Team Prenda Is A Classy, Classy Bunch

All of Popehat's Prenda coverage is collected here.

It really can't be easy to be on Team Prenda these days. Hordes of detractors scrutinize your every legal filing. Mean bloggers say embarrassing things about you. The threat of sanctions always looms. A tangled web of legal proceedings across the country complicates your efforts and constantly generates new evidence and assertions.

So, I guess I can see how a Prendarast could lose his cool on occasion.

Take Jacques Nazaire. Nazaire has found the waters in the Prenda lagoon to be unstill and unpleasant. Craigslist court appearances never generate such negative attention. It's enough to make a man go off on a rant about a witness or launch an ill-conceived detour about gay marriage or rend his garments and bewail how posts by mean blogers "lead to anger."

So: when Mr. Nazaire asked a Georgia federal judge to quash some subpoenas calculated to uncover facts about Team Prenda, it is perhaps understandable that he indulged in a little dig at his detractors:

In addition to the facial defects of the subpoenas, these subpoenas should be quashed because the “Google” and “Comcast” subpoenas are issued for the sole purpose of gathering information of third parties and the undersigned and putting them in display on such websites as “techdirt”, “dietrolldie” and “Popehat”.

Actually, I suspect that the purpose of the subpoenas is to gather evidence to test the theory that Team Prenda, far from being a victim of piracy of pornographic videos, deliberately posted the videos on piracy sites to attract downloaders in a scheme to manufacture copyright violation claims. Watch this space for a discussion of the legal significance of that theory.

Anyway, Mr. Nazaire's gripe was banal and unsurprising — but also rudely exclusionary. How could he have forgotten the site Fight Copyright Trolls, one of the most steadfast foes of Team Prenda? The proprietor of Fight Copyright Trolls wanted to know, too. So he wrote Mr. Nazaire, and got a response. And such a response!

Dear Mr. Nazaire,

In 2:12-cv-00262-WCO Document 68 (filed 08/26/13) you wrote:

10. In addition to the facial defects of the subpoenas, these subpoenas should be quashed because the “Google” and “Comcast” subpoenas are issued for the sole purpose of gathering information of third parties and the undersigned and putting them in display on such websites as “techdirt”, “dietrolldie” and “Popehat.”

I cannot express the extent of emotional distress this paragraph caused to the undersigned. You mentioned three of the major resources that cover Prenda, but failed to include my “fightcopyrighttrolls.” FYI, while my blog is not the oldest, it has the most extensive coverage of the Prenda soap opera: if you navigate to the “Prenda” tag (, you will find 122 posts, not to mention numerous informative pages. Thus, not including “fightcopyrighttrolls” where it belongs is offensive and scandalous.

Please govern yourself accordingly and refrain from hurting my feelings in the future.

Very truly yours,


Quoth Mr. Nazaire in response:

I like your Mom. She's a nice lady but not so good in the sack. I guess she has too much mileage on that poon.

Tsk Tsk Tsk. All worn out.

You think that you are funny, huh?

How's that for funny?

Now, insulting somebody's mother is a venerable rhetorical device. It can be a stylized vehicle for creativity, as in a yo' momma competition, where it's not actually about any real person. (The geeky ones are the best. "Yo momma so fat, her patronus is a Ding Dong.") It can be delivered to inflame with some degree of style. ("I wrote a paragraph about your blog, SJD, but I left it on your mother's nightstand.") But it can also fall flat and just sound creepy and angry and needy. So it has here.

For someone who spends so much of his time angry, you would think that Mr. Nazaire would be better at it.

Last 5 posts by Ken White


  1. ZarroTsu says

    For someone who spends so much of his time angry, you would think that Mr. Nazaire would be better at it.

    That's what she said.

  2. Delvan Neville says

    A shame, he could have really stirred up the "homosexual agenda" waters by making a yo' daddy joke instead. Lost opportunity…

  3. Bob says

    Once had an internet interlocutor rebut by assert initiating carnal relations with my mom. Told him he confessed then to abuse of a corpse since she'd been dead for over ten years and that she was laughing at him, too, from heaven. God, too.

  4. Grifter says

    When someone tries to tell me they've had carnal relations with my mom, I usually juts get a real concerned look on my face and tell them "then you should really get checked out".

  5. Nigel Lew says

    It may be time to throw up a site in this clowns honor. He is quite the quote worthy fellow.

  6. says

    You forgot the vulgar, thus: "The difference between Nazaire's mother and a filet mignon? You can't find three sailors who can describe the taste of filet mingon."

  7. naught_for_naught says

    Yeah, that's really bad mamma talk. Let me help:

    Mr. Nazaire, what's the difference between yo' mamma and a washing machine?

    When I dump a load into a washing machine it doesn't follow me around for two weeks.


  8. Analee says

    SJD used "Govern yourself accordingly." I'm pretty sure he won an internet.

    Naizaire used "poon." I'm pretty sure the Seventies are going to send him a cease and desist letter.

  9. jtf says

    My general response to insults to my mother are to comment on how she doesn't generally take charity cases, or, if I'm feeling classy, how she doesn't take "pro bono work."

  10. says

    How's that for funny? It's hilarious! I saw the whole video on micropenis dot com. BTW sorry about your phimosis.

  11. Jim Tyre says


    The threat of sanctions always looms.

    Just a reminder, sanctions hearing tomorrow in AF Holdings v. Navasca in the Northern District of California.

  12. BaronLurk says

    One might think that Mr. Nazaire is displaying symptoms of Post-Prenda Stress Disorder. Or maybe it is his association with ponies.

  13. Nicholas Weaver says

    What do you expect? Nazaire outsourced the writing of the brief itself to Honey Boo Boo, who naturally forgot to include Fight Copyright Trolls.

    That is what happens when a Craigslist lawyer outsources his legal writing to such an insightful legal scholar as Ms Boo Boo.

  14. Resolute says

    @Tim Cushing – "Oh, and I assume you caught the "Motion to Squash" on page 5 of the filing."

    Nazaire's momma can't be THAT fat, can she?

  15. Renee Marie Jones says

    Ah, Team Prenda, just when you think things cannot get sleazier they manage to up the ante.

  16. says

    I'm not going to comment on the contents of either email, but I will remind popehatters, that in last months hearing, Mr Nazaire was rebuked several times for his unprofessional behaviour.
    "You made some — you had some very inappropriate
    and unprofessional things to say about California and California
    courts." said the judge, noting towards the end:
    THE COURT: Well, both of you will take notice that your
    conduct, anything less than professionalism within the rules of —
    kinds of ethics, hurts you rather than helps you in this Court.

    Now, I can only speculate, but with a comment like the one he is alleged to have made to SJD (and i use the word 'alleged' because we have not established it was actually him, and not just Lutz, or Gibbs or someone else – like Honey Boo Boo – having gained control of that email address) it could be argued that he's encouraging the controversy, and the public spectacle, which would, I assume, play against the motion to seal. And what I saw of Judge O'Kelley, he would not be impressed by it at all.

  17. Billy V says

    Awe, I just posted this in the old thread, didn't see this one yet (need to update my book mark!), so here it is again:

    Ok so first off, Minnesota case reopened to see if AF Holdings committed fraud on the court:

    In response to that AF Holdings filed:

    Now as a non-lawyer who has to be missing something, can someone please explain to me how on page 3 (PDF page 10) they stated that in front of Judge Wright they invoked to fifth in order to avoid violating attorney-client privilege?

    Further, the Magistrate Judge should not imply wrongdoing from anyone’s invocation of the Fifth Amendment privilege against compelled testimony … the invocation of the privilege was
    made, inter alia, to avoid violating the attorney-client privilege

    Even a Google for invoking the fifth amendment to avoid violating attorney-client privilege brought up nothing.

  18. James says

    I believe the correct insult from Mr. Nazaire, given his French name, would have been "Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!" but he blew it. It retaliation for ignoring the fine work of SJD I have this to say to Jacques "I fart in your general direction you tiny brained wiper of other people's bottoms."

  19. Dictatortot says

    If déclassé behavior were bricks, Mr. Nazaire, then your mother would have a very large pile of bricks indeed.

  20. mcinsand says

    @Aaron, if I may suggest a rewrite…

    You mamma's so dumb, she agreed to be John Steele's local counsel.

  21. MarkH says

    Tim Cushing wrote:

    I came here for the Mom jokes and I was not disappointed.

    She told him not quit his day job, and she usually has better luck with Craigslist ads.

  22. says

    sorrykb: ArsTechnica in February resolved this mystery: …it's both. A tightly coupled couple. The rule of thumb: better English means "she."

    In this case there were literally both of us.

  23. DonaldB says

    Thanks Billy V for posting that transcript.

    Wow. It's a humdinger.

    Pretty much every line is a misstatement of the truth.

    One that was particularly grating was the footnote claiming a single business day notice, that Cooper's and Godfread's airfare was "reimbursed", and that "no similar accommodation was offered to offered to any other person". A judgement of fees and costs isn't a reimbursement. Technically the judgement hasn't been paid, only a partial bond has been posted pending appeal. And the implication that someone else should have been paying for Prenda's travel is beyond the pale.

    There was also the phrase 'extensive factual "findings"'. Here is where a impartial editing might have helped. When writing for a judge, calling another judge's findings "findings" (read that as 'so-called findings') might not produce the result you want. When I hear 'are you going to be an assholo like the last guy' my reaction is 'for you, yes, doubly so'.

  24. Anon says

    @Billy V.

    "Now as a non-lawyer who has to be missing something, can someone please explain to me how on page 3 (PDF page 10) they stated that in front of Judge Wright they invoked to fifth in order to avoid violating attorney-client privilege?"

    "Further, the Magistrate Judge should not imply wrongdoing from anyone’s invocation of the Fifth Amendment privilege against compelled testimony … the invocation of the privilege was
    made, inter alia, to avoid violating the attorney-client privilege"

    Then doesn't that go against what they have said ( Steele, Hans) in the past courts and these one also, that they have nothing to do with Prenda or its clients? So if they aren't representing them, how is it attorney client privilege? Just wondering.

  25. sorrykb says

    @SJD: Thanks for clarifying!
    Is it still OK if I picture you (youse?) with a cunning hat?

  26. DonaldB says

    Oh, I almost forgot the best argument:

    Just because this particular copy was ruled a forgery, doesn't automatically mean that copies of the same document submitted to other courts are forgeries.

  27. earthclanbootstrap says

    Mr. Nazaire, yo momma so fat that CALIFORNIAGAYMARRIAGE!!!

    Naaaah… Only an idiot would make that kind of argument.

  28. cdru says


    Just because this particular copy was ruled a forgery, doesn't automatically mean that copies of the same document submitted to other courts are forgeries.

    I'm sure they'll find a different copyright assignment, this time with someone who really did sign it. Just give them enough time. And don't look at the date. And pretty please don't ask about the date either. Just ignore the date.

  29. AlphaCentauri says

    Yo mama's so dumb she sent confidential client information, bank account information, and social security numbers by insecure e-mail from a Comcast address and then complained they "in all probability will almost certainly lead to identity theft" when Comcast employees retrieve them from their backup files in response to a subpoena.

  30. DonaldB says

    "not so good in the sack"

    Your mama lost every race she entered. And, BTW, the 'poon' is the technical name for the bottom of a sack used in traditional summer picnic sack races. If you get too much mileage on it, it frays and slows you down.

  31. whheydt says

    Hmmm… I suggest that Nazaire be wary of anyone named Campbelltown…

    (Hint: Prefix with "St. and "HMS" respectively.)

  32. says

    I'm not sure I'm smart enough to understand: he brought a motion to quash, in part, to keep embarrassing information off of the internet. He then sent an email that he had to know would end up on the internet. Maybe he doesn't consider that email embarrassing?

  33. That Anonymous Coward says

    something something JD something cracker jack box.

    This is the shining star of Pretenda, leading the charge against us evil misguided terrorists who want to destroy copyright and have the EFF fly us around the country to do so. o_O

    Ken, do you now understand why when I first emailed you about the defamation suit, I pointed out it wasn't because I was concerned about me? This is the best they have to offer for the battle.

    They might even someday find a Judge willing to unmask me. (What? Judges get drunk sometimes.)
    I know where the sharks are, I know where the bodies are buried, and you can't stop me from entering that all into the record to support a defense of truth… what exactly was the master plan here. Was I supposed to be scared and run away? How's that working out for ya?

  34. That Anonymous Coward says

    @Aaron S. – he has already filed with a court his complaint about opposing counsel submitting an email he sent him onto the record as it was private and stuff and you have to get permission.

    Mind you he did that after he submitted a single e-mail he got mocking him seeking sympathy from the Judge. He was so concerned he cut the headers off, never filed any report with authorities, and pretty much cried.

    To paraphrase that letter, he isn't very bright.

  35. Fasolt says


    "Further, the Magistrate Judge should not imply wrongdoing from anyone’s invocation of the Fifth Amendment privilege against compelled testimony …"

    I wonder what Pretenda's reaction would be to an alleged copyright infringer saying the same thing.

  36. says

    "Your mom" jokes are an easy source of great pleasure, but you have to use caution when doing them, and they may prove disappointing in the end… just like your mother last night.

  37. I was Anonymous says


    For someone who spends so much of his time angry, you would think that Mr. Nazaire would be better at it.

    That's what she said.


    You, sir, win an internet.

  38. Christenson says

    @SJD: So you are actually a "they"?? SJ&JD??? Cool! (Not that it is of any real importance)

    @Ken: "A crassy, crassy bunch"?

    Lets Try: Yo mama was so dumb, she let John Steele have a copy of her porno flick!

  39. That Anonymous Coward says

    @Christenson nono she was so dumb she confirmed JS was BTBull on twitter from a porn shoot set. true story.

  40. Jb says

    "For someone who spends so much of his time angry, you would think that Mr. Nazaire would be better at it."

    Like they say…you can have 10 yarrrrr!s of experience, or one yarrrrr! Of experience 10 times.

  41. Katherine says

    Yo! Nazaire! Yo momma so dumb she mistook her shit for a baby, and thus you came to be.

  42. ketchup says

    Nazaire knows exactly what he is doing – it is all about playing for the proper audience. Music industry analysts speculate that Miley Cyrus will see a sales increase of 10% to 30% as a result of her classless behavior. Nazaire knows that the Craigslist attorney-shopping crowd goes for this kind of thing.

  43. Guest says

    Now if only the RIAA had hired Nazaire and Steele to do their work we wouldn't have the mess today that is copyright law.

  44. Jim Tyre says

    A busy day in Prendaville.

    The sanctions hearing in AF Holdings v. Navasca (San Francisco) will be this afternoon. Briefing seemingly had been completed a month ago, but at about 4:10 am today, Duffy filed:

    U.S. District Court
    California Northern District
    Notice of Electronic Filing

    The following transaction was entered by Duffy, Paul on 8/28/2013 at 4:08 AM and filed on 8/28/2013
    Case Name: AF Holdings LLC v. Doe
    Case Number: 3:12-cv-02396-EMC

    Filer: AF Holdings LLC
    WARNING: CASE CLOSED on 05/21/2013
    Document Number: 104

    Docket Text:
    Ex Parte Application re [98] Opposition/Response to Motion, [101] Reply to Opposition/Response to Defendant's Motion for Sanctions filed by AF Holdings LLC. (Attachments: # (1) Exhibit Proposed Surreply, # (2) Exhibit Gibbs Declaration, # (3) Exhibit Gibbs Declaration, # (4) Exhibit Gibbs Declaration, # (5) Exhibit Gibbs Declaration, # (6) Exhibit Declaration, # (7) Exhibit Declaration, # (8) Exhibit Meet and confer communications, # (9) Exhibit Declaration)(Duffy, Paul) (Filed on 8/28/2013)

    Why, you maay ask, did Duffy seek leave (on the morning of the hearing) to file a surreply?

    AF Holdings, LLC (“AF Holdings”) hereby apples to this Court for an order granting it leave to file the attached surreply in opposition to Defendant’s Motion for Sanctions. The REASON for this request it that Defendant has presented new evidence, declarations and argument in its reply in support of its Motion. Defendant has also elaborated upon its purported expert opinion of Mr. Neville, and Plaintiff
    has learned that Mr. Neville’s opinion contains a critical error suggesting that he is either not competent, or that he has deliberately misled this Court. Plaintiff address those matter in its proposed surreply.

    But that's not all. About 8 days ago, the Magistrate Judge posed a list of questions to the parties. He asked for them to address the questions at oral argument, not to file supplemental written material. But at about 7:39 am, Nick Ranallo filed:

    U.S. District Court
    California Northern District
    Notice of Electronic Filing

    The following transaction was entered by Ranallo, Nicholas on 8/28/2013 at 7:38 AM and filed on 8/28/2013
    Case Name: AF Holdings LLC v. Doe
    Case Number: 3:12-cv-02396-EMC

    Filer: Joe Navasca
    WARNING: CASE CLOSED on 05/21/2013
    Document Number: 105

    Docket Text:
    RESPONSE to re [103] Order re Evidentiary Hearing by Joe Navasca. (Ranallo, Nicholas) (Filed on 8/28/2013)

    But Duffy wasn't done. At about 8:59 am, he filed:

    U.S. District Court
    California Northern District
    Notice of Electronic Filing

    The following transaction was entered by Duffy, Paul on 8/28/2013 at 8:58 AM and filed on 8/28/2013
    Case Name: AF Holdings LLC v. Doe
    Case Number: 3:12-cv-02396-EMC

    Filer: AF Holdings LLC
    WARNING: CASE CLOSED on 05/21/2013
    Document Number: 106

    Docket Text:
    RESPONSE to Order re August 28, 2013 Evidentiary Hearing by AF Holdings LLC. (Attachments: # (1) Affidavit of Mark Lutz, # (2) Exhibit Statements of Jason Sweet, # (3) Affidavit of John Steele, # (4) Affidavit of John Steele (Second), # (5) Affidavit of Paul Hansmeier, # (6) Affidavit of Brett Gibbs, # (7) Affidavit of Steven Goodhue, # (8) Affidavit of Jacques Naizire, # (9) Exhibit Statements of Morgan Pietz)(Duffy, Paul) (Filed on 8/28/2013)

    I haven't read most of today's missives, but I note that Nazaire continues not to mention SJD.

