Alan Cooper Strikes Back, Files Counterclaim Against Prenda Law and Paul Duffy

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112 Responses

  1. Earle says:

    I read the answering document yesterday and the whole time I was asking myself "How much did this cost?". I don't generally bother myself with that question, but in light of Mr. Cooper's presumptive innocence in this affair it strikes me as an extremely malicious ploy on the part of Prenda Law et al to force someone to have to answer so much bullshit.

  2. Another dog that didn't bark: where's the Livewire Holdings defamation lawsuit that Hensmeier was supposedly retained to pursue? I recall only Prenda and its lawyers suing.

  3. Dan Weber says:

    Was filing in three different courts a deliberate attempt to drive up costs?

    Also, Exhibit C made me go "awwwww…".

  4. Bear says:

    Who Are Cooper and Godfread Suing, Anyway? My main criticism of the counterclaims is that they are rather vague as to who is suing whom.

    In their defense, I have to wonder if you're allowed to copy&paste an org chart in the defendant space on the forms.

    "Vagueness" does look to this NAL to be the main Prenda et al defensive strategy. That and permanent plane reservations for the bugout.

  5. Joe says:

    Extra douchebag points for Mr. Hansmeier: the reference to William Mitchell is a dig. Hansmeier went to the University of MN. In the Twin Cities legal community, grads from UMN generally look down on grads from William Mitchell. Hansmeier is trying to lord his higher ranked and "better" law school over Mr. Godfread. Of course, as most people who practice law in the Twin Cities actually know, William Mitchell grads are often far superior lawyers in practice to UMN grads.

    I say that as an alum of the University of Minnesota Law School.

  6. Nicholas Weaver says:

    Oh, another thing: Isn't this a fairly early response? That is, couldn't Godfread and Cooper just wait a week or two more before filing? Or perhaps ask for/stipulate an extension in response?

    If so, the strategy seems to be "don't LET Prenda pull a Carreon" and go, 'whoops, me bad, dismiss without prejudice.'.

  7. Josh M. says:

    Oh, gods…can't…eat…any…more…popcorn…

  8. Phil says:

    Wow, just…wow. I found Popehat a couple of weeks ago via a link from an Arstechnica article, and have been closely following what's been going on with Prenda Law ever since.

    Attorneys and judges are a necessary part of society…but what unprincipled attorneys like these guys do is not only undermine the entire law community, but place a large burden on the same society that they're supposed to be providing justice to. It's wrong on so many levels. Good luck to Mr. Cooper – sounds like he's found a competent attorney in Mr. Godfread.

    I don't know how this particular story will end, but however it does end, I hope that Judge Wright (and any other judges that end up getting involved) sends a clear message to any other would-be extortioners that this behavior is unacceptable and won't be tolerated.

  9. John Henry says:

    "I suspect that you aligned yourself with these defamatory efforts as a marketing strategy."

    Because that is the only reason anyone does anything, right? I mean, what other reason is there? That's the reason we all went to law school. Duh.

  10. John Ammon says:

    I can't wait to see what Judge Wright has to say about this.

    Also, pretty OT, but Adam, I think if there's ever a film about some epic future exploit of yours, I dare say they should cast Benedict Cumberbact to play you… …I'd watch it.

  11. Dan says:

    In most states, you can file an answer that just says, in so many words, "y'all is full of shit."

    You've been reading my Missouri civil procedure hornbook again, haven't you?

  12. orvis barfley says:

    oh, man.  this is excellent stuff.  better than any novel i've sought to internalize.

    attorneys and judges — and cops — are necessary parts of society much in the way that anuses are necessary parts of bodies.  ya gotta have 'em but you don't want to think about 'em unless they're giving you trouble.

    in this case that isn't true.  fascinating story well told.

  13. Jim Tyre says:

    Ken, you really should adopt "welcome to the big leagues" as your slogan, it's so wonderful. (Though Hansmeier might sue you for copyright infringement if you do.)

  14. Matthew Cline says:

    There's an awful lot of "Paragraph X of Plaintiff’s Complaint is not directed at Defendants, and they therefore provide
    no response thereto". Is it normal for a complaint to have so many paragraphs not directed at the defendants?

  15. Dan says:

    Quick anecdote about this:

    Usually they are formulaic, and it's sadly common practice just to cut and paste every defense you ever heard of to preserve it, whether or not it has any connection to the case at hand.

