Prenda Vileness: Transcripts of John Steele's Voicemails To Alan Cooper

Effluvia

My past coverage of the Prenda Law saga is here.

In my description of the March 11 hearing regarding the Prenda Law saga before Judge Wright, I mentioned that one of the most dramatic moments was when attorney Morgan Pietz played voicemails that John Steele left for Alan Cooper immediately after Steele learned that Cooper was suing for misappropriation of his identity. I said that the voicemails made me feel sympathy for Mr. Cooper and revulsion for Mr. Steele, and that they suggested that Mr. Steele was attempting to threaten and menace Mr. Cooper to deter him from discussing the use of his name.

Today Mr. Pietz, as promised, has filed a transcript of the voicemails. Here it is. Review it, and draw your own conclusions.

A couple of highlights:

IT'S LIKE IF YOU REFUSE TO, YOU
KNOW, RETURN MY CALLS OR — OR ENGAGE IN MANDATORY
CONFERENCE, THEN I'M GOING TO HAVE TO BE FORCED TO
ASK THE JUDGE TO, YOU KNOW, FORCE YOU TO DO THINGS
AND IT JUST GETS UGLY FROM THERE.

I CAN ASSURE YOU THAT JUST IGNORING
LEGAL MATTERS, IT'S NOT GOING TO GO AWAY. I CAN
GUARANTEE YOU, I'M NOT GOING AWAY.
SO I HIGHLY RECOMMEND YOU, AT
LEAST, YOU KNOW, FOLLOW THE RULES OF MINNESOTA,
ILLINOIS, FLORIDA AND SOME OTHER STATES' SOON
CIVIL PROCEDURE BECAUSE, OTHERWISE, YOUR LIFE IS
GOING TO GET REALLY COMPLICATED.
AND I'M SAYING THIS AS A FRIEND, AS
WELL AS OPPOSING COUNSEL.

Last 5 posts by Ken White

63 Comments

63 Comments

  1. Dr.Tom  •  Mar 13, 2013 @12:02 pm

    Boy, with friends like this…

  2. Jeb  •  Mar 13, 2013 @12:07 pm

    I am just stunned. He actually says he is calling "as opposing counsel." You… he… AND HE LEAVES A MESSAGE. Thank God this guy is so damn dumb.

  3. Hasdrubal  •  Mar 13, 2013 @12:07 pm

    Who needs opposing counsel?

  4. Ryan Voots  •  Mar 13, 2013 @12:08 pm

    Well it certainly doesn't look like it started out as threatening as it ended up. I know it may not be kosher to call your opponent (i don't know the correct legal term, so sue me) but the first message at least asking to be told who he should be talking to doesn't sound unreasonable. the rest however seems a little severe. Though that's based off a transcript and not a recording (he could have been screaming it all for all i know).

  5. sorrykb  •  Mar 13, 2013 @12:12 pm

    IANAL, but…
    Since Steele explicitly identified himself as opposing counsel" on at least one call, would this mean that he did in fact violate rules regarding a lawyer directly calling a represented party? (It seems like he could no longer claim — at least not with any credibility* — that he was just one party calling the other party.)

    *Although, come to think of it, lack of credibility hasn't stopped him before.

  6. Ken in NH  •  Mar 13, 2013 @12:18 pm

    Saying, "I'M SAYING THIS AS A FRIEND, AS WELL AS OPPOSING COUNSEL," to a non-lawyer should be grounds for automatic disbarment.

  7. LawDragon  •  Mar 13, 2013 @12:20 pm

    Up here in the great Northwest of Washington, an attorney calling an opposing party he knows to be represented by counsel regarding the case at issue with the intent of discussing the case at issue = BAR COMPLAINT and all kinds of hell from Bar Disciplinary Counsel.

  8. Nilsson  •  Mar 13, 2013 @12:23 pm

    A distant relative was said to have boasted that one of his school teachers complained: You do have a will made of iron, no steel, no diamond! as if that were a compliment. I sure hope my modest intelligence, such as it is, is not due to being his descendant.
    I have no idea why this thought occurred to me now.