  45. Eric says

    I'm so loving this Prenda saga. Almost…ALMOST…hate to see it end. Nazaire is an imbecile on a whole new level. I had so hoped I would make it into one of the screencaps he filed. I laughed pretty hard when I saw the poor job he did of capturing the information. Loved the page gaps with nothing but bullets and white space. I think my five year old could've done a better job capturing that information.

    Hey Jacque: Yo' mama so fat, she left the house in high heels and came back with flip flops.

    Did this mainly for the subscribing. I miss my Prenda fix. Looking forward to the benchslaps coming down the line soon, hopefully. Hopefully the sound of cuffs by the end of the year would be a great Christmas present.

  46. Eric says

    Blast, and forgot to subscribe.

    Yo Mama so ugly, she had to tie a steak around her neck to get the dogs to play with her. How though, we're not saying….the SPCA might have something to say about that.

  47. Lucius says

    Plaintiff has learned that Mr. Neville’s opinion contains a critical error suggesting that he is either not competent, or that he has deliberately misled this Court.

    Amazing that nobody at Prenda bothered to read Mr. Neville's opinion to discover this unspecified suggested error until the early hours of the morning before the long-scheduled hearing.

    This does seem like a great way to duck ever having a sanction hearing: just make new unspecified "discoveries" at 4:10 am just before any scheduled hearing.

  48. WDS says


    As far as I can tell the documents haven't been recapped yet, assuming they are in fact on Pacer.

  49. James Pollock says

    "Plaintiff has learned that Mr. Neville’s opinion contains a critical error suggesting that he is either not competent, or that he has deliberately misled this Court."

    Bets on whether the "critical error" is a typo or other such triviality, and has no actual relevance?

    I mean, not to pick sides or anything, but I've been personally impressed by Mr. Neville's technical skills, which impression are in no way influenced by his (superior) choice of institution of higher learning (GO BEAVS!).

  50. Nicholas Weaver says

    The "critical error" is "The file the defendant downloaded was uploaded by a different PirateBay user". So, hey, the Pirate Bay ALSO needs to look into user "FluxXxu"

    Which actually makes no difference to the argument that by seeding the file, Prendarists gave a license to copy.

    Unfortuantely, RECAP is lagging and not posting it…

  51. Nicholas Weaver says

    Also a lot of "Mr Nevill isn't an expert", and an on-the-record declaration from John Steele that he knows nothing of this case and never uploaded anything…

  52. jimmythefly says

    I know the whole seeding issue is a big deal. But am I correct in thinking that part of the original "big deal" had less to do with seeding and more to do with the illegality/inappropriatness of Prenda parties actually also owning and operating AF holdings or other shell companies?

    My original understanding was that was a big part of what they did wrong, being in effect both the client AND the law firm at the same time.

  53. rsteinmetz70112 says

    Prenda keeps saying they never had the opportunity to present evidence at Wright's hearing. As I recall the transcript he asked if they had evidence but they only wanted to present argument. He also told them they could file papers if they wanted. Pretty much everyone indicated they would take the 5th.

    At the hearing they never raised attorney client privilege, only the fear of future prosecution for fraud. If a specific question was privileged they could have refused to answer it on that basis. There was never a question asked because they took the 5th before any could be asked.

    As for not inferring from them taking the 5th, The Judge had the unrebutted testimony of Cooper that his identity was stolen. There was no evidence on the other side of that question and as far as I have seen there still isn't. There have been filings alleging certain things about Cooper, none of which are on point and none should really be considered evidence as I understand it. At most they are attacks on Coopers credibility. As has been pointed out Steele or someone could have filed an affidavit denying the allegations but so far I don't think they have.

  54. whheydt says

    Re: Cat G.

    If Lutz is a no show, judge should probably ask Duffy if Lutz was actual on the flight Duffy claims he came in on….and can he (Duffy) prove it?

  55. Lucius says

    @whheydt – Lutz never showed.

    Since the judge wanted some questions answered about money flow through AF Holdings, it would have been immediately obvious that Lutz is a controlled pawn with no knowledge, and no ability to run a company. Not showing avoids making that too explicit.

    The live feed indicates Duffy had nothing to present, became frustrated and agitated, covered with sweat from head to toe, and at one point just chanted "Wright is wrong! Wright is wrong!" when portions of Judge Wright's ruling was read.

    Bret Gibbs gave some strong testimony against Prenda, and Duffy did spend 30 minutes trying unsuccessfully to get him to admit to failing to follow court rules when working for Prenda.

    Duffy was finally given his chance to cross-examine Delvin Nevill, but the unverified report was that he declined. Duffy is not strong with hard facts, and may not have done well attempting a cross-examination of an intelligent person. Prenda keeps insisting that justice demands that they be allowed to present some astounding unspecified new evidence, but fail to respond when given exactly the opportunity they claim to want.

  56. Clownius says

    Do these assclowns think dodging the Judge will make things better? In fact im sure their inability to show up when summoned is counting against them. Their inability to answer questions cant help either.

    Be interested to see a full write up of the hearing or better still a transcript. The tweets were interesting but i still felt id love to hear more.

    P.S For any of the Prenda Assclowns reading this. The wookie defense doesnt work on Judges.

  57. Sami says

    "For someone who spends so much of his time angry, you would think that Mr. Nazaire would be better at it."

    I did a spot survey amongst the drunk hobo population of Nazaire's home town on the overall quality of their recent sexual experiences. Can confirm: Nazaire's inability to learn from experience/improve with practice is hereditary.

  58. Fasolt says

    I'm confused. First they say Delvan is:

    "not qualified to make the statements you do. You are also not an expert and you are a graduate student somewhere."

    Now we get:

    "…Defendant has also elaborated upon its purported expert opinion of Mr. Neville…"

    Hmmm. I guess being a purported expert is better than not being an expert.

  59. jimmythefly says

    Yeah, the live tweets (thanks for the links!) say that Delvan, because of Duffy's sustained objection, was allowed to be a "lay witness" which I assume is some level below expert witness.

    This was sort-of helpful:

    but I'm still unclear of how the distinction between expert and lay might matter here, and if it has any bearing on other cases where Mr. Neville's report is used.

    Is there some procedure or way he could be upgraded back to expert for purposes of this particular case, and if so does it matter?

  60. James Pollock says

    "I guess being a purported expert is better than not being an expert."

    verb (used with object)
    1. to present, especially deliberately, the appearance of being; profess or claim, often falsely: a document purporting to be official.
    2. to convey to the mind as the meaning or thing intended; express or imply.

    If it IS better to be a "purported expert" than to not be an expert, it is not by much.

  61. James Pollock says

    "I'm still unclear of how the distinction between expert and lay might matter here, and if it has any bearing on other cases where Mr. Neville's report is used."

    A lay witness can testify as to what they, themselves, perceived. An expert can offer analysis.

    So a lay witness can testify that "I saw that the patient had spots all over his skin, seemed feverish, and complained constantly of itching."

    The expert witness can testify that "the patient had spots all over his skin, seemed feverish, and complained constantly of itching. From this I concluded that the patient suffers from late-stage chicken-pox."

    See the two differences? The expert can relate things that they didn't see directly, and they can interpret what the sense perception mean. Certifying Mr. Neville as an expert would allow him to testify about things he didn't see, but would also allow him to provide analysis of the information he gathered. (As a lay witness, he can testify that "I saw X, and when I looked at the logs I say Y". As an expert, he can testify "I saw X, and when I looked at the logs I saw Y, and that tells me Z." Now, they can still get to Z, assuming that anyone who the court WILL certify as an expert comes to the same conclusion that Mr. Neville does, but they have to find someone that the court will certify and (probably) pay them to show up.

    Fighting the certification of Neville as an expert is only delaying the inevitable and driving up the cost… ultimately, if they are sanctioned costs, it's the Prendarists who'll pay that cost (assuming they haven't arranged to be judgment-proof by then).

  62. MCB says

    Here is the relevant rule:


    If a witness is not testifying as an expert, testimony in the form of an opinion is limited to one that is:

    (a) rationally based on the witness’s perception;

    (b) helpful to clearly understanding the witness’s testimony or to determining a fact in issue; and

    (c) not based on scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge within the scope of Rule 702.

  63. jimmythefly says

    Thanks y'all. I read the rule as I linked on the Cornell site, but as is common with so many things in this arena, I figured there were subtleties and ramifications I was missing.

  64. whheydt says

    Question from a non-lawyer…

    Lutz was supposed to testify. Lutz didn't show up. What are the likely consequences to him for this?

  65. Myk says

    Lutz? No-one here by that name, hombre. Only senor Alphonse Prenda. He arrived yesterday; you want I get him for you?

  66. That Anonymous Coward says

    And this just goes here….

    "I have never used software that monitored or detected digital piracy." – John Steele Declaration.
    "Steele said he and a partner spent about $250,000 to develop software that tracks illegal BitTorrent sharing from an office in Min…" – Chicago Tribune interview with John Steele.

    One can debate the legal loopholes in carefully chosen words, my vote is once again he is hoping to mislead the courts.

  67. Fasolt says

    My Delvan comment was meant as sarcasm. Should have used the winking emoticon after the comment. :)

    I do appreciate the subsequent posts though. IANAL, and it's a daily education reading the posts and comments here at Popehat.

  68. Nicholas Weaver says

    You know, Prenda's stalling tactics are really self defeating.

    "Pay the money and run" would have kept them from having Delvan testify in court, which means they can no longer say "Delvan has never faced possible cross examination in court or a deposition, nor assertions about his expert nature, etc…".

    And there is now testimony (that will probably be in a finding of facts) about Steele impersonating Alan Cooper on the telephone, too…

    Yet all they accomplished was running up the costs of the bill, AND making Steele and Hansmeier more vulnerable in the future

  69. WDS says

    I, as I'm sure others were, was looking forward to the answer to this question.
    Paul Hansmeier was unable to testify about “the exact mechanisms by which the money goes from” to AF Holdings from the law firms that represent it.
    Doc. No. 93-11 (Ex. J) at 95:2-96:22. AF Holdings should be prepared to explain these “exact mechanisms” at the hearing, and also should be prepared to provide an accounting of the funds it has received from persons it has sued or threatened to sue for copyright violation based on allegedly illegal downloading of its adult titles.

    It wasn't answered in the pre-hearing postings, say it would be addressed in the hearing. As far as I can tell it wasn't answered there. Did they skate without answering the most important question again?

  70. Nicholas Weaver says

    WDS: I'd bet that the judge's opinion is going to include several findings of fact on that subject, based on Gibb's testimony and reasonable inference on the basis of the Prendarist's lack of testimony.

    I'd also almost bet that Seyfert is going to look for a short delay in GAND to enable submitting transcripts of this hearing (and thus Gibb's sworn testimony) and/or getting the judge's findings of fact in this case, since issue preclusion is a wonderful thing…

  71. mcinsand says

    @ Nicholas Weaver, among your bets, would you also wish to bet on Lutz' location? If there is any fresh construction in his area, I would bet that he is now in one of the concrete footings, as Bet Number 1. For my Bet Number 2, I would bet that he now becomes Prenda's version of Blepp's Briefcase ( ). 'Oh, sure, your honor, we would love to give you the information you requested. Unfortunately, however, it seems to have disappeared along with Mr. Lutz.'

  72. anne mouse says

    I'm way behind in my Prenda reading, and just read Ruggieri's application to withdraw. Somebody commented here that it was a "noisy withdrawal". I've seen a very few noisy withdrawals (there was one in a Prenda case already, pretty remarkably boiled down to "I don't know my client from a hole in the wall, but *opposing counsel* warned me my clients were scum and I want to get out now") but nothing like this. Ruggieri basically pulled all the fire alarms and smashed all the windows and doors on his way out of the building.
    A lawyer usually tries very hard not to prejudice his client's case during his withdrawal. Even when you know the client is planning to lie under oath, you just say "ethics prevent me from continuing" and tell the client to find another lawyer; maybe the other lawyer can talk some sense into the client, find a way to pursue the case without using the client's testimony, or something. In other words, just because the client is scum doesn't mean there's no case, and you have a duty not to throw away that case.
    Here, Ruggieri is making it screamingly obvious that (in his opinion as a lawyer) no case exists. Or, perhaps, no real client exists.
    I've seen lots of cases where lawyers have had to admit they don't believe everything their client says (I've had clients like that myself, though never had to say so to a judge), but I've never seen a lawyer say so plainly that he can't believe a single thing his client tells him.

  73. Lucius says

    Did anyone actually call Lutz?

    I recall a tweet just after the start of the hearing that Duffy reported Lutz had arrived by plane, and was on his way from the airport. After that, nothing …

  74. Duke says

    >> I recall a tweet just after the start of the hearing that Duffy reported Lutz had arrived by plane, and was on his way from the airport. After that, nothing

    So, either Duffy lied about Lutz's arrival at SFO or Lutz lied to Duffy and he never boarded the plane in the first place.

    Either explanation is plausible. Actually both are.

  75. WDS says

    @Nicholas Weaver,

    From the carefully written very specific question in the instruction filing, I wasn't expecting the judge to take a: "It went to the attorney's trust funds" as an answer, with no followup as to how much, where did it go from there, etc. questions.

  76. James says

    My favorite part of yesterday was Duffy asserting that Gibbs acted alone and that all the evil deed were his doing, until the exhibit was introduced of Gibb's phone records showing 4,500 minutes of calls to Hansmeier. It didn't take long for the judge to connect the dots and conclude that Gibbs was the middleman.

  77. rsteinmetz70112 says

    Was Lutz subpoenaed?

    I wondering if he was actually in contempt of court. Of course if no one called him I guess it's not a problem.

  78. WDS says


    I don't think any specific person was ordered to be there. There was a list of questions that they were told to be prepared to answer, which more or less left it up to them to have whoever there they needed to be able to answer the questions.

  79. Nicholas Weaver says

    Lutz wasn't subpoenaed, but at the same time, his not being there is a big problem, since he is the "owner" and there are questions that were otherwise unanswered about the corporate structure and the fate of settlements.

  80. That Anonymous Coward says

    @Nicholas Weaver – Maybe the goal is to screw Steele and Hans. Duffy might just have figured out that he is the "sole" person responsible for Pretenda's operations. That those scamps are setting him up at the top of the house of cards to fall go boom.

    @anne mouse – a better visual would have been of Ruggie standing in the middle of a cabin cutting down walls with a chainsaw on his way out. :D

    @Duke – HOW DARE YOU! Suggesting that Team Pretenda would mislead a court!… er wait… game on. :D

  81. AlphaCentauri says


    So, either Duffy lied about Lutz's arrival at SFO or Lutz lied to Duffy and he never boarded the plane in the first place.

    Or Prenda members' credit card accounts have been frozen and he couldn't rent a car or pay for a cab, or Prenda members are incapable of driving from SFO to the courthouse without doing something to warrant being pulled over by a cop, or he'd had so many calmer-cocktails on the flight they wouldn't rent him a vehicle. Also all plausible.

  82. mcinsand says

    After reading Techdirt and Arstechnica articles on yesterday's hilarity, something hit me about team Prenda's contradictory treatment of Mr. Neville's conclusions. They screamed (whined) much about how those conclusions were so very flimsy. Had that been true, they would have had no trouble finding a better expert that could thoroughly prove the statements' bogosity. However, there wasn't even a significant cross-examination, much less an expert. I don't know how this would be viewed in the legal world, but I view it as Prenda calling BS on themselves.

  83. That Anonymous Coward says

    @mcinsand – the LAST expert they offered up was pretty much a child who was only capable of parroting MPAA propaganda, and claim tracking people is hard.

    And because I've been all PBS feeling…

    – Telethon Time –
    If you enjoyed the downfall of Pretenda, now is a good time to show your appreciation.
    The downfall did not start with a court or a lawyer.
    It started on a couple little websites… and
    It took a long time for these blogs to be taken seriously, all the while more people were being targeted by copyright trolls.
    Now its your turn to help the community that helped bring everyone's favorite asshats to the forefront.
    You can donate time, money, knowledge, or just an ear willing to listen to a Doe scared out of their mind.

    You can help answer peoples questions and concerns about these cases. You can gather information on how some trolls operate and share with all. You could verify copyrights exist and were issued before or after cases were filed.

    Accessing documents from PACER costs real money, and many of these costs were paid by just a few. For a small amount sent to those checking dockets, you can unlock another filing to be examined and explained to Does.

    You could just post a message of support to someone feeling terrified and alone, fearing they are being sued for $150,000.

    Won't you take a moment today to show your appreciation to the community who brought you the comedy stylings of these assclowns?

    We now return you to your regularly scheduled Pretenda Coverage.

  84. James Pollock says

    "Had that been true, they would have had no trouble finding a better expert that could thoroughly prove the statements' bogosity."

    Experts get paid to show up and testify. If you're too cheap or too broke, you go without experts.