    I left a firm for a better paying one, and a friend of mine took over my caseload and inherited my horrific secretary. He dictated a response and said, after listing specific affirmative defenses, "add the boilerplate affirmative defenses". Of course, she literally typed out in the pleading "The Boilerplate Affirmative Defenses", and this thing was filed. She was fired for incompetence…

  16. John Henry says:

    The assumption is that it was the Does that said the stuff that Godfread and Cooper did not.

  17. Michael Mock says:

    So, just how bad does all this look for Prenda Law? IANAL, but here's my guess: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3ZOKDmorj0

  18. Lyssandri says:

    I know I said this before, but – oh man – do I wish that Orly Taitz had to appear in front of Judge Wright. He might actually be one of the few Judges who would hold her feet to the fire and make her have to deal with actual consequences for her vexatious and incompetent behaviour.

  19. Ygolonac says:

    "Oh no, Br'er Prenda, y'all dassn't stick yore hand into that-there bear trap and hammer on the trigger plate!"

    "Welcome to the big leagues." WHAM WHAM *SNAP*

  20. Trebuchet says:

    @Jim Tyre:

    Ken, you really should adopt "welcome to the big leagues" as your slogan, it's so wonderful. (Though Hansmeier might sue you for copyright infringement if you do.)

    Sorry, it doesn't hold a candle to "Snort my taint". Or even "Snort my pony's taint".

  21. Jeff says:

    I'm considering the very small possibility that Alan Cooper is Keyser Soze.

  22. En Passant says:

    Thanks for this analysis of the defamation case. I had previously thought it a sideshow that would be dismissed because of the armageddon in California, so I didn't pay much attention.

    Now, thanks to your exegesis, damnit, I have paid what attention my canine frontal lobes can muster. That was very painful, so I will inflict upon you my conjecture for another reason (besides the MN immunity provision) that angling for a MN anti-SLAPP claim might be a more likely choice to pursue first.

    In addition to reasonable attorney fees and costs under the MN statute, Section 554.04 Subdivision 2 (b): The court may award the moving party punitive damages under section 549.20.

    But the IL statute appears only to award attorney fees and costs.

    At least in my world, I'd rather catch a rabbit than a tennis ball. Rabbits are tasty, and I can eat the rabbit. Tennis balls, not so much.

  23. polymath says:

    "The counterclaims would benefit from clarification."

    They would, and in due time they will be. But the answer needed to be filed now.

    This way, Prenda must answer at Judge Wright's hearing before the clarification is required.

  24. albert says:

    Ken,
    Fascinating reading, keep it up.

    Is "rubber-glove investigation" generic lawyer-speak, or is it unique to N. California?

  25. Jeroen van Rijn says:

    Like Marie Curie, I'm certain Paul's discovery will play a big part in his undoing…

  26. In other news, man builds machine* that can turn grass into popcorn so he can continue watching Prenda openly and publicly disintegrate.

    (*machine still in beta mode, only a prototype)

  27. Matthew O says:

    After viewing exhibit C, I have concluded that in the future, courts should require that a small child doodle in the margin of all legal documents submitted to them. It would make our legal system at least 60% more adorable.

    "And if you'll draw your attention to exhibit D, about three lines below the unicorn…"

  28. Mitch says:

    Echoing @Nicholas Weaver, I think that they answered and asserted the Anti-SLAPP law as opposed to moving to dismiss on the basis of the Anti-SLAPP law in order to close the door of FRCP 41(a). Until they answered, Prenda could have voluntarily dismissed their claims without prejudice without the need for a court order. Now, any voluntary dismissal would be with prejudice.

  29. SPQR says:

    Ken, interesting explanation of the presence of the Minnesota SLAPP statute citation in the answer, I couldn't figure it out.

    I agree that I found the language of the counter claims re parties frustrating.

  30. MattS says:

    Josh M.,

    No worries, at this point there probably isn't any popcorn left in North America.

  31. MattS says:

    albert,

    I think the "rubber glove investigation" means the will be bringing in a proctologist to conduct discovery.

  32. SJD says:

    I'm also echoing Nicholas Weaver regarding the deadlines, but unlike him, I read that the answer was way overdue. It's a puzzle.

    Both cases were filed on 2/14, removed on 2/28.

    Rule 81(c):

    [...]A defendant who did not answer before removal must answer or present other defenses or objections under these rules within the longest of these periods:

    (A) 21 days after receiving—through service or otherwise—a copy of the initial pleading stating the claim for relief;

    (B) 21 days after being served with the summons for an initial pleading on file at the time of service; or

    (C) 7 days after the notice of removal is filed.

