Prenda Wants Another Judge Who Ruled Against Them Disqualified Because He Gave A Speech

from the same-old-bag-of-tricks dept

One of the many (weak) tricks in the big ol' Prenda "bag of tricks" is to accuse judges who rule against them of bias, and try to get them thrown off the case. It hasn't worked so far, but the Prenda spirit seems to be to never, ever, ever give up trying the same old bogus crap. So here we are with Paul Hansmeier trying to get magistrate judge Franklin Noel disqualified from the case in Minnesota where he's been a giant pain in the ass for Team Prenda, because he's been digging into their actions to determine if a bunch of Minnesota lawsuits were actually fraud on the court. Noel's been pretty careful and methodical, even as Team Prenda has done their usual tapdance. Remember, Judge Noel was the one who ordered them to show up in court with someone who could answer questions -- and Prenda failed to produce Mark Lutz (who, as far as I can tell, is still missing).

So what was Noel's big crime that should get him thrown off the case? Apparently it was giving a talk about copyright trolls and some of the details of Prenda to the Student Federal Bar Association at the University of Minnesota Law School (added bonus: Paul Hansmeier and John Steele are alumni of that school). They claim that the talk is a form of ex parte communication and shows that Judge Noel has "prejudged" them in part because the emailed description of the event mentioned Prenda's "bad behavior." Even as they admit that Noel probably didn't write the email, they say it's guilt by association.

They also claim that the emailed announcement contains details that Hansmeier insists were only filed under seal in the cases -- suggesting that Judge Noel may have revealed that information:
The e-mail further discloses information about the settlement demands in this case. Yet, Plaintiff’s settlement demands were filed under seal by order of the district court. The e-mail’s author appears to be in possession of non-public sealed information, which a reasonable person might conclude was furnished by the Magistrate Judge, even if it was not.
Of course, the information on settlement demands by Team Prenda can be found widely online. Hansmeier leaves that bit out, of course.

Hansmeier continues to flail wildly around, arguing that Judge Noel has clearly been reading blogs including those "created by individuals who have been caught infringing" because "many of his comments echoed criticisms" on those blogs. Of course, what Hansmeier leaves out is that those same criticisms have now been validated by multiple federal courts. It is not, in any way, out of turn for Judge Noel to make note of that. Later, Hansmeier argues that the cases have generated "notoriety" and uses the example that a letter he sent the judge "was the subject of an immediate feature story on several pirate websites." As far as I know, we here at Techdirt were actually the first to write about that letter. I know Ars Technica picked up on our story and wrote one as well. Neither of our sites are "pirate blogs." We're both media organizations that cover a variety of issues. Earlier in his filing, Hansmeier argued that these pirate blogs were all set up by people who had been accused of infringement. That's a blatantly false statement regarding us, and one hopes that Hansmeier will correct the record, though that seems unlikely.

Back to the issue at hand, it does seem a bit strange, and perhaps unwise, for a judge to give a talk about a case that is still ongoing. But whether or not it actually qualifies for being disqualified from the case seems like a stretch. But, it is the Prenda way: flail and flail and flail some more.
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Filed Under: copyright trolls, disqualify, franklin noel, john steele, paul hansmeier
Companies: af holdings, prenda, prenda law

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    Quick Brown Fox, 1 Nov 2013 @ 8:03pm

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