  85. mcinsand says

    @James Pollock, If Prenda et al had money for anything at all, if they had spare body parts to sell on the black market, then they needed to do so if an expert was available on this issue of who seeded the torrents. Although there are heaps upon heaps of evidence as to how dishonest and unethical this group is, the question of whether Prenda seeded those torrents both dwarfs and magnifies those other issues.

  86. LW says

    "If Prenda et al had money for anything at all"

    What happened to all those millions Steele was bragging about raking in?

  87. James says

    @Nicholas Weaver I can't help but wonder where the loyalties lie in the Prenda saga. Duffy is the remaining "official" face of Prenda and they have already thrown Gibbs under the bus (and backed up over him a few times). Meanwhile, Lutz has described Steele as the person who saved his life so I can only assume that he is more John's sock puppet than Prenda's.

    Is this the indication that S&H just threw Duffy under the bus? I can see no other reason for Lutz to be a no-show unless somebody asked him to be absent.

  88. Nicholas Weaver says

    Except that S&H can't throw Duffy under the bus, since they are all under the same bus. This really IS mystifying me…

  89. Christenson says

    @James: There's a lot of history for Lutz not being particularly functional. That somebody could have been a cop — remember those outstanding warrants! Finally, remember how hard it was to get folks to show up for disciplinary hearings. This is just a continuation.

    Approximately quoting ruggiero: "I don't know if I believe anything my clients tell me anymore".

    So our standard of proof has to be preponderance of probability! (lol)

  90. That Anonymous Coward says

    @James – Lutz is not very bright, judging from his past behavior IMHO.
    He showed up for court dressed for a day at the beach in FL when he was the 'corporate rep' for SunLust (IIRC).
    He sat in court and parroted what Steele whispered to him as the Judge got more and more angry.
    Someone runs him, and its going to be funny when he is left holding the very empty bag looking around all confused at the smoke outline where Steele was standing just a second ago…

  91. That Anonymous Coward says

    @Nicholas Weaver – I have a feeling that making Duffy the singular face of Prenda was calculated to try and insulate Steele and Hans. While their fingerprints are all over these cases, they are Prenda cases… and Prenda is Duffy.

  92. Nicholas Weaver says

    The problem is "throw Duffy under the Bus" doesn't work as a strategy, as there are too many ties to Steele and Hansmeier. I suspect the problem is simple stubborn pigheadedness: they are unwilling to just lose, pay the bills, and restructure the scam with a real client.

  93. Simon says

    Given the uncertainties of the legal organization of AF Holdings and "Salt Marsh" and the fact that the millions that Steel claims to have made appears to have dropped into a black hole, perhaps it is vulnerable to its funds "going missing".

    Duffy may have noticed this hypothetical situation, although, I am quite sure he would not take advantage of such an opportunity.

    Actually, I kind of doubt this. I speculate that the "legal costs" have already taken the vast majority of any settlement proceeds (over 99%).

  94. rsteinmetz70112 says

    Having read the reports of yesterday's hearing is it fair to say that all of the protests about not being able to present evidence have now been put to rest?

    It seems they had the opportunity and didn't produce anything much. Lutz and Steele still haven't be questioned under oath as far as I know.

    IF it could be found that "legal fees" consumed 99% of the settlement I thin the courts would take a very dim view of that.

  95. Lucius says

    IF it could be found that "legal fees" consumed 99% of the settlement I thin the courts would take a very dim view of that.

    True. However, since this was a calculated tax evasion scheme as well, claiming any other result would create dim views from the IRS criminal division.

    Constructing a truly effective criminal organization seems to be a lot of work to get it right!

  96. Jim Tyre says

    To begin the Labor Day weekend, Klinedinst (Heather Rosing et al) have made renewed motions to withdraw as counsel for Prenda Law, both in Judge Wright's Court and in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Basically, Klinedinst was being paid by Prenda's malpractice carrier through the OSC before Judge Wright, but not since. Prenda hasn't paid what Klinedinst has billed subsequently, Prenda has declined to enter into a retainer agreement with Klinedinst for the appeal, and Prenda is now a dissolved corporation. Prenda owes Klinedinst about $17,000 for fees and costs. One wonders whether, if/when Klinedinst gets discharged, Klinedinst knows where the money is buried, whether it will go after Duffy or others for the amount due.

  97. SA says

    Link to the Klinedinst motion to withdraw:

    For the lawyer-types here, how likely is it that the motion gets granted?

    I found it pretty educational in the list of items addressed in terms of the impact of withdrawal: the effect upon other parties in the proceedings, the calendar, and so on. And the mention (at least twice) to the effect that Prenda's not an indigent defendant who will go probably to jail if Klindinst doesn't continue representing them for free. Prenda's a for-profit law firm run by attorneys". It's always interesting to see how these things work (and then to see how they play out …)

  98. Lucius says

    Klindinst makes an intelligent and logical argument for withdrawal. They point out that Prenda has almost three months before the Nov 19 appeal to engage a new attorney.

    They also point out that they have contacted all parties. There were no objections to their withdrawal, and the only possible negative effect is that Prenda might not participate in the appeal of an existing joint and several sanction.

    However, if the hearing on their withdrawl does not occur until Oct 7, this reduces Prenda's official lead time by about half.

    Prenda should be making other arrangements now, but we know they rarely plan ahead until a deadline arrives. Would it be feasible to allow Duffy to represent Prenda ("his company") as well as himself, since he can practice law in California? This would seem to be the cleanest solution of everyone, since Prenda can't be paying large attorney fees if they want to pretend to be insolvent for the

  99. whheydt says

    Re: Lucius….

    There is that interesting, if subtle, possible dig at the Prenanistas, where Kleindinst says that they contacted various Prenda parties by e-mail…at their last know addresses.

    Couldn't that be read as Kleindinst dotting i's and crossing t's while hinting that they suspect that various people may have changed e-mail addresses, or are known not to read e-mail (at least in a timely manner)? Kind of Nelson and using his blind eye to "try to read signals".

  100. JTG says

    I love this bit:

    In fact, if Prenda does not retain subsequent counsel and continue on its appeal, the appellate court will have one less brief to consider, and the district court will have one less party with which to worry in the case of a potential remand.

    So Kleindinst is telling the courts that they will potentially have *less* work to do if they grant Kleindinst's motion. Coming from someone who at one time was defending Prenda, that's got to hurt.

  101. MarkH says

    Hmmm, Klinedinst argues that Prenda specialized in copyright and technology. That makes sense, except that they just argued that it is impossible for them to have uploaded their own copyrighted materials for distribution.

    I have never acted to "seed" a BitTorrent "swarm," and would not know how to do so if for some reason I would desire to try.

    They don't sound like experts on technology at all. They are able to create a program to gather information for all downloaders of the BitTorrent swarm, but can't overcome the enormous hurdle of seeding a file?

    It takes about as much expertise as typing your address on court documents, or copy and paste.

    Ohhhhhhhh …. now I get it. It seems Klinedinst are pretty charitable with their assessment of their clients ability to overcome these issues.

  102. James Pollock says

    "Would it be feasible to allow Duffy to represent Prenda ("his company") as well as himself"

    He may not be able to take on that representation under ethics rules (stop snickering). Lawyers are not supposed to take on representation if they may be required to appear as a witness in the proceeding.

  103. WDS says


    After reading the document, I can hear the argument now. Just another case of Alan Cooper being flow around the country by the EFF basking in the glow of being a star witness.

  104. Bystander says


    Maybe, but the Judge clearly delineates the purpose of the hearing to determining the authenticity of those signatures. Whether or not the EFF is flying Cooper around on all-expenses paid vacations, or which supporting beam of Steele's cabin Cooper allegedly chain-sawed, aren't relevant issues.

    I think Prenda will either have to come out and assert under oath that the Cooper-who-was-Steele's-handyman signed those copyright forms, and provide convincing evidence that he did (contrary to his own statements under oath); or they'll have to take the fifth or not answer the questions (most likely), either of which will be a clear-cut admission of forgery since the judge has ordered that "An officer of the plaintiff, capable of testifying as to the authenticity of each document, shall appear in person at the evidentiary hearing."

    It did boggle my mind that Hansmeier suggested discovery was needed ("However, Plaintiff has reached the outer-limits of what it can learn without the coercive power of formal discovery") in response to the question of who signed Prenda's own copyright forms.

  105. Matthew Cline says

    "I have never used software that monitored or detected digital piracy." – John Steele Declaration.

    "Steele said he and a partner spent about $250,000 to develop software that tracks illegal BitTorrent sharing from an office in Min…" – Chicago Tribune interview with John Steele.

    My guess at his explanation: Steele never personally used such software. He paid other people to develop it, and paid other people to use it.

  106. Anonymous says

    Steele signed his affidavit "categorically" denying he seeded the torrents on 7/25, a few weeks before Blair Chintella filed the documents returned from subpoenas to Comcast that show Steele|Hansmeier had the sharkmp4 IP address.

    He also took a bunch of cheap shots at Mr. Neville, apparently failing to anticipate Mr. Neville would be willing to take the stand while Prenda brought nothing to the table to counter his conclusions. I was also unaware that being a graduate student was such a low and contemptible occupation before Steele explained otherwise.

    Filing this affidavit after the Comcast subpoenas seems like an apocalyptic mistake on Duffy's part; I don't see how Steele is going to avoid perjury/contempt/whatever sanctions or even criminal charges as this sworn denial has been destroyed by the new evidence. Nick is going to have a field day with this and Blaire likewise will surely draw attention to Steele's latest batch of lies. In the event anything is actually going on with the IRS or DOJ investigations, this making their lives a lot easier and making Steele look like a much juicier target.

    That they filed this now, after the Comcast documents appeared, suggests they are in such a state of disarray that they actually made such a huge mistake, or the actual plan is even kookier than we can imagine.

  107. James says

    @Lucius In addition to the points raised above by James Pollock, there is the little matter of admission to the bar. While Duffy can always represent Duffy, California has put his request for admission on hold pending the resolution of the other matters Prenda/Duffy are involved with. As every lawyer must be admitted to appear before the courts located in the state, California is not a place where he can act as a lawyer for persons other than himself.

  108. WDS says


    I didn't indicate it would be a good argument, or that anyone would by it, just that it will high on their talking points.


    It is Paul Hansmeier who has his bar request on Hold. Duffy has been actively practicing in the San Fran case.

  109. Lucius says

    @James – I recall Hansmeier had his request for admission to represent others in California put on hold. But isn't Duffy already representing AF Holdings in the Northern California case, and wouldn't this indicate he could represent others as well?

    Since the appeal is supposed to be on narrow legal questions of any possible errors by Judge Wright in his decision, there seems to be no reason to expect Duffy would have to testify, so maybe he could represent Prenda in the appeal after all?

    I'd like to see Duffy give Prenda the quality defense they deserve on their appeal.

  110. WDS says


    "I'd like to see Duffy give Prenda the quality defense they deserve on their appeal."

    I'm sure Duffy will give them the defense they deserve. If they however wanted a quality defense they should have paid Klinedinst's bill.

  111. Katherine says

    Getting back to TAC's telethon:

    If you have been following me on Twitter (@simality) for the past two months then you know I've been pretty diligent in my recapping efforts.

    Even if you haven't been following me on Twitter, you've probably benefitted none the less. A number of the documents mentioned in Tech Dirt and Ars Technica were recapped by yours truly.

    My PACER bill for the past two months:

    I can't keep this up. I don't mind helping, but I'm not going to bankrupt myself for the Cause.

    At this point, I figure I can afford about twenty more dollars worth of PACER lookups and recaps and then I'll have to stop. If you would like to help me keep going please consider sending a donation to


  112. That Anonymous Coward says

    @Bystander –
    "It did boggle my mind that Hansmeier suggested discovery was needed ("However, Plaintiff has reached the outer-limits of what it can learn without the coercive power of formal discovery") in response to the question of who signed Prenda's own copyright forms."

    Which they would NEVER use to shore up their claims that he is just a mentally ill psycho out to get even with Steele. They would never force a depo and waste days out of his life, dig into anything they could get their hands on trying to support their version of fantasy.

    @Katherine – be sure to stop by ArsTechnica (3 hour court hearing post) and TechDirt (similar post) and get your details out there. The community can be very giving, even if they need a little nudge now and again. My mad money might have disappeared into a depo fund and I need to build back up again. Your doing good work keeping up on PACER and keeping people informed about how the money flows. If only Pretenda would have followed your lead and kept better records and shared them. :D

  113. Bystander says


    "Which they would NEVER use to shore up their claims that he is just a mentally ill psycho out to get even with Steele."

    Of course, I know Prenda wants to use discovery on Cooper (or anyone else) simply as a means of intimidation. It's just their perfectly perverse reversal of logic — that they want discovery on someone else in order to find out what they themselves did — that I find so mind-boggling.

  114. GrimGhost says

    Am I the only one who thinks this story is getting old? How much longer will things go before any Prendanista faces even mild consequences for their actions? If a judge told _me_ that I had to come to court to answer questions and I failed to show, I'd be arrested and in jail now. But Lutz walks free. If I told several judges that I had no involvement with an enterprise that I'd boasted about in a newspaper article, I'd be arrested. But Steele walks free. If I defrauded a court? Jail. If I were hiding money in a foreign country, the IRS would be sweating me. But hey, IANAL, so the laws of the USA are my master, not my playtoy. I predict one day that the Prendanistas will simply disappear, only to turn up in Saint Nevis, all with law licenses unrevoked, and live like kings off their ill-gotten gains.

  115. Robin Bobcat says

    … can we go back to the 'yo momma' jokes? Those were good times.

    I had a thought that perhaps Mr Nazaire is attempting not to garner huge copyright claim rewards, but is instead attempting to halt the spread of pornographic videos starring his mother… but I can't work it into the standard 'yo momma' format.

    Nah. Cheap shot.

    I am certain that his mother is a wonderful, beautiful lady, who cries herself to sleep knowing that she spawned a Prendiot who has apparently been taking lessons from Amy's Baking Company when it comes to handling criticism…

  116. That Anonymous Coward says

    @GrimGhost – The damage done by Pretenda to the legal system is massive to those of us who get the 'low court' treatment.

    Other Judges suspected fraud, chided them from the bench and sent them on their way. Funny they would always try to avoid that Judge in future cases in that district, even resorting to obvious forum shopping.

    Judges would overlook the lack of jurisdiction over Does, even after the issue came up again and again.

    Judges would overlook that silly little rule about having to file within 4 months, accepting the lawyers at their 'word' that the ISPs were being slow without any supporting information. There are/were cases still on dockets that would be considered senior citizens.

    Judges would issue orders barring them from using data they got from cases they later dismissed rather than bring to court, and funny people on those lists ended up in named cases in another district.

    These lawyers would lie in their communications with Does, misrepresenting the law, making threats, and outright lying.

    Contacting Does directly who were represented, no problem with Judges who were made aware – it was just a little oversight and not them ignoring the most basic portions of the law.

    These lawyers went before Judges, alleged crimes, sought information to file cases, and never delivered those cases.

    Society lost millions in filing fees over joinder, and no court was willing to deal with the issue until they were forced to.

    Terrified people paid out thousands of dollars to make the harassing letters and calls stop, and many of them were totally innocent.

    People found their names listed on a lawfirms website as criminals, before cases were filed.

    There is much talk of ethics and standards, and little application of those rules.

    Maybe those who like to complain about how society is getting worse and worse because people are doing bad things should look at the top. We give a pass to cops who lie, lawyers who cheat, and are shocked to discover students cheating on tests.

    Maybe if the law was applied equally to everyone society would get better, it might be time to stop taking it out on the little people who only emulate those who live in the rarefied air.

  117. Lucius says

    A basic problem here is that the people living under such a system can't change it without a more direct means of doing so. Writing letters and occasionally focusing all attention on one outrageous excess in government does have an effect on that one excess. But it is not enough to reverse the massive flow of purchased laws and repressive interpretations that accumulate, benefiting only the few.

    Granted that unlimited direct democracy in passing legislation will lead to mob rule and repressions against minorities. Checks and balances are always needed.

    Maybe something like popular votes on directly removing selected existing unpopular legislation (but not basic constitutional rights) would be a modest step in restoring that balance. This would include removing funding and authorizations for particularly abusive or wasteful agencies.

    Something like this is increasingly becoming necessary as a pressure-relief valve, even though it would be a structural constitutional change.

  118. That Anonymous Coward says

    @Lucius – I think many of the problems with the laws is the fact they are never intended to/or will affect those at the top.
    (and this post is going to hit moderation because of many links)

    Insider trading is bad, you will go to jail!
    Congress got caught doing it for a long time, when the media pointed it out suddenly there was a change. Until people stopped looking and they quietly undid the fix making it illegal for them to do it.

    Intellectual Property is a major engine for the economy!
    And while we were passing the last law to keep the government running, we had time to make sure we keep giving them hand outs to make more.

    If everyone had to live under the same rules, they would be better.
    Want Congress to finally sort out the fiscal cliff?
    Maybe make sure when there is a shutdown they stop getting paid.

    Because sequester isn't going to work. You mean we can't park in our free parking spots at the airport and fly home?! Quick restore funding to the FAA.

    And why should they be subject to parking laws? Tickets are for the little people.

    Part of the problem is the people, who focus on pet hot button issues instead of real problems. How many are elected because they promise to end all abortions? Yet some of them manage to find a way to get them for their wives and "others".

    The country isn't in shambles because women can chose to have an abortion, but like a Pavlovian experiment it is trotted out every election cycle.

    Maybe if people turned off the tv and stopped getting informed(?!) on Facebook and focused on the real issues it wouldn't matter who had the slickest commercial or the largest PAC supporting them. Maybe once candidates can no longer placate with the hot button and have their feet held to the fire on real issues, we might get better.