  9. Bear  •  Mar 13, 2013 @12:28 pm

    Did these guys really pass bar exams, or did they just reply to a "Add the title " Bachelor degree" to your resume – this week only get additional law license for half off" spam?

  10. Helvetia  •  Mar 13, 2013 @12:29 pm

    It seems to me that Steele's first voicemail indicates that he contacted Cooper's attorney & was informed that Cooper was not represented in the actions about which he was calling. In that case, wouldn't Cooper be proceeding pro se? And wouldn't it then be ethically okay for Steele to contact Cooper with respect to those limited claims? Hence Steele informing Cooper that Cooper's attorney told him Cooper was unrepresented. I do mostly business litigation, so I don't see this very much. Anyone know the answer?

  11. Lucy  •  Mar 13, 2013 @12:30 pm

    ' Ask the judge to force you to do things' coming from a guy in the porn industry would make me nervous.

    Admitting he is calling as opposing council is just stupid. He reminds me of my ex husband, calculated, narcissistic, slippery mofo, and dumb as a box of hammers.

  12. Delvan  •  Mar 13, 2013 @12:34 pm

    Very first message:
    I SPOKE TO HIM AND HE'S CONFIRMED THAT HE IS NOT REPRESENTING YOU FOR THE VARIOUS CLAIMS AND MATTERS THAT I'M PREPARING AGAINST YOU REGARDING STAYIN' AT MY CABIN AND THE VARIOUS DAMAGES AND OTHER THINGS ASSOCIATED WITH THAT

    While I'd also not be likely to retain the services of a housesitter that is suing me for defamation, that still sounds like intimidation to me, playing that card first before asking, y'know, do you have an attorney for this suit I just filed that you don't know about yet? Considering these are claims that he is preparing, as a lay person that reads to me that Cooper hadn't been served re: the defamation suit. But IANAL, maybe thats just the proper lingo and the defamation suit had already been brought to his attention. And while I can certainly see firing a house sitter that is suing you, I can't see suing that house sitter for "damages" related to staying at the cabin; Did he just try to find carpet stains and scratches on the hardwood so he'd have something to sue for? Or does his suit also allege Cooper stopped doing his job, and he felt he might as well just roll that into the defamation suit?

    I'm also a bit unclear whether Cooper was still his house sitter at the time these calls started, if so that turns call #1 into "You're suing me? You're homeless now pal." Sounds like intimidation to me.

  13. mbp  •  Mar 13, 2013 @12:36 pm

    Duh…

    I was carefully avoiding clicking on the links to "fatuglyorslutty" because I figured it was one of those hot or not voting sites.

  14. Jack B.  •  Mar 13, 2013 @12:37 pm

    If I was a lawyer, "I'm saying this as a friend, as well as opposing counsel" would be imminently quotable, as in, "I'm saying this as a friend, as well as opposing counsel: you should let me have that last doughnut."

    Seriously, it sounds like something Barry Zuckerkorn would say on Arrested Development.

  15. Delvan  •  Mar 13, 2013 @12:40 pm

    I WOULD APPRECIATE IF YOU WOULD GIVE ME A CALL BACK. OBVIOUSLY, IF YOU DON'T, I'LL JUST PROCEED WITH, YOU KNOW, FIRST PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR AND PROCESS SERVER.
    So I go to the store to buy some video games. The checkout clerk rings me up, puts the games in the bag.
    "That'll be $129.99, sir. If you don't pay me I'll, y'know, call security and charge you with theft."

    Of course it is a true statement, but I don't think that disqualifies them as threats or intimidation.

  16. Ken  •  Mar 13, 2013 @12:40 pm

    With respect to the contact with represented parties issue:

    1. We only have John Steele's word — in those recordings — that Mr. Godfread did, indeed, tell him that he didn't represent Cooper. I'm not inclined to assume it is true. I've asked Godfread's attorney for a comment.

