Strike 3's Lawyer Sanctioned By Court, Excuses His Actions By Claiming He Can't Make Technology Work

from the strike-1 dept

When it comes to the art of copyright trolling, part of that art necessarily pretends that all potential victims of the trolling effort are assumed to be masters of both technology and copyright law, such that they are both responsible for what goes on with their internet connections and that no action they take could possibly be a forgivable accident. These assumptions operate across the victim spectrum without regard to the the victim being of advanced age or incredibly young, or even whether the victim is sick or lacks the mental capacity to carry out the supposed infringement. The assumption in just about every case is that the accused is fully responsible.

Which is the standard that then should be applied to Strike 3 Holding's lawyer, Lincoln Bandlow, who had to go to court to explain why he and his firm failed to provide a status update on 25 cases, despite the court ordering he do so, and was forced to explain why he thinks the court shouldn't just sanction him. Barlow attempts to explain this all away as a simple matter of he and his firm not being able to make their technology work.

The most recent sanctions hearing in Sacramento came as a result of Bandlow and Strike 3 failing to provide a status report related to at least 15 cases within a 45-day period. On Jan. 2, Magistrate Judge Carolyn Delaney ordered Strike 3 to explain why it shouldn’t be sanctioned $250 for missing those deadlines. At least 25 Strike 3 cases are at issue on Wednesday, according to a search of Strike 3’s court dockets.

Bandlow said in court filings that Strike 3 failed to file the status reports because it had “encountered issues with its calendaring procedure” for cases in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California. He also said the filing mistakes were in part due to a lack of staff during the holidays and an inability to receive emails from the court.

In a separate interview, Bandlow complained that this whole issue is ridiculous, since he claims that in his copyright trolling cases there would be very little about which to update the court after a mere 45 days. He also blamed the failure to provide these status updates on his firm's spam filter. The claim is, apparently, that the firm's spam filter blocked several emails from this specific court. In addition, he and his firm also had issues using this specific court's docketing software.

None of which, mind you, would have been valid excuses were this one of Bandlow's copyright cases. You can practically hear one of Strike 3's victims proclaiming that they weren't sure how to set up proper security on their wireless access point to make sure others couldn't come along and use it to infringe. It's obvious how that argument would play to Bandlow's ears were it to be made.

It's also worth noting that this particular lawyer aand this particular law firm are not the typical copyright trolling outfits. Fox Rothschild is an enormous firm, employing more than 900 attorneys. Barlow is a higher-up at the firm. With the resources afforded to this lawyer at this firm, blaming technology for not meeting court-mandated deadlines is laughable. And, yet, here he is blaming his inability to whitelist the court's email server as the reason he should not be sanctioned for not following the court's orders.

Well, that and the ridiculous claim by Bandlow that he's already sanctioned himself.

Bandlow voluntarily dismissed the cases in which he missed a deadline and told the court he would not file new cases in the Eastern District of California until he was able to fix the technical problems he was experiencing with the court.

“In essence, we’ve sort of sanctioned ourselves in a weird way because that is $400 per filing, and all of that is down the drain,” Bandlow said.

It takes a lot to make me cry and this doesn't quite reach that bar. And it didn't meet the court's bar either, apparently as the decision came down to sanction Barlow despite his excuses and despite the voluntary dismissal of the cases in question.

In light of Mr. Bandlow’s representations at the hearing, the court recognizes that his bad faith is not the most egregious kind. The court believes that Mr. Bandlow’s apologies are sincere. At the same time, the fact remains that Mr. Bandlow delayed and disrupted the litigation here by willfully ignoring, and thereby disobeying, explicit orders and warnings from the court—conduct that is unacceptable from any attorney, let alone one with over twenty-five years of experience. See Chambers, 501 U.S. at 46. Therefore, for the foregoing reasons, the court determines that it is appropriate to impose monetary sanctions on plaintiff’s counsel, Lincoln D. Bandlow, but in a lesser amount than originally contemplated.

The sanctions only amount to $750. Still, this is the first time Barlow has ever been sanctioned by a court and it only happened once he decided to get into the trolling bed with a porn company infamous for copyright trolling. Perhaps that will serve as some kind of a warning for other attorneys out there.

Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: copyright, copyright trolling, lincoln bandlow, porn trolling, sanctions
Companies: fox rothschild, strike 3, strike 3 holdings

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. icon
    Gary (profile), 28 Feb 2019 @ 7:41pm


    Ok. I can't site for obvious reasons. But I have interacted with lawfirms that had to stand up before a judge and swear "The Spam Filter ate that request."
    Just saying. Not because the lawyer in question was an ass. It was the spam filter - really!!

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

  2. icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 28 Feb 2019 @ 8:15pm

    Aww poor thing... you let your contempt of the legal system being anything but a cog in your well oiled extortion scheme go to your head.

    You filed 25 cookie cutter cases & were unable to keep track of them b/c spam filters?? Sorry you are having a bad day, but if your firm lacks someone who can fix these issues for you (I mean really I never saw the notice how was I supposed to know things were due, & there wasn't even that much to report) did your ECF login get lost pookie?

    If you are unable to follow your own cases without someone holding your hand telling you things are due... perhaps law isn't right for you.

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

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Feb 2019 @ 9:47pm

    No such thing as short-staffing if one pays enough.

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

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Feb 2019 @ 10:15pm

    Jhon... is that you boy?

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

  5. identicon
    cpt kangarooski, 28 Feb 2019 @ 10:31pm

    Re: Filters...

    Yeah, I've seen that before too. Even when true, it's still no excuse, however.

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

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Feb 2019 @ 11:09pm

    Re: Jhon... is that you boy?

    Personally I'm waiting for blue boy to show up in mouth-frothing defense of Malibu Media the Second. Or should that be Prenda the Third?

    Another proud demonstration by the heroes of copyright enforcement! Hamilton, eat your heart out.

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

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Mar 2019 @ 5:23am

    Re: Filters...

    It's the modern equivalent of the dog that ate the homework...

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

  8. icon
    Oninoshiko (profile), 1 Mar 2019 @ 7:51am

    I have a reason he shouldn't be fined

    Because the punishment should be to just toss the cases out.

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

  9. icon
    James Burkhardt (profile), 1 Mar 2019 @ 8:04am

    Re: Filters...

    Seriously, if they aren't competent in IT (not everyone is or can be) a lawyer needs a professional setting up his email and whitelisting the domain of the courts the lawyer practices in. If you don't, there is no excuse.

    10, 15 years ago? Fine. Still weird but using email with the courts was probably new at that point. Today? not so much.

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

  10. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 1 Mar 2019 @ 8:33am

    Re: I have a reason he shouldn't be fined

    Better idea: Both. The cases are tossed and he gets fined.

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

  11. identicon
    Qwertygiy, 1 Mar 2019 @ 9:44am

    Re: Re: I have a reason he shouldn't be fined

    Which is, indeed, what happened. (Although being dropped isn't quite the same as dismissal, should be close enough.)

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

  12. icon
    ECA (profile), 1 Mar 2019 @ 12:16pm

    Can you?

    move the last paragraph to the beginning??
    It would explain allot more..

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

  13. identicon
    William Hudson, Esq., 2 Jul 2020 @ 10:44pm

    Lincoln Bandlow

    Wow, he really lacks ethics. I heard he is under bar investigation and others are bringing a suite against him this fall. He continues to clog the courts with this frivolous troll lawsuits. Strike 3 LL holdings is attempting to use the courts as an ATM machine. They are TROLLS. They are unethical. They bring tons of suits and abuse the Miami-dade courts. One must wonder...are the judges in that county that approve these IP inquiries...are they being bribed or paid off? We know at least one of these judges approving these cases was sanctioned by the Supreme Court of Florida last year - and suspended too - for ethical violations. Strike 3 LLC holdings is abusing the Miami-Dade courts by missing this old provision under the law called “pure bill of discovery” - they are using this to get info from the cable companies. They are doing this to circumvent FEDERAL court law and reduce their costs. This way they can bring massive lawsuits without paying to file them individually. And also to file them in the separate courts where they belong. Also a closer inspection of the cases they prosecute will show a CLEAR BIAS against people in higher income zip codes. Which underscores that this is a rocketeering schem to get MONEY from people rather than actually try to deter downloads or eliminate torrent downloads. If they really wanted to fix that, they would go after: 1. Torrent download sites, 2. Torrent download services, 3. The cable companies, and 4. They could send a warning to someone with a torrent download to prevent this.

    But they just want to try to embarrass you so you will settle. We need 1000 people to fight them in court in 2020.

    Bring it on!

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

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)


Add A Reply

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.