Angry Prenda Is Angry

Law

All of my coverage of the Prenda Law saga is collected here.

When it comes to getting angry in federal court, perhaps I should not throw the first stone. After all, just a few days ago a federal judge was moved to tell me "Mr. White, calm down, you aren't arguing to a jury." [The result was nonetheless quite satisfactory, thank you.] And I rely upon partners and associates to tone my written work down. (A memorable example: "The SEC's proposed jury instructions find no support in the law or the facts of the case" is acceptable, "The jury instructions are not a vehicle for the SEC's attorneys to work out their self-esteem issues" is not.)

Nevertheless, I will offer this advice: don't file angry.

Attorney Jacques Nazaire, local counsel for Prenda Law putative client AF Holdings, has done just that down in Georgia. The result is not pretty.

I previously wrote about how Mr. Patel, a defendant in an AF Holdings case in federal court in Georgia, sought sanctions in response to AF Holdings' dismissal of the case. Jacques Nazaire has filed a very angry response and cross-motion for sanctions, together with Exhibit A, =Exhibit B, and Exhibit C. As we shall see, one of those is an extremely ill-considered declaration from mysterious Prenda Law figure Mark Lutz.

Many of Mr. Nazaire's arguments are now familiar: he says that there's nothing wrong with undisclosed attorney interests in plaintiff entities so long as the judge is not presented with a conflict of interest, and he repeats the now-familiar argument that it doesn't really matter if Alan Cooper's signature was forged on a copyright assignment.

But he also makes some interesting new arguments.

Underpants Gnome Logic

If I may briefly summarize a key component of Mr. Nazaire's argument:

1. We had a highly meritorious case against Mr. Patel.
2. Moreover, he defaulted, and that default should have stuck.
3. Plus he's made admissions that show he's liable.
4. ???
5. So we've dismissed the case with prejudice, and there's nothing to see here, other than to note how strong our case was.

Well okay then.

How Dare You Say I'm Brett Gibbs' Lackey!

Amongst other things, Mr. Nazaire is very irritated at the suggestion that he was taking orders from Prenda Law figure Brett Gibbs, and wants you to know that he is his own man, exercising his own judgment:

From what has been put forth, Brett Gibbs is a fairly new attorney much like Defendant’s counsel. The undersigned, on the other hand, has over 16 years experience practicing law, has settled over millions of dollars worth of cases, including state and federal cases and has also served in Afghanistan as a Foreign Claims Commissioner, settling foreign claims in a war zone.

The undersigned would not assign Brett Gibbs to negotiate a left turn with his vehicle, let alone a settlement on behalf of a client, regardless of whether the case was venued in Georgia, California or Afghanistan. While Gibbs may be a pleasant young man, to assert that Plaintiff’s attorney takes orders from Brett Gibbs is absurd and laughable.

I'm sure Mr. Nazaire is very highly qualified. After all, as Fight Copyright Trolls points out, only a highly-qualified lawyer would advertise on Craigslist to make court appearances at $125 a pop. Craigslist is widely respected as the best place to find an experienced litigator, a gently-used futon, or someone to dress up like Herman Goering and poop on you.

That aside, Mr. Nazaire's argument that he's not taking orders from anybody is an odd strategic choice under these circumstances. I appreciate his choice not to blame problems on Brett Gibbs. I appreciate the creativity of pulling Brett Gibbs out from under the bus in order to tell him that he sucks. But I'm not sure about the full-throated "I'm in charge but there's nothing to see here" approach by a local counsel at this point, once Prenda Law's principals have taken the Fifth. Has Mr. Nazaire truly slaked his thirst with the Prenda Kool-Aid? Or is he very politely sparing Mssrs. Steele, Hansmeier, and Duffy the bother of throwing him under a bus, as they have rather unconvincingly done to Brett Gibbs? How very collegial.

EFFFFFFFF! From Hell's Heart I Stab At Thee!

Mr. Nazaire, like many Prendateers, is very upset with the Electronic Frontier Foundation. He accuses Mr. Patel's lawyer of being associated with EFF, which he describes like it's some kind of terrorist group:

One other important fact for the Court to consider is Chintella’s role as a panel attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation (“EFF”). (See https://www.eff.org/issues/file-sharing/subpoena-defense). The overriding mission of the EFF has been to shield the Internet from effective regulation—“defending it from the intrusion of territorial government.” Jack L. Goldsmith & Tim Wu, Who Controls the Internet?: Illusions of a Borderless World 18 (2006). This mission relies on undermining effective enforcement of intellectual property rights. Purporting to speak on behalf of “cyberspace,” a co-founder of EFF (who presently serves on its board of directors) has warned the “Governments of the Industrial World” that “[y]our legal concepts of property, expression, identity, movement, and context do not apply to us.” John Perry Barlow, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace (Feb. 8, 1996), available at https://projects.eff.org/~barlow/Declaration-Final.html (as of April 17, 2013).

The EFF is a left wing organization which has some of the same goals as the anti-government group “Anonymous” as well as the terrorist group “Wikileaks”.

It is amusing, in a dark way, that Prenda Law and its local counsel continue to portray themselves as the righteous defenders of intellectual property rights. Were that so, you might find support from them amongst attorneys and organizations in the business of bittorrent litigation and other pursuits of online pirates. You won't. At most, you'll find consternation that the Prenda Law enterprise has inflicted a grave wound upon the credibility of online piracy litigation across the United States.

Mr. Nazaire further accuses the EFF of witness tampering — excuse me, witness "tempering" — because he hears they paid for Alan Cooper's travel to and from Los Angeles. He demands:

4) An order requiring Defendant’s counsel, who is a member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) to disclose the total amount of monetary benefits received by Alan Cooper from the EFF and its members, agents, colleagues and followers. Should the case not be dismissed, an order scheduling a hearing into possible witness tempering [sic] by the EFF.

Mr. Nazaire explains:

Additionally, it is reported on the internet that Mitch Stoltz, a staff attorney with the EFF has stated that EFF took care of Cooper’s travel arrangements to testify in a California case. As such, any statements made by Mr. Cooper should be suspect. There is no evidence to suggest that Mr. Cooper has worked an honest day in his life. Rather, it appears that Mr. Cooper has spent his lifetime depending on the kindness of others. Logic dictates that the more Mr. Cooper testifies against those opposed to the EFF, the longer he is allowed to travel from state to state.

There are several things you should note about this argument.

First, notice the alacrity with which Mr. Nazaire traipses from "Mr. Patel's claims are speculation not supported by evidence" to "it is reported on the internet."

Second, remember the context. Alan Cooper didn't travel to Los Angeles for kicks. He didn't travel as a voluntary witness to support allies. He went because United States District Judge Otis D. Wright II ordered him to appear. There seems to be no dispute that he's a man of modest means. His testimony made it clear that he finds the whole experience confounding and terrifying. The evidence suggests he was repeatedly threatened with legal ruin by the slick, entirely vile John Steele. Plus, despite Mr. Nazaire's insinuation, there is no indication he's gone anywhere else to testify, let alone been paid by the EFF to do so. Under the circumstances, the EFF funding an involuntary witnesses' travel — an involuntary witness who may be the victim of identity fraud — is a mitzvah. I leave it to reader to assess the relative character of the EFF for doing it and Mr. Nazaire for attacking it.

Third, consider where Mr. Nazaire's comments leave us with respect to Prenda Law's position on Alan Cooper: even if you take everything they say at face value (a prospect that exhausts the world's bounteous supply of drooling credulity), it means that AF Holdings chose, as an officer or representative to sign its crucial legal documents, a man who has not "worked an honest day in his life" and is mentally ill and dangerous. Nevertheless, they would have you believe, you should accept AF Holdings as a legitimate enterprise and the lawyers conducting litigation on its behalf as trustworthy. How appealing does that sound to you?

I Did It For The Lutz

Responding to accusations that AF Holdings is a front for Prenda Lawyers, Mr. Nazaire supplies an undated affidavit from Prenda Law paralegal Mark Lutz. Mr. Lutz swears that a trust called "Salt Marsh" owns AF Holdings, and that the beneficiaries of "Salt Marsh" are Mr. Lutz's hypothetical and yet-unborn future children. (Damn you, Prenda, for making me refresh my memory of the horror that is the Rule Against Perpetuities!)

You may recall that Paul Hansmeier — offered by Prenda Law as AF Holdings' witness most knowledgeable about its origins and ownership — was unable to explain the nature or beneficiaries of the trust.

Let's sum up, then, what we know about Mark Lutz, and by extension AF Holdings. Mr. Lutz has been identified as a former paralegal for Steele & Hansmeier, a predecessor to Prenda Law. He showed up in court as a "corporate representative" of another Prenda Law entity, Sunlust, resulting in this thoroughly embarrassing exchange:

THE COURT: Mr. Lutz, you're under oath, you have to give truthful answers or you face penalties of perjury. Do you understand that?
MR. LUTZ: Yes.
THE COURT: What is your position with Sunlust?
MR. LUTZ: I'm a representative of them.
THE COURT: What does that mean?
MR. LUTZ: Corporate representative.
THE COURT: What does that mean?
MR. LUTZ: They asked me to appear on various matters throughout the country.
THE COURT: Are you an officer of the company?
MR. LUTZ: I'm not, no.
THE COURT: Are you authorized to bind the company to any legal contracts?
MR. LUTZ: I am not.
THE COURT: Are you salaried?
MR. LUTZ: No, 1099.
THE COURT: So you are a 1099 contracted entity and you just go around and sit in a Court and represent yourself to be the corporate representative of the company?
MR. LUTZ: Yes.
THE COURT: Mr. Torres, did you know this was Mr. Lutz's position, a paid corporate representative?
MR. TORRES: No, Your Honor, I did not.
THE COURT: Who is the president of Sunlust?
MR. LUTZ: I'm unaware.
THE COURT: Who is the vice president?
MR. LUTZ: I'm unaware
THE COURT: Who is the secretary?
MR. LUTZ: I have no idea.
THE COURT: Who owns Sunlust?
MR. LUTZ: I do not know.
THE COURT: Who signs your checks?
MR. LUTZ: I believe somebody in the accounting department.
THE COURT: What is their name?
MR. LUTZ: To be honest with you, I can't read the signature.
THE COURT: Where is the accounting department located?
MR. LUTZ: I'm sorry?
THE COURT: Where is the accounting department located?
MR. LUTZ: I've received checks from California.
THE COURT: How much are you paid monthly to be the corporate representative?
MR. LUTZ: Again, it depends on my appearances, the number of appearances that I do.
THE COURT: How much were you paid last month?
MR. LUTZ: Approximately $1,000.