    2. To the extent John Steele is only a party — as in the pro se suit in Florida — it wouldn't be prohibited as contact with a represented party, at least in most jurisdictions.

    3. BUT John Steele is not a party with respect to the Prenda Law or Duffy lawsuits. And he stupidly refers to himself as counsel.

    All of that aside, whether it's prohibited contact or not, it clearly seems calculated to threaten and intimidate a witness.

  17. Helvetia  •  Mar 13, 2013 @12:43 pm

    @popehat It's incredibly stupid. I was just thinking ahead to the inevitable bar complaints.

  18. Jeff  •  Mar 13, 2013 @12:49 pm

    Well, that's not as bad as I thought it would be. If Steele did first contact Cooper's lawyer, and Cooper's lawyer said "yes I'm representing Mr. Cooper in one matter, but not these others…", then would that clear the way for Steele to contact Cooper directly?

    I think I recall reading from another thread here that there are some common misconceptions about who's allowed to call who anyway… so some clarification on that fundamental rule would be good for us non-lawyer types that are just following along. Are the rules of contact actual defined rules? or are they simply common courtesy?

    In any case, I think given the context of all these shenanigans, Steele's intent is fairly clear… but, to my un-trained non-lawyer mind, this isn't quite as damning as initial reports might have suggested. That is all assuming that Steele didn't lie to Cooper in the voicemails about Cooper's lawyer claiming he wasn't rep'ing Cooper.

  19. Helvetia  •  Mar 13, 2013 @12:52 pm

    @Jeff Many states have adopted codes of professional conduct based on the ABA Model Rules.

    Rule 4.2 states: "In representing a client, a lawyer shall not communicate about the subject of the representation with a person the lawyer knows to be represented by another lawyer in the matter, unless the lawyer has the consent of the other lawyer or is authorized to do so by law or a court order."

    Rule 4.3 states: "In dealing on behalf of a client with a person who is not represented by counsel, a lawyer shall not state or imply that the lawyer is disinterested. When the lawyer knows or reasonably should know that the unrepresented person misunderstands the lawyer’s role in the matter, the lawyer shall make reasonable efforts to correct the misunderstanding. The lawyer shall not give legal advice to an unrepresented person, other than the advice to secure counsel, if the lawyer knows or reasonably should know that the interests of such a person are or have a reasonable possibility of being in conflict with the interests of the client."

    If (more likely when) this goes to the disciplinary committees of the states in which Steele is licensed, I will guarantee you those rules will be in play.

  20. Orville  •  Mar 13, 2013 @12:53 pm

    @Ken: That transcript contains some information you might want to black out.

  21. MattS  •  Mar 13, 2013 @12:54 pm

    I am flabbergasted that Steel ended the first call with "Have a good day".

    I mean really, from the tone of the rest of the message, this amounts to:

    I am going to smack you around like a little bitch. Have a nice day. :-)

  22. Ken  •  Mar 13, 2013 @12:56 pm

    @Orville: it's a transcript filed publicly and available on PACER. I might be missing something — what are you thinking of?

  23. Orville  •  Mar 13, 2013 @12:58 pm

    If he thinks nothing of leaving voice mail messages like this then I have to wonder what gems are sitting on his email server.

  24. Orville  •  Mar 13, 2013 @12:59 pm

    John Steele's phone number is listed.

  25. Ken  •  Mar 13, 2013 @1:08 pm

    Orville, because it's in a document filed publicly, and since it's in a transcript, and since it's from an unsolicited message, I'm not inclined to redact it.

  26. anne mouse  •  Mar 13, 2013 @1:08 pm

    Having litigated against the unrepresented, these transcripts are, at first blush, not nearly as shocking as I was expecting.
    Yes, Steele was really, really sloppy. Didn't emphasize "get a lawyer" or that his interests were adverse. And yet, Cooper *was* represented in other matters, so presumably doesn't need to be told what lawyers are for. What does bug me on closer reading is that Steele didn't clarify his role in each suit, and was not always clear which suits he was calling about (seems he never missed a chance to mention lawsuits that didn't exist yet). And from what I know of Prenda, I really, really wonder exactly what Steele asked Godfrey that allowed Steele to conclude that Cooper was unrepresented with respect to the (not-yet-filed, apparently) lawsuit over the cabin, never mind whatever the suits in "illinois, florida, minnesota and some other states" were going to be about.

