Prenda Hit With $12,000 In Sanctions Over Its Bogus Defamation Suit

from the Assclown-Law-racks-up-another-debit dept

The spectacular Prenda flameout continues. As was reported here back in January, US District Judge John Darrah approved Paul Godfread and Alan Cooper's request for sanctions at the tail end of Prenda's disastrous defamation suit (one John Steele himself did plenty to undermine). Now, we have a dollar amount. (via Ars Technica)
Today, Judge Darrah in the Northern District of Illinois granted yet another sanctions award against copyright troll Prenda Law. Paul Godfread and Alan Cooper have been awarded $11,758.20 as reimbursement for a portion of the fees they have spent on attorneys in defending themselves against Prenda’s defamation lawsuit.

The Court awarded the sanctions under both Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11 as well as its inherent power to sanction provided in 28 U.S.C. § 1927. In the Court’s own words, the sanctions award was “[b]ased on Prenda’s misrepresentations in this Court” and the Defendants’ incurred fees were “occasioned by the misconduct of Prenda Law and Paul A. Duffy in this Court.”
This will be added to the half-million in (mostly uncollected) sanctions levied against Prenda since the beginning of last year. Prenda tried to argue that the hourly fee requested was ridiculously high.
According to the American Intellectual Property Law Association’s 2013 Report of the Economic Survey, intellectual property attorneys based in Chicago and Boston within the first quartile bill $400 per hour, in line with the amount billed by Defendants’ counsel, who are based in Chicago and Boston. (Dkt. No. 61, Ex. B.) Yet, Prenda argues that this rate is “exorbitant” because Defendants’ attorney Erin Russell is not registered before the United States Patent and Trademark Office and, therefore, not an intellectual property attorney.
"Apropos of what," Judge Darrah doesn't even bother asking.
Prenda cites no law supporting this contention, and its claim of exorbitant rates fails.
Prenda also argued that some of the fees incurred were "self-inflicted" and not the direct result of its bogus lawsuit/endless dicking around. Darrah dismantles this argument as well.
The basis of Prenda’s mitigation argument is that Defendants chose not to trust Prenda to withdraw its motion to remand. Defendants’ failure to trust Prenda was not unreasonable, given Prenda’s vigorous defense of its motion to remand on the same day it filed its motion to withdraw the motion. In any event, Defendants’ response to Prenda’s motion to remand was sufficiently quick and efficient. Not only did Defendants file their response within six days, they filed it on the same day that Prenda presented its motion to withdraw. Prenda’s opposition with respect to Defendants’ fees being self-inflicted or avoidable is denied.
Prenda did manage to come out of this in slightly better shape than it could have. Darrah only awarded the attorney's fees racked up in his court, not including anything that occurred in a separate court in 2013. That decision cut the awarded amount roughly in half.

This appears to be the final moments for Prenda Law, a sordid episode of legal abuse that is ending with lots of (gavel) banging and (Prenda partner) whimpering.

Filed Under: alan cooper, defamation, john steele, paul duffy, paul godfread, paul hansmeier, sanctions
Companies: af holdings, prenda, prenda law


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  1. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 17 Jun 2014 @ 11:57am

    Re: Not good enough

    Indeed, it doesn't matter how much they're ordered to pay out, unless there's some real punishment for failing to do so, the fine amount is meaningless. Then you've got lying to the courts, multiple times, and yet not a single perjury charge in sight...

    Even when they get 'punished', copyright trolls still make out like kings, because the courts aren't willing to actually do anything concrete about them, just a slap on the wrist here, and a 'Don't let me catch you doing that again' there.

    And the Bar... well, they might as well not exists, given being a lawyer is apparently a permanent job, where once you're in, you can do whatever you want with impunity.

    I'd say the only consolation is the potential that the IRS is sniffing about Prenda, which if true, it may take a few years to pan out, but when it does... oh the carnage should be glorious.

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