Moreover, Paul Hansmeier — acting as AF Holdings' most knowledgeable person (not, it would seem, a particularly high bar) testified that Lutz is the CEO or "manager" of AF Holdings, but is not paid anything for that position, and despite being AF Holdings' sole employee, has arranged for Alan Cooper (whom Prenda Law now says is a crazy violent ne'er do well) to sign copyright assignments on behalf of AF Holdings, because Mark Lutz is a busy man:

Well, it would be speculation as
to why AF Holdings took one action or another. I would
say that, for example, you know, Mr. Lutz is an
individual. There are a certain number hours in a day
and for him to accomplish everything he's going to
accomplish in any given day, or for anyone in any
capacity in any business, you rely on third parties to
aid you to accomplish various tasks.

Meanwhile, Mark Lutz — who showed up at a hearing before Judge Wright without counsel, and apparently showed up as a corporate representative in a court in Florida dressed like he was going shrimping afterwards — may or may not have children in the future, and if he does, those children will be the beneficiaries of the trust that owns AF Holdings, which, we are assured, is a perfectly legitimate business conducting good-faith copyright litigation to protect its interests in movies. Those movies, by the way, have never yielded any money except through litigation, and that litigation has only yielded money to the Prenda Law lawyers and their related "experts."

Nonetheless, Mr. Nazaire will have you believe, it is outrageous and sanctionable for Mr. Patel to seek sanctions and ask the Georgia federal court to conclude an inquiry into whether Prenda Law and AF Holdings have concealed the true ownership of AF Holdings.

Gentle readers: draw your own conclusions.

Sure, What The Hell, Let's Bring In Booking Photo Extortion Too

Showing the sharp wit and unerring eye for palatable arguments that characterizes his entire brief, Mr. Nazaire also launches a personal attack on Mr. Patel's lawyer Blair Chintella. In a salvo that I'm sure the judge will find pertinent and not at all gratuitous, Mr. Nazaire asserts that Mr. Chintella is pursuing his own interests rather than the interests of his client, and asserts that Mr. Chintella has an unreasoning grudge against John Steele (the same John Steele Mr. Nazaire suggests is entirely irrelevant to this case):

Mr. Chintella perhaps believes that Mr. Steele has spread Chintella’s mug shot, from a 2011 DUI arrest, across the Internet. However, Mr. Chintella’s mug shot was circulated by infamous websites that post mug shots from public arrest records and demand monetary payment for their removal (www.bustedmugshots.com and www.justmugshots.com). Nevertheless, Plaintiff believes that Chintella’s acrimony towards Steele is important context for the Court to consider when reviewing Defendant’s motion, which seeks, inter alia, substantial relief against Steele, even though Steele is not a party or attorney involved in this case. Plaintiff’s attorney has a copy of the mugshot and can provide the same to the Court if so requested.

Truly Mr. Nazaire's distaste for "extortion" is touching.

Mr. Chintella may be mildly and temporarily embarrassed that a 2011 DUI arrest has been emphasized in a pleading in federal court. I suspect, however, that transitory and mild embarrassment will pale compared to the impact Mr. Nazaire's connection to this matter will have on his reputation. Potential local counsel for Prenda Law or the Prendateers, take note.

Last 5 posts by Ken White

154 Comments

153 Comments

  1. Bonnie  •  Apr 21, 2013 @12:43 pm

    You lost me (as in laughing out loud and now I have to re-read it) at

    "Underpants gnome logic."

    It's gonna take me a bit to get that visual out of my head.

  2. joe pullen  •  Apr 21, 2013 @12:51 pm

    I totally lost it at

    Craigslist is widely respected as the best place to find an experienced litigator, a gently-used futon, or someone to dress up like Herman Goering and poop on you.

  3. Hal 10000  •  Apr 21, 2013 @12:54 pm

    someone to dress up like Herman Goering and poop on you

    No, it's going to take me a while to get THAT visual out of my head.

  4. orvis barfley  •  Apr 21, 2013 @12:57 pm

    me, too, bonnie and clyde . . . err . . . i mean joe.

    this guy makes law fun to read.  what an accomplishment.

  5. Dan  •  Apr 21, 2013 @1:00 pm

    I can hardly keep all these parties and suits straight. Thank goodness someone (Ken) is documenting this nuttiness so that any Google search for any of them will lead the searcher here. I'm just waiting for the final judicial hammers and professional discipline sickles to fall.

  6. orvis barfley  •  Apr 21, 2013 @1:02 pm

    that entire post was pretty much a vehicle for the Craigslist line

    and i'm going to predict good mileage.

  7. SJD  •  Apr 21, 2013 @1:05 pm

    Regarding the "undated affidavit"… I inquired the lady who notarized it, and she kindly replied (she works in Key West):

    It was notarized by me on April 19, 2013. I responded to another person, Calvin Li, about this same document. I did not prepare it, nor did I really even read it. Mr. Lutz just came into my building looking for a notary so he could execute the document and have it notarized.

    I was hinted that Mark Lutz was seen in Key West recently, so the missing date is a minor thing — there is no foul play here.

  8. orvis barfley  •  Apr 21, 2013 @1:06 pm

    like many Prendateers

    haven't i seen you also call them prendanistas?  i can understand the use here.  mousketeers, and all.  beagle boys, whatever.

  9. Lucy  •  Apr 21, 2013 @1:08 pm

    Are we sure this isn't a Robot Chicken script and we all weren't just punked?

  10. orvis barfley  •  Apr 21, 2013 @1:10 pm

    tempering is correct.

    otherwise known as heat treating.  you heat until you get the result you want.

  11. James Duncan  •  Apr 21, 2013 @1:10 pm

    Nazaire appears to be enthusiastically pounding the table. The rest is left as an exercise for the reader.

  12. MCB  •  Apr 21, 2013 @1:14 pm

    @SJD,

    I think the date matters. Lutz made a blanket invocation of the Fifth to avoid discussing this issue. Then Lutz went and executed an affidavit on precisely these issues to be submitted to a federal court in a different case. That sounds like he is trying to selectively invoke the Fifth to me. You don't get to do that. Anyone else see it this way?

  13. nlp  •  Apr 21, 2013 @1:18 pm

    I think the reason Prenda is having trouble throwing people under the bus is that there are so many buses in so many locations they can't throw Gibbs under all of them, (at least not all at the same time) and now they're looking for new bodies to throw.

    I was not expecting more hilarity from Prenda during the weekend. Thank you for brightening my day.

  14. orvis barfley  •  Apr 21, 2013 @1:21 pm

    omg.

    it just occurred to me that i might know as much or more about af holdings as anyone else in the known universe, and that i might, in fact, be summoned at some point to speak for them.

    they can't locate me through these comments, can they?

  15. Christophe  •  Apr 21, 2013 @1:22 pm

    What baffles me about the whole Prenda thing is the absolute gratuitously incompetent nature of the plan. You can sue people for downloading movies. This can be done. I'm sure there are 500 porn producers in LA who would be happy to be the plaintiff on this.

    But instead, they had to gin up this whole AF Holdings nonsense, and turn a sleazy-but-legal line of work into something that is going to cause them no end of heartburn.

  16. Duke  •  Apr 21, 2013 @1:25 pm

    I have made several small contributions to the EFF over the past couple of years and demand an accounting of how my dollars were spent. Seems that someone named COOPER has been junketing around the country (on a Gulfstream no doubt) with money that I've donated.

    Something smells here. Judge Otis, forget the whole Prenda thing. Please look into the use of the EFF Gulfstream. Or Learjet. Thank you.

  17. Orville  •  Apr 21, 2013 @1:34 pm

    An unexpected Sunday treat. Thanks for the post!

  18. JP  •  Apr 21, 2013 @1:37 pm

    "… Mr. Nazaire asserts that Mr. Chintella is pursuing his own interests rather than the interests of his client…"

    I'm sorry, but someone owes me a new Irony Meter for that one!

  19. Frank Rizzo  •  Apr 21, 2013 @1:42 pm

    @ Christophe What you describe could in fact occur. An ability to successfully provide competent legal services to actual corporate clients seems to be a prerequisite for the scheme you outline…

    I don't see how the scheme you outline could lead to vast riches without vast efforts. On the other hand, there might be a shortcut to consider.

  20. Analee  •  Apr 21, 2013 @1:56 pm

    Wonder if Nazaire thinks he can turn into the Hulk and win that way. He seems to be implying that we wouldn't like him when he's angry…

  21. SJD  •  Apr 21, 2013 @2:05 pm

    Why the Hansmeier deposition transcript is "doctored"? Did Nazaire mean "with highlights"? Litigation privilege aside, it's a serious accusation.

  22. James  •  Apr 21, 2013 @2:07 pm

    For the record, Mr. Nazaire will make court appearances for $125 a pop, but he comes cheap. The guy that dresses up like Herman Goering charges $200 an hour. Please don't ask me how I know this.

  23. Wick  •  Apr 21, 2013 @2:10 pm

    I don't have a ton of experience in complex litigation, but one lesson I've learned is that you must not take a position to win a tactical battle that hurts your overall strategic position. It seems that the Prenda folks are learning that lesson the hard way.

  24. Oomph  •  Apr 21, 2013 @2:14 pm

    Surely Mr. Steele is the only one who has been tempered. Heh heh heh… I'm here all week.

  25. SJD  •  Apr 21, 2013 @2:16 pm

    It seems that the Prenda folks are learning that lesson the hard way.

    That's exactly what I say when a praying mantis flies into a campfire: "this fella learned his lesson the hard way."

    :)

  26. Mark Lyon  •  Apr 21, 2013 @2:16 pm

    What baffles me about the whole Prenda thing is the absolute gratuitously incompetent nature of the plan. You can sue people for downloading movies. This can be done. I'm sure there are 500 porn producers in LA who would be happy to be the plaintiff on this.

