&S penalty, were paid. Is the meter still ticking or did i miss it?

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

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