    Everyone is shocked at the actions of Pretenda, the seeding of the files being a big point.
    I have a lawyer admitting publicly he used an off the shelf BT client to gather his evidence by joining active swarms. This means he helped make the infringement worse and could have kept the swarm active. No punishment, no acknowledgement, no questions.
    Isn't it unethical to make something your profiting from worse?
    Isn't it unethical to lie on a copyright application so you can try for statutory instead of actual damages?
    Isn't it unethical to ignore a Judges order and send out subpoenas anyways?
    Of the 3 if you guessed #3 was the only one to get him in trouble, you'd be right. He wasn't punished for violating the rules, he was punished for pissing off a Judge.

    Maybe it is time that all of us little people stop accepting how we are treated, set aside issues that distract, and focus on making them answer to the country not their ideology.

    They fear spring coming early, so lets screw up their plans for that. Lets change the game, focus on actually fixing things or don't get elected.
    Lie to us, your not going back into office no matter how many abortions to plan to stop.
    Line your 'friends' pockets with our money, we'll miss you and your replacements first job will be to end that handout.

    We have the Government we deserve, it is time we remember we deserve so much better.

  119. James Pollock says

    "Want Congress to finally sort out the fiscal cliff?
    Maybe make sure when there is a shutdown they stop getting paid."

    That's cute. You think Congress is paid by government.

  120. Katherine says

    Thanks, Baron. And thank you to everyone else who has donated. I was close to throwing in the towel a couple of days ago. Now I should be good to go for a couple more months at least!

  121. That Anonymous Coward says

    @James Pollock – I know that they keep getting their salaries during that time, and most of them are to greedy to allow that to stop. No one can live on PAC donations (read bribes) alone.

    Insert video of the monkey unable to pull its hand from the jar because it greedily grabbed as much as it could.

    @Katherine – despite what they tell courts about the mean peoples on them there interwebs, there are many good people. Besides with massive sales of popcorn, the popcorn industry has extra cash to make sure people keep munching ;)

  122. Sami says

    Not to hit on a side-topic or anything, but so far the best option I've come across to improve the state of democracy at least a bit is a preferential voting system.

    Apart from anything else, this makes the concepts of "protest vote" and "third party candidate" actually viable. Voting outside of two parties isn't guaranteed to waste your vote, because if your chosen candidate doesn't win, your vote is transferred to your next best option – and splitting the opposition doesn't let bad candidates through so readily.

  123. Clownius says

    The second one is interesting.

    Basically its the you cant hold us liable for forging that signature we are not using it against anyone anymore as i read it.

    Then even if we are we dont think anyone should be forced to authenticate it as only the assigners signature counts. We can authenticate that its just the other bit that may or may not be forged. Oh look over there its a wookie.

    Lastly its we are trying to retrospectively make up for the fact Lutz didnt turn up as ordered by claiming you had no right to request he turn up.

    Their legal arguments never cease to amaze me.

  124. Lucius says

    Prenda arguments completely overlook the stated purpose of the hearing: to determine if a fraud on the court has been committed. It's not about arguments whether or not the copyright transfer might be valid anyway. It is about whether forged documents were deliberately submitted to mislead the court.

    For this, they need the person who filed the forged papers with the court (Dugas), although the court may not need him to still represent AF Holdings for the purpose of sanctions for past actions.

    Wouldn't a judge be more impressed with Prenda's arguments if they based them the specific purpose of the hearing (possible fraud on the court), instead of non-critical peripheral issues?

  125. Lucius says

    Hansmeier may be very happy to have Dugas no longer representing AF Holdings. This helps clear the way to throw Dugas under the bus, and claim that the evil Dugas was the only one behind any Prenda fraud on the court.

  126. PonyMaster2k says

    What about Mr. Alan Cooper? He's being ordered to show up again. Does he have to pay this out of pocket?

  127. says

    @sami and co:
    I wrote a nice little essay on that topic on election day 2010 (while I had a 104 fever and a jaw so swolen I couldn't eat anything for a week – lost 35lb). It's part of my first book, No Safe Harbor, which you can download for free from (or on the Pirate Bay)

  128. Jim Tyre says

    Bad news for those who were looking forward to eating popcorn on October 7 – – possibly even new in-person Ken Prendablogging:

    Today, Judge Wright granted the renewed application to withdraw by Klinedinst as counsel for Prenda:

    Klinedinst P.C. and its attorneys renew their Application to withdraw as counsel of record for Prenda Law, Inc. (ECF No. 235.) For the reasons stated in their papers, the Court finds good cause to GRANT their Application at this time. The Court reminds Prenda that a corporation cannot represent itself pro se in federal court. Rowland v. Cal. Men’s Colony, Unit II Men’s Advisory Council, 506 U.S. 194, 201–
    02 (1993).


    September 3, 2013

    A little while later Klinedinst filed a new document in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, where it had made a concurrent motion to the same effect. I haven't looked at the Ninth Circuit filing, but I assume it's a copy of Judge Wright's Order. (Which isn't binding on the Ninth Circuit, but should be influential.)

    Fortunately, using my vast knowledge as an Actual Litigator, I figured that Judge Wright would decide it well before the hearing, and traded popcorn futures accordingly. '-)

  129. rsteinmetz70112 says

    As for Alan Cooper showing up how far does he live from the court? I am not familiar with the geography but it's probably not that far.

  130. Jim Tyre says

    @rsteinmetz 70112

    As for Alan Cooper showing up how far does he live from the court? I am not familiar with the geography but it's probably not that far.

    I spoke with Alan when he was here in LA for the hearing before Judge Wright. If memory serves, he had about a 2 hour drive to the airport, but I've no idea where the airport is in relation to the courthouse, his home, etc.

  131. says

    In Guava v. Merkel case (Hennepinn Court, MN), Judge Bransford has finally came up with the memorandum following her order to punish Prenda monetarily ($63K). Scroll to update.

  132. Guest says

    @Jim Tyre

    So if I'm reading this right, Prenda's lawyers decided that defending a bunch of scumbag mugus was not worth the effort? If so, good luck to Steele and company. From their track record they clearly can't self-represent for shit.

  133. AlanF says

    I just love footnote 3 of the memorandum:

    "This Court finds that Dugas lacks any credibility with this Court based upon the actions he has taken in this matter. Therefore, any declaration and testimony offered is discredited with this Court."

    That's gotta sting!

    The photo of Judge Bransford sure makes her look happy — like she has just used her gavel on someone who really deserved it. :-)

  134. adam says

    The courthouse in Minneapolis is not very far from the airport.

    I may try to attend the hearing on the 30th if I can free up my schedule.

  135. Resolute says

    So, basically, Prenda scares a guy from Oregon, but Dugas tells Merkel that he'll be let off the hook if he agrees to be sued in Minnesota, and he's even got one of his own law school buddies lined up to "defend" him pro bono. So how does Trina Morrison escape that mess unscathed? She appears as crooked as any of the others, especially given the court accepted Merkel's affidavit and discredited Dugas.

  136. WDS says


    The only thing I can see that Ms. Morrison may have done that is shady was not oppose the first discovery request. Very soon after being told that her client supposedly had a deal and the case was a shame, she went to the court with the information. I don't know that she was never in on anything with the Prenda Gang, but she saw the light in a hurry if she was.

  137. Duke says

    This just in. Hans and his Institute for Class Justice notify Ohio prison officials that he is suing over the death of Ariel Castro. "A terrible injustice has been done and we will only let this go if we are paid $25,000 in unmarked bills. And some Taco Bell coupons."

  138. Jim Tyre says

    SJD, you're making life too difficult for us! It's so much easier just to call Prenda a copyright troll than a CFAA State Law Equivalent Troll. '-)

  139. That Anonymous Coward says

    @Jim Tyre – Some of us used other words for them and got sued for our efforts…. just sayin. :D

  140. Matthew Cline says

    Prenda arguments completely overlook the stated purpose of the hearing: to determine if a fraud on the court has been committed. It's not about arguments whether or not the copyright transfer might be valid anyway. It is about whether forged documents were deliberately submitted to mislead the court.

    Perhaps they're going to try to argue that it's only fraud on the court (or is only sanctionable) if the fraud has an impact on the issue for which the false material was submitted?

  141. Lucius says

    @Matthew Cline,
    That seems a logical formulation for a Prenda defense.

    However, if the forged documents were submitted to get a subpoena from the court, the forged documents were submitted to defraud the court. The forged signature would be part of what made the overall document credible enough for the court to issue a subpoena.

  142. PonyMaster2k says

    Was there some sort of hearing/court appearance or something due today? Or am I misremembering?

  143. Jim Tyre says

    This just in, from Duffy in the Navasca (San Francisco) case


    Judge: Hon. Edward M. Chen
    Magistrate Judge: Hon. Nandor J. Vadas

    AF Holdings, LLC (“AF Holdings”) hereby applies to this Court for an order granting it leave to file an affidavit of its principal, Mark Lutz, under seal. This Court, in setting an evidentiary hearing on Defendant’s motion for sanctions, directed, among other things, that a representative of AF Holdings provide certain information set forth in the Court’s Order. Mr. Lutz attempted to travel to San Francisco, California from Miami Beach, Florida in order to testify as a witness at the August 28 hearing. HE has informed counsel for Plaintiff that, for reasons beyond Mr. Lutz’ control, he was unable to board his plane from Miami Beach to San Francisco.

    Mr. Lutz thus indicates that he attempted in good faith to be present as a witness at the August 28 evidentiary, and that he wishes to explain to the Court the reasons for his absence, but the reasons are of a very sensitive nature and would expose Mr. Lutz to undue scrutiny, particularly in this case, where counsel for Defendant has artificially publicized its importance throughout the country. Plaintiff therefore respectfully requests that this Court grant its representative Mr. Lutz leave to file, under seal, an affidavit explaining and justifying his absence at the August 28, 2013 hearing. Plaintiff also respectfully requests that the Court grant leave for Mr. Lutz to file an affidavit to address those matters that the Court requested that he address at the evidentiary hearing.

    Respectfully submitted,
    AF Holdings, LLC
    DATED: September 5, 2013
    By: s/ Paul A. Duffy
    One of its attorneys
    Paul A. Duffy, Esq.
    2 N. LaSalle Street
    13th Floor
    Chicago, IL 60602
    (312) 952-6136

  144. Eric says

    Or, perhaps Steele/Hans need to draft the affidavit….I mean Lutz needs to remember his lines. Just seems fishy to me. I hope it is not granted under seal so we can all bask in the glory and idiocy of Prenda.

  145. JR says

    Another question I would ask is…..

    Why did you report to the judge that Lutz was at the airport and on his way to court?

    And why did Lutz and Hans skip out of a deposition in GA?

  146. Eric says


    Good questions as well. Inquiring minds would like to know. Shame we may never hear those answers. I hope Chen and Vadas don't let these idiots off easy. I hope they go digging for answers rather than just accepting their responses because they are "lawyers"….and I use that term VERY loosely. These buffoons are idiots hiding behind law licenses. And that is probably an insult to both buffoons and idiots of the world.

  147. Cataline says

    In my opinion it's likely that the circumstances that prevented Lutz from traveling were engineered in advance. I believe that S&H know they can't possibly allow him to appear in a venue where he would have to answer questions about their dealings because he will either (a) make it obvious he doesn't know anything despite supposedly being in control, or (b) make mistakes and let slip actual workings that they will then have to try and somehow explain away and make fit with prior explanations. Both are horrible options for S&H, so they have to prevent him from appearing in the court, lest he forget his coat and tie once again and make it clear to the judge that he is perpetrating a fraud upon the court. If, however, they can convince the court that circumstances were beyong Lutz's control, they can answer the court's questions in writing without having to produce him for spontaneous questioning, and thereby still maintain control.

    The clever thing for the judge to do would be to accept his explanation and simply give him another chance to appear. This would force S&H to either concoct another "emergency" and make it clear they're trying to avoid having him testify, or to actually produce Lutz, which would be disasterous. I don't take him as the kind of guy that would absorb all the minutia of their scheme and be able to keep all the details straight under questioning. To the lawyers out there, could the judge do this? Or could they question him under oath via video conferencing or telephone? I so want this to occur!

  148. WDS says

    So he was supposed to be at a hearing on the Aug 28th, but they file the application to file the reason why under seal on Sept 5th.

    It took them over a week to think of an excuse???

  149. whheydt says

    The "No Fly List" occurred to me immediately…as in maybe the IRS is concerned he might head for Nevis & St. Kitts….

    I hope the judge declines the offer of an affidavit. What is needed is a good cross examination.

    If Lutz can't fly, there is always AmTrak…

  150. Duke says

    I like how Duffy capitalized HE as if to make it perfectly clear that the statements made are Lutz's and the Dufstser makes no representations as to the accuracy of the words.

    "Here is what HE said. You be the judge, Judge."

  151. JR says

    I don't think having the judge question him under oath is what is needed. We need the defense crossing him, asking all the questions and knowing where to keep digging.

    Just a statement filed under seal to the court doesn't help in the long run. Lutz can say whatever he wants in that statement and no one can effectively call BS as he tries different crap.

  152. James says

    @whheydt Why take Amtrak when there is Greyhound. How long does it take to go from Miami to San Francisco on the hound? At least when you are ON the bus you can't be UNDER the bus.

    If I were the judge I would take any affidavit filed by Prenda with a large grain of salt, no make that a large salt mine (or maybe a salt marsh?). The affidavit would need copious amounts of certified documentation to go with it and then the only result would be a rescheduled hearing with the chance for cross-examination.

    And I too would like to hear why Mr. Duffy said that he had spoken to Lutz and that he was on his way from the airport. Isn't lying to a federal judge in their own courtroom rather frowned upon?

  153. whheydt says

    Re: James…

    The train is a lot more comfortable.

    Other things that occurred to me…
    ..his credit card company refused the charge.
    ..he showed up at the airport in a bathing suit and the airline said, "No shoes, no service".
    ..he started his "in flight drinking" early, got caught, and spent the day in the drunk tank.
    ..the pilot found out who he had on board and threw him off, refusing to fly a copyright troll.
    ..his ticket was with Nocturnal Aviation and…you fill in the rest…

  154. Cataline says


    Does it matter what Duffy says about Lutz? He wasn't under oath, was he? And even then, wouldn't it be hearsay, since he couldn't directly testify to what Lutz was doing? Besides, I'm sure he'll end up saying something like "What I said was that he was on his way TO the airport" or whatever else fits. Honesty isn't exactly exactly a priority with this bunch. Whatever narrative is most advantageous is what counts.

    Can any lawyers tell us if the judge can just schedule another hearing with an opportunity for cross-examination? I would sell my popcorn futures for this!

  155. Cataline says

    I don't quite think these people understand that these aren't cases where there is artificial attention being directed upon it, or that these are somehow routine civil pleadings. Do they really not understand just how many people revile their extortionate tactics and want to see them get some form of comeuppance?

    I get the feeling that these people truly do believe that what they're doing is legal and ethical, and that they're being vilified for no good reason. I don't think they can see the other side of this and understand how it looks from the perspective of the person who receives a settlement letter.

  156. Cataline says

    Apparently I can't cite properly. It was supposed to start with

    "…and would expose Mr. Lutz to undue scrutiny, particularly in this case, where counsel for Defendant has artificially publicized its importance throughout the country. "

  157. Dr. Wu says

    Can Chen just subpoena Lutz and let the Marshals figure out how to get his dumb ass onto a plane, or does that only happen in the movies?

  158. JR says


    Prenda's model was, "pay up or we will make it public that you download a lot of sick porn."

    What's wrong, Mark, John, Paul, etc., can't take a bit of your own meds?

    The scrutiny is not undue. Also nothing has been artificially publicized. We, the Ralph and Sally's sitting at home can read the public records and have followed the trail to Mark Lutz. It is important because the whole record across all the cases points to him having some unique data that will clear up outstanding questions from many courts and many defense lawyers.

    This data will also be the final stake in the heart of Prenda and will most likely be what the iRS and others need to make criminal charges stick.

    So sad, too bad, must really suck being you.

  159. Mike says

    Could we do a PitchIn and have Dog the Bounty Hunter go and bring Lutz to San Francisco? I'd chip in another few dollars for that (hopefully they film it for television).

  160. Cataline says


    The scrutiny is not undue. Also nothing has been artificially publicized. We, the Ralph and Sally's sitting at home can read the public records and have followed the trail to Mark Lutz. It is important because the whole record across all the cases points to him having some unique data that will clear up outstanding questions from many courts and many defense lawyers.

    I think my meaning may have been lost when I wasn't able to cite their pleading properly in the first post. I was basically making the same point you were — that they seem unable to grasp that what they're doing is fundamentally wrong. I was trying to make the point that they seem to think they have the moral high ground, and that what they're doing is righteous, ethical, and legally warranted.

    My point was that they genuinely seem to operate as if they've been wronged and are trying to make things right via civil action, and not that they're subverting the legal system to basically commit extortion. I don't think they understand why the rest of us follow their cases so closely, why we want to see them prosecuted and pay for their actions. They really seem to believe that these cases get attention not because their conduct is so outrageous, but rather because defense attorneys are trying to drum up business for their own gain. They seem unable to view the situation from the perspective of someone who gets sent these extortionate letters.

    Sadly, I don't think they'll ever get properly punished. Sure, they may have to change or end their tactics, but they're sitting on millions of dollars. Maybe they'll have to pay tax penalties, but in the end I think they'll simply walk away with a ton of ill-gotten gains and maybe a short bar suspension. I sincerely hope I'm wrong and that the IRS/DOJ/Bar Associations, etc. wants to make a severe example out of them, but I'm doubtful.