    But instead, they had to gin up this whole AF Holdings nonsense, and turn a sleazy-but-legal line of work into something that is going to cause them no end of heartburn.

    I'm equally confused. I understand (far too well) the desire to ensure rent, student loan and grocery bills are paid in a timely manner. I'm not going to begrudge someone doing that by sticking up for the hard working people of the porn industry. Heck, I could even understand possibly setting up a company to buy rights to films that might otherwise be owned by a producer who doesn't want to deal with the hassle and would rather just take a check today instead of waiting for an eventual recovery, and then suing based on the transferred rights.

    Why fsck it up by being shady? Sure, porn may be taboo, but there's nothing disreputable about filing lawsuits on behalf of those who make a legal product. One of the excuses given at some point was the potential for harassment of the rights-holder, but if you can find local counsel on Craigslist, surely you can find someone to be your straw CEO there too. Or hell, get Alan Cooper in on it and put some lucre in his pockets to ensure he'll go along.

    There was absolutely no need for these shenanigans – they could have operated with complete transparency and the firehose of settlement money would still be running full force. Instead, they're fighting a losing battle on a front that should never have been a part of the war.

  27. Dave Ruddell  •  Apr 21, 2013 @2:19 pm

    I rather liked the title Ken put on Nazaire's response. Although it is a Phantom Menace reference, which does put me in a worse mood…

  28. MarkH  •  Apr 21, 2013 @2:27 pm

    "Those mean, evil, left wing radical terrorists at the EFF keep paying for our insane, homicidal, perpetually dishonest, deadbeat CEO's to show up in court. Hey! That was supposed to be on OUR tab!!".

  29. John Henry  •  Apr 21, 2013 @2:39 pm

    Let us not forget why Cooper came on the scene in the first place – to protect Mr. Lutz from the more nefarious of the infringers, the ones who are capable of committing quite a bit of harm. (Hansmeier depo transcript pages 121,22)

    So Steele hired this guy like a robber might take a hostage. Human shield.

    Did anyone else notice – this is on page 121, line 10 – the question is "Who is Alan Cooper?" Hansmeier goes off on like a five page answer. Pietz noticed, that is for sure, as he replied with, "Thank you for that very thorough answer."

    Pietz couldn't get a complete answer to save his life, and all of a sudden Paul is chatty Cathy.

  30. Dan  •  Apr 21, 2013 @2:48 pm

    This saga has me me reading legal documents for fun. So the Salt Marsh trust has as beneficiaries any of Lutz's children, born or adopted? Was the final strategy that he would adopt Steele, Hansmeier, and Dufffy as children so they could finally get paid?

  31. Drew  •  Apr 21, 2013 @2:49 pm

    I noticed something else in Nazaire's motion that I found amusing, although mostly irrelevant to the larger issues. Nazaire's allegation is that Patel is responsible for illegal downloads by third parties because his business had wifi accessible to customers.

    His client has admitted to the allegations in the complaint. The declaration of Rajesh Patel (Exhibit A) states the following.
    [...]
    "At the time of the alleged infringement, I operated two gas stations, one of which had free wireless access for my customers."
    Here the Defendant admitted to the allegations of the complaint which stated that Defendant had failed to secure his internet. Defendant admitted that, although he had employees who were engaged in misconduct, he failed to secure his internet access.

    Of course, every coffeeshop, McDonalds, library, etc in America has customer-accessible wifi. Hell, I can sign on to the guest network in my local drug store. But what I really find funny is that Nazaire describes this later in the motion as Patel having "admitted in his declaration that he was negligent in failing to secure his website as alleged." Apparently that's what $125 gets you – a lawyer who is entirely unaware of the difference between a website and wifi. These are bittorrent downloads we're talking about, not ftp or some such; I'm fairly certain the defendant's website had sod-all to do with it.

  32. mud man  •  Apr 21, 2013 @2:54 pm

    I learned about perpetuities from Body Heat. Good flick, way more fun than the wikipedia article.

  33. Shay  •  Apr 21, 2013 @2:55 pm

    @Orvis:

    I prefer Prenderasts.

  34. Bystander  •  Apr 21, 2013 @3:08 pm

    I guess Prenda did this because they wanted to keep everything for themselves, thought they could outsmart everyone, and assumed they could always dismiss cases to avoid scrutiny.

    It's pretty telling that they were able to continue for as long as they did before they ran into trouble from the courts.

    Leaving aside the Prenda farce, there is a large number of single-doe Malibu Media copyright lawsuits coming down the pipeline with the potential for huge RIAA-type damages. I guess they'll be the true test for whether or not there will be any rational correction to the current insanity of copyright law.

  35. BTCG  •  Apr 21, 2013 @3:09 pm

    @Oomph – in his very politically incorrect novel "Farnham's Freehold", slaves who have been gelded to prevent reproduction of undesirable genes have been said to be "tempered".

    Sounds like some Federal Judges are sharpening up their implements. I can just see the clerk of the court fitting Steele and Jacques with those little neck cones so they don't bite out the stitches…

  36. James Pollock  •  Apr 21, 2013 @3:14 pm

    "I'm sure there are 500 porn producers in LA who would be happy to be the plaintiff on this."
    Sure there are. But then, and this is important, they would be the client. The client gets to make informed decisions and can, at any time, fire you. I'm sure that there are many, many lawyers who think the practice of law would significantly improve as a career field if only they didn't have to deal with clients and their needs.

  37. Nobody  •  Apr 21, 2013 @3:16 pm

    Prendateers: Because suing our planet is the thing to do!

  38. CO  •  Apr 21, 2013 @3:21 pm

    Could Mark Lutz sue Prenda since they haven't disbursed to AF Holdings any of the money that they won on its behalf?

  39. BNT  •  Apr 21, 2013 @3:22 pm

    Was the final strategy that he would adopt Steele, Hansmeier, and Dufffy as children so they could finally get paid?

    That's… insane, but actually possible. (I mean possible it's their strategy; not necessarily possible it would work.) Adult adoption exists; similar trust-subverting shenanigans have been tried.

  40. OngChotwI  •  Apr 21, 2013 @3:29 pm

    Mr. Kotter! Mr. Kotter! This A.F. Holding thing? What is it?
    Is Alan the CEO? Who is Alan?
    Is Lutz a part of AFH?
    Is it a trust or a person?
    Is Salt Marsh the CEO of AFH, or was that another thing that he was CEO of? If AFH, What happened to Alan?
    Is Steele (the lightly tempered john) a part of AFH?

    I'm sooOoOo confused.

    /end Vinnie impersonation.
    Is there a chart of all the statements made about AFH, conflicting and otherwise?

  41. Bear  •  Apr 21, 2013 @3:34 pm

    Wait. Didn't we see documents signed by "Salt Marsh"? Wasn't that yet another part of the confusion; i.e.- is "Salt Marsh" a human or a trust (or some corporate entity)? Am I confus… well, of course I'm confused; that seems to be the basic strategy, but still… ?

    Is it normal to sign such docs with the name of the trust as the signature, instead of "Mark Lutz, Trust Manager" or "Mark Lutz for Salt Marsh", or the like?

    Forget popcorn. If I keep following this, I'll need medication.

  42. Scote  •  Apr 21, 2013 @3:34 pm

    " MCB • Apr 21, 2013 @1:14 pm

    @SJD,

    I think the date matters. Lutz made a blanket invocation of the Fifth to avoid discussing this issue."

    I don't recall Lutz ever pleading the fifth. IIRC he appeared the 2nd LA hearing but was un-represented and never asked to testify.

    I do hope he gets called to testify, sometime when Paul Hansmeier is drinking a glass of water…

  43. MCB  •  Apr 21, 2013 @3:44 pm

    @Scote:

    Ken's summary of the hearing didn't have them asked questions. But I have a possibly incorrect memory of looking at the transcript and seeing someone confirm that Lutz would be taking the Fifth.

    I think Lutz may be the key to this whole scheme. I think he knows where the bodies are buried. And I think he would turn to save his skin.

  44. Alfred Spade  •  Apr 21, 2013 @3:58 pm

    It's not baffling to me at all.

    Steele demonstrates most of the symptoms of a severe narcissistic personality disorder. The vindictive tantrums towards his courtroom opponents and even anonymous online critics. The gloating and exaggeration of any success. Brett Gibbs thrown under the bus the second he wasn't useful anymore. The utter asshattery towards Cooper. Textbook case.

    As such his endeavors aren't about anything as basic as professional income. Of course he could pay the rent with legitimate clients and contracts. But that wouldn't validate how much smarter he is than everyone else in the room.

    Continually one upping themselves until they outrun their actual competence and crash in flames is just what megalomaniacs do.

  45. Jim Tyre  •  Apr 21, 2013 @4:14 pm

    As a lawyer and an EFF Fellow, I can state confidently that EFF does not engage in witness tempering.

    Whether we are cannibals who engage in witness tempuring is, of course, a different question. (Do tempured witnesses and popcorn go well together?)

  46. Matthew Cline  •  Apr 21, 2013 @4:16 pm

    Mr. Lutz swears that a trust called "Salt Marsh" owns AF Holdings, and that the beneficiaries of "Salt Marsh" are Mr. Lutz's hypothetical and yet-unborn future children. (Damn you, Prenda, for making me refresh my memory of the horror that is the Rule Against Perpetuities!)

    So an ordinary beneficiary trust can't be set up for children which one does not yet have, but a St. Kitt and Nevis purpose trust (undefined benificiary trust) can get around that by making it's purpose be to give money to people who don't yet exit?

    Mr. Chintella may be mildly and temporarily embarrassed that a 2011 DUI arrest has been emphasized in a pleading in federal court.

    I have to wonder if 1) that was merely intended to smear Chintella, or 2) Chintella actually was blackmailed over a DUI arrest, and Chintella does believe that Steele was behind the blackmailing. Because if it's #2, well, why would Chintella believe that Steele was the one doing the blackmailing?

  47. Orville  •  Apr 21, 2013 @4:26 pm

    @Matthew Cline

    3) When you have no ammo – throw feces.

    Not quite a smear (as it is not unsubstantiated), but also not relevant and presented without any supporting evidence.