  33. JusticeChimp says:

    Justia lists one as filed on 2/28, the other on 3/1. If both were served same day one would be day 20, the other day 21…

  34. Bob Relyea says:

    Am I wrong, or does exhibit B show Gibbs notarizing Alan Cooper's signature? If so wouldn't that complicate Gibbs' defence before Judge Wright?

  35. Kat says:

    Just when I thought it couldn't get better, it does!

  36. Lucy says:

    That letter was amazing. The red herring game.

    That whole thing about marketing and getting paid off…. just…. the whole thing wreaks of someone in a panic.

    That closing, lol.

    Thank you for keeping up on this, and helping to understand the process and what is going on.

  37. jfb says:

    April 2nd cannot get here soon enough. It will be a combination of Christmas and the 4th of July.

    And "the jurisprudential equivalent of opening a second front in Russia just before winter" is one of the all-time great lines.

  38. Anonymous says:

    That's some tough talk for a guy who was too cowardly to appear in Wright's courtroom on March 11 to explain himself, and who appears to be planning to chicken out again.

    Apparently he had absolutely no Plan B for what happens after someone calls him out on his bullshit.

    Big League my ass.

    Brett Gibbs should roast and bear a full share of responsibility for working with these guys. I admit he did a decent job playing a patsy for Wright, but look at the pattern of behavior. Between Gibbs' extensive work for S|H and Prenda, and for Hansmeier's personal professional class action objector scheme, there is no way Brett couldn't figure out what was going on and who he was working with. Neither Steele nor Hansmeier sound like the subtle type, so after two years, expect me to believe Brett had no idea what they were like? I think birds of a feather, flock together, is more like it.

  39. SJD says:

    After yesterday's bedtime reading of the Hansmeier's letter, I had a dream… I was Paul Godfread, Morgan Pietz and Nicholas Ranallo at the same time. Paul Hansmeier was there, but out of focus. Every time I tried to concentrate looking at him, Brett Gibbs's head popped up yelling "objection" in a shrill voice.

  40. Andrew says:

    I was wondering what the state court complaint was, but I hadn't had a chance to run to Minneapolis and get a copy for myself. (What non-lawyer wants to pay $8 to get a copy of a court filing for a case in which he is not a party? Well, me, I guess, but now I don't have to.)

    I wonder if and when the defendants will answer that suit. Their time may or may not be expired under Minn. R. Civ. P. 12.01, depending how and when service of the summons and complaint was made. Also, the Hennepin County District Court has sometimes been a few days behind in getting filings into the system. The case number is 27-CV-13-3463, if anyone cares, and the record can be found by searching the public court records.

    Until now, I was never all that impressed with Minnesota's anti-SLAPP, and it still looks like there are plenty of weasel clauses in there. Nevertheless, amending the complaint to add a claim under Minn. Stat. § 554.045, which specifically permits claims arising from SLAPP lawsuits in federal court, could be a fun time.

    Finally, I'm glad to see Exhibit B in those filings; I mentioned it in comments to another post, since it has both "Alan Cooper"'s and Brett Gibbs' e-signatures on the same page. I hope that Judge Wright gives Gibbs the "opportunity" to explain this circumstance on April 2.

  41. Colin says:

    In most states, you can file an answer that just says, in so many words, "y'all is full of shit."

    This, of course, is descended from the English Common Law plea of "Bollocks".

    I do hope someone welcomes Mr. Hansmeier to "the big leagues" at the conclusion of the April 2 hearing, should he appear.

  42. Anonymous says:

    @Andrew

    If memory serves, Brett did "explain" that document to Wright under oath, in the most perfectly slippery way possible. Notice the document says:

    "counsel for Plaintiff has a signed original notarized version of the above Verified Petition"

    It doesn't say:

    "Brett L. Gibbs has a signed original notarized version of the above Verified Petition."

    So… Gibbs claimed that "counsel for Plaintiff" in that context meant Prenda Law, Inc. not Brett Gibbs personally, so if such a document exists it is in the hands of Prenda "senior partners," and he just took their word that it exists.