  161. That Anonymous Coward says

    Cataline – it is called playing the victim.
    If not for those evil lawyers trying to get famous, we'd be fine.
    If not for those evil bloggers, we'd be fine.

    In GAND my posts are "humorous" "protected first-amendment speech".
    In (whatever)IL my posts are defamatory and part of a conspiracy to destroy their good honest work.
    Both of these are argued by the same ghostwriter.

    They are hoping that the courts will feel sorry for them being cyber-bullied by people who are anonymous or 'Anonymous', which ever seems scarier. They gloss over the only bullies in this story are them.
    Case(s) of collusion with defendants? Yep.
    Pursuit of obviously innocent people? Yep.
    Lying to targets to increase the likelyhood of settlement? Yep.
    Misstating the law? Yep.
    Greater evidence they created the incidents to profit from them than the evidence they have against their targets? Yep.

    I called them extortionists and somehow I'm the bad guy.

    They constantly try to downplay the involvement of the internet, like it isn't having an effect. SJD & DTD both have been referenced by Judges in their findings. (Something I really really want to get).

    Again I hope the Judge demands a copy of the ticket, and contacts the airline. It wouldn't be the first time they have made statements of questionable merit, and it sure as s__t won't be the last until they start getting a few days in a cell for contempt.

  162. Gordon Bombay says

    Curious minor development in Guava LLC v Merkel: both Paul Hansmeier and Michael Dugas appear to have withdrawn as Guava's counsel (27-CV-12-20976 Hennepin County Minnesota) as of Sept 4. See the docket by searching here: Both Hansmeier and Dugas used to be searchable as attorneys in the case and now they are not. Curious.

  163. James says


    The train is a lot more comfortable.

    Exactly the reason I want him on Greyhound.

    As to Cataline's post . . . does it matter if an officer of the court is under oath or not when he makes a verbal representation to a judge? I would think any attempt to knowingly mislead a judge during the course of a proceeding, especially one intended to determine if there had been a fraud on the court, would be actionable.

  164. Myk says

    Chintella has filed a request for sanctions & costs against Lutz & AF Holdings, including a request that Lutz be found in contempt for failing to appear and that further stalling attempts from Penda are denied. Also asks for order compelling Lutz to appear remains in force until deposit is obtained.

  165. Eric says

    What's with Jaquey boy filing the same thing….three times (?) It looks like 78, 79, & 80 are all the same document. Am I missing something? Who goofed…the clerk or Jacques? Or is it really meant to be put through three times?

  166. Jim Tyre says

    Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals today: Bye, bye, Klinedinst:

    United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
    Notice of Docket Activity

    The following transaction was entered on 09/06/2013 at 7:56:34 AM PDT and filed on 09/06/2013
    Case Name: Ingenuity13 LLC v. John Doe
    Case Number: 13-55859

    Document(s): Document(s)

    Docket Text:
    Filed clerk order (Deputy Clerk: LBS): Klinedinst PC’s renewed motion to withdraw as counsel for appellant Prenda Law, Inc. is granted. Court records shall be amended to reflect that Klinedinst PC is no longer counsel of record for appellant Prenda Law, Inc. Within 21 days from the date of this order, appellant Prenda Law, Inc. shall enter appearance of new counsel. Appellant Prenda Law, Inc. is informed that a corporation cannot represent itself. Appellant Prenda Law, Inc. is reminded that a corporation may not proceed in forma pauperis. See Rowland v. California Men's Colony, Unit II, 506 U.S. 194 (1993). Failure to comply with this order may result in dismissal of appellant Prenda Law, Inc.’s appeal. A copy of this order shall be forwarded to Paul Duffy, sole shareholder of Prenda Law, Inc. at 2 N. La Salle Street, 13th Floor, Chicago, IL 60602. The briefing schedule established on July 9, 2013 remains in effect. [8771236] [13-55859, 13-55871, 13-55880, 13-55881, 13-55882, 13-55883, 13-55884, 13-56028] (WL)

  167. Lucius says

    The most likely outcomes in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals seem to be:
    1. Prenda does nothing, and Prenda's Hail-Mary appeal is dismissed.
    2. Duffy represents Prenda, and provides a defense we will all enjoy following.

    Or, less likely,
    3. Prenda remains unrepresented, but the other "joint and several" people and fake shells continue the appeal as though they are separate entities?

    (1) is the best outcome for economy of court resources.
    (2) would be the most interesting, while
    (3) would be the sort of confusing nonsense Prenda likes to use to delay and obstruct any clear resolution, and hopefully will not be allowed to happen. Even if it does, it also would be interesting to follow.

  168. WDS says

    I note that in his response Nazaire is still claiming that Patel admitted negligent infringement. Do they really believe that if they keep pretending that negligent infringement exists that every ruling establishing that it doesn't will go away.

  169. WDS says


    I'm still confused. Both Judge Wright and the Ninth Circuit, have pointed out that Prenda as a corporation can't represent itself, but yet as far as I know the other LLC's are still listed as pro se and no one has said anything about that. Is there some distinction that I am missing here?

  170. Anonymous says


    It's called the Litigation Privilege. Lawyers can lie and do whatever they want as long as they say they are representing their clients' interests. They made sure to write themselves an exception to the Rule of Law into the law.

  171. Jim Tyre says


    Steven Goodhue, previously best known as Prenda's Arizona local, is representing both AF Holdings and Ingenuity 13 in the consolidated appeals from Judge Wright's Orders.

  172. Anonymous says

    Wow, Goodue?

    Last man standing, apparently.

    He hasn't exactly been doing a great job in the AZ cases vs. Sekora and Harris, he's basically been making as ass of himself and his client.

    How is he getting paid?

  173. JT says


    They are in response to different motions. On a quick reading, though, they seem otherwise the same to me.

  174. Eric says


    That's what I thought. it looked like the same documents. Of course, I didn't go line-by-line, but just thought it was interesting. Guess it was so good they had to say it…thrice? LOL, sorry. It's Friday.

  175. JT says

    re:Guava v. Merkel case

    The same kind of collusion was suspected in the Michigan case, AF Holdings LLC v. Ciccone

    However, the case got super busy with people filing objections and quash motions left and right (33 parties on the docket). When Brett Gibbs/California started to blow up, AF Holdings dismissed with prejudice and no one filed for sanctions or fees, so it went off the radar. (Tappan was the local attorney, but at least one filing had Gibbs email address listed.)

  176. says

    Eric, it's the same motion (effectively) and evidence to support being used to counter three different motions by Blair. 78 goes against 74, 79 against 75 and 90 against 76.
    (and 77 was a notice of errata)

  177. WDS says

    Reading the Motions referenced by Ktetch, it appears Prenda is in complete stonewall mode. I was aware that Lutz didn't appear for the deposition. I wasn't aware they were totally ignoring the interrogatories and productions requests as well.

    It should be interesting to watch them argue why: "We made a motion to quash. Yes it was rejected by you your honor, but then we made a renewed motion to quash, and that hasn't been rejected yet, so we shouldn't have to turn over anything."

  178. says

    From experience in these kinds of cases (I covered the ACS:law cases in the UK for TorrentFreak) the thing that is central to defeat of these cases is always the same – sunlight.

    While the process is hidden in legal filings, and where the judges only see what's filed with their courts, it seems acceptable to them. When defendants only see the letters they're getting with no real context, it seems inevitable to them.
    When it starts making the news, and becomes searchable, then the scheme starts to fail, because then the judges are aware of what's going on. It's what happened in the UK, when Chief Master Weingarden stopped rubber-stamping the Norwich Pharmacal orders (what the UK has instead of having to do ex-parte discovery on Doe cases) it was not because of any nuances in law, it was because the public outcry and debate in the media about what happened AFTER the order.

    That's why Prenda is opposed to public discussion. After all, to quote a common phrase (albeit not one I believe) "if they have nothing to hide, they have nothing to fear". The lengths they're going to in order to avoid scrutiny are well beyond any well-founded concerns any legitimate business would have, and indicate a desire to conceal activities of a less-than-legal nature.

    Of course, that's just my unbiased view, as someone who has covered this type of case (the porn settlement type) for 5-6 years, and other copyright litigation cases online for 7+.

  179. Jim Tyre says

    Navasca News:

    Re: Dkt. Nos. 104, 108

    Plaintiff AF Holdings LLC filed two ex parte applications. The first ex parte application (Doc. No. 104) asks for permission to file a sur-reply to Defendant’s motion for sanctions, and was filed on the day of the evidentiary hearing. The first ex parte application is denied on the grounds that it was tardy, that Plaintiff offered no valid excuse for the lateness of the application, and that the application does not add any information that was not presented to the court either through briefing or evidence at the hearing. The second ex parte application (Doc. No. 108) asks for permission for Mark Lutz to file an affidavit under seal addressing the issues AF Holdings was ordered to address at the evidentiary hearing, and explaining why Lutz did not appear at the hearing. The second ex parte application is denied on the ground that the August 28, 2013 evidentiary hearing was an adversary proceeding; allowing Lutz to file an affidavit would deprive defense counsel from cross-examining, which would be unjust. In addition, if Lutz wanted to explain his absence from the hearing, and AF Holdings’ failure to address the issues the court ordered it to be prepared to address, he should have done so much earlier.
    Dated: September 6, 2013
    United States Magistrate Judge

  180. Eric says

    Love it,

    Vadas isn't letting them get away with it. I hope he or Chen order Lutz, et al to appear, take the stand under oath, and answer cross examination or face jail time for contemptt. Or something like that, lol. Love they got benchslapped. Make my Friday even better.

  181. whheydt says

    Lutz on the stand would probably included a lot of talk about the Fifth Amendment. But as this non-lawyer understands it, that doesn't help very much in a civil proceeding.

    Glad the judge wants to give the opposing lawyer a shot at him, though.

  182. Lucius says

    Well, Judge Vadas will be reacting further to having his orders totally ignored. He specified well in advance that AF Holdings must be represented at the evidentiary hearing and must be fully prepared to address his specific questions posed in advance.

    Duffy submitted an affidavit declining to address the important questions immediately, but stating categorically that they would be fully answered at the hearing. They were not. Prenda claims only the nominal figurehead Lutz can answer them, who conveniently never appears when ordered to do so.

    So either Lutz must be questioned and cross-examined, or the sanctions judgement must be made based on what has been presented to the court.

    An immediate sanctions judgement may be nice to see, but this would not fully serve justice in this case. As claimed by Prenda, Lutz could have the information that would avoid sanctions, unlikely as that seems, so Prenda deserves (?) that chance in theory.

    Also, a serious Lutz cross-examination would reveal a lot about the actual Prenda structure that needs to be exposed, as a better basis for a more accurate sanctions decision. This seems to be the better solution. It's also by far the more interesting one.

  183. PonyMaster2k says

    @Lucius: Great summary, thank you!

    What would Mr Pietz's best course of action be now? A move for another evidentiary hearing? Or, would it be in Prenda's best interest (giving them full benefit of doubt) to move for a new hearing themselves?

  184. BaronLurk says


    Mr. Pietz should be considering seeking the award of both (all?) ears and the tail(s), plus costs for the removal of the excrement and decontaimination of the arena.

  185. JR says

    It was very odd that AF/Prenda sent someone other than Lutz to answer questions in that one 7 hour long deposition. I suspect they thought,"just keep telling them some BS, and this will go away." From the few real answers that were given it was obvious to me that Lutz should have been the one answering things.

    Seeems to me they didn't want Lutz opening his mouth. Now Lutz blows off a hearing in front of a judge and a deposition. And to top that off, they are now will just drop everything and be friends with Harris in AZ so they don't have to "open the books".

    Everytime someone wants to talk to Lutz, Prenda goes to DefCon 1. My feeling is they hope to get past the appeal in the Wright case without any of the deep dirt coming out. I would think that the defense countering their appeal and getting hard facts of the inner workings of Prenda on the record in a court of appeals will be so much more damaging to them in the long run.

    Any lawyers want to comment? I would think the higher up you go in the court structure the more likely a different court would take official notice if asked. It could mean that everyone that has ever settled with them now has an open shot to get money back and damages. John Steele might have to hock his gold watch!

    Fines for Duffy and or Lutz are not going to drag him into court. It is a stalling game. Some judge sending the US Marshalls will end the game.

  186. whheydt says

    Re: Lucius… Thanks for that.

    I suppose, assuming the judge does succeed in getting Lutz to show and Lutz is put on the stand…will he actually answer any questions? And if he does, does he actually know *anything*, let alone anything of interest?

  187. JT says

    I'm not the first to say so, buy my feeling is that Lutz is just really a paralegal that Prenda convinced to sign his name to some documents, maybe for a few bucks. The big secret that Lutz might hold is that he doesn't know any secrets. If you've followed Prenda for any length of time, you know that when things get rough, they delay, post last-minute filings, and don't show up. When that doesn't work, they make accusations of conspiracies and toss in wrong law and other red herrings (Public lawsuits are private matters!! California has gay marriage!!!). They're only a couple 100-page manic filings away from crazy vexatious litigant territory, though Duffy has already started down that road with the random capitalization.

    When Prenda was churning money, the delay strategy worked; the longer lawsuits dragged on, the more people settled rather than be involved in a long, expensive lawsuit. Now, maybe they just don't know anything else.

  188. Anonymous says


    Yeah, it was super-suspicious. A 30(b)(6) is supposed to be the person most knowledgeable about the company's operations with respect to the noticed topics. If AF was a huge company with thousands of employees and dozens of departments, maybe it would make sense for a well-prepared lawyer to show up instead of the CEO. But for AF? A company with just one employee? They send some lawyer that works for some firm they've retained to file copyright infringement lawsuits?

    But, it didn't work, right? That deposition was one of the documents that put Wright on the warpath. It still amazes me that Hansmeier gave that deposition. If he just wanted to be evasive and stonewall he could have done a better job, or hell just blown it off and tried to stall like they're doing now. But the stuff he did admit about AF is mind-boggling. That was before Prenda fell completely apart and it represents the pinnacle of their arrogance but still… What the hell were they thinking?

  189. James says

    So what is the most likely scenario now? Presumably the judge could issue a bench warrant and have the marshals escort Mr. Lutz to the witness box, or he can just rule that AF Holding forfeited their defense by not producing the evidence demanded and rule based on what is in the record.

    While we would all love to watch Lutz twist slowly in the wind isn't it more likely that the court just issues a financially punitive ruling and leaves it at that? What do the experienced litigators think?

  190. rsteinmetz70112 says

    I still not sure exactly what happened at the Lutz-o-rama.

    Based on earlier reports Lutz didn't show but was supposed to be in town. There was speculation he was hiding out nearby waiting to be called. Turns out he might never have left FL.

    I don't believe he was subpoenaed, ordered to show up or actually called to testify.

    The order told AF to "be prepared" but it doesn't sound like anyone ever actually asked for the answers to the questions the judge posed.

    Prenda seems to have managed to confound the system again.

    In other news Lutz apparently claims he was prepared to fly from Miami to Frisco ($400 – cheaper from FLL) for a hearing but can't afford to fly from Miami to Atlanta ($250 – cheaper from FLL) for a deposition.

  191. Lucius says

    The order told AF to "be prepared" but it doesn't sound like anyone ever actually asked for the answers to the questions the judge posed.

    It was reported that Duffy told the judge that Lutz was not present, but on the way from the airport (another lie?). Prenda claims only Lutz can answer his questions. So it would have been pointless for the judge to ask his previously-specified questions without Lutz being present.

    Maybe the kindly judge Vadas should take pity on AF Holdings because of incompetent representation, and allow them another hearing with a strongly-worded subpoena for Lutz specifically to appear?

  192. Cataline says


    Not a lawyer, but it seems unlikely that a judge would send the Marshalls after Lutz. My understanding is that typically only happens in matters of criminal contempt. It seems far more likely that the judge could hold Lutz in civil contempt. He could either order Lutz to pay a daily fine until he appears, or he could possibly incarcerate him until he answers questions or pleads the fifth (but this seems highly unlikely). Either way, my understanding is the purpose of civil contempt is not to be punitive, but rather to give the individual the "opportunity to purge". By this, I mean that the court places the keys in the contemnor's hands. He can remove the penalties at any time simply by complying. This makes it extremely unlikely that he would face incarceration. Unfortunately, Lutz is also probably judgement-proof, so even if monetary penalties were engorged, he couldn't pay it anyway.

    Either way, I salute Judge Vadas for recognizing that the whole point of producing Lutz is to allow the Defense to question him in an adversarial proceeding, something an affidavit would not accord. They tried to get around it, but they will have to produce him.

  193. Cataline says


    I don't have a reference handy, but in another pleading they stated the reason they produced Hansmeier and not Lutz as a FRCP 30(b)(6) deponent is because they didn't want the Defense to be able to question him about his personal knowledge of AF's operations. You know, cause he's the CEO and all. Instead, they sent Hansmeier, who could testify as to the operations of AF, but not Lutz's knowledge on the topic. I can see the strategy here, but for anyone even remotely familiar with the group it's clear they sent Hansmeier because Lutz is likely just a figurehead and knows absolutely nothing. Hansmeier helped concoct the scheme and is a lawyer, so he knows what to answer, what to evade, and how to evade without technically lying. Lutz couldn't possibly do that, which is why they're doing everything they can to keep him out of any proceedings. He's either going to have to take the fifth, make it clear he doesn't know anything, or contradict prior representations made by others. All of these options sucks for them.

  194. Cataline says


    It could mean that everyone that has ever settled with them now has an open shot to get money back and damages. John Steele might have to hock his gold watch!