  48. Delvan  •  Apr 21, 2013 @4:34 pm

    The undersigned, on the other hand, has over 16 years experience practicing law, has settled over millions of dollars worth of cases…

    Settled, not won.
    1) Send angry letter demanding $15.6 million dollars in damages for stolen pack of gum.
    2) Settle with defendant by accepting the return of stolen gum
    3) I have settled millions of dollars worth of case!

    The EFF is a left wing organization which has some of the same goals as the anti-government group “Anonymous” as well as the terrorist group “Wikileaks”.

    1) The EFF wants to prevent the government from doing certain things
    2) Libertarians, like a decent chunk of our Popehat bloggers, want to prevent the government from doing many things.
    3) Anarchist terrorists want to prevent the government from doing all things.

    "The EFF, which shares some of the same goals as the Popehat bloggers and Anarcho-terrorist communes…"

    However, Mr. Chintella’s mug shot was circulated by infamous websites that post mug shots from public arrest records and demand monetary payment for their removal (www.bustedmugshots.com and http://www.justmugshots.com).

    Perhaps Craig Brittain would like to hire some soon-to-be disbarred lawyers to replace his fictional lawyer? John Steele has about the right ring to it to replace David Blade III. Oh, but demanding money in exchange for not making flimsy porn accusations public is nothing like demanding money for not making self-porn or already-public-mugshots public, right?

    That he goes directly from "look at these bad people doing photo extortion" to "I have the photo if you'd like to see it" is delicious.

    Is there any lawyer vs. client communications issue with Mark Lutz still making these settlement phone calls himself when he is purportedly a represented client rather than an employee of the firm? Or is that only one-way e.g. communications go to the lawyer but can come from either?

  49. Lounging Lizard  •  Apr 21, 2013 @4:56 pm

    I'm having trouble pulling up the exhibits from Pietz's last brief in front of Judge Wright, but didn't he attach an email from Nazaire to Chintella where Nazaire said that Steele didn't represent AF but had an "interest" in AF? Perhaps Steele is expecting to be adopted.

  50. Scote  •  Apr 21, 2013 @5:00 pm

    "However, Mr. Chintella’s mug shot was circulated by infamous websites that post mug shots from public arrest records and demand monetary payment for their removal (www.bustedmugshots.com and http://www.justmugshots.com)."

    That isn't really a denial, is it? More of a "Look over there! Something shiny!!!!" Sounds more of a *source* for where a certain someone might have gotten a photo to circulate.

    Is there an accompanying declaration by John Steele affirming that he did not circulate, or cause to be circulated directly or indirectly, said photo? Hmm….

  51. Delvan  •  Apr 21, 2013 @5:03 pm

    Ooh, check this out. Take a look at his signature block for this response. Now compare it to his signature block from the initial filing for this case

    "Nothing to see here, move along, none of the other cases are relevant to this case, all that evidence doesn't matter here. Also, I've just quietly stopped mentioning myself as Of Counsel to Prenda Law Inc. since I noticed their house was burning down."

    Looks like he started omitting the "of counsel to prenda law" part between Document 6 and Document 8, which are both notices of filing summons and were submitted on the same day, for the same defendant. Metadata confirms they were both authored by "Jacques" using the same software and PDF writer. Modified & creation times suggest he created Document 6th on the 14th. Creation date for Document 8 is a couple hours after the last modify date for Doc 6. (I'd link to these two on RECAP but my post would get caught in the spam filter).

  52. Delvan  •  Apr 21, 2013 @5:09 pm

    @Lounging Lizard: That section of exhibits is on RECAP and that quote shows up on page 27 of 70.

    Nazaire, referring to Cooper: "I would like to subpoena him and have him state under oath that he has never received a dime from John Steele, who has an interest in AF."

  53. Jim Tyre  •  Apr 21, 2013 @5:12 pm

    As much as I love Ken in every possible way, he missed an interesting inconsistency. Exhibit C to Nazaire's filing is a series of emails between Chintella and him. In the first, dated April 2, Nazaire states:

    Also, I no longer represent AF Holdings.

    But the filing itself is dated April 20, and it shows clearly that Nazaire is representing (wait for it) …

    … AF Holdings

    So he ceased representing AF by April 2 and then resumed representing AF by April 20. Does Popehat have a forum devoted to bridges for sale?

  54. Nicholas Weaver  •  Apr 21, 2013 @5:45 pm

    OK, I'm not getting it… Here's what I mean.

    IANAL, but I AM good at strategy, tactics, and intuitively understanding the motivation of people. And many of the previous filing make sense from an "individual objectives" standpoint.

    Gibbs needs to save his law license and his assets, has tried foisting things off on the Prenda Three, and is now engaged in a bus tossing contest, which is made easier by opposition attorneys encouraging bus tossing in exchange for not seeking (or dropping) sanctions motions against Gibbs.

    The other Prenda local council have similar goals: They need to see things fold, without risking their licenses, and ideally ensuring that any sanctions are only payable by the Client, not themselves.

    S&H only need to ensure that things don't get further out of hand. They have their millions, the odds of a criminal indictment are probably near zilch [1], so all they have to do is make things Go Away and hope there isn't some mass class action.

    Duffy is probably someplace in between. I'd place money that the sale to Prenda was a "no-sale sale", where S&H still maintain a large economic interest. So Duffy might very well actually be in the same place Gibbs is: not able to walk away if he loses his license, and not having a huge amount of assets to pay the sanctions.

    But this seems absolutely loony, both tactically and strategically, for both the Prendarists and for Mr Nazaire himself.

    It doesn't help this case Go Away. If anything, this is waving a red flag in front of a velociraptor.

    The odds of the hysterics helping the case are near zilch, and the odds of any possible sanctions being jointly and severally the responsibility of Prenda Law, Mr Nazaire, and the Prenda Client Trust just went way way way up. So if this is meant to advance Prenda's strategy, its a big bucket of fail. And it certainly doesn't help Mr Nazaire.

    Really, Mr Nazaire would have been well served by a kinder blame-shifting response. Rather than going full Rakofsky, a sensible 'I was acting on my client's orders' minor bus-toss would be fine, as all Mr Nazaire needed to do was ensure that any sanctions would be payable only by his client, and just let the opposition try to collect from a St Nevis trust with no actual assets beyond the copyrights to some 9th rate pornos.

    The other rule that the Prendarists need to follow is For The Love Of God, No New Information. They are acutely aware that its now an Internet Sport to keep track of everything they have said in every court, find every contradiction, with each contradiction now appearing in filings in every case still alive.

    Thats why I disagree with Ken on Duffy's appearence in San Francisco. He followed the "No New Information" rule and, as such, did no further damage.

    Yet they've now dropped the Sgt Schultz defense that served them so well. Before, the Prenda client could have been anybody. Or it could have been legitimately sold to Lightspeed LLC or whater Nome du Jour. But hey, nobody knew anything, really, so how was anything a lie?

    But with the client financial interest now stated as being Steele and Hansmeier's Paralegal in their own filings, every S&H case may be up for a big FRCP 7.1 landmine.

    And Duffy's case in San Francisco just got worse, because now "Salt Marsh is a trust, by your own law firm's documents. So again, how did a trust sign that declaration?"

    This yet another story of ownership, after LA and after San Francisco, but before either of those matters have resolved, is the height of stupidity.

    It doesn't help local tactics, it worsens the overall strategic picture, and it provides a bump in sales for Con*Agra.

    [1] Look at how long it took to indict Paul Ceglia, for behavior even more egregious than the Prendarists have done.

  55. Matthew Cline  •  Apr 21, 2013 @5:52 pm

    So he ceased representing AF by April 2 and then resumed representing AF by April 20.

    I wonder what judges would think of an officer of the court dropping a client when it's inconvenient to have that client, then taking the client back again as soon as the inconvenience passes. Hmmmm.

  56. SJD  •  Apr 21, 2013 @5:57 pm

    @Nicholas There is one theory that can solve the mystery: what if Nazaire is NOT involved at all, "Prenda senior management guys" are not strangers to using other's ECF credentials. Not strangers at all.

    In this case it's lose-lose for Nazaire: admitting that someone using his signature, especially to file such crap is not an easy decision for an attorney (to my understanding). Some other threats may keep him silent as well.

  57. Joe Schmoe  •  Apr 21, 2013 @6:03 pm

    dressed like he was going shrimping afterwards

    How does one dress to go shrimping?

  58. naught_for_naught  •  Apr 21, 2013 @6:24 pm

    "…someone to dress up like Herman Goering and poop on you."

    On a Sunday, Ken, you wrote this on a Sunday?

  59. Scote  •  Apr 21, 2013 @6:36 pm

    ""Prenda senior management guys" are not strangers to using other's ECF credentials. Not strangers at all."

    Yeah, too bad the filings are PDFs. Doc files have more meta data, including the MS word SN. It certainly doesn't seem beyond the abilities or scruples for PH to salt the PDF meta data with some misleading information now that he knows people are paying attention. Slightly harder to do with a .doc file.

  60. Charlotte  •  Apr 21, 2013 @6:38 pm

    Re Nazaire's sig block – the (415) area code covers Mill Valley, California, where Gibbs' office is. Obviously the email address has been used by Gibbs as well.

    Someone not too long ago posted a notice in a local "paper" that gave Prenda as the new landlord and the square footage (something under 900 SF).

  61. Xploder  •  Apr 21, 2013 @7:19 pm

    This? This is what I spend my Sunday evening doing? Re-reading all the Prenda shenanigans once again?

    Well, yes, reading old court documents and lawyers using phrases like Underpants Gnome Logic are much more fun than laying around the house being ill. At least I get the absolute pleasure of seeing lawyers acting like complete idiots brought out of the courtroom and into the public eye. Kudos to you Ken!

  62. naught_for_naught  •  Apr 21, 2013 @7:22 pm

    I had previously read the transcript, and didn't pick up on this. Now that I have, I am carrying that pain that only comes from recognizing too late the perfect retort that went unsaid. The only way I can get past it is by restaging the entire event in my head… and forcing the rest of you to read about it.

    And action!

    The scene: I'm sitting in the gallery of the courtroom, somewhere behind Mr. Steele. He apparently also enjoys hanging out in courtrooms where he has no connection to the case or the parties. The judge is questioning the lackey, Mr. Lutz.