  27. That Anonymous Coward  •  Mar 13, 2013 @1:12 pm

    Pro Se and asking for lawyer fees seems wrong to me.
    But then so does someone having signed a doc promising to stop representing himself as a lawyer able to practice in FL doing this.

  28. an observer  •  Mar 13, 2013 @1:31 pm

    I'm just glad that National Lampoon's O.C. and Stiggs had better lawyers than these guys. "Mexican mobile trailer lawyers are like sharks." And a hell of a lot smarter than these guys.

  29. Jack B.  •  Mar 13, 2013 @1:53 pm

    I'm just glad that National Lampoon's O.C. and Stiggs had better lawyers than these guys. "Mexican mobile trailer lawyers are like sharks." And a hell of a lot smarter than these guys.

    That's an impressive reference! I haven't heard the names O.C. and Stiggs in almost 20 years.

  30. Dan  •  Mar 13, 2013 @1:54 pm

    Wait, you have a BetterCallSaul tag?! Awesome.

    Also, those voice mails are absurd. I had a represented party call me (opposing counsel) directly once, and I freaked out, hung up, and called that party's attorney. These communications posted here strike me as way out of line.

  31. Kevin  •  Mar 13, 2013 @2:03 pm

    @Jack B

    If I was a lawyer, "I'm saying this as a friend, as well as opposing counsel" would be imminently quotable, as in, "I'm saying this as a friend, as well as opposing counsel: you should let me have that last doughnut."

    What it reminded me of was Fear and Loathing in Las Veags…. as in "As a friend, as well as opposing counsel, I advise you to rent a very fast car with no top. And you'll need the cocaine."

  32. Anonymous  •  Mar 13, 2013 @2:09 pm

    @Orville

    You may not have to wonder about it, at least not much longer.

    If Sophisticated Jane Doe and Die Troll Die put together a best hits from when Steele used to comment on the blogs, you will find out for yourself. John also had a couple of Twitter feeds where he spewed his malice, including publishing threats to buy off John Does' lawyers; that he would make under the table offers to their clients and have them work for him behind the scenes.

    In fact, there has been affidavit filed by Spencer Merkel, a defendant in one of Prenda's suits, that states he agreed to cooperate with Prenda and hired a "defense" attorney of their choosing to collude in directing the litigation and discovery vs. additional John Does.

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130125/15575421793/defendant-prenda-law-case-reveals-he-agreed-to-take-dive.shtml

    Hopefully the bloggers will serve up some of these gems shortly, believe me we have been hoarding it all in anticipation of this day.

  33. Waldo  •  Mar 13, 2013 @2:12 pm

    I'm having difficulty keeping everything straight.

    1. What lawsuits are out there involving both Cooper and Steele?

    2. What is the relative timing between these voice messages?

    I'm skeptical that Steele violated any ethical rule here (or least there's not enough here for a disciplinary board to do anything). He was smart enough to state that he was calling about matters on which Cooper did not have any representation, although the timing sure looks suspicious.

    Of all the stuff Prenda has supposedly done, most of it strike me as sleezy rather than unethical or anything they will get in trouble for. The BIG exception, however, is forging Cooper's signature on documents and representing to the court the validity of that signature, if this is in fact what happened.

  34. Anonymous  •  Mar 13, 2013 @2:14 pm

    @Orville

    You may not have to wonder much longer.

    If Sophisticated Jane Doe and Die Troll Die put together a best hits from when Steele used to comment on the blogs, you will find out for yourself. John also had a couple of Twitter feeds where he spewed his malice, including publishing threats to buy off John Does' lawyers; that he would make under the table offers to their clients and have them work for him behind the scenes.