    Unfortunately, I just don't see that happening. I suppose an attorney could try and set up a class-action lawsuit to try and recover some money, but it's a long shot. It would be a long (and therefore expensive), drawn-out fight that would take years to litigate and any outcome would be appealed ad nauseum. Even then, if they were successful, they would have to collect. They're dealing with attorneys who chose tax havens like Nevis for good reason. Any assets would have long since been transferred or dissipated in a way that would make repatriating them extremely unlikely. So, in the end, it just wouldn't be worth it for any attorney to pursue. They've made many millions doing this, so unless they're facing criminal investigation, they're unfortunately going to come out ahead in the end.

  195. Mike says

    My grandfather had a good litmus test to determine if a lawyer (or a politician) is lying. If their lips are moving, their lying.

  196. AlphaCentauri says

    Do we definitely know there is a person named Mark Lutz who is actually involved with Prenda? They seem good at creating pseudonyms and signing other people's names. They may be unable to produce him because Steele has been voicing the part for years.

  197. Anonymous says

    They had a guy show up at the second Wright OSC who claimed to be Mark Lutz, so at the very least they have an individual playing the part. Whether it's the same person every time or just whatever random person they can find to play volunteer corporate representative on any given day is anyone's guess.

  198. Dan says

    Well, there's a person calling themself "Mark Lutz" and we know that, at the very least, they are .

    Aside: Is it "themself" or "themselves"?
    Answer: Neither–it's "himself". The individual in question is (1) an individual, as in one person and therefore singular, and (2) male. Whatever you might think of using "they" and "them" to refer to a single person of unknown sex, there's no reason at all to use such constructions here.

  199. Dan says

    Bit by the tags–let's see if this works:

    Well, there's a person calling themself "Mark Lutz" and we know that, at the very least, they are .

    Aside: Is it "themself" or "themselves"?

    Answer: Neither–it's "himself". The individual in question is (1) an individual, as in one person and therefore singular, and (2) male. Whatever you might think of using "they" and "them" to refer to a single person of unknown sex, there's no reason at all to use such constructions here.

  200. rsteinmetz70112 says

    Still it seems to me someone should have gone through the motions of asking the questions and calling Lutz. As it is it seems there are dangling participles that Prenda can use to obfuscate issues.

    Much like they did with Wrights hearing where they claim there is no evidence (not true Alan Cooper presented evidence and they refused to testify), that they were not allowed to present evidence (not true the Judge asked if they were going to present evidence and they said they were going to present argument he also told them they could file papers).

  201. Jim Tyre says

    More Navasca stuff:


    During the August 28, 2013 evidentiary hearing, counsel for Plaintiff moved to file certain of Defendant’s exhibits under seal. Counsel has not yet filed a motion for protective order or a stipulated protective order. Counsel shall do so no later than 4:00 p.m. on Friday, September 13, 2013. Failure to do so will cause the court to file all exhibits unsealed.

    Dated: September 10, 2013
    United States Magistrate Judge

  202. Gordon Bombay says

    Earlier this morning, counsel for Alan Cooper and Paul Godfread, Erin Russell, presented a motion for sanctions in ILND.

    Lots of exhibits still need recapping.

  203. WDS says

    Re: The Malibu Media sanctions, while the judge sanctioned them and struck the exhibit "C"s from the complaints, he is allowing the case to go forward. The knowledge that the exhibit was previously there still serves its original purpose. To bad he didn't throw the cases out with prejudice as punishment for filing them in the first place. All they have lost is an amount less than one settlement.

  204. That Anonymous Coward says

    @Jonathan Kamens – buying time to keep working the list would be my best guess. They have thousands of names and a burning desire to get cash. Even as Wright lowered the boom they dug up an involuntarily closed company name they controlled to send out badly copied extortion letters… with payments going to Prenda not the name on the letter.

    They had plans for using other whitewashed names, but those were exposed publicly and connected to the principals of Pretenda. This lowered the odds of a settlement.

    They have stayed at the ball to long, and their reputations have turned into rotten pumpkins… but they are still dancing because to stop would confirm they were bad people. As long as they keep 'fighting' in the courts, it seems no one wants to do anything to them. So they flail about, keeping AG, CID, etc at bay. Its just sanctions against shells that were always hollow anyways.

  205. anne mouse says

    I love it :

    In light of the extensive and pervasive history of misconduct by Prenda and Duffy, and in
    light of their unrelenting course of obstructive and vexatious conduct in the instant cases (and
    elsewhere), Defendants respectfully request that the Court invoke its powers under Rule 11 and
    its inherent authority and dismiss the claims filed against Defendants by Prenda and Paul Duffy
    in their entirety. No lesser sanction has proved effective.

    For a second there I thought this would automatically mean that Russell gets attorney's fees – but this isn't a copyright case. Anybody remember whether there's a relevant anti-SLAPP statute with a fee-shifting provision?

  206. says

    @TAC So do you think their end-game is to get the money offshore and flee the country? Or do they simply not care about their reputations, because they figure they aren't going to see any jail time and they'll be living large on all the settlements people have paid?

  207. Guest says

    @WDS: I might be overly positive on this, but I'm seeing this as the judge calling Malibu Media's bluff after they tipped their hand in a bid to discredit the defendant. I'm interested to see what Malibu does next; throw more arguments at the wall to see if anything sticks, or perform damage control and pull out before they bite off more than they can chew. Neither option gives them credit or legitimacy.

    Newflash to copyright holders: When suing people, mentioning unverified evidence of other alleged acts of copyright infringement involving works you don't own the rights to is playground-level at best ("But he started it!"). It makes you look pettier than ever.

  208. Dr. Wu says

    @Jonathan Kamens: "…this morning, counsel for Alan Cooper and Paul Godfread, Erin Russell, presented a motion for sanctions in ILND."

    To be honest, I felt guilty reading this filing for free. The entertainment value alone has to be at least $100.

  209. That Anonymous Coward says

    @Jonathan Kamens – They have gotten so many passes from the judiciary, they might feel they are mostly bullet proof. They have angered MANY Judges before Judge Wright, but none did anything beyond make them look for more fertile ground.

    They were ordered (IIRC) not to use a list of names from a case where they cut and run when questions happened, the fallout of that is the Harris case in AZ.
    How does one file a named case against a defendant when the only thing you had to work with is an IP address and no subpoena from an AZ court identifying the account holder?

    At worst if any of the acronyms act and hellfire rains down…
    – oooh club fed.
    – a search for cash that they have had long periods of time to loose track of.
    – tons of victims who will be unwilling to proceed in civil cases, simply to avoid their name attached to porn, the reason they paid in the first place.
    – a paralegal/CEO/bill collector/corporate representative/fugitive from justice who is going to end up holding the bag for the empty shells.

    Yeah they are going to cash out, the question is how much more can they get before the jig is up. They legal system won't let us jail them until CID or AG can dig into the money flow… so there is lots of time for them to walk around.

    If they manage to get disbarred, they know how to acquire or create their own copyrights and find a hungry lawyer willing to bite on a CL ad looking for representation for an easy case and a nice retainer.

    @Guest – not to mention trying to pretend they are good guys with a crying client, while claiming a target downloaded bestiality porn. Lets not forget the letter to a target they KNEW was innocent demanding he just pay them now or they would make it cost more for him. Crying client might work on the stand and make the Judge angry at those mean people at TPB for ignoring or mocking a DMCA notice… so angry they seem to have forgotten that the DMCA isn't a worldwide law or not ask the obvious question – why after all of the claimed dollars spent to re-secure their systems are they still getting hacked on a regular basis and copies of content not released yet ends up online like clockwork.

    I have a question for the IAAL crowd.
    Will any of the acronyms actually move against the remnants of Pretenda while there are active cases targeting them or their clients?
    Or would they wait until the boards are cleared to avoid interfering in their right to defend themselves?
    This, to my untrained eye, looks like why some of these Sisyphean efforts continue. I do not believe we are close to 7 figures in sanctions and fees yet, so hardly a dent in what was claimed in the Forbes interview long ago.

  210. James says

    @That Anonymous Coward I am not a lawyer, but as a CPA can practice before the IRS and some courts. I can promise you that if the IRS smells money they will not hesitate to collect what is owed using any and all means at their disposal regardless of whether that is prejudicial to the taxpayer in some other matter. Their only job is to collect the taxes owed and they do so with ruthless efficiency (along with fear, surprise, and an almost fanatical devotion to the pope). Remember that taxation matters are normally civil cases where the Commissioner of Internal Revenue is entitled to a rebuttable presumption that he is correct.

    I can't speak for the other alphabet agencies or how the criminal division of the IRS would view things. Tax fraud is much harder to prove than a mere civil tax deficiency which is why they might take a lot more time to build a case. However, I seriously doubt the Treasury is going to worry about the parallel cases when making a decision to prosecute if it comes to that.

  211. earthclanbootstrap says

    As I read the (thoroughly enjoyable) motion for sanctions filed by Erin Russell I couldn't help but imagine one of the Prenda idiots breaking down and exclaiming "She tasks me! She tasks me!".

  212. Jim Tyre says

    In Navasca, Duffy just doesn't quit:


    Judge: Hon. Edward M. Chen
    Magistrate Judge: Hon. Nandor J. Vadas

    AF Holdings, LLC (“AF Holdings”) hereby applies to this Court for an order granting it leave to submit an affidavit of its principal, Mark Lutz, for in camera inspection to the Court, to determine whether it should be filed publicly. In the alternative, Plaintiff respectfully requests that the Court allow it the opportunity to make an offer of proof for purposes of establishing whether the reasons for his absence from the evidentiary hearing on August 28, 2013 should be made public.

    The Court on September 5, 2013 denied Plaintiff’s prior request to submit an affidavit under seal and indicated that the principal should have taken further efforts to ensure that he was present at the August 28, 2013 evidentiary hearing. However, Plaintiff is informed and believes that Mr. Lutz was prevented from boarding his aircraft to travel from Miami Beach, Florida to San Francisco California for reasons that were completely unforeseeable to him at the time and entirely beyond his control. Mr. Lutz has informed Plaintiff that he wishes to explain to the Court the reasons for his absence, but the reasons are of a very sensitive nature and would expose Mr. Lutz to undue scrutiny, particularly in this case, where counsel for Defendant has artificially publicized its importance throughout the country. Undersigned counsel believes in good faith that the Court may determine that the reasons Mr. Lutz is prepared to give to explain his absence were wholly outside of his control and establish good cause to justify his absence. Plaintiff does not make this request lightly.

    At this time, Plaintiff is not seeking in camera review of any affidavit relating to substantive matters at issue in the evidentiary hearing, and is not seeking leave to file the affidavit under seal, which the Court has clearly already denied. Plaintiff is solely asking the Court to preliminarily review an affidavit, in camera, in which Mr. Lutz is expected to explain his inability to attend that hearing, for reasons wholly beyond his control. Plaintiff, in the alternative, requests that the Court allow it to make an offer of proof which Plaintiff believes may allow it to establish that the affidavit should not be made public.

    Respectfully submitted,
    AF Holdings, LLC
    DATED: September 11, 2013
    By: s/ Paul A. Duffy
    One of its attorneys
    Paul A. Duffy, Esq.
    2 N. LaSalle Street
    13th Floor
    Chicago, IL 60602
    (312) 952-6136

  213. Lucius says

    It seems clear to me that Duffy did not write this application. It is Hansmeier's writing style, although Steele could have done it as well.

    Notice that Duffy is no longer stating things as facts for which he could be accountable. He is being covered by writing only that he was told such things by Lutz. Does this mean they have voted for Lutz to be next under the bus?

    From anyone else, the request for a review of "sensitive" personal details before public filing might have some merit. I hope by now the judge has seen that these ridiculously-thin excuses for more delay have no end.

    In the past, each time Prenda has claimed some dramatic information or proof that will change everything, nothing meaningful is produced. Wasn't there some old tale about a little boy who kept yelling "fire!" falsely until everyone had to learn to stop wasting time, and ignore his yelling?

    I'd like to see the attempted excuse, though. Being stopped from boarding by some thugs at the airport would hardly be a private affair. Neither would some serious illness, having lost his wallet, being drunk, or tending the needs of future unborn children.

  214. whheydt says

    Re: Jim Tyre…

    IANAL…wouldn't such an in camera examination also include opposing counsel?

    On a more specific point….

    So Duffy is saying that he "believes" that Lutz was barred from boarding the plane, therefore we know the ostensible reason why Lutz wasn't there. Clearly, what Duffy wants to conceal is *why* Lutz was barred from boarding the plane. (Of course that begs the question of why Duffy was quoted in court stating that Lutz was in the Bay Area and on his way to the courtroom, which implies that Duffy may have directly lied in that matter…on a "knew or should have known" basis.)

    I did some speculation earlier, but now perhaps we might collectively try to come up with as complete (and, perhaps, outrageous) list of reasons why he was denied boarding.

    To kick things off…

    1. The IRS has placed Lutz on the No Fly list to prevent him from fleeing the country.

    2. His ticket payment (credit card or check) bounced.

    3. The pilot has been following the Prenda saga and refused to allow Lutz on his plane.

    4. Lutz was packing heat when he went through the security line.

    5. Lutz mouthed off to the TSA agents, and in the ensuing "discussions", missed his flight.

    6. Lutz misread the flight information and failed to find the right airport gate (or even airport) in time and missed his flight.

    Anyone else have scenarios they'd care to add to the list?

  215. says

    1.1 Given Lutz's mysterious Mexican adventure, some may speculate that something not-so-allowed was found in his luggage.

  216. Bystander says

    7. Lutz was instructed by Steele et. al. not to attend the hearing because they knew if he showed up, and had to answer questions, the result would be even more disastrous than if he didn't show up at all.

  217. says

    Actually, Bystander's #7 is rather a proto-reason. It is quite obvious that Lutz on the witness stand is the last thing the gang wants.

  218. says

    Another thought: seems that something similar to the Streisand Effect is taking place as we speak. It would be better to try to keep ignorant about the reasons and kind of throw Lutz under the bus, adding yet another state where he is wanted. Instead, they panicked and acknowledged that something really worth hiding exists, thus, provoked increased scrutiny — here, and, hopefully, by the judge.

  219. Resolute says

    Personally, I would love to see Vadas deny this request on the basis that the court simply accepts in good faith that Lutz was prevented against his will from boarding his flight. And it its good faith, the court will grant Lutz a second opportunity to appear in person to address questions left unanswered after the last hearing.

  220. James says

    Reason #10 – John Steele was in his carry-on and so it would not fit in the overhead compartment or under the seat in front of him.

    Reason #11 – His mere presence on the plane made the other passengers nauseous and the flight crew didn't want to run out of Prenda air sickness bags.

  221. Jim Tyre says


    IANAL…wouldn't such an in camera examination also include opposing counsel?

    No. In context, in camera means without the other side seeing it. Of course, the judge has discretion to show it to the other side after looking at it, but if the judge agrees to in camera review, the other side does not get to see it automatically.


    8 Lutz tried to go through security wearing a T-Shirt that said "I am the BOMB".

    Perhaps, like me, Lutz has a lapel pin which says "Suspected Terrorist." Because we all are.

  222. Lucius says

    Reason #12: Lutz lost track of the time while watching downloaded pornography. It would be humiliating and unjust to file a public court document claiming someone was watching pornography.

  223. GrimGhost says

    So, Lutz was told to be at a hearing, the whole purpose of which was to anzswer questions under cross-examination by opposing counsel.

    Lutz didn't show.

    Now Lutz wants to give a deposition, not about those substantive questions, but just about why he missed the meeting. But there would be no hostile questioning.

    When a judge writes "It is so ordered," what Prenda hears is "It is tentatively suggested, if that's okay with you."

  224. Katherine says

    My guess: Lutz is a terrible actor and cannot be counted on to tell a convincing lie while under oath. Therefore Steele is keeping him as far from the witness stand as possible.

  225. MarkH says

    Isn't what they are doing now a form of the Streisand Effect where they specifically file in a public forum "Ok, something really REALLY sensitive coming up that EVERYONE is going to want to talk about right across the country! Please avert your eyes! Don't look here", only to have the entire internet watch even more closely and simply believe all the stories, all of which are likely even more embarrassing.

    Not to mention people can think of many, many unsavory reasons for missing the hearing which all stem from some previous revelation.

  226. That Anonymous Coward says

    @Jim Tyre – Of the button was a gift from Steele to Lutz who was unable to read it, as it was upside down.

    Something something stuck in a hot pie, burns leaving him unable to sit for extended periods….

    Something something was dodging a depo in GA and got confused about who he was hiding from.

    We think so little of your court we didn't feel we had to bother. Your not going to do anything real to us anyways, so just suck it up cupcake and move on.

    Sadly I think that last one is pretty close to the truth.

  227. Christenson says

    At this point I'd counterfile on the point: How to reconcile the statement that Lutz was on the ground near the court and missed his plane??

    I think the judge can take it from there. In camera review?? Sounds like Lutz needs advice from a lawyer he can't quite hire!

  228. GrimGhost says

    @Katherine — I understand the tactical reasoning. What I don't understand is how someone, when told to come to court, just … doesn't show up. And waits a full week to file a written response. A high-school-dropout drug dealer knows better than to miss a court appearance, but Lutz doesn't show up. And THEN, after Lutz is a no-show, NOTHING HAPPENS! No arrest, no civil contempt, no criminal contempt, nothing. If I were a crooked lawyer, I would be very encouraged by the Prenda story — even when judges KNOW you're a lying shyster, they offer you a brandy and a cigar at least once a week.