    THE COURT: What is your position with Sunlust?
    MR. LUTZ: I'm a representative of them.
    THE COURT: What does that mean?
    MR. LUTZ: Corporate representative.
    THE COURT: What does that mean?
    MR. LUTZ: They asked me to appear on various matters throughout the country.

    It's at this moment that I spring to my feet, point the accusing finger at Mr. Lutz and demand, "Who are they, Mr. Lutz? Who are they?" My voice hangs echoing for a moment in the courtroom. Everyone sits in stunned silence. The only other sound is that of the bailiff drawing her wooden baton from the steel ring that suspends it from her belt (Yes, the bailiff is a woman in my reenactment.) Just as I'm being taken to the floor, the light comes on in the judge's eyes. "Wait, let him go!" he commands. She surreptitiously slips her card into my top pocket, as the judge turns wryly, slowly to Lutz, who swallows audibly, realizing that he has said too much. The judge queries, "Yes Mr. Lutz. Tell us who they are."

    Sometime later that evening, after finishing off a bottle of 16-year-old single malt and singing every manner of bawdy tune, the judge and I head out to get tattoos to mark the occasion.

    The end.

    It could totally happen that way.

  63. AlanF  •  Apr 21, 2013 @7:55 pm

    I also had a perfect retort that I let go unsaid, which I now regret not saying.

    On April 2nd, in the hallway outside Judge Wright's courtroom after the infamous 14 minute hearing, we were standing around discussing the events that had just taken place. Suddenly the door opened and the entire collection of Prenderasts quickly filed out and down the hall towards the exit. I sooooooo wanted to shout after them, "Welcome to the big leagues."

    I suppose I might have been kicked out of the courthouse, but what else could they have done to me?

  64. Bill  •  Apr 21, 2013 @8:13 pm

    @Ken – how do you expect the non-lawyers in your audience to follow something this complex with you doing an A-list comedy routine. The Craigslist comment alone was distractingly funny, then you throw in the Gnome logic comment. And I'm guessing you can't do it, but I'm sure I'm not the only one willing to pay monthly fees to pay to see your unedited responses.

  65. Nicholas Weaver  •  Apr 21, 2013 @8:13 pm

    SJD: That doesn't solve the mystery. Yeah, it would save Prenda Law proper a few quatloos if any sanctions included local council on the hook. But the strategic imbecility of adding yet another ownership story is beyond belief.

  66. Michael Mock  •  Apr 21, 2013 @8:21 pm

    @ Nicholas Weaver – "IANAL, but I AM good at strategy, tactics, and intuitively understanding the motivation of people. And many of the previous filing make sense from an "individual objectives" standpoint.

    But this seems absolutely loony, both tactically and strategically, for both the Prendarists and for Mr Nazaire himself.
    "

    I like your analysis, but it presupposes that Mr. Nazaire was making a rational assessment of what approach would be in his long-term self interest, and then implementing that approach. The problem with assuming that people will act out of rational self-interest is that very frequently they don't. They're lazy, or they're incompetent, or they're acting on incomplete information, or on the basis of prejudices that they simply aren't aware enough to evaluate…

    Or, as I suspect is a lot more likely in this case, they get scared, or angry, or just affronted. And they go into Angry Primate Mode, where they puff themselves up, make loud angry noises, and pound on their chests. And maybe, in the process, they say things they shouldn't say – things that actually make their situation (or the likely outcome thereof) worse.

    Obviously I have no way of knowing if that's actually what happened here. But in my entirely personal and completely amateur opinion, that's sure what it looks like.

  67. johnnycage  •  Apr 21, 2013 @8:33 pm

    @AlanF: I was there too. Man, that was awkward watching them come out. Dead men walking.

    Re: the reason for the whole shell-corp setup and the related shenanigans, doing it transparently and legally: $$$$$. As "James Pollock" said above, real companies owing the copyrights means real clients, who want a real chunk of the settlement. If all you're doing as a lawyer is sending a demand letter quickly settling the majority of claims for mid-four figures a pop, a legitmate client is going to want the lion's share of that $. Plus a share goes to the tech guy (Peter Hansmeier ?) who identifies infringing IP addresses. And Gibbs, Duffy, Lutz, etc. must all be getting a cut somehow, no matter how small. For Steele & Co, the illegal bullsh** setup is likely the difference between thousands in profit (legally) and millions in profit (illegally).

  68. SJD  •  Apr 21, 2013 @8:38 pm

    Just realized: while calling EFF a "left wing organization," Mr. Nazaire nonetheless does not mind dealing with much farther left organization, Craigslist — look at its logo!

  69. C. S. P. Schofield  •  Apr 21, 2013 @8:41 pm

    Am I completely lacking in understanding of the legal culture when I suggest that a truly epic Judicial eruption seems in the offing?

  70. Nicholas Weaver  •  Apr 21, 2013 @8:41 pm

    Michale. I agree that file angry can easily explain bad decisions. When people get mad, they do stupid, stupid things.

    E.g. Charles Carreon's downfall was when he refused to pay the cost of service, resulting in a big cost of service motion 10 times greater than what it would have cost him otherwise, a decision which probably lead to his grossly miscalculated reply to Levy's motion for fees [1].

    Yet this is not a simple file angry case because of the Lutz affidavit.

    I could see the "hulk mad" brief on its own as a simple consequence of anger overriding self interested calculation. But the Lutz affidavit seems to me so incredibly stupid, and it required multiple parties: Not just Nazaire, but Lutz and probably one of the Prenda principles.

    One? Occam's razor sugests "angry". Three? With vastly different interests and separated by states? Something else.

    Which makes me think that it actually isn't stupid, but on further reflection represents Prenda's new strategy: "Because the trust has no beneficiaries yet, we didn't screw up by not saying who the interested parties are." In fact, that is the logic used:

    Because Mr. Lutz does not have any children and because his descendents will not be fixed until the time of his passing, there is no defined beneficiary to identify on the Certificate of Interested Persons and Corporate Disclosure Statement.

    The problem is they are going to have to backdate a lot of documents to make this stick, because its a new story: if they had thought of this before Hansmeier was deposed, they would have used it then. And its also hard to claim with a straight face that, even if true, this doesn't make Lutz a financially interested person.

    So it would have been brilliant if this is what they did from the start. But its new and different, which means it still appears stupid to me: it just seem now to be logically stupid given Prendarist Short Term thinking. But still, its stupid.

    [1] I said then that Charles should have pled "yes, the letter I sent made me a douchebag. But I wasn't an exceptional douchebag.". The judge would have agreed with that logic.

  71. Jim Tyre  •  Apr 21, 2013 @8:48 pm

    SJD:

    Just realized: while calling EFF a "left wing organization," Mr. Nazaire nonetheless does not mind dealing with much farther left organization, Craigslist — look at its logo!

    Nah. That's the Teutonic rune of death.

  72. SJD  •  Apr 21, 2013 @8:49 pm

    @Johnycage: John Steele agrees.

  73. MattS  •  Apr 21, 2013 @8:58 pm

    This whole affair brings to mind a quote from A Few Good Men, but not the most obvious quote.

    "should we or should we not follow the advice of the galactically stupid"

  74. Chris R.  •  Apr 21, 2013 @9:47 pm

    I find it easier to convince people of my insanity if I just roll around and shit on myself. Maybe Prenda's local counsel should try that?

  75. Matthew Cline  •  Apr 21, 2013 @9:50 pm

    @Nicholas Weaver:

    The problem is they are going to have to backdate a lot of documents to make this stick, because its a new story: if they had thought of this before Hansmeier was deposed, they would have used it then. And its also hard to claim with a straight face that, even if true, this doesn't make Lutz a financially interested person.

    Couldn't the judge request that they instruct the Nevis trust-forming company to send a copy of the trust paperwork directly to the court, so there no chance for the Prendateers to muck with it? I don't think the company would perjure themselves for a client.

  76. That Anonymous Coward  •  Apr 21, 2013 @10:08 pm

    Wasn't it Steele who was laughing on twitter about Judge Wright's legal issues? He took a page on mocking from our book, the difference being he won't stand beside anything he said.

    @Drew – the negligence claim doesn't belong to Pretenda, it was floated in another case and adopted by Pretenda. It was shot down because there is no negligence and they can not collect under the Copyright Act. They keep pursuing it because it is always a fun gotcha to pull out on someone who responds to the "settlement" letter and says I didn't do it, but I can tell you who did. Well you were negligent and owe us $10K. My stomach turns thinking about people who foolishly plead their innocence to these ********** (the actual string of profanity is much longer and crosses a few languages) only to believe the lawyer who told them they were still responsible and would face larger awards if they went to court.

    @Ken and anyone who thinks these cases can be done on the up and up.

    http://torrentfreak.com/file-sharers-sued-for-wrong-movie-title-producer-outraged-130420/

    How about filing a lawsuit for your client, but using the name of a film owned by someone else. They got names in this case for content the client doesn't even own. I'd laugh if it was the first time it happened, its not. Evan Stone filed a suit for a movie they didn't have the rights to, fudged dates on copyright applications, oh and fully participated in the seeding of the content he was suing over. And thats not even what he got benchslapped for.

    This business model is is about grabbing cash, not some noble goal of protecting poor ripped of artists. The law hands them a $150K weapon, and they use it to great effect. They steal bits and pieces of others work to increase the terror in their targets, and try to find another revenue stream (negligence) in the "settlements". They saved millions on filing fees and denied targets a day in court…

    They call me a bad man, I hurt their feelings. I just want to ask them did it hurt when you came up out of the ground from Hell, and do everything I can to drive them and the other trolls back there.

  77. That Anonymous Coward  •  Apr 21, 2013 @10:11 pm

    @Matthew Cline – What records? There are no records kept there.
    If you want to find someone behind something formed there you need to put up $25K and hire a local lawyer to do the work, its the law.

  78. G  •  Apr 21, 2013 @10:21 pm

    Would be great if the EFF could front that $25k and get that discovery and claim it in attorneys fees for dining the work that Prenda principals couldn't/wouldn't, refused. Wishful thinking but hey stranger things have happened

  79. Matthew Cline  •  Apr 21, 2013 @10:26 pm

    @TAC:

    @Matthew Cline – What records? There are no records kept there.