    Unbelievable, I know, and how he managed to "confirm" this without at least seeing it is left as an exercise for the reader. Somewhat surprisingly, Wright did not continue to drill down on it, but it could be that he got what he needed to move things along. The key point is Brett tossed the hand grenade back to his buddies, and since they were too cowardly to show up, they didn't even know about that particular gem until they got their transcript copy.

    BTW, in my dreams all the Prenda Stooges are in shackles before a judge who is screaming "HOW MANY FALSE LIGHTS DO YOU SEE!??!" over and over again.

  43. SJD says:

    @Andrew: Cooper v Steele complaint (with exhibits) is linked from my post.

  44. Andy says:

    As one of those falling into both IANAL and IANAA (American) I take it the has no knowledge of and demands strict proof is a boilerplate term similar to the phrase that escapes me know but refers to belief, essentially saying I know it but can't prove to the relevant standard yet.

  45. Andy says:

    And I find the phrase later on, upon information and belief.

  46. Delvan Neville says:

    @Bob nice catch, he'll probably stick to his legal dunce cap defense, "Oh, well Steele told me Alan signed the copy I sent him, and I believed him" but I'm not so sure even with his background if he can argue he doesn't understand what notarize means.

    @SJD: I did a day-long soak of the hashes I could find on Prenda's site about a week ago on the off chance that if there's some honeypot action, they might not have turned off the tap by then. Want a list of the IPs that were actually offering up the whole or pieces of the file, see if they identify any more not-so-anonymous Prendites at your site besides that Mullvad proxy? (I kept exhaustive logs to ensure I didn't participate in any distribution or download of the files in the process)

  47. Delvan Neville says:

    Oh, forgot to mention: Exhibits A & C are my first time seeing both Alan signatures side by side. Real Alan has a wide A, a middle initial, and Coo trailing off into a squiggle (I do something similar myself). AF Films Alan has a very narrow A and C, no middle initial, and includes every letter in Alan and Cooper.

    Unless they claim Alan intentionally wrote his name funky (and get some handwriting expert to try to argue its still the same person), they're going to be hard pressed continuing their argument that its the same Alan…the argument they've stuck to based on who they had Gibbs serve.

  48. SJD says:

    @Delvan Yes, I compiled a list of all suspected comments from Steele, but posted only those that use Mullvad (50%). There are unmasked comments that strongly connect Mullvad ones to Prenda offices. Send me an email at sophisticatedjanedoe@yahoo.com and I'll send the list to you.

  49. Scott says:

    Hansmeier's reply letter has a certain air of paranoia about it in the last paragraph:

    All of that being said, my client knows that you didn't work alone in these wrongful efforts. If you think we are missing out on more serious actors in your enterprise my client would be willing to consider decreasing your liability in exchange for information about these individuals.

    Have the principals of Prenda Law descended to the bunker?

  50. To comply with EU money-laundering regulations it is necessary for lawyers over here to conduct a 'know your client' exercise. this includes verifying the identity of the officers of any corporate entity, the shareholders and the parties to any owning trust. Any failure in this regard is both a matter of professional misconduct and, potentially, criminal law liability.

    Is there an equivalent regime in the US? If so, it seems like Gibbs et al have serious problems on this front alone even before the substantive issues are looked at.

  51. Malc says:

    One weird thing that struck me in reading the exhibits: these guys are pretty green, in the whole scheme of things. Take Steele's boast about how, "for nearly a decade", he's been litigating "complex" issues: while it's not negligible, less than 10 years experience isn't hugely impressive. Ken, by contrast, has been working the criminal justice system for, what, 18 years?, Judge Wright was in private practice for 22 years, has been a judge for "nearly a decade" (8 years), and was a cop for 11 years.

    Don't get me wrong: I don't believe time-in-grade equates to competence, but boasting of a <10 year career is a bit like boasting of an SAT score of 1550 or an IQ of 100: OK, but a long way from exceptional.

  52. Nicholas Weaver says:

    Roland: Adam Steinbaugh covered this in talking about Prenda's FRCP 7.1 Landmine: http://adamsteinbaugh.com/2013/03/11/prenda-law-steps-on-frcp-7-1-landmine/

  53. Shane says:

    @malc – when I took the SAT a 1550 was an excellent score (1990's when the max was 1600)

  54. apauld says:

    @Matthew O "After viewing exhibit C, I have concluded that in the future, courts should require that a small child doodle in the margin of all legal documents submitted to them."

    I assumed it was John Steele that made the doodles….