    In fact, there has been affidavit filed by Spencer Merkel, a defendant in one of Prenda's suits, that states he agreed to cooperate with Prenda and hired a "defense" attorney of their choosing to collude in directing the litigation and discovery vs. additional John Does.

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130125/15575421793/defendant-prenda-law-case-reveals-he-agreed-to-take-dive.shtml

    Hopefully the bloggers will serve up some of these gems shortly, believe me we have been hoarding it all in anticipation of this day.

  35. Windypundit  •  Mar 13, 2013 @2:30 pm

    "I'M SAYING THIS AS A FRIEND" should be the new "CONDUCT YOURSELF ACCORDINGLY"

  36. jackn  •  Mar 13, 2013 @2:40 pm

    The BIG exception, however, is forging Cooper's signature on documents and representing to the court the validity of that signature, if this is in fact what happened.

    I read the trasscripts as Steele telling cooper, he better not complain about having his identity misappropriated and if he does, Steel will make his life miserable.

    This might not be unethical to a lawyer, but to everyone else, this is the most unethical aspect. Not just stealing the ID, but being so in your face about it.

    If ethics were baked into law, steel would be disbarred at this point, and maybe in prison. He would also be responsible to make amends to Cooper.

  37. doeknob  •  Mar 13, 2013 @2:42 pm

    @Waldo, I only know the answer to one.

    Steele was talking about the defamation suits that were filed separately by Steele, Duffy, and Prenda against Cooper, his lawyer Godfread, and all people that have ever viewed fightcopyrighttrolls.com or dietrolldie.com.

    They were three separate suits all filed in St. Claire county IL that were removed to federal jurisdiction.

    It is true that Cooper was not represented by Goodfread in these suits. "A lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client" or however that goes. Instead, Cooper and Goodfread were represented by Jason Sweet and Erin Russel.

    I really don't know the timelines of when each individual was considered to have retained an attorney though.

  38. Pro Hac Vice  •  Mar 13, 2013 @3:03 pm

    "AS WELL AS OPPOSING COUNSEL."

    IANAL and even I know how wrong that is. I'm just glad it was recorded, because this is all kinds of bad.

  39. Jag  •  Mar 13, 2013 @3:06 pm

    Now trending on Twitter:

    #IMSAYINGHISASAFRIENDASWELLASOPPOSINGCOUNSEL

  40. Michael Chandra  •  Mar 13, 2013 @3:07 pm

    Those voicemails sounded a lot like "Oh goodie, you have a lawyer in 1 case against us, we're going to keep tossing separate lawsuits against you so that you have to pay for lawyers in each and every case". Which is disgusting.

  41. eh  •  Mar 13, 2013 @3:31 pm

    If Steele was calling about things he was preparing, how is Cooper supposed to have representation for unfiled cases, much less Steele be 'opposing counsel' in cases not yet filed? Sounds more like a plain threat by a lawyer.

  42. Nilsson  •  Mar 13, 2013 @3:32 pm

    So, there's Steele, there's Cooper, someone got brass, and everyone wonders who's in lead. That's a lot of heavy elements involved, no wonder corrosion occurs. We'll see if anyone can put the Pietzes wright here.

  43. Dan Weber  •  Mar 13, 2013 @3:32 pm

    What is the URL for the RECAP page for this case?

  44. Nicholas Weaver  •  Mar 13, 2013 @3:47 pm

    http://ia601508.us.archive.org/28/items/gov.uscourts.cacd.543744/gov.uscourts.cacd.543744.docket.html

    There was also a copy of a couple of smackdowns of other trolls added as an "FYI" to the judge.

  45. Dan Weber  •  Mar 13, 2013 @3:54 pm

    Thank you. I had previously found http://archive.recapthelaw.org/cacd/543744/ but lost the URL, but was able to recreate it based on your information. Not sure what the difference is.

  46. John O.  •  Mar 13, 2013 @3:55 pm

    The depositions themselves don't look all that serious if they were the only issue on the table involving the Prenda team in their cases, but its become rather obvious that the desire to play by their own rules makes this very unhelpful for their escalating troubles.