    If you want to find someone behind something formed there you need to put up $25K and hire a local lawyer to do the work, its the law.

    That's why I said it would be the judge telling Prenda/Lutz to tell the Nevis company, rather than the judge directly asking for the paperwork. But I don't know if a judge can order someone to order a third party to hand over discoverable material.

  80. Malc  •  Apr 21, 2013 @10:40 pm

    To me, the issues with the trust are as follows:

    1. The trust cannot "sign" anything, only the trustees can. So anything signed "Salt Marsh" is problematic in the "fraud on the court sense".

    2. While the trust may exist to for the benefit of Lulz's putative children, given that he doesn't have any at the moment, one has to consider what would happen if he died today. Without more data, it's impossible to say for certain, but one likely outcome is that the trust would immediately revert to Lulz.

    3. As @Matthew Cline implied, the trust documentation could be produced by whoever has it, but Nevis be revealing anything. But Lulz has now asserted he has information about the trust, so someone could subpoena him to provide information about AF Holdings & Salt Marsh.

  81. Malc  •  Apr 21, 2013 @10:40 pm

    (oh darn: that should be "Nevis WONT be revealing anything")

  82. Anony Mouse  •  Apr 21, 2013 @10:48 pm

    Personally, my favorite line is: "I appreciate the creativity of pulling Brett Gibbs out from under the bus in order to tell him that he sucks."

    Also, I'm beginning to think that Alan Cooper is none other than Merritt Stone. Or possibly John Galt.

  83. Myk  •  Apr 21, 2013 @11:20 pm

    Very interesting discussion with a family member about this case. Said family just happens to be involved in international monitoring and policing of money laundering; was most interested.

  84. Matthew Cline  •  Apr 21, 2013 @11:36 pm

    @Myk:

    Very interesting discussion with a family member about this case. Said family just happens to be involved in international monitoring and policing of money laundering; was most interested.

    Ooooh! Could you persuade said family member to leave a comment? Or maybe even make a blog post?

  85. GrimGhost  •  Apr 21, 2013 @11:42 pm

    Or clap John Steele in leg irons and handcuffs for the network-news cameras?

  86. Narad  •  Apr 22, 2013 @12:08 am
    someone to dress up like Herman Goering and poop on you

    No, it's going to take me a while to get THAT visual out of my head.

    Oh, c'mon. Surely you're familiar with this.

  87. Brad Hicks (@jbradhicks)  •  Apr 22, 2013 @12:14 am

    If the EFF succeeds in preventing local government regulation of Internet content, then that will ruin the economy. It'll destroy the personal incentive to study hard, get a good job, work hard, and save up money so you, too, can some day buy a congressman.

  88. Delvan Neville  •  Apr 22, 2013 @1:02 am

    @TAC:

    Great example of how difficult it is to put together the evidence for one of these cases on the up-and-up. That being said, it doesn't mean it can't be done…but I've got to agree, getting the evidence without violating any privacy laws nor distributing the work(s) you're trying to protect in the process is exceptionally challenging(e.g. a firm that only logs activity but doesn't download the file can easily end up suing over the wrong movie if they trust the filename). I'm not sure how an IP lawyer representing a client could tell if a monitoring agency was doing so on the up-and-up without learning enough about the process to be able to do the monitoring themselves in the first place. Doesn't help that, of the folks who really know how the nuts and bolts of bittorrent work, any "whitehats" who see these cases as unethical (punishment doesn't fit the crime) are removed from the skilled worker pool and, obviously, most of the folks who actively pirate aren't likely to want to help out one of these firms either. :)

  89. Delvan Neville  •  Apr 22, 2013 @1:06 am

    Err, to be clear, when I say "these firms" I mean a hypothetical group of law-abiding lawyers seeking to protect their clients IP from being illegally distributed by a torrent. I'm not suggesting that the firm in that article (or just about any we've discussed) is part of that hypothetical group.

  90. Myk  •  Apr 22, 2013 @1:09 am

    @Matthew Cline @GrimGhost – No, said member holds professionalism high and would not become involved at this end. Suffice to say that in order for activities to be 'officially' considered money laundering, and regardless of where the money ends up, there must be a crime ("a precursor event") that generates the money. The settlements obviously don't meet this standard, but in family member's opinion, fraud and ID theft – if criminal charges eventuate – certainly would. Info, including the 'organisation charts' has been taken and 'discussions are being held' with the appropriate people, which may include discussions with IRS as to potential charges.

    I'll keep forwarding relevant info through.

  91. DES  •  Apr 22, 2013 @1:47 am

    Am I the only one who initially read the title as “Angry panda is angry”?

  92. That Anonymous Coward  •  Apr 22, 2013 @3:44 am

    @Delvan – If they wanted to make serious changes to protect their work, they would stop pretending they have lost kajillions and suing anyone they can name.
    I've been called a freetard pirate. A moron who just wants it all for free, and funny that isn't my actual position.

    They need to stop ignoring everyone trying something different and hiding behind the well it can't work for us, because that lets them not try. It is better to try something new and fail in a flaming ball crashing to earth, than to keep repeating the same sins over and over.
    They need to understand customers don't like restrictions, and to keep adding more restrictions to 'punish' the pirates just alienates the people paying them and won't slow the 'pirates' down at all.
    They declared war on their customers, chasing imaginary dollars, and ignoring the money customers want to pay them.

    We live in a wonderful tech age, where I can discuss ponies with G on the upsidedown part of the globe in seconds… but it still can take over 2 years to get the hot new TV show down there. If they are lucky people might remember they wanted to see it when everyone on FB was spoiling every episode.

    Piracy isn't theft, piracy is a symptom that they are ignoring consumers while chasing fanciful dreams of huge piles of cash. There are many lawyers willing to help them chase those dreams and extract their pound of flesh from the 'earnings' from people who haven't heard that these lawyers often distort the truth to get paid.

    These laws and the lawyers who abuse them are holding society back. Trademark Bullies, Patent Trolls, Copyright Trolls… they add nothing but an extra cost to the rest of society to pay their tolls.

    Show me someone selling bootlegs on the street, and I'll agree the $150K should be used. Show me a Grandmother with an unsecured router, and I'll call the lawyer threatening to sue her for "stealing' (insert scandalous title here involving school girls and large male members) all sorts of fun things and find every fault in his case and make it public.

  93. JT  •  Apr 22, 2013 @5:01 am

    Here's what I get from this post and discussion:

    EFF=Wikileaks
    website=wifi
    Craigslist=nazi defecation
    John Steele=Mark Lutz's adopted son

    Anything else I missed?

  94. MCB  •  Apr 22, 2013 @6:08 am

    @Myk "The settlements obviously don't meet this standard…"

    Ahh, but let's say:

    (1) The settlements are on a copyright they do not own because the signature on the assignment is invalid.

    and

    (2) The settlements are for infringement of that copyright that they themselves caused by seeding the torrent.

    These may not be true, but suppose they are and can be proven. How are the settlement offers not a mail fraud scheme at that point?

  95. mcinsand  •  Apr 22, 2013 @6:38 am

    For anyone associated with Prenda to call someone else terrorist is hyperhypocritical. Litigative terrorism is Prenda's business model; it's that simple.

  96. LT  •  Apr 22, 2013 @7:58 am

    While perusing the transcript, I kept reading 'Mr. Lutz' as 'Mr. Lulz'.

    Granted, I did keep laughing throughout reading this. What a way to start a Monday. I think I'll go throw some money the EFF's way tonight- I just love to support those fighting the good fight.

  97. SJD  •  Apr 22, 2013 @9:19 am

    At most, you'll find consternation that the Prenda Law enterprise has inflicted a grave wound upon the credibility of online piracy litigation across the United States.

    I call it "silver lining."

  98. David Shulman  •  Apr 22, 2013 @9:28 am

    "From Hell's Heart I Stab At Thee!"

    I wonder how many people reading that thought "Moby Dick" and how many people thought, "Kaaaaaaahhhn!"

  99. SJD  •  Apr 22, 2013 @9:36 am

    …regarding Prenda's attitude towards EFF, it have not changed: same love and affection as more than a year ago.

  100. mcinsand  •  Apr 22, 2013 @9:58 am

    Myk,

    Someone once tried to say that I was money-laundering, because I would pass money through another company to buy raw materials. We were obeying all appropriate tax laws, but we did so to get better pricing, service, and to protect our proprietary information. Furthermore, since the 'seller' was a sister division, and since the beginning and ending points for the money were the same company, that would be one more reason it wasn't money laundering, right?

    Regards,
    Mc

  101. Michael K.  •  Apr 22, 2013 @9:59 am

    The undersigned would not assign Brett Gibbs to negotiate a left turn with his vehicle, let alone a settlement on behalf of a client, regardless of whether the case was venued in Georgia, California or Afghanistan.

    And furthermore, just to show you how independent and completely not Bret Gibbs' sockpuppet I am, I'll provide my totally professional email address, [whatsisname's email address], in the signature block of this filing. See? That's totally me, and me alone, and please just ignore the fact that my email address as of my November 2, 2012 filing was shown as [Brett Gibbs' email address].

  102. Patrick  •  Apr 22, 2013 @10:05 am

    Michael K, I removed the email addresses when I approved your comment.

    I know the addresses are public record, but allowing them to be included here, with hyperlinks, would lower me.

    Thank you for your understanding.

  103. Michael K.  •  Apr 22, 2013 @10:11 am

    No worries. I hesitated a second before I submitted, but then decided to let the moderation process run its course. :)

    Joke's on you, though; I misspelled Nazaire's email address.

    I will point out, however, that the reason I mocked his "totally professional email address" is that it's a gmail.com address. Dude, at least have the self-respect to set up a vanity domain an forward your email to your free, hosted email like that amateur Gibbs does.

  104. naught_for_naught  •  Apr 22, 2013 @10:24 am

    @David Shulman

    Good question. Here's what I remember about Moby Dick: 500 pages of blubber, 500 pages of mad man. Think about it any more than that? I would prefer not to.

