Throughout the document, whenever Steele talks about the financial statement, he says things likes"
"Steele?s submissions were accurate, and no filing since has disproved any aspect of Steele?s statement."
Note the absence of the "complete".
He repeatedly argues that there is nothing false in what he submitted but never will he say that it is a "full" or "complete" accounting.
This is relevant because the judge who asked for that information complained not only that the accountant's statement not only said that they did not conform to generally accepted accounting practices, but "[the CPA] further notes that plaintiff's counsel elected to omit substantially all of the disclosures required by generally accepted accounting principles."
It is mighty suspicious that Steele will only go on record as saying they are accurate but studiously avoids saying they are complete.
One of the reasons the whole porn copyright thing appeals to a certain type of lawyer is that they believe that people are more likely to settle those kinds of lawsuit threats because they don't want their name associated with porn. What those lawyers fail to grasp is that THEIR name will forever be associated with porn. It doesn't matter what kind of arguments he comes up with about how he is in the right, the Hansmeier name and 'porn' are now forever inextricably linked (I bet his attorney father LOVES that!). That's the big picture he failed to see (or saw it but didn't understand he couldn't argue his way out of it).
And now it is biting him in the ass in ways he didn't forsee such as, for example, he appears to be having a hard time finding clients.
In a March 2013 Minneapolis Star-Tribune article about his trying to get paid to go away by objecting to class action settlements, he said: ?You generally start with people that are in your, shall we say, inner circle or whatever. ... Now, I would hope ... that as time goes on that I expand the circle, that I gain some credibility and some experience and a reputation for successfully prosecuting these style of cases.?
I guess that gaining credibility part didn't work out so hot for him.
It appears even his "inner circle" is very small and he is finding it harder and harder to find people that want to participate in slimy 'threaten lawsuits and hope they settle' strategy.
He has been reduced to trying to trick people into being plaintiffs for him.
And I'll bet he, at one time or another, said something like "I don't care that I am getting attention in the tech press. It doesn't matter." Now he is finding out it does matter. Again, it shows he has a hard time seeing the big picture.
What he doesn't seem to get is that as he goes from one 'be a nuisance to get a settlement' gambit to another (from porn copyright to class action objector to ADA threats to small businesses) he is just making his reputation worse and worse. These kinds of stains on your character don't go away for a long, long time in this age of easy Internet searches.
For years to come, a quick Google search will show that his desire for quick bucks with minimal work blinds him to the difference between having the right to do something and it being the right thing to do.
Will he learn his lesson? Probably not. I think odds are he will be able to find some other ADA plaintiffs whose ethical compass is as broken as his is.
Are we sure that Cooper and Gibbs aren't just in cahoots, working with the EFF to take down two hard-working guys doing all they can to fight piracy?
If that were the case, there would be no reason for Steele and Hansmeier obfuscate and repeatedly change their stories.
That is not the behavior of people being unfairly attacked but of shady people trying to hide their unscrupulous actions.
The thing I find worrisome about that document they tried to get Gibbs to sign is that while Gibbs is smart enough not to sign it, Lutz probably is not smart enough not to sign something very much like it.
His warped ethical compass combined with his greed and naivete could very well have allowed Hansmeier to convince Lutz to sign something that pretty much says Lutz is responsible for everything and that he was directing Hansmeier and Steele and not, as is clear to anyone with half a brain, the other way around.
While there would still be consequences for Steele and Hansmeier, they may avoid some of the worst of it because Lutz isn't savvy enough to get his own legal counsel and has let himself be manipulated into being the sacrificial pawn.
And anytime a thought like that occurs to Lutz, they convince him that won't happen and they'll take care of him and the poor sap actually believes it and allows himself to be manipulated even more.
He probably thinks he is playing with the big boys when, in reality, the 'big boys' are playing him for a chump.
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