  47. Oomph  •  Mar 13, 2013 @4:07 pm

    "I CAN ASSURE YOU THAT JUST IGNORING LEGAL MATTERS, IT'S NOT GOING TO GO AWAY" – Something John Steele would never do, he always turns up at cou… oh.

  48. Delvan  •  Mar 13, 2013 @4:23 pm

    @Oomph: Well played, sir/ma'am, well played.

  49. MattS  •  Mar 13, 2013 @4:46 pm
  50. Waldo  •  Mar 13, 2013 @5:08 pm

    "I read the trasscripts as Steele telling cooper, he better not complain about having his identity misappropriated . . . ."

    There's nothing in the transcripts that even remotely states that. You may or may not be correct in inferring that something like that was what Steele intended to tell Cooper if Cooper had called him. But, the transcripts themselves do not say that.

  51. Matthew Cline  •  Mar 13, 2013 @5:15 pm

    For the most part, I don't read that as Steele trying to intimidate Cooper into backing off; it just sounds like Steele's trying to get in contact with Cooper or Cooper's lawyer. I mean, Steele did talk about negative consequences, but those negative consequences were for Cooper not responding about discovery stuff. I dunno, maybe I'm tone-deaf when it comes to non-overt threats.

    However, the part where he says "I KNOW YOU'VE BEEN SERVED WITH A THIRD LAWSUIT. AND THERE ARE MORE COMING. DON'T WORRY ABOUT THAT", now that sounds like it might be an attempt at intimidation.

    One thing I'm curious about:

    I'VE BEEN NOTIFIED BY ATTORNEY PAUL GODFREAD THAT HE IS NOT REPRESENTING YOU IN THE TWO ILLINOIS CASES THAT YOU'VE RECENTLY SERVED.

    Is one of those Steele's defamation lawsuit and the second his lawsuit about the cabin Cooper is staying in? Or is the second one another defamation lawsuit?

    @Ken:

    We only have John Steele's word — in those recordings — that Mr. Godfread did, indeed, tell him that he didn't represent Cooper. I'm not inclined to assume it is true. I've asked Godfread's attorney for a comment.

    Considering that Cooper is currently in contact with Godfread, Steele would have to be really stupid to lie about that. I mean, he's already done some really stupid things, but nothing that stupid… yet.

  52. Anonymous  •  Mar 13, 2013 @5:28 pm

    @Matthew Cline

    Are you serious? That barely registers as stupid by Steele's standards. Going by Monday he may have done many things that are far, far more stupid. Do you really think that's dumber than creating a fake company by stealing someone's identity and then using that company as a sham plaintiff in a nationwide lawsuit campaign? While not filing tax returns for any of the companies involved?

    The real question is will there ever be consequences.

  53. IANAL  •  Mar 13, 2013 @5:36 pm

    > Considering that Cooper is currently in contact with Godfread, Steele would have to be really stupid to lie about that. I mean, he's already done some really stupid things, but nothing that stupid… yet.

    If it ends up being his word vs. theirs, I know which side I find to be more credible. Remember also that there's a separate case where a man claims to have "settled" with him by having them hire a lawyer to represent him, then deliberately losing the case, all so that they could get subscriber information about third parties. And then they allegedly sued him again afterwards anyhow, which is when these actions came to light.

    In my opinion, it seems rather odd that so many apparently independent people have claimed that they were engaged in legally anomalous activities. Thus I think of Prenda law as being somewhere on the Orly level. Whether you take "Orly" to refer to the memetic owl, the famous litigant, or both is up to you. I will say that I can easily picture that surprised owl when I hear of the latest developments in these cases.

  54. Matthew Cline  •  Mar 13, 2013 @5:50 pm

    Do you really think that's dumber than creating a fake company by stealing someone's identity and then using that company as a sham plaintiff in a nationwide lawsuit campaign? While not filing tax returns for any of the companies involved?