  105. Patrick  •  Apr 22, 2013 @10:50 am

    Moby Dick is the only American novel worthy of mention in the same breath as the great Russian novels. In scope and in depth, in glaring at the human soul, Moby Dick has few peers.

    Another thing Moby Dick has in common with the great Russian novels is that it's quite challenging to the young and the callow. It's probably best not to read it before the age of 40.

  106. Ygolonac  •  Apr 22, 2013 @10:51 am

    Chris R.: "I find it easier to convince people of my insanity if I just roll around and shit on myself. Maybe Prenda's local counsel should try that?"

    Might as well, it's gotta be cheaper than the Scheissemarschall.

  107. David M. Nieporent  •  Apr 22, 2013 @11:04 am

    @ChrisR:

    I find it easier to convince people of my insanity if I just roll around and shit on myself. Maybe Prenda's local counsel should try that?

    Uh, did you read the brief? (Or at least Ken's summary of it?) They just did.

  108. MattS  •  Apr 22, 2013 @11:07 am

    David Shulman,

    I for one thought of both. :-P

  109. Jim Tyre  •  Apr 22, 2013 @11:11 am

    Another thing Moby Dick has in common with the great Russian novels is that it's quite challenging to the young and the callow. It's probably best not to read it before the age of 40.

    But why limit one's self to American and Russian? Here's how I began an essay I wrote in 1998 for the American Library Association's Banned Books Week:

    Banning Without Bothering to Read — plus ća change, plus ća meme chose

    By James S. Tyre

    "As might be supposed I have not had the time, nor may I add the inclination to read through this book. I have, however, read pages 690 to 732…."

    With those words on December 29, 1922, Sir Archibald Bodkin, the Director of Public Prosecutions, banned from Britain James Joyce's Ulysses.

    It is now 1998, and, in anticipation of Banned Books Week (September 26 – October 3: see generally ), I am writing in the United States, home of the revered First Amendment. Surely, speech can’t be banned, here and now, without the censor even reading it?

    It can be.
    It is.
    In public institutions.
    On the Internet.

  110. orvis barfley  •  Apr 22, 2013 @11:20 am

    i once roughed out an air-duct that turned on itself and returned to its start.

    one of the guys in the group laughed and called it mobius duct.

  111. Austin  •  Apr 22, 2013 @11:22 am

    @Patrick:
    There are American authors, however, worthy of mentioning in the same breath as other literary greats worldwide. Irving and Albee I believe to be two such examples. It's a mistake to judge value by comparison to a particular genre. It is unsurprising that American authors have a different literary goal than those in cultures with such differences in history, identity, and valuation. The American contribution to absurdism is particularly noteworthy.

    Albee's "Zoo Story" may only weigh in at 50-something pages, but the value of Tolstoy or Checkov isn't measured in pages any more than Albee's is.

  112. Savrain  •  Apr 22, 2013 @11:58 am

    So…. apparently in some states, you can now join the Bar by sending in your name and two Jack Daniels proofs of purchase. Conduct accordingly.

  113. NotImpressedByTrolls  •  Apr 22, 2013 @12:10 pm

    @mcinsand I believe for it to be money laundering, the money has to have come from an illegal source.

  114. naught_for_naught  •  Apr 22, 2013 @12:29 pm

    @Jim Tyre

    Keeping with my ShrinkLits-inspired literary criticism in quip form, "ShrinkCrits." Here's what I remember about James Joyce: It took as long to read James Joyce as it did to write James Joyce.

    Among my short list of really good American novels I would definitely include Wallace Stegner's Angle of Repose, especially if you have any interest in the story of the West and how that influences our national identity.

  115. Resolute  •  Apr 22, 2013 @1:08 pm

    You know, before I started reading Popehat, I always thought legal documents submitted by lawyers were dry, boring and, well, suffering from excessive legalese. Then came Prenda and statements like "the undersigned would not assign Brett Gibbs to negotiate a left turn with his vehicle". It opened a whole new world for me, and if my current career doesn't work out, I may just start a company offering writing services to lawyers whose briefs lack that certain je ne sais quoi.

  116. Nobody  •  Apr 22, 2013 @1:33 pm

    What if they're doing something strange like having Saltmarsh be the trustee for Salt Marsh, the trust? Curiouser and curiouser.

  117. DonaldB  •  Apr 22, 2013 @2:22 pm

    AlanF, you missed an opportunity. You could have said, loudly enough to be readily overheard, "In the Big Leagues, the game doesn't end at the fifth".

  118. AlphaCentauri  •  Apr 22, 2013 @2:52 pm

    I wonder if he even remembers he made the comment about "Welcome to the big leagues." They've given so many conflicting stories over the months, he may remember it as something that an opposing lawyer said to him.

  119. Kat  •  Apr 22, 2013 @2:57 pm

    Can't . . . breathe . . . laughing too hard at Exhibit B . . .

  120. Jon  •  Apr 22, 2013 @3:10 pm

    I find the fact this is actual behavior occurring in a courtroom and not a story line for a soap opera unbelievable. I'm wowed. Some lawyers.

  121. Myk  •  Apr 22, 2013 @3:25 pm

    @MCB – So in that scenario, the precursor act would be mail fraud, at the very least. FM's point was that as it currently stands the settlements, although at the very least morally and ethically questionable, would not constitute a 'trigger' for a laundering investigation; the bar is set higher and requires criminal act/s as defined by law. FM also commented on the value of the settlements – engineered to fall below the 'suspicious transactions' level, and steady enough in volume to establish a 'normal activity' pattern for the account/s involved.

  122. Myk  •  Apr 22, 2013 @3:27 pm

    @MCB – the point of the response to your question being that UNTIL charges are laid, there is no precursor act.

  123. Myk  •  Apr 22, 2013 @3:31 pm

    @mcinsand – It's at about that stage of discussions with FM that my eyes roll back in my head and I start drooling (OK, drooling more than ususal). I comprehend the basic principles of such things but the technical aspect is a bit beyond me.

  124. MCB  •  Apr 22, 2013 @3:52 pm

    @Myk,

    Yes, I think we agree on this. As far as I can tell 18 USC 1341 (mail fraud) is one of the "specified unlawful activities" that triggers the very broad money laundering statutes (aren't the main ones 1956 and 57?). So, if the settlement scheme is (which it may well not be) mail fraud, then that opens up possible liability for laundering charges.

  125. That Anonymous Coward  •  Apr 22, 2013 @3:59 pm

    @Michael K. – gmail is one of the more professional addresses.
    Try taking complaints with yahoo, hotmail, or AOL addresses seriously. Its not possible.

  126. Myk  •  Apr 22, 2013 @4:02 pm

    @MCB – I'm in the wrong hemisphere and wrong industry to answer the question about specific statutes; FM may know but is more likely to refer the matter directly to the American and/or Carribbean laundering specialists – accompanied by her precis and a call to watch court reports for the various names of interest. FM was, however, unsurprised that the "trust" was in Kitts & Nevis, but seemed fairly certain that there are mechanisms to expose the trust and there will (or at least should, legally) be a paper trail on both shores.

  127. MCB  •  Apr 22, 2013 @4:22 pm

    Someone was asking earlier why they set up these crazy shells exposing themselves to this kind of attack, and I think the obvious answers are (1) inexperience/incompetence combined with (2) overconfidence. But I am also suspicious about (3) the possible "tax consequences" of this if you follow my meaning.

  128. Matthew Cline  •  Apr 22, 2013 @6:41 pm

    @Michael K:

    And furthermore, just to show you how independent and completely not Bret Gibbs' sockpuppet I am,

    Gibbs would have to have a negative IQ to pretend to be a different (or non-existent) lawyer.

  129. Delvan Neville  •  Apr 22, 2013 @8:49 pm

    FM was, however, unsurprised that the "trust" was in Kitts & Nevis, but seemed fairly certain that there are mechanisms to expose the trust and there will (or at least should, legally) be a paper trail on both shores.

    That is very re-assuring news. It seemed their scheme relied upon getting money on the other side of that impenetrable (or so I thought) veil. I continue to hope very dearly this sees the light of day for an AUSA.

  130. Delvan Neville  •  Apr 22, 2013 @9:04 pm

    Oh, don't misunderstand TAC, I don't think you're a so-called "freetard", I was just addressing the claim "@Ken and anyone who thinks these cases can be done on the up and up." I think we both agree that $150k is not appropriate for someone who pirated a movie for personal use.

    We may disagree on what sorts of things ought to be treated as infringing and which are fair use, but my post wasn't meant to invite an argument with you on that or criticize your stance if we do differ on that, it was purely meant to discuss the interplay between how technically difficult it is to set up one of these cases and remain "on the up and up". I take "on the up and up" to mean "not breaking any laws or otherwise invalidating the claim in the process".

  131. That Anonymous Coward  •  Apr 23, 2013 @12:44 am

    @Delvan – Please understand I wasn't beating you up on the issue.
    I need to stop posting when very tired and put better breaks into my thought stream. Please forgive me, I was not trying to start a fight/argument/kerfluffle, it honestly wasn't my intent. I blame lack of sleep and food poisoning.

    I've been a little bit off my game lately in posts on TechDirt and Ars the discussion took a huge left turn into can or can't the existence of CCleaner installed on the defendants computer destroy these cases.

    From one of my recent posts over on Ars…
    "You'll forgive me, I'm deeper into Prenda than anyone should be. And the only debate I see happening in several locations currently is if CCleaner can or can't wipe all traces of a BT download and the file to the point where it could not be proven. To me it sounds like people debating if the robber was stupid for picking x brand of pantyhose over another while he was robbing people. Lets ignore the robbery and get to the nitty gritty of nude over taupe. I forget not everyone has the same tolerance level built up to the discussion of Pretenda."

    Again I apologize.

  132. Delvan Neville  •  Apr 23, 2013 @2:25 am

    No worries TAC!

  133. kyzer soze  •  Apr 23, 2013 @12:11 pm

    I never would have guessed that after receiving a notice from my ISP (Internet Service Provider) for downloading a missed episode of Game of Thrones (guilty), I would somehow get sucked in to following the whole porn trolling/Prenda ordeal just for doing a simple search for DMCA info. But here I am, almost a year after stumbling upon the Fight Copyright Trolls and Die Troll Die websites. What a fascinating story to follow. It's really opened my eyes to the way the legal system operates. Popehat, DTD, FCT – thank you. I have a feeling I am going to be in for some serious withdrawal once this whole saga has run it's course.