  55. Thanks Nicholas.

    In the EU the requirement applies to all retainers (whether or not litigation is involved) and has to be met at the initial stage with documentary proof retained on the file.

  56. M says:

    "vagueness in legal threats is the hallmark of thuggery"

    I actually just put that in a separate document and hung it on my wall. I'm a lawyer who just got sued by a former tenant and it was all vague threats. When it's personal, it is easy to look at a complaint and panic. After I cut through all the hoo ha, I realized that it was all vague and all calculated to get me to cave. I am fighting back hard. I wish I had signed off my counterclaims with "Welcome to the big leagues." That would have been awesome.

  57. SPQR says:

    Craig, the belief that Prenda was actually the source of the alleged original piracy has been bandied about in the online community for some time.

  58. Matthew Cline says:

    they're going to be hard pressed continuing their argument that its the same Alan…the argument they've stuck to based on who they had Gibbs serve.

    I don't think that's necessarily it. It seems to me that it's more like "the judge is breathing down my neck to serve Alan Cooper, so I'll show I made an effort to serve a Cooper, since Steele won't give any details on the Cooper of AF".

  59. AlphaCentauri says:

    @Dan
    I left a firm for a better paying one, and a friend of mine took over my caseload and inherited my horrific secretary.

    Don't you love it when you're expected to put up with intolerable working conditions for years, but as soon as you leave, they decide those conditions simply aren't good enough for your replacement?

  60. orvis barfley says:

    I don't believe time-in-grade equates to competence

    in the austere and august world of design contracting, there are jewels of wisdom encapsulated in sayings to instruct and enlighten newbies.  one says: ' there's ten years experience and then there's one year of experience ten times.'

    that's not my favorite of the encapsulated gems, however.  that one would go: 'if it flies, floats, or fucks, you can't afford it.'

  61. Shay says:

    "I know I said this before, but – oh man – do I wish that Orly Taitz had to appear in front of Judge Wright."

    Oh man…we can only dream.

  62. IANAL says:

    > "I know I said this before, but – oh man – do I wish that Orly Taitz had to appear in front of Judge Wright."

    Maybe she's the real Alan Cooper? Or "Salt marsh"? We can only wonder. April 1st isn't far off. Nor is the hearing set for the day after.

  63. Myk says:

    After a bit of analysis, I can conclude that Steele, Lutz, Hansmeier(s) and Gibbs are trying a rare and difficult binary legal move known as "The Heisenberg Defense". i.e., You can see them but be unable to discern what they're up to, or you can know what they're doing but you cannot see them.

    It comes to difficulty though when they come up against Judge Wright's "Schroedinger's OSC", where they are either present and dead, or not present and dead.

  64. Myk says:

    Also; damn you Ken, I'm trying to study here!

  65. Anonymous says:

    @Malc

    But they were drafted into the Big Leagues straight out of law school! You have Paul's word!

  66. nlp says:

    If I was part of the Prenda team I would be searching desperately for an Alan Cooper who was
    A) alive at the time the documents were signed
    B) dead and
    C) didn't have a lot of relatives to muddy the case.
    I would then point to him and state that this is the Alan Cooper who was part of AF Holdings. It wouldn't work for long, but at least it would keep some of the heat off while I packed for Nevis.

  67. John O. says:

    I'll quote some Napoleon, "Never interrupt your enemy when he makes a mistake."

    Yup.

  68. That Anonymous Coward says:

    What I said on FCT bears repeating about welcome to the big leagues.

    "Yes indeed, welcome to the big leagues… where a motley band of anonymous posters have helped mortally wound your company and your careers by exposing the underhanded dealings you’ve been involved in.
    Did you think we’d run and hide?
    Well it appears you was wrong, because we found a whole truck load of skeletons in your closets and they are coming out into the light.

    So how is all of this working out for ya? :D "

    On the ponderings about honeypots, let me chum the water a bit more…
    "IIRC some early paperwork from what would become Prenda or LW claimed that their client had the exclusive right to distribute the file via BT.
    I always thought that wording was odd…. until now."

    And then there is a couple posts by the user who might be the honeypot talking about getting busted over a year ago… but is still uploading new things after he "settled".

    Curiouser and curiouser…

  69. That Anonymous Coward says:

    @nlp they might not want to head there. In researching everyones favorite tax haven I discovered many people who had property there who were very angry dealing with people breaking into their homes. It seems that despite the happy pictures in the publicity they were having issues with poor people being poor and kept poor to keep things nice for the tourists.