    There was a chance that those things could have gone without notice. What chance is there that Cooper isn't talking with his attorney?

  55. Ben  •  Mar 13, 2013 @5:51 pm

    As Matthew Cline already pointed out, this is the one biggest highlight of the transcript:

    YOU HAVE NOT RESPONDED OR CONTACTED
    ME REGARDING LITIGATION YOU'RE INVOLVED IN. I
    KNOW YOU'VE BEEN SERVED WITH A THIRD LAWSUIT.
    AND THERE ARE MORE COMING. DON'T WORRY ABOUT THAT.

  56. Anonymous  •  Mar 13, 2013 @6:04 pm

    It's probably worth noting here that communicating directly with represented parties is just business as usual for Prenda, there are many examples and it has come up a couple times in requests for sanctions, unfortunately courts and bar associations generally do not care about attorney misconduct, otherwise this would not have gone as far as it has.

  57. James Pollock  •  Mar 13, 2013 @6:14 pm

    "I'm skeptical that Steele violated any ethical rule here (or least there's not enough here for a disciplinary board to do anything). "
    He might skate on the contacting a represented party rule, but there's also a rule against making misrepresentations of fact to anyone that's probably going to trip him up.

  58. MattS  •  Mar 13, 2013 @7:09 pm

    James Pollock,

    "He might skate on the contacting a represented party rule, but there's also a rule against making misrepresentations of fact to anyone that's probably going to trip him up."

    Probably???? LOL

    Is there anything that has come out of John Steele's mouth that hasn't been a misrepresentation of fact?

  59. IANAL  •  Mar 13, 2013 @9:57 pm

    At this point, I'm surprised Mr. Steele hasn't accused someone of stealing his identity and making up a bunch of crazy lawsuits….

    It's not any crazier than the other stuff we've heard about so far.

  60. Anonymous  •  Mar 13, 2013 @10:51 pm

    @IANAL

    You guys are so late to this party it's not even funny!

    Check out Gibbs' earlier shenanigans from this case. In one of his and Steele's desperate attempts to avoid drawing the Court's attention to the Alan Cooper fraud he accused Morgan Pietz of only pretending to represent a defendant (who's identity was unknown because of the defendant's John Doe status).

    http://fightcopyrighttrolls.com/2013/01/09/attorney-for-a-fake-plaintiff-questions-the-existence-of-a-defendant-he-is-suing/

    From one of Gibbs' filings


    Mr. Pietz has demonstrated repeated hostility toward Plaintiff and toward the undersigned, and, as such, would have sufficient motive to interfere with Plaintiff’s cases without the formality of actually having a client involved in the instant litigation. For the reasons contained herein, the “putative John Doe in 2:12-cv-08333-ODW-JC” could be an invention of Mr. Pietz, and Mr. Pietz should thus be required to submit evidence that he actually represents the individual whom he claims to represent.

    Imagine the balls that took! Accusing Pietz of fabricating a defendant when Prenda were the ones fabricating a CEO! I've been following this for two years and in light of Monday's hearing I'm still absolutely stunned to go back and reread these things and reconnect the dots.

    And let us not forget the classic Brett Gibbs quote when Pietz pressed him on their inability to identify their CEO Alan Cooper:

    "I am sure there are hundreds of Alan Cooper in this world."

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20121212/00354121354/copyright-troll-prenda-law-dances-around-simple-question-which-alan-cooper-runs-af-holdings.shtml

    If anyone is inclined to believe Gibbs was a dupe and a patsy (and I concede he put on a good show for Wright), dig into stuff like this and ask yourself how he could not have suspected that Steele was up to no good, and he was an awfully aggressive and arrogant participant.

  61. kc  •  Mar 14, 2013 @5:26 pm

    The worst part is that Steele said that stuff in ALL CAPS.

  62. Sock a Puppet  •  Mar 15, 2013 @9:25 am

    @kc

    Good one!

  63. Joe Pullen  •  Mar 15, 2013 @10:38 am

    @kc @sock a puppet – as Ken said, it's the new shouty font.