    I'm employed in a totally different field now, but back in my "yoot" (My Cousin Vinny) and the dark ages of punch cards, Vax mainframes, VT-100 terminals, Fortran, Cobol, etc., I was a computer science major and I still have an pretty strong interest in and knack for computers.

    For those that aren't aware, there is a serious security flaw in almost all recent wireless routers being sold or supplied by your local ISP. The vulnerability is in what is called Wi-fi Protected Setup (WPS). It's meant to allow users who aren't computer literate or don't understand the whole wireless security thing an easy way to set up password protection on their wireless network by simply pushing a button on the back of their wireless router. In short, even if you are computer savvy and have your wireless hub protected by the most serious unhackable random password imaginable, WPS has its own PIN/Password, a second way in if you will, and it has some serious security issues. Google it…

    The whole thing piqued my interest and I recently grabbed an older Dell Latitude laptop that I had laying around and installed a version of Linux on it. Some quick internet research and I downloaded and installed the latest version of Reaver which is specifically designed to exploit the WPS flaw. Long story short, after several days of letting my laptop run with an external usb wifi antenna I had managed to log 7 of my closest neighbors WI-FI networks WPS PIN's.

    If I were a nefarious individual, or didn't like one of my neighbors (neither of which is true) it would be extremely easy to log in to their network, examine their attached devices list and clone the MAC (machine access code) of an attached device, making it appear that I was logged in from their home computer say, or a laptop. From there it would be oh so easy to fire up a torrent client and start downloading/sharing every Malibu Media movie that is currently being litigated, or pre-Judge Wright, one of the Prenda films, possibly resulting in a big legal headache for a totally innocent person. Is it being done? Who knows. But this is one of the reasons I would never settle with a troll, and obviously one of the reasons these cases don't go to trial.

    Anyway, I had some free time to kill this afternoon, was bored, and wanted to post that.

    To the legal experts on here – It has now been almost 3 weeks since the Prenda hearing with Judge Wright. Any thoughts on what might be going on behind the scenes? Any word of an investigation by the Feds or IRS? Could Judge Wright just be hanging back and letting the Prenda guys hang themselves/deal with the fallout of their Fifth Amendment plea? Just curious.

  134. Jim Tyre  •  Apr 23, 2013 @12:26 pm

    To the legal experts on here – It has now been almost 3 weeks since the Prenda hearing with Judge Wright. Any thoughts on what might be going on behind the scenes? Any word of an investigation by the Feds or IRS? Could Judge Wright just be hanging back and letting the Prenda guys hang themselves/deal with the fallout of their Fifth Amendment plea? Just curious.

    Nothing at all unusual. It's rare, though not unheard of, for a federal judge to make a decision in less than weeks. Months is not out of the question, though I don't think we'll have to wait months here.

  135. Ed  •  Apr 23, 2013 @1:03 pm

    IANAL questions (from a complete legal ignoramus):
    1) Given all these cases being tried across the country by different judges, how likely is it that an individual judge is aware of these other cases (I realize it's already clear that some judges such as in LA are already aware), thus understands the broader context of Prenda's operations?

    2) This perhaps may be a more "how sausage gets made" follow-up question, but *how* are judges made aware of relevant cases outside their area? Clearly PACER, but is it standard practice to do a PACER search on each and every case that comes before a judge? Google searches? How likely is it that a judge will review legal blogs or news articles that cover a relevant case? Do judges ever nudge other judges and say, "Hey, I'm dealing with a case that has relevancy to yours?"

    The answers to these questions may be quite simple, but as someone unfamiliar w/ the legal world it'd be helpful to have a baseline understanding.

    (and this law blog rocks. Ken is a wonderfully entertaining and informative translator of legalese)

  136. Anonymous  •  Apr 23, 2013 @1:47 pm

    Well this just increases my suspicions that Lutz is going unrepresented because he is continuing to run day to day dunning operations with the hope this will blow over, but they are all afraid that if he gets an attorney, said attorney would be terrified of becoming of becoming part of a conspiracy, would tell him to stop, and potentially put attorney/client privileged information at risk.

  137. MCB  •  Apr 23, 2013 @1:59 pm

    From the most recent ruing:

    "Because Mr. Navasca has asked the Court for relief encompassed by the Civil Local Rules,
    the Court grants the request. AF’s counsel is hereby ordered to produce the original of the ADR
    certification, containing the original signature of “Salt Marsh” by April 29, 2013. If AF’s current
    counsel does not have the original document, then it must contact former counsel to obtain the
    document. On April 29, AF’s current counsel shall also file a declaration with the Court, stating
    whether it was able to provide a copy of the original document and, if not, why not."

    That could be a bit of a problem.

  138. Clark  •  Apr 23, 2013 @2:11 pm

    > I Did It For The Lutz

    LOL!

  139. Nick  •  Apr 23, 2013 @3:38 pm

    @Ed —

    Federal judges are permitted to employ one secretary and two law clerks. Law clerks are usually newly-minted lawyers that serve for a term of 1-2 years and assist the judge in his research and writing. Clerking for a federal judge is considered to be a highly prestigious legal endeavor and is usually a springboard into a job at a white-shoe law firm. The judges' law clerks have, indubitably, typed the names John Steele and Prenda into Google, Westlaw, and LexisNexis. They've probably even read this website (or have at least seen it).

  140. That Anonymous Coward  •  Apr 23, 2013 @4:59 pm

    @kyzer soze – We still have Malibu, CEG, and the baby trolls to keep us warm.

    @Nick – 11th Hit for Prenda Law on Google is their own website. Sorta sad.

  141. anonymous  •  Apr 23, 2013 @8:01 pm

    Gotta love Judge Vadas recent ruling regarding "Saltmarsh" and spoilation. Looks like the Duffmeister may be making another trip out to Cali. Steele has been awfully quite lately too. We should hear something from him soon about how this is just a big misunderstanding. The Prenda Law implosion hits just keep on coming.

  142. anonymous  •  Apr 23, 2013 @8:09 pm

    Excuse me, that would be Judge Edward Chen, not Vadas. I was caught up in a moment of schadenfreude.

  143. SPQR  •  Apr 23, 2013 @8:46 pm
  144. Alex  •  Apr 23, 2013 @9:00 pm

    OMG OMG it looks like the Angry Lawyer is embarrassing himself on FCT (link below)

  145. SPQR  •  Apr 23, 2013 @9:37 pm

    Alex, I think that if that's the real Nazaire, he's learning the lesson about not surfing the Internet intoxicated.

  146. eddie  •  Apr 24, 2013 @2:03 am

    The only thing that would make this funnier is if the Alan Cooper guy turned out to be a Keyser Soze figure. It occurs to me that the salt marsh trust mentions adoption for possible benefitiaries(sp). Might Cooper be an adopted child of Lutz???

  147. Gulliver Foyle  •  Apr 24, 2013 @4:04 am

    Are these Prenda guys actually lawyers?

  148. That Anonymous Coward  •  Apr 24, 2013 @5:32 am

    Oops I did it again, I think I hurt the bad lawyers feelings…

  149. That Anonymous Coward  •  Apr 24, 2013 @5:40 am

    @SPQR – Does that lesson include don't route your posts through a DOD system?

    Army Recreation Machine
    http://www.armp.org/

    This is a DOD computer system. Do not process, store, or transmit information classified above the accreditation level of this system. This computer system,including all related equipment, networks, and network devices (including Internet access) are provided only for authorized U.S. Government use. DOD computer systems may be monitored for all lawful purposes, including to ensure their use is authorized, for management of the system, to facilitate protection against unauthorized access and verify security procedures. During monitoring, information may be examined, recorded, copied, and use for authorized purposes. Use of this DOD computer system, authorized/unauthorized, constitutes consent to monitoring. Evidence of unauthorized use collected during monitoring may be used for administrative, criminal, or other adverse action.

    This would represent an interesting way to get off the case, I'm sorry your honor he's being held by the DoD on charges of hacking.

  150. Stephen Samuel  •  Apr 25, 2013 @7:45 pm

    Does fraudulently misrepresenting the company which is, nominally, the source of the litigation, and hiding the fact that it is effectively (if not actually) just a front for generating income for the lawyers involved classify as some sort of criminal fraud, or is it just against Legal ethics?

  151. David Argyle  •  Apr 25, 2013 @9:00 pm

    I don't believe the judge will be amused by Mr Nazaire's attempts to reframe a settlement offer and discussion of Plaintiff's evidential deficiencies as being actionable extortion by Mr Chintella.

    Nazaire's own Exhibit C shows reasonable back-and-forth discussions, with Chintella actually trying to get at the facts of the apparent forgery, and Nazaire whining to get off the hook for a case he couldn't win, but didn't want to pay Defendant's attorney fees for.

    Nazaire: I am disturbed by our last conversation because you in essence stated that Mr. Patel must receive payment from Prenda Law or he will accuse both Prenda (including their members) and/or me of forgery.

    Chintella: You promised approximately two weeks ago to investigate whether the assignment agreement was potentially forged, who actually owns the copyright, etc., but you've refused to discuss the issues since.

    Nazaire (filing): On April 2, 2013, Defendant’s Counsel threatened plaintiff’s counsel via telephone by stating that he would inform the Court of a potentially forged document if plaintiff failed to pay up.

    They clearly show that Nazaire's latest filing is a willful mischaracterization of the exchange. Flailing, actually.

    I'm also very interested that it doesn't seem Nazaire ever presented Chintella's settlement offer to the client, which is an ethical violation in most states, isn't it?

    And, oh by the way, if Nazaire was informed that the document was potentially forged, then didn't Nazaire have an ethical duty to immediately investigate and report that fact to the court himself as soon as he became aware of the issue? How would any extortion be possible, if Nazaire was an ethical attorney?

  152. Edd  •  May 1, 2013 @11:50 am

    I think the important point here that everyone is missing…. is did he go shrimping afterwards?

  153. Hugo Roegiers  •  May 10, 2013 @5:16 am

    We should buy this man a Hemran Goering costume so that he can make an honest living.

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