Another Big Loss For Team Prenda, As Their Bills Keep Adding Up
from the getting-expensive dept
The litigation smacked of bullying pretense.Elsewhere, the judge notes that awarding attorneys' fees is appropriate "when counsel acted recklessly, raised baseless claims despite notice of the frivolous nature of these claims, or otherwise showed indifference to statutes, rules, or court orders," suggesting that he sees Team Prenda's actions as fitting into those categories.
At this point, all of these attorneys' fees wins are more or less meaningless. It's doubtful that any of them will get paid (though, there does appear to be money somewhere...). The main event, a more thorough investigation and possible criminal charges against Team Prenda still await -- but those things take time. Still, that isn't stopping Team Prenda from pulling their standard response to these kinds of rulings against them, pulling the same failed tricks out of their increasingly frayed trick bag.
In this case, it involves Paul Hansmeier claiming "what? who, me?" in response. He notes that, while he was involved in the case at some point, briefly, this was really a Paul Duffy case all along, and he, Hansmeier, along with his partner in crime John Steele, simply had no idea this case was even still going on, let alone that they might be on the hook for potential attorneys' fees. As unbelievable as that might be (and potentially a process violation -- since Hansmeier is no longer a lawyer in this matter, he shouldn't make filings in the case without first getting permission from the court), the bigger issue is that this is the first time I can recall where Hansmeier and Steele appear to pretty clearly be throwing Paul Duffy under the bus.
If you haven't been paying attention, Team Prenda has been gradually dwindling as the main players have gradually thrown the redshirts under the bus one by one. Brett Gibbs went down first, but Mark Lutz was a recent addition to the under-the-bus crew. But, from the beginning, many have argued that Duffy was the patsy for Steele and Hansmeier, and here's a case where Hansmeier appears to be leaving Duffy out to dry on yet another failed case. You'd think that Hansmeier would be more careful, because if there's anyone who likely knows all the details of how Prenda is setup, it would be Paul Duffy. As they say, never throw anyone under the bus who might take you with them. Hansmeier and Steele seemed to miss that with Brett Gibbs, and now they're repeating it with Duffy. As for Lutz, he still seems to be completely MIA, which seems increasingly suspicious... especially since Hansmeier insisted that Lutz would appear shortly to answer questions the court had asked.