  70. SJD says:

    @TAC: Gibbs's parents live in Grenada, where Brett's wedding is set to happen less than a month from today. Is Grenada better?

  71. naught_for_naught says:

    They may learn, to their regret, that they have committed the jurisprudential equivalent of opening a second front in Russia just before winter.

    Velcome to Stalingrad Beetches!

  72. Igor Zevaka says:

    Ken, you mention that by filing counterclaim, Duffy et al are on the hook for a potential discovery. How's this potential for discovery any greater than in the original suit by Cooper against Prenda?

  73. That Anonymous Coward says:

    @SJD hurm… someone should look into that. It would be sad if these silly legal games were to effect Brett's life like that.
    Here you are just living your life and some court sends a letter that people you know nothing about want to talk to you about something you allegedly did that was wrong.
    If someone were to offer Gibbs a settlement deal right now we'd be deep into irony right? :D

    Got a pot of honey I can borrow?

  74. That Anonymous Coward says:

    @Igor Zevaka – IIRC Cooper vs 'The Bad Men' was filed in state court, where 'The Bad Men' vs Cooper et al was removed to Federal Court.

    Federal Judges will not look kindly on Duffy/Prenda trying to drop the case and run now that it has been answered. They will need to back up their claims and proof has been asked for over in over in the response. IANAL but I'm pretty sure they are very very sad right now that they didn't dismiss the cases once they were removed to the Federal Courts.

  75. AlphaCentauri says:

    Now, what would be ironic would be if Alan Cooper the caretaker is an undercover officer who was investigating Prenda and ended up as the star of the show when they stole his identity — a sort of human honeypot.

    Housekeeping and maintenance personnel always hear the juiciest gossip, because people talk in their presence like they're part of the furniture, and because they see the papers lying around and in the wastebaskets.

  76. Malc says:

    @Shane… yeah, I (now) remember that; in my defense, I recalled that high-1500's was either very good or very average, Googled the question, and was told it is the average. I never thought to Google what it _had_ been! Yet another hint that while Google may have the answers, it doesn't have the questions!

  77. Jake says:

    while not related to the technical legal discussion:

    have you considered that alan cooper may actually be related to these litigious shell companies?

    i have read several articles about prenda law and this disputed identity stuff smells like someone trying to intentionally muddy the waters. if i were associated with any of these shell companies per the claims against alan cooper, i would seriously consider entirely disavowing my participation. i imagine it would be hard to prove otherwise considering several of these companies are offshore.

    if i were involved with these shell companies, i would make like a teenager and pull out.

  78. orvis barfley says:

    Housekeeping and maintenance personnel always hear the juiciest gossip, because people talk in their presence like they're part of the furniture, and because they see the papers lying around and in the wastebaskets.

    a similar attitude among men toward women is said to be one of the most absolutely key reasons we are a free nation today.  it was thought by most men at that time that women simply had no interest in politics or military matters.  a genetic nature that you could count on, as it were.  also, children of men who support your cause were routinely assumed to support your cause if they had any interest at all.

  79. Chad Miller says:

    Jake: Ken touched on this in an earlier post. The short version: If Alan Cooper did voluntarily enter into this scheme at any point, why hasn't Prenda just come out and said so? Despite calling AC's claims "defamatory", not once (to my knowledge) have they alleged that he was involved, or given any information on who the "real" AC is if he wasn't. Instead, they've carefully avoided making a factual statement that can be checked.

  80. Another anonymous NAL says:

    Anybody else hearing Jimi Hendrix riffs in the background?

    "Scuse me, while I SLAPP this guy…"

  81. Lucy says:

    This scenario would make an excellent movie. Here is my initial fantasy cast.

    Written and directed by Guy Ritchie

    Duffy: Anthony M. Hall
    Steele: Emilio Estevez
    Paul Hansmeier: Matt Bomer (White Collar)
    Gibbs: Jensen Ackles (Supernatural)
    Lutz: Steve Buscemi
    Salt Marsh: The Arcata CA Bottoms

    Judge Otis Wright: Morgan Freeman (my first choice would have been Michael Clark Duncan RIP)
    Alan Cooper: Sasha Roiz (Grimm)
    Godfread: Gabriel Macht (Suits)
    Pietz: Liam McIntire (Spartacus)
    Ranallo: Nathan Fallion
    SJD: Janeane Garofalo or Tina Fey
    Ken White: Willie Garson (White Collar) or Bruce Willis

    ;-)

  82. Lucy says:

    Also, a cameo appearance by Ron Jeremy as a Doe.

  83. That Anonymous Coward says:

    @Jake – You should head over to fightcopyrighttrolls.com and use the search for Coopergate. While all of this looks recent and sudden, its been the elephant in the room for a while in some circles.

  84. That Anonymous Coward says:

    @Lucy – I think this movie is being filmed by Micheal Bay, because this is all about to blow up big.

  85. Joe Pullen says:

    But Hansmeier says nothing of the sort. He has only adolescent puffed-up threats and insults. What do you think that signifies?

    Basically I think it means if you were to give Hansmeier an enema, you’d have to bury what’s left over in a matchbox.

    Also, in Texan-eese, “ya’ll” is the singular term “all ya’ll” is the plural.

  86. Lucy says:

    Side note; for the “Big League" cast, I did search Glee on IMDB.

  87. Malc says:

    Random observation: notice how Gibbs/Steele/Hansmeier/Duffy respond to just about any communication from a professional peer, they immediately launch into a rant about how opposing counsel drowns puppies for grins, or something.

    E.g.

    Dear Mr Steele/Duffy/Gibbs/Hansmeier,

    Further to your letter of the 12th, we note that the date by which you request a response is from last year, 2012. May we assume that the correct date is this year, 2013?

    Sincerely,

    A. Counsel.

    Dear A Counsel:

    In all our weeks of professional lawyering, we have never seen such scurrilous and unprofessional behavior.

    Welcome to the reflect upon your big conduct leagues.

    Some_random_interchangeable_sig /s/ DuSteeGibMeieir.
    Dear Mr.

  88. RJ says:

    @Lucy, I think this needs to be cast as a comedy, not an action film:

    Duffy: Adam Sandler
    Steele: Shia LaBeouf (primarily for his off-camera behavior)
    Paul Hansmeier: Robert Downey Jr. (he would do that deposition justice)
    Gibbs: Keanu Reeves (whoa, dude)
    Lutz: Steve Buscemi
    Salt Marsh: Steve Buscemi

    Judge Otis Wright: Dwayne Johnson
    Alan Cooper: Jeff Bridges/Steve Buscemi (shared role, depending upon which "Alan Cooper" is being shown–the real or the fake)
    Godfread: Mark Wahlberg
    Pietz: Robert De Niro (but toned down a bit from "The Devil's Advocate")
    Ranallo: Sacha Baron Cohen
    SJD: Reese Witherspoon
    Ken White: Sean Penn

    Just imagine the deposition, with De Niro and Cohen examining Robert Downey Jr, while Keanu Reeves tried to object.

  89. Ken says:

    James Spader would do a good Pietz.

  90. Lucy says:

    Nice suggestions. This would be shaping up to be a great film. I had trouble because those guys are so young looking by the few pictures I saw. I am wholly unfamiliar with the newest whipper-snappers on the acting scene.

    Love the Sean Penn suggestion. I also love Nathan Fillion and think he should be in there somewhere.

    James Spader is great.

  91. Grant Gould says:

    For casting the comedy, it's too bad Peter Sellers is dead. This would be the perfect film for having three quarters of the roles played by the same actor.

  92. Jake says:

    Chad Miller: "If Alan Cooper did voluntarily enter into this scheme at any point, why hasn't Prenda just come out and said so? Despite calling AC's claims "defamatory", not once (to my knowledge) have they alleged that he was involved, or given any information on who the "real" AC is if he wasn't. Instead, they've carefully avoided making a factual statement that can be checked."

    note that the document in exhibit C is a copyright assignment document where AC has signed for AF Holdings LLC (henceforth AF), a Nevis LLC. i presume this is the document that prenda is claiming was signed by AC on behalf of AF. when dealing with offshore entities, it can be very hard to actually check any of the related information. examples of these ambiguities include:

    - does AC have an ownership interest in AF? you can't tell, it's a Nevis LLC, and that information requires filing suit and winning in Nevis iirc

    - is the signature on the copyright assignment actually AC's? the real AC could have gotten someone else to sign for him so that the signatures do not match in the case anything goes to court (like it has done)

    - is AC acting as a nominee manager or owner? again, one cannot determine due to Nevis' privacy laws

    my impression is that the lawyers here are essentially "attack dogs gone wild" and anyone else involved with the operation is trying to dissolve their relationship. this could include AC, but he may be entirely uninvolved and the victim of some sort of identity theft.

    here is a link that shows some of the entities involved and their jurisdictions

  93. Myk says:

    One amendment –

    Ken White: Liam Neeson.

    "I don't know who you are. I don't know what you want. If you are looking for a settlement, I can tell you I don't have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you give me a pony now, that'll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don't, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you."

  94. Anonymous says:

    I certainly look forward to a dramatization of the reported incident from John Steele's law school days when he tried to explain what combat is like to a Veteran.

    I'm sure it was just as enlightening as when John tries to explain what the law is like.

  95. orvis b. says:

    it's too bad Peter Sellers is dead

    you could just stop right there and you'd have said a lot.  comic genius sorely missed.

  96. orvis barfley says:

    sorry.  didn't realize it would do that.

  97. Avid Watcher says:

    If you're willing to take the fall for whole group then you are decidedly a "true believer."

    Clearly Hansmeier has been watching too much Cult.

  98. Anonymous says:

    http://ia601200.us.archive.org/19/items/gov.uscourts.azd.732217/gov.uscourts.azd.732217.44.0.pdf

    Interesting filing in an AF Holdings case in AZ, lots of references to the March 11 hearing but I found this gem very intriguing:


    And although Mr. Goodhue is attorney of record, the evidence supports that Mr. Steele and Mr. Hansmeier are driving this litigation. Further undersigned counsel has experience litigating against Mr. Goodhue in Lightspeed Media Corp v. Sekora, CV2012-053194, currently pending in Maricopa County Superior Court (See Declaration of Paul D. Ticen, attached as Exhibit E hereto). When a disclosure dispute developed between the parties, communication with Mr. Goodhue was cut-off, and instead undersigned counsel dealt first with Brett Gibbs and then John Steele. (Id.).

    Now why would Brett L. Gibbs, the contractor, the file clerk, the poor misled patsy, the guy who had little autonomy or decision-making responsibility and who is only licensed to practice in CA insert himself in a discovery dispute in an Arizona state court case?

    I'll take Perjury for $1000 Alex.

  99. SJD says:

    I just recapped the Ticen's declaration. Will be available soon. "Interesting read" is an underestimation.

  100. That Anonymous Coward says:

    You mean the whole they just asked me to hold this bag, how was I supposed to know it was full of weed defense doesn't work when other people bought from you?

  101. IANAL says:

    In the AZ case, did they get to file anything telling the court about the OSC against the Prenda group? Because there's no mention of all the crazy hijinks going on.

  102. Anonymous says:

    Wow, missed the declaration of Ticen earlier. So Gibbs was attempting to get him to settle and AZ case and lecturing him on AZ disclosure rules?

    Sure doesn't sound like the Brett L. Gibbs who was pleading ignorance in Judge Wright's courtroom.

    Also some amazing insight in the email exchanges into just how evasive these guys are. They are not even willing to produce evidence in a case that they brought!

  103. marco73 says:

    You could shorten that to :
    "They are not even willing to produce evidence…"

    In Texas, they'd be known as all hat, no cattle.

  104. That Anonymous Coward says:

    @marco73 – unless your in East Texas where all you need to do is buy a cow and then you can use the courts there.

  1. March 22, 2013

    [...] @Popehat: Alan Cooper Strikes Back, Files Counterclaims Against #Prenda Law and Paul Duffy popehat.com/2013/03/22/ala… [...]

  2. March 25, 2013

    [...] (possibly) gets worse for Prenda: alleged pornographic copyright troll now subject to claims that it set up a subsidiary using a stolen [...]

  3. April 18, 2013

    [...] Law’s defamation case was removed to federal court in Illinois, and Cooper and Godfread asserted counterclaims and moved to dismiss the claims as a SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public [...]

  4. April 19, 2013

    [...] Prenda Law’s defamation case was removed to federal court in Illinois, and Cooper and Godfread asserted counterclaims and moved to dismiss the claims as a SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public [...]

  5. April 21, 2013

    [...] has come from the case in front of Judge Wright in Los Angeles, it’s far from their only case. Apart from the Godfread/Cooper defamation cases and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act cases the LA matter is just one of the hundreds of copyright [...]

  6. April 23, 2013

    [...] Prenda Law’s defamation case was removed to federal court in Illinois, and Cooper and Godfread asserted counterclaims and moved to dismiss the claims as a SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public [...]