  229. That Anonymous Coward says

    @Christenson – They made him CEO of the shell that they collected fsck tons of cash for. Think there isn't a lawyer out there that would be willing to help him sue his former firm to obtain the cash due him? He signed onto be the next bus speed bump for Pretenda, he's ripe for the picking.

    @GrimGhost – and you now see first hand the reason I have much contempt for most of the Judges in these cases. The treatment of the lawyers is far better than that afforded anyone else. They rarely faced anything more than a smack on the nose with a rolled up newspaper, and were allowed to proceed forward. Despite breaking many of the rules, they were given pass after pass. Look at the Judge in MN who couldn't grasp that Alan Cooper was the victim, read the riot act at him, and then just kicked the can down the road for another Judge to have to clean up later.

  230. mcinsand says

    Ms. Russell's filing is truly a work of art. Words like 'deception,' 'misrepresented,' and 'false' were easy to anticipate, especially since they are almost impossible to avoid when trying to describe Prenda while being polite at all. However, when 'sham' and 'preposterous' came in, that was magic! Although those words have a lot more spice, Prenda has worked overtime to earn them. Then there is that word 'contumacious'; that's a word worth learning and keeping.

    As for Lutz not showing, and as for team Prenda trying to weasel out of an appearance, the smell of manure still lingers. The situation would be different if Prenda's crowd had once shown any willingness to be honest, forthcoming, or complete in communications, then maybe they'd deserve some slack. However, we have all kept up with the events. At the very least, I would think that they would be on the hook for any costs related to failure to have Lutz present, such as travel and preparation for a make-up testimony and examination. We don't know what Lutz' excuse will be, but, at this point, it doesn't really matter. He knew he was supposed to be at the deposition, and he most likely has the ability to find the time… which would tell him that he was not in the courtroom when he was supposed to be there. Forget the problem with him waiting days to file anything, he should have been on the phone with the court when he was in one city when he was supposed to be in another.

    This accounting of Duffy's behavior as an attorney is damning, to say the least. At what point do bar associations start to pay attention?

  231. Christenson says

    This "nice treatment for us" is a problem in GENERAL with the court system. Yes, a criminal or civil defendant who did that faces immediate penalties, but not shysters…they are one of US, not one of them! They are people, not things to the court, not perps….as Popehat pointed out in discussing a movie about the last 24 hours in the life of someone murdered by the cops.

  232. Mike says

    I don't agree that the court's failure to issue an arrest warrant, sanction, or otherwise punish Lutz is some kind of evidence of a double standard. I don't see any actual order that compelled Lutz's attendance. I read the order re the hearing and it doesn't even mention Lutz:

    Prenda saying that Lutz was going to be the rep who would appear on behalf of AF Holdings is not the same as the Court ordering Lutz to appear.

  233. Mike says

    Correction: the order mentions Lutz, but does not compel his attendance; nor does it appear to compel the specific attendance of an AF Holdings rep (i.e., anyone apart from counsel)

  234. rsteinmetz70112 says

    @Mike That's the way I understand it as well.

    Based on the limited reports we have it appears that Lutz was not actually called and no one asked AF to answer the judges questions.

    Maybe representations were made in the hearing about Lutz testifying. We won't know until we see a transcript.

    AF may claim to have had a bunch of material ready to submit, but never being called for they didn't submit it.

    When I've been deposed in the past often certain things would be mentioned as the subject of the deposition but would never come up at the actual deposition.

    I'm not sure where we go from here.

  235. says

    Judge Vadas denies the second motion:

    Plaintiff’s vague allegations of “sensitivity,” the fact that Plaintiff makes this representation on information and belief, and Plaintiff’s litigation strategy to date, all suggest that Lutz’s absence and his attempt to excuse it after the fact amount to gamesmanship.

  236. CuriousLayman says

    "Lutz has informed Plaintiff…" I am intrigued by this concept. What does it mean, legally, for the sole officer of a corporation to "inform" the corporation of something? Have a conversation with himself? Send a letter from his home address to his corporate address? If Lutz can inform AFH, can he also lie to AFH?

  237. anne mouse says

    Vadas must be having a slow day. I was betting that the denial order would be no more than three sentences long.
    He's leaving the door open for Lutz to file a regular motion to seal (local rule 79-5), which tells me he doesn't plan to rule right away on the substance of the hearing. Can anybody find the deadline for filing "the dog ate my airplane ticket" motions?

  238. mcinsand says

    @Mike, I'm a bit confused now. I hear what you're saying, but Lutz not being there is apparently an issue that the judge and Duffy feel required to address. If Lutz was not compelled to be at the hearing, why would Duffy be filing the motion to explain potentially-embarrassing excuses in private? I'm not questioning you, Mike; I'm just wanting to see what I'm missing.

  239. Anonymous says

    @mcinsand: This was a hearing on Navasca's motion for sanctions. Navasca has made a number of damning claims about AF Holdings, which the judge said they should be prepared to respond to at the hearing.

    AF Holdings didn't answer those questions at the hearing, though; they said Lutz was the only one who could answer them, and he wasn't there. The judge is therefore likely to rule against them on the motion for sanctions unless they can come up with a really good excuse.

  240. Lucius says

    Ah, that is a much clearer perspective, thank you. So it sounds like Prenda had to decide which was the worse choice: Accept the sanctions without making a case against them, or allow Lutz to testify.

    Assuming the crack Prenda team of attorneys was on top of this, logically, one could conclude that Lutz's testimony would expose dirty laundry more damaging than the relatively minor cost of the sanction. Of course, there is that problem with assumptions …

  241. says

    Can anyone remind what is set to tomorrow? Some Prenda-related deadline. Hope it will be a nice birthday present to Mark Lutz. He will turn 36 tomorrow.

  242. mcinsand says

    @Anonymous, That makes sense. Basically, then, Lutz was implicitly required to be there. Even if he had prepared detailed notes, affidavits, etc. and gave those to Duffy, those can't be cross-examined. Still, is telephone testimony accepted, as a last resort? No matter where Lutz is, we can generally make calls from any point in the country to any other point in the country.

  243. rsteinmetz70112 says


    I don't think someone can "implicitly" be required to attend a hearing. Lutz was not specifically required to attend. AF was required to "be prepared" to answer certain questions. Those answers could be delivered through counsel or via affidavits, or representations to the court. However it appears no one actually asked for the answers.

    I expect the Judge to schedule a hearing in the near future and to tighten the requirements for attendance.

  244. Bystander says

    Well, we haven't seen the transcript yet, but according to at least one tweet:

    Parker Higgins ‏@xor 28 Aug
    Judge Vadas asks: "Where did the money go?"
    Duffy: "What money? The settlement money?"

    the judge did ask for answers and apparently didn't get them.

  245. Matthew Cline says

    Judge Vadas asks: "Where did the money go?"
    Duffy: "What money? The settlement money?"

    Well, that's just precious.

  246. James says

    @JT Better than the book is the customer review. You have to wonder if that was written by one of Jacques' many fans since they seem familiar with his disdain for the use of punctuation.

  247. anne mouse says


    Amazon has a "look inside" feature. Thanks, I needed a laugh today.
    (But let's keep in mind that it might be a different JN or even a malicious prank.)

  248. rsteinmetz70112 says

    The whole Lutz thing seems to me to be designed to allow Prenda to continue to argue that there is "no evidence". Eventually someone in one of the cases is going to get Lutz under oath.

  249. Apotropaist says

    @SJD. Here is the deadline for today I noticed, copied from a previous comment

    During the August 28, 2013 evidentiary hearing, counsel for Plaintiff moved to file certain of Defendant’s exhibits under seal. Counsel has not yet filed a motion for protective order or a stipulated protective order. Counsel shall do so no later than 4:00 p.m. on Friday, September 13, 2013. Failure to do so will cause the court to file all exhibits unsealed.

    Dated: September 10, 2013
    United States Magistrate Judge

  250. Scote says

    I'm wondering if the "sensitive" nature of the reason Lutz couldn't board a plane was related to his reported arrest warrants. I wouldn't be surprised if Lutz doesn't have a current driver's license or other government ID. Kind of hard to get if he's a wanted man.

    Although it is theoretically possible to pass through a TSA checkpoint without ID, you generally have to show a currently valid government ID to pass through.

    On the other hand, Prenda, being Prenda, could just be lying out its arse and never intended Lutz to show up at all. Don't know…

  251. Bystander says

    If, as Duffy says, they are "telephone records purportedly between Plaintiff’s former counsel Brett Gibbs and nonparties to the litigation," one wonders why it is necessary to redact "purported" phone numbers.

    Duffy then goes on to say the records "may include the personal telephone number of the undersigned." I'm curious to know if they actually do include Duffy's personal telephone number. (For that matter, they may include the personal telephone number of the Pope.)

  252. V says

    re: gov.uscourts.cand.254869.113.0
    They move for an "order to seal documents with the personal telephone numbers of nonparties". Duffy names himself as an example of a non-party in paragraph 7 and lists a phone number at the top and on page 4.
    Tell me that does not qualify as his personal number and that not all their documents are going to be filed sealed if the order is granted.

  253. Apotropaist says

    Does this mean any document he wants sealed will be sealed if it has a phone number in it? Because then they will just throw a phone number in every document. Can the judge just seal the phone numbers themselves and release the rest?

  254. whheydt says

    Re: Apotropaist

    After following Groklaw for a decade, I believe the solution is to redact the document and allow public access to the redacted version. So far as I know, the judge could that exactly that be done.

  255. WDS says


    The motion asks that "Defendant Documents" with personal phone numbers be sealed.


    I object to being called pro-infringement rather than anti-troll. There is a big difference.

  256. anne mouse says

    (Hope this doesn't appear twice – entered the wrong email a second ago)

    Wow, nice bit of weaseling there. Compare paragraph 8 to paragraph 10, and then look at the proposed order on page 6. Classic "don't worry, I only want X, so give me X plus infinity."

    I guess paragraph 9 is so strangely incomplete on purpose, so people will get bewildered and distracted between 8 and 10.

  257. Lucius says

    The whole purpose of the phone records was to show that Prenda was lying when they claimed that Brett Gibbs was operating totally independently without close supervision. The phone number Gibbs was in constant communication with was Hansmeier's, and it needs to be shown to prove that.

    If Duffy were to stipulate clearly that the heavily-used number is indeed Paul Hansmeier's private personal number, then, and only then, redacting it would make sense, and only if it is not an attorney contact number provided in other court documents already filed.

    Since when is Paul Hansmeier a "non-party" to any of this? Sure, he may not be named as the plaintiff, but he is obviously hiding behind the shell used as the plaintiff, and lurks behind everything Duffy does. Exposing this is part of establishing the extent of fraud on the court.

  258. WDS says


    I agree with most of what you say, but it's only redacted for us, not for the court. The point is still proven without you and I being able to easily call Paul up, to tell him we think his business plan sucks.

  259. Lucius says

    Fair enough. However, I think it is necessary that someone trusted see the unredacted document, then publicly file the conclusion that it is Hansmeier's number. Defense and other attorneys will need to use this conclusion, confident that it is true.

    Doesn't Brett Gibbs have the right to post his own phone record anywhere else he wishes? If he does so, would there be a good reason to redact only the copy filed with the court?

  260. rsteinmetz70112 says

    Some courts have rules requiring redacting of personally identifiable information. The other side will always have access to the redacted information.

  261. rsteinmetz70112 says

    Expect to see a response asking that redacted versions be made public.

    Also is Duffy using a new email address? @pduffygroup?

  262. Eric says

    Quick Google search pulled up this site:

    Duffy Law Not much on the site, looks like it was just setup.

    Correction, site registered in March 2013. May still have just been setup though. Nothing on the site about the "law group" other than contact information.

    Whois for

  263. Lucius says

    I hope the court focus is not distracted from the main sanction issues by the distracting flack Prenda is throwing out to obscure the view.

    First, it is an attempt to divert attention to the reason why Mark Lutz did not show up as the only person designated to "know" anything about the empty-shell plaintiff. Now is it an attempt to divert attention to possibly suppress a heavily-used telephone number that shows Prenda had lied to the court.

    Judge Vadas's questions about AF Holding still stand, and should be asked more strongly until Penda answers them.

    However, the Streisand Effect could make even the discussion of Prenda's flack diversions far more revealing than Prenda intended.

  264. Christenson says

    As a member of the public, I suggest, to the defense, that an appropriate redaction of phone numbers be similar to what happens when my credit card number gets printed: Just use the last 4 digits and the area code.

    This keeps the number confidential from those that might use the number maliciously, (we don't want someone reprogramming these phones to give out electric shocks in the middle of the night). However, if the number has been used maliciously, as in collection efforts, the last 4 digits allows nonparties it has been used against to recognize it from their caller ID's.

  265. Jim Tyre says

    Re: Dkt. No. 113
    Plaintiff’s ex parte application to redact the phone numbers of non-parties is granted.
    Within 5 days of this order, Defendant shall provide redacted versions of his Exhibits A & B to the
    court, as well as redacted versions of any exhibits that contain the contact information for nonparties.
    Dated: September 16, 2013
    United States Magistrate Judge

  266. Jim Tyre says

    Judge: Hon. Edward M. Chen
    Magistrate Judge: Hon. Nandor J. Vadas

    AF Holdings, LLC (“AF Holdings”) respectfully submits this notice of filing of the Affidavit of Mark Lutz in connection with the August 28, 2013 evidentiary hearing in this matter. Mr. Lutz states in his awffidavit that he was detained by law enforcement personnel en route to San Francisco California from Florida, and was not able to board his plane order to participate and offer evidence at the hearing. As set forth in the affidavit, Plaintiff’s counsel was unaware of his whereabouts until after the date of the evidentiary hearing. Given the circumstances, Plaintiff respectfully requests that the Court not forego drawing negative inferences from Mr. Lutz’s inability to attend the August 28, 2013 hearing.
    Respectfully submitted,
    AF Holdings, LLC
    DATED: September 16, 2013
    By: s/ Paul A. Duffy
    One of its attorneys
    Paul A. Duffy, Esq.
    2 N. LaSalle Street
    13th Floor
    Chicago, IL 60602
    (312) 952-6136

    (Is an "awffidavit" an awful affidavit?)

    I, Mark Lutz, declare under penalty of perjury that the following statements are true and correct:

    1. I purchased a plane ticket to travel from Miami to San Francisco in order to attend a hearing before Judge Vadas on August 28, 2013. The flight was scheduled to leave Miami at approximately 8:30am and land at approximately 11:00 am on the morning of the hearing.

    2. When I arrived at Miami International Airport at approximately 5:30 am, I was detained by two federal authorities and was required to go with them to their office.

    3. I explained that I needed to attend a hearing later that day in San Francisco and I was told "No, you have to come with us".

    4. I ended up being detained by those agents until approximately 10:00 pm that same day.

    5. At no time did I feel like I could refuse to assist the federal agents and I had no way to contact my attorney to let him know what was
    happening until the next day. I was not detained for any actions I took at the airport and had no way of knowing that I was going to
    be detained on that day until it happened.

    Sept. 13, 2013.

    (The affidavit is a hurried copy from a scanned doc, apologies for possible bad formatting, etc.)

  267. says

    Plaintiff respectfully requests that the Court not forego drawing negative inferences from Mr. Lutz’s inability to attend the August 28, 2013 hearing.

    (Emphasis added.)

    I hope the judge gives them what they requested?

  268. whheydt says

    "Plaintiff respectfully requests that the Court not forego drawing negative inferences from Mr. Lutz’s inability to attend the August 28, 2013 hearing."

    Huh? They WANT the judge to 'draw negative inferences' from Lutz failure to show up?

    That's not a typo…that's a "thinko".

  269. anne mouse says

    OK, I've become pretty good at translating from Prenglish, so let me give this one a shot:
    " I was not detained for any actions I took at the airport and had no way of knowing that I was going to
    be detained on that day until it happened."

    Sounds like:

    I took actions that led to my detention. I was expecting to be detained when the authorities caught up to me, I just had no way of knowing which day that would happen.

  270. anne mouse says

    PS Ken, "Federal authorities" could be anybody. If you were looking for a fugitive and happened to find his name on Google in association with this hearing, you could pretty quickly guess which flight he'd be trying to board, and confirm with the airline that he's got a ticket. Maybe he's been staying away from his office and home but they had reason to think he's still in the same city?

  271. says

    5. At no time did I feel like I could refuse to assist the federal agents and I had no way to contact my attorney to let him know what was
    happening until the next day. I was not detained for any actions I took at the airport and had no way of knowing that I was going to be detained on that day until it happened.

    Being refused to contact an attorney? Not that he couldn't reach Duffy: many witnesses saw Duffy with an operational phone. Does not it smell BS big time? It may piss off the feds if they learn about this affidavit.

  272. says

    To the best of my knowledge, the only Lutz's appearance in a courtroom in recent months was in Phoenix, the Harris's case (God bless this man).

    I have a gut feeling that he drove there — by himself or with someone else, ore used bus/train.

  273. whheydt says

    That affidavit opens more questions than it answers…

    The flight time looks okay…8:30 AM (assume EDT) departure and 11:00 AM (assume PDT) arrival, makes it a 5.5 hour flight. Should get him into the Civic Center area of SF (where the Federal Courthouse is) by about noon. The hearing was in the afternoon, wasn't it?

    But Lutz says he got to the airport at 5:30 AM. Really? Three hours early for a domestic flight for what is presumably a one day (or, at most) a single night stay? Seems a bit excessive…

    Detained from 5:30AM until 10:00PM (17.5 hours)? That must have been some conversation. I hope they fed him at least a couple of meals.

    Couldn't contact his attorney? I *guess* that means no actual arrest and no reading of rights.

    Also not that Duffy's late filings were *before* Lutz' little problem. Did Duffy perhaps anticipate that Lutz wouldn't make it and hoped that late filings would delay the hearing?

    Does look like my point earlier in the thread about asking Duffy to prove that Lutz was even on a flight would have been a good one.

    Maybe Mr. Lutz should be given an escort next time with someone that local authorities and/or TSA won't try to slow down. Federal Marshals would probably do…

  274. Dan says

    @Jim Tyre
    The magistrate's report looks pretty positive to me–granted, it doesn't give the sanctions in the way they were requested, but it recommends back-dooring them in a way that's less subject to legal challenge. The discussion of issue preclusion also seems pretty helpful–the more orders like this come out, the less the Prenda bunch will be able to litigate in future proceedings.

  275. Jim Tyre says

    Good analysis, Dan. There are limits to what a judge can do, and I think that Judge Vadas was correct in his jurisdiction analysis. That limited what he could do, but he found a way to give Navasca at least some of what he wanted.

    And yes, issue preclusion indeed is important.

    Q to all – is there another live Prenda case in which issue preclusion is an issue? I think so, but I can't put my virtual finger on it.

  276. Klaus says

    @Jim Tyre,

    I actually like Judge Vadas "findings of facts" very much – they are pretty telling and a good summing-up of recent prenda-related developments. I could well imagine his report will get used by other prenda-victims in the future.

    The "alter ego" construct for me is the legal missing link to nail S|H. That he is looking for a sound legal construct to make them pay up might be smarter than face further "no jurisdiction" shenanigans/delays/runarounds.

    While IANAL, no mixed feelings here, besides, maybe … the prenda-saga might come to an halt soon, but hey, no hard feelings, we still have MM/Lipscum to make our day ….



  277. JR says

    I really liked

    AF‟s counsel is apparently not familiar with the rules of federal procedure, or with basic principles of motion practice.

    That is going to leave a mark

  278. says

    Q to all – is there another live Prenda case in which issue preclusion is an issue?
    This is where the prenda wiki ( for now) would be really handy, but we need people volunteering some time and effort to fill in all the cases and pages and analysis. etc.

    I'm on really limited time atm, since I'm in the middle of moving.

  279. PonyMaster2k says

    Is it possible that the district court takes Judge Vadas' findings and use them to refer to the FBI and IRS:CID, as Judge Wright did?

  280. says

    Also, do judges have any investigative power? I mean if I call Miami airport, even if I find those agents, they won't talk to me. Can a judge via clerks or marshals find out more than mere mortals can?

  281. That Anonymous Coward says

    A man very familiar with the legal system in custody for that long and he never invoked? He wasn't outside the border so he still had his rights.

    One would expect that he should have been able to get a note from the acronym that detained him excusing him from court. I would hope that an agent would think twice before raising the ire of a Federal Judge so they could attempt to get information. The man was going into a Federal Court, its not like he could ninja vanish.

  282. Daniel Neely says

    @whheydt Do we know how far Lutz lives from the airport? I generally plan for 2.5-3 hours early arrival because I really don't want to miss my flight and end up wedged in a middle seat. A 2 hour drive crossing Pittsburgh has enough traffic snafu potential that I want an hour for that, an hour to clear security even if there's a snafu there, 30m to make sure I can walk everywhere and not break a sweat, and 30m if I also need to check bags/print a boarding pass at the airport.

  283. Myk says

    Maybe Lutz phoned in an anonymous alert that a wanted individual named Mark Lutz would be attempting to board that day and he is also a flight risk currently under investigation by the alphabets. That would possibly explain the lengthy time period – sequential "you're not under arrest, just helping with our enquiries" by IRS & FBI ("two Federal Authorities" – as opposed to "two Federal Agents").

    That he felt it necessary to explain that he was not detained for anything he did at the airport is, to me, significant; it indicates either his previous sojourn south of the border, his outstanding warrants, or the Prenda saga were the reason/s.

  284. Dormammu says shows that there were flights on August 28th matching the times Lutz lists in his document, so that part of his story could be true (though I don't buy it). However, he skipped out on the Patel deposition and has never explained why he did so. It could not have been for this reason because according to him it was completely unexpected. It will be interesting to see what he says if he ever does have to account for that failure.

    Also, his wording is interesting. He was detained by "two federal authorities" (I presume he meant agents) and felt compelled to assist them. Which authorities would detain him for 17.5 hours but not arrest him? Are there any plausible candidates? A quick Google search shows the average TSA detention time to be 1-4 hours. One man was detained for 25 hours but that was because he joked about having a bomb. Lutz says his actions at the airport were not a factor, so it must have been something he did outside the airport. Outstanding warrants? Federal grand jury or IRS CID personnel?

  285. AlanF says

    Perhaps Lutz has a couple of friends who work at a federal agency (Department of Agriculture, for instance), who met him at the airport and suggested that he join them in the airport bar (their "office") for a few beers (OK, a lot of them) while discussing the important matters of the day. That would match his story.

  286. whheydt says

    Re: Daniel Neely…

    I agree about leaving extra time. I do that myself when I have to go anywhere as I live in the SF Bay Area and many trips go through heavily congested areas.

    However… To arrive at the airport at 5:30AM Lutz must have left home early enough that a trip at the nominal speed limits over his route would mean that there were no unexpected delays, AND (more importantly, at least to me) does he live in an area that has noticeable traffic delays prior to 5:30 AM? That second point seems…unlikely.

    What the early arrival claim appears to be is a way to assert that he arrived at the airport in plenty of time to catch his flight and deflect questions away from his own behavior.

    Pretty much the only way to verify the claim would be access to whatever documents the "authorities" retained giving their version of the time line.

    The affidavit would be a lot more compelling if Lutz had mentioned *why* he was detained for 17.5 hours by specifying what they wanted to talk to him about.

    Unsurprisingly when it comes to the Prendanistas, the whole thing appears to be fishy.

  287. Christenson says

    How about your favorite TLA was making him a difficult offer he couldn't refuse, like tell us all about Steele and Hansmeier and where the money went or we'll make very sure *YOU* are under the bus???

    (And maybe checking out whether Lutz is a mastermind or a willing, but clumsy follower like we think he is)

    Plausible, anyway…not sure how probable, given the proven track record of mendacity. Something similar happened when Anonymous member Sabu was turned informant. A decent lawyer and some cash should have made those warrants trivial.

  288. That Anonymous Coward says

    @AlanF – that would be funny if not for 1 tiny factiod… one of the Pretenda parties has a family member inside the IRS.
    That's gotta look good at review time.

  289. James says

    So Lutz tries to come off in his awfuldavit that he is totally innocent and the court should excuse his absence and believe everything he says,


    He was detained by two law enforcement personnel (presumable the kinds with handcuffs) for something unrelated to this trip.

    The phrase "the words don't go with the music" come to mind.

  290. says

    Christenson: Sabu did it for the kids. Lutz does not have kits, hence nothing should divert him from the dedication to fighting piracy.

  291. AlanF says

    @James — You say "law enforcement personnel", but nowhere does Lutz make that claim. He simply says "federal authorities", which could mean anyone employed by the federal government who is an authority on something. Such as an IRS employee who is an authority on an obscure section of tax law, or a Department of Agriculture employee who knows everything about crop pests.

    You have to parse everything they say very carefully!

  292. Gordon Bombay says

    New doc in the Minnesota State case (Hennepin County) Cooper v Steele et al. (27-CV-13-3463) It is titled "Order-Other" and came out Friday the 13th. Anyone (Minnesota people maybe?) enterprising enough to get document?

  293. That Anonymous Coward says

    They have more rights in this country than born children! :D

    You know what would have made his story more believable?
    A copy of his boarding pass.

  294. jimmythefly says

    5. At no time did I feel like I could refuse to assist the federal agents and I had no way to contact my attorney to let him know what was
    happening until the next day. I was not detained for any actions I took at the airport and had no way of knowing that I was going to be detained on that day until it happened.

    Probably just another bit of mangled thinking/typing, but:

    Does this imply that Duffy is his personal attorney, in addition to being the attorney for AF Holdings? Does this imply anything about the nature of his detainment with regards to if it was him personally with the issue or if it was an AF Holdings issue and as the officer he was detained?

    I wonder about how little unconscious things manifest themselves in these types of statements. I mean, sure it's supposed to be this whole separate company AF Holdings, with it's own attorney. And Lutz is an individual with his own attorney, and there is a clear line between a person and the company they represent.

    But clearly in their minds it's basically one in the same. Lutz is AF Holdings.

  295. whheydt says

    Re: jimmythefly…

    I suspect it's just fuzziness on Lutz' part all the way around.

    For purposes of the hearing, Duffy would probably be the relevant lawyer, since Lutz was supposed to answer questions relating to AF.

    The two points I find interesting are:
    1. *Why* couldn't he contact "his lawyer"? Wouldn't those with him permit it (seems unlikely)? Didn't he have a contact number with him (seems remarkably stupid…)? He called, but his lawyer (Duffy?) didn't answer and didn't call back?

    2. He says he couldn't contact his lawyer until the next day. It did occur to him to call absolutely as soon as they let him go? Why not? At 10 PM EDT, it's only 7 PM PDT (where DUffy was), and even if his lawyer didn't answer to phone, he could still leave a message stating the overall situation.

    On the whole, if these guys showed any actual intelligence, one might suspect them of being careful about communications because of fear of having their phone calls monitored by one or more TLAs after Wright's order, but that doesn't *look* like the problem here. I just get the feeling that at least half the story is just plain missing.

    I've read a handful of affidavits over the years and this one strikes me a much less detailed and informative than others. Could one of the lawyers here comment on that aspect of it? Does it fail the "sniff test" by being so vague about so many things? Or is it reasonable to read this way if the reasons Lutz may have spent all day answering questions by agents of some governmental entity and that is actually irrelevant to the whole Prenda mess? If it is missing a lot that should be there, and they don't want that information to come out, why didn't they just file it under seal and then argue about keeping it sealed, with a fallback position of redacting the "sensitive" parts?

  296. James says

    Lutz can't have this both ways. Either he was under arrest, or else he wasn't. If he wasn't arrested he was under no obligation to stay with them, and if he was arrested he was under no obligation to speak to them without an attorney present. There is a pile of Supreme Court case law that makes it clear that the instant the person in custody asks to call his lawyer, the interview ends until the lawyer arrives.

    The only plausible scenario I can see is that Lutz was merely intimidated by the parties flashing credentials and just looking mean, otherwise he could have said "I don't want to talk to you" and gotten on the plane. You would think somebody that worked as a collector for Prenda would be able to spot and resist a high-pressure intimidation job. Hoist on his own petard?

  297. Vicki says

    Even if he thinks his calls are being tapped or otherwise monitored, he could have called the other Prenda people and told them "The feds kept me from flying to LA today. Please let everyone know. I'll give you more details later, but first I need to sleep." He's not going to get in trouble if they hear him saying that because it's what he's planning to swear to later.

  298. Dormammu says

    @ James: A more plausible scenario is that Lutz was just plain lying. I think he was never going to show up in San Francisco, just as he never showed up in Georgia, because he knows he will get eviscerated in a deposition or the stand. It would have been better for him to go to San Francisco and take the 5th rather than lie about being unable to attend.

  299. Scote says

    I think that is a very important point. All the careful parsing of what Lutz wrote is based on the assumption that Lutz is being truthful. There is no reason to assume he is, though the weasely and self-deprecating vagueness of the affidavit do suggest it could be an attempt by a bunch of fumble bums to make superficial and non-falsifiable affidavit. Sounds like it was written by PH.

    If the affidavit is true, one wonders if there is an arrest record for Lutz in Florida? On the other hand, he never said he was detained by LEOs, or that he was legally detained or arrested, or whether he was legally free to go.

  300. Scote says

    @Gordon Bombay
    Nice filing. It clearly lays out the timeline for Prenda, et. al., and shows convincingly that Steele stole AC's identity. The discovery from GoDaddy is really damning.

    There do seem to be a few typos, though, such as this footnote, which seems misplaced:

    " 'Allan Mooney,7…' 7 Hansmeier, using Prenda resources, has nurtured a practice of opposing settlements on behalf of unnamed class members "

    (I think the 7 was supposed to attache somewhere else)

    this from count I:

    "14. Prenda and Godfread cannot reach the clear and convincing standard, under any theory of law, as required by §554 regarding their allegations"

    (I think they mean "Prenda and Duffy")

    and this from count III

    "3. Prenda acted through its principals and officers, including Duffy, at all times relevant hereto.
    4. Duffy acted[sic]
    5. The use of Cooper’s name in this manner is both unlawful and…"

    I hope these minor typos don't negatively affect their amended filing, which is, overall, a good read.

  301. Lucius says

    Since Godfried and Cooper are asking for award of attorney and other costs, wouldn't it help to attach a list of costs so far?

    This might make it easier for the judge to make the award decision without facing the need to ask for details from scratch, and would help provide a solid baseline for any added punitive award as also suggested.

  302. says

    Indeed the document has too many typos, which is unfortunate, but forgivable: for Booth Sweet it is a rare exception, not a rule.

    And I learned a new word! "Retinue."

  303. JTG says

    Question for the lawyers. Since there seem to be several errors in this filing, how would that get corrected? Could they just file errata, or would they have to amend their complaint again?

  304. whheydt says

    Isn't the term or art for the kinds of typos that have been noted "scriveners error"?

    So,yeah…blame it on those ink-stained wretches toiling away to make the fair copies you need of your deathless prose.

  305. AlphaCentauri says

    I did some speculation earlier, but now perhaps we might collectively try to come up with as complete (and, perhaps, outrageous) list of reasons why he was denied boarding.

    14. The two federal employees were tow truck operators removing cars stopped in front of the departures entrance, and they don't take credit cards.

    15. His flight to SFO was at 8:30, but his flight to St. Kitts was at 7:45.

  306. Christenson says

    Not a tweeter, but a little coverage of the effects of using a lawyer's handling and mocking (as in Mark (K)Lutz) might be in order.

    I notice that Legally Erin has been busy filing very nice motions, rather than twittering!

  307. AlanF says

    Could you please post links to those motions?
    I only follow Popehat, DTD, and FCT, so I guess I'm missing a lot.

  308. Christenson says

    @alanF, the only additions to that I have is FCT's twitter feed, arstechnica, and techdirt….way to go Erin Russell!

  309. says

    @Christenson: kudos goes to Katherine for diligently checking Prenda documents and notifying us about new ones. I merely retweet.

  310. Jim Tyre says

    There must be some Prenda action somewhere. The corn farmers are starting to worry.


    Thanks to a recent dismissal of the case against the Pre-natal Non-Discrimination Act (PRENDA) in North Dakota, that state now is the first to have a law in place defending pre-born children with disabilities.

    Along with a ban on sex selective abortion, the North Dakota PRENDA law is the first of its kind to protect children diagnosed with Down Syndrome and other genetic abnormalities.


    You did mean that Prenda, didn't you? '-)

  311. PonyMaster2k says

    I'm trying to follow the argument/timeline made by Attorney Russel here:

    I'm having a hard time understanding what the gist of what happened is. As far as I can tell, Prenda deceived the court by filing a false document, but I'm missing the big picture and timeline overall. Can someone break down what happened and what this case is about in plain english?

  312. WDS says

    After Cooper files his identity theft suit, Prenda and it's principles filed three retaliatory suits in three different state courts, against Cooper & his attorney GodFread (C/G).

    After being served C/G moved to have the suits moved to federal court because of diversity.

    In an attempt to defeat diversity Prenda filed a modified complaint that was only accepted by the clerk because Prenda told them that no one had yet been served. This breaks a rule or two.

    In one of the two federal cases in Illinois Prenda moved to have the case returned to state court based on the fraudulently filed modified complaint, C/G pointed out the defects of the modified complaint and the motion was defeated with a ruling showing that it wasn't a close call.

    That case was then merged with the other Illinois case with the 2nd judge handling it.

    Prenda filed again to have the case moved back to state court based on the same fraudulently filed and already declared legally null modified complaint.

    The judge invited C/G to file for sanctions.

    They did.

  313. WDS says

    I should point out that the above post is based on recollection, not going back and reviewing the documents to make sure every thing is 100 %, but it is certainly the jest of it.

  314. Christenson says

    Excellent! Only thing you missed was Duffy representing to one judge he would object to the withdrawal of the remand motion, getting told by the judge he would need to make it in writing since it was on the edges of rule 11, then not doing it. It doesn't hurt that Alpha law firm's state is typographically wrong in the filing, and they lied to the judge about informing the defense. There's also mention of other big Prenda sanctions…Judge Wright, Judge Chen, Hennepin County.

  315. WDS says


    I thought that was when Duffy objected to having the two cases merged claiming they weren't the same thing.

  316. Jim Tyre says

    United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
    Notice of Docket Activity

    The following transaction was entered on 09/25/2013 at 1:25:08 PM PDT and filed on 09/25/2013
    Case Name: Ingenuity13 LLC v. John Doe
    Case Number: 13-55881

    Document(s): Document(s)

    Docket Text:
    Filed (ECF) notice of appearance of Daniel J. Voelker for – Ingenuity13 LLC and Appellant Prenda Law, Inc. in 13-55881, – Ingenuity13 LLC and Appellant Paul Hansmeier, Esquire in 13-55859, – Ingenuity13 LLC in 13-55871, Appellant Ingenuity13 LLC in 13-55880, – Ingenuity13 LLC and Appellant AF Holdings, LLC in 13-55882, – Ingenuity13 LLC and Appellant Paul Duffy in 13-55883, – Ingenuity13 LLC and Appellant John Steele in 13-55884, – Ingenuity13 LLