Prenda Law: Let The Other Shoes Hit The Floor

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68 Responses

  1. bonez565 says:

    How is it possible that this just keeps getting better and better.

  2. John Ammon says:

    Well, there goes my productivity…

  3. John Henry says:

    Down down down. Prenda's going down.

  4. Andy (not Andy) says:

    Thou shalt not piss off the judge too often.

  5. Stephen says:

    Dear gods, there is not enough popcorn on Earth to go with this circus.

  6. The massed response to anything Prenda does has become an exercise in crowdsourcing for lawyers.

  7. MattS says:

    To paraphrase a line from a 'B' science fiction movie staring a pro wrestler:

    I come here to eat popcorn and laugh my ass off and I am all out of popcorn.

    ROTFLAMO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Jim Tyre says:

    I understand that there is an insane liberal group which is flying around Mr. Alan Cooper for its own benefit. This group is akin to "Anonymous". It doesn't believe in copyright laws. It does believe that computer hacking should be legal. I'm not certain if these southern courts (unlike liberal San Francisco Courts) will hold the same beliefs that this crazy "its ok to hack websites" group holds.

    So nice that Prenda has welcomed us (EFF) to the big leagues! (And so nice that, as always, they're spot-on on the facts.)

  9. DOWN GOES PRENDA! DOWN GOES PRENDA!
    /Howard Cosell voice

    BTW, anyone point out yet that Prenda is an anagram of PA Nerd? Is there a connection to Pennsylvania that we're missing?

  10. Shkspr says:

    You should also mention the pejorative use of the word "routinely". I have every confidence that when you molest squirrels, you do so with careful attention to each squirrel's individual needs, varying your repertoire day by day with the mood. There's nothing routine about that, and I support your refutation of that horrible accusation.

  11. Blarf says:

    Are these cases sufficiently similar that one of the defendants could seek to create an MDL before Judge Wright? That could be the real way to shut the whole thing down.

  12. Raul says:

    Look to AZ (12-cv-2144) for future Prenda problems/hilarity.

  13. ThadCo says:

    To me, Prenda's business model amounts to one big RICO act violation.

  14. Lucy says:

    Lawyers doing good. Refreshing.

    Crowdsourcing is such a beautiful thing.

  15. Joe Schmoe says:

    understand that there is an insane liberal group which is flying around Mr. Alan Cooper for its own benefit. This group is akin to "Anonymous". It doesn't believe in copyright laws. It does believe that computer hacking should be legal. I'm not certain if these southern courts (unlike liberal San Francisco Courts) will hold the same beliefs that this crazy "its ok to hack websites" group holds.

    Sounds like Paul Hansmier

  16. Mike says:

    I should buy stock in some popcorn company. I ran out about 3 articles ago. This is amusing and a great reprieve from the patent troll stories over on Ars. Nothing can get my blood boiling faster than a patent troll sniffing out hard working businesses for an unearned cut of usually slim earnings.

  17. Nate says:

    Yay!!! I hope it isn't too wrong to not feel an ounce of pity for these people.
    Squirrels are scary creatures, especially the infamous garbage squirrels. They pop out when you least expect them (kind of like the Spanish Inquisition.)

  18. JLA Girl says:

    Oh thank god. I thought I'd have to do something productive for the rest of the day.

    Okay, who's got the popcorn?

  19. That Anonymous Coward says:

    Oh I missed that Mr. Smith had attached a copy of the Forbes article… so I had gone and written a nice welcome message to the Judge from ILSD.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2013/04/02/trouble-for-porn-copyright-lawyer-john-steele/?commentId=comment_blogAndPostId/blog/comment/1016-19853-9823

    And funny that Kash called out my comment so you don't even need to expand the comments on the article to see it.

    More frightening is the idea that this isn't the first time I've written posts welcome Judges. I apologize for my rough tone, and warn them they might see naughty language. I offer up the services of the posters if the Judge/clerk has any questions. We are, afterall, more expert than the standard expert in the copyright trolling cases. It is moments like this that give me the warm fuzzies, seeing the world catch up to what we've been pointing at for a while.

  20. Earle says:

    Two words…. Exhibit P

  21. That Anonymous Coward says:

    @Earle – its a fun exhibit is it not? John Henry does nice work. I find the cartoons much more entertaining.

  22. xbradtc says:

    Exhibit P is epic.

  23. Perfect Stranger says:

    This whole fiasco must certainly become required reading for law school.

    I was starting to suffer withdrawal symptoms…..thanx for the fresh fix….

    Sorry for the crudity..but do the players qualify as f*** ups?

    Can it get worse?

  24. Matthew Cline says:

    Patel shows that in January 2012, John Steele's attorneys wrote to the Florida State Bar on his behalf representing that "Mr. Steele is actually a client of Prenda — Mr. Steele maintains an ownership interest in some of Prenda's larger clients." It's difficult to reconcile this admission with Mr. Steele's assertion at the April 2 hearing that the attorney-client privilege would prevent him from answering questions about Prenda Law's clients.

    1) Is this getting forwarded to Judge Wright?

    2) Can the January 2012 statement be used to deny attorney-client privilege to Steele, or if there's conflicting statements about privilege does the court default to granting privilege?

  25. Matthew Cline says:

    In Exhibit P, why is Lutz wearing ice skates, and why is Gibbs represented by a cat overlaid with a pair of scissors?

  26. That Anonymous Coward says:

    @Matthew Cline – Lutz as in the Triple Lutz an ice skating move.
    The scissors on the cat had something to do with a neutered cat being called a gibbs or somesuch… its all explained in the cartoons

  27. Mike says:

    Why does Exhibit P look like my niece got a hold of Visio and magically learned how to use it?

  28. That Anonymous Coward says:

    @Mike – needs more ponies and glitter

  29. Nobody says:

    Remind me not to visit any parks, private or otherwise, near Ken's house after dark.

  30. Matthew Cline says:

    From the Patel/Georgia motion, page 11:

    Lutz also testified that he does not work for Prenda, does not “personally” know Duffy, and has never spoken with him. Pages 16-17. Lutz made these statements despite serving as Prenda’s registered agent in Florida since November 9, 2011.

    Page 12:

    However, he subsequently submitted an affidavit in response to a sanctions motion stating that his legal residence was Las Vegas, Nevada. Sunlust.ECF No. 40-5, ¶ 2 (12/20/12). This is significant because three months later Steele would file a declaration stating that he was not subject to jurisdiction in California because his legal residence was Florida. California Action, ECF No. 83, ¶ 3 (3/8/13). And both of these affidavits state that he is “of counsel” to Prenda, which conflicts with his response to the UPL Complaint where he states that he is solely a client of Prenda and Perea’s statement that two of Steele’s companies are clients of Prenda (1/26/12).

    From the Smith/Illinois motion, page 8:

    On August 20, 2012, Plaintiff's process server directed Smith to contact attorney Steele to discuss the case. Exhibit A hereto ¶¶ 6-7. The process server handed Smith a business card with Steele’s phone number on it and told Smith that Steele was an important lawyer from Washington, D.C. who had no interest in the case, but that Steele would be able to help Smith get the situation resolved. Id. To the contrary, that same day, Steele appeared at a hearing in this Court as counsel for Plaintiff. Steele’s name did not appear on the Amended Complaint, so Smith had no documents showing Steele’s true role. See id. ¶ 10.

  31. That Anonymous Coward says:

    If their reputation could not be any worse… *polish polish polish*

  32. Terry Towels says:

    As I started reading this, I realized I'd have to go back to my old logic tools to figure things out. THEN Exhibit P! Thanks for doing the work, Mr. Patel's attorneys. :-D

  33. z! says:

    Ken, it would be great if you listed the title and size of the exhibits next to the link. I really don't need to download a 294 page file to find that I've already read it.

    That said, bring on the popcorn.

  34. Dan Weber says:

    There is blood in the water. The sharks sense it.

    Now all the sharks are attacking.

  35. LawDragon says:

    Have you seen the latest from LA? Prenda filed a long series of declarations in opposition of sanctions which, in my quick and dirty reading, argue that tghe premise of their lawsuits and the reasons for dismissal were a-ok. They don't seem to address the fraud onthe court, however.

    Interesting.

  36. That Anonymous Coward says:

    @LawDragon – yeah that isn't going to work. After their someone remove this meanie who is picking on us stunt followed by the well we OBVIOUSLY can't get a fair hearing here I expect that sanctions were in order. It was only as the depth and breadth of the 'fraud' started to come into focus that the Judge got very angry. Now with evidence coming in from across the country in the suits they failed to drop, and those they are being blocked from dropping they are facing a multifront attack.

    The latest filings sound like more 'but we are good lawyers' hand waving hoping they suddenly have jedi powers….

  37. Ken says:

    Post on the new filings coming late tonight.

  38. MCB says:

    I just can't get over this story. This is my favorite news story of the year so far. I mean there are so many layers of flimflam. Thank you so much for posting this Ken, it really brightens my day as I complete my character and fitness paperwork.

  39. Delvan says:

    Exhibit N, bottom of page 9-10 cracking me up. Judge is pestering John Steele Steooe about why an Oregon resident is getting sued in Minnesota by a company not based in Minnesota.

    Court: Okay, so where is Guava, LLC as a limited liability company, where is their headquarters?
    SteeleSteooe: They have an office in Las Vegas. They're also based out of, I believe, they're in Nevis.
    Court: Where is Nevis?
    SteeleSteooe: It's an island in the Caribbean
    Court: As opposed to a little spot in northern Minnesota?
    SteeleSteooe:Correct. Correct, Your Honor, correct.

  40. Andrew says:

    @Delvan: Wow, that exhibit is hilarious. I don't know this particular judge and certainly not the court reporter (and I'm not a lawyer anyway), but I doubt anyone granted a motion to proceed "in forma papyrus." Or does that mean proceeding solely by filing documents on old paper?

    The public view for Minnesota state courts does not have the documents available, but I see that an Order to Show Cause hearing in that case is set for April 23. That sounds fun. Also, I see there is still no answer to Alan Cooper's state court suit against Steele. Unless there is some order or stipulation not shown, they're well into default territory at this point.

  41. doeknob says:

    Exhibit N: Page 16.
    Paraphrasing Hasmeier: Well, if our computers are hacked people won't be excited to sign up because their information is at risk.

    O rly?

    PSN Network? Bank of America? Bioware? University of Nebraska? Digital Playground? Zappos? Global Payment Systems? U.S. Bank?

    Those companies still seem to be doing pretty good for themselves after their data breaches. And those are the only ones I can think of off the top of my head.

    I get what they're trying to say, but I think out of what I've seen the past two years, people really don't seem to change their consumer habits as a result of hacks

  42. htom says:

    I'm so glad I bought the 10 kg bag of popcorn, and a pound of salt. I'm skipping the butter, now.

  43. naught_for_naught says:

    I read transcript N, and wow. Either Lynn Burkett is the worst transcriber ever, or English is a second language for the judge and Messrs Steele and Hansmeir. Take a breath. Think about what you're going to say, and then say it using complete sentences — for Christ's sake!

    I don't think it's the transcriber though, because Mr Camaratto was measured and intelligible. S & H were clearly trying to deluge the judge with technical double talk, and for a minute it looked like the waves were cresting over the judge's head. I am somewhat reassured by his ability to do the right thing.

    The read left my reptilian brain wanting some medieval remedy — my higher brain paraphrasing Flannery O'Connor's Misfit in A Good Man is Hard to Find: They would have been good men if someone had been there to shoot them every minute of her lives.

  44. naught_for_naught says:

    errp: should read, "…every minute of their lives."

  45. Delvan Neville says:

    Oh man, this footnote in page 9 of Smith's Motion for Fees. So, Prenda made a claim under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, but it was deemed improper, because the alleged hacking was merely getting access to paid content, and neither resulted in an interruption of service nor damage to integrity of data. The footnote on that reads:

    "Recognizing the omission, Plaintiff belatedly sought to supplement its Amended Complaint by its CEO’s selfserving declaration that “hackers have permanently destroyed Lightspeed’s computer systems.” Doc. 9-1 ¶ 8. But the Amended Complaint itself offered no colorable basis for Plaintiff to allege damage or loss under the CFAA."

    If(or I should say "when"?) Prenda is sitting on the Defendant's side of the coutroom, I'll wager this is another instance of fraud upon the court. If the "hackers" had permanently destroyed computer systems, that would be front page on the initial complaint, rack servers are worth a heck of a lot more than a stolen login to an account that runs $14.99 to maybe $49.99 monthly.

    Its one thing to claim they wiped their hard drives, and I suppose on a *nix system you could run some hardware beyond its design limits with a forged driver if it didn't have any built-in safeguards…but its not the hard drive, because they have a list of IPs that accessed said server, so they ought to be able to present *how* said destruction was done. And…I guess the 31337 hack0rz knew how to break the computer permanently with a forged driver but were too dim to wipe the access logs?

  46. James Pollock says:

    If the John Does hire Charles Carreon to represent them, which side do we root for.

    STOP THROWING POPCORN AT ME!!!

  47. James Pollock says:

    Delvan, technically every time a server is accessed, and servicing the request requires access to secondary storage, the server has been "damaged", in the sense that cumulative accesses to secondary storage eventually render the storage device inaccessible. This is true of both rotating media and current solid-state media.
    I don't think I could say that this represents 'damage to the computer systems' in open court with a straight face, but… I could probably write it down and submit it.

  48. Michael K. says:

    Help a layman out – WTF does "Hr'g Tr." mean when you translate it from the Klingon?

  49. DonaldB says:

    The filing by Rosing seems has a series of 'these two parties were not proven to be involved in this part of the fraud and therefore shouldn't be sanctioned'. If you didn't keep track of who was omitted in each claim, you might think that no one was involved in any of it. The final conclusion was 'nothing was proved therefore no one needs to be sanctioned'.

  50. Doug says:

    Where's my squirrel costume?

  51. Delvan Neville says:

    @Micheal K.: "Hearing transcript" perhaps?

  52. Ygolonac says:

    Excuse me, I have to pop this butter and pour some popcorn on it…

    And another post following this, too.

    WHEEEE!

  53. Michael Mock says:

    "It's like someone said 'Ken, I have it on good authority that you routinely molest squirrels in a public park near your house,' and I responded 'your accusation is without merit because that park is private.'"

    Apropos of nothing, but I pictured you more as the "poisoning pigeons in the park" sort.

  54. earthclanbootstrap says:

    @ Michael K. @ Delvan Neville

    "Today is a good day to sue…"

  55. mcinsand says:

    Nate, squirrels are nasty, destructive, but intelligent creatures. And, if you cook them correctly (while not thinking about how they're just rats with bushy tails), they taste pretty good. However, I do remember going squirrel hunting as a teen with my father and brother, and I remember how I handled days when I knew I was not going to want to clean the squirrel at the end of the day. I always kept a clip full of hollow points in my pocket; even a .22 hollowpoint doesn't leave much to clean.

  56. perlhaqr says:

    Representing Prenda Law with the Sad Panda Face in Exhibit P… OMGWTFBBQ that is so amazingly hilarious. :D

  57. Nate says:

    @mcinsand: Interesting. Can we set the squirrels on Prenda like evil little foot-soldiers?

    Unfortunately, I cannot dispatch the critters myself as I have a self-imposed gun ban, mostly due to lack of knowledge, but a little bit due to lack of appropriate hand-eye coordination and location in large city.

  58. Michael K. says:

    "Hearing Transcript" seems likely, but just in case, I'm running around yelling "HURRRRRGGG TURRRRRRRR!!!" at everyone at the office today.

  59. mcinsand says:

    Nate: All I have is a low-caliber target pistol. All it would do to an intruder is tick them off, if I kept it ready for such an event. Mine is purely for dispatching soda cans, which is a lot of fun and has no need for cleaning the 'critters' at the end of the day. Luckily, my Mom still lives on a large chunk of land.

  60. earthclanbootstrap says:

    @ Michael K.

    "Litigation is a dish best served cold. It is very cold in Minnesota…"

  61. Delvan Neville says:

    Touché, earthclanboostrap. Well done :)

  62. Charlotte says:

    I'm not a lawyer, nor have I worked in law offices, but I *am* a computer systems professional with some training and experience in security and forensics. "Technical double-talk" in an attempt to bamboozle the judge sounds just about right. Holy Toledo!

  63. John Henry says:

    I think exhibit P is most notable. Can I get a witness?

  64. Delvan says:

    Praise Exhibit P, brother! Hallelujah! (that kind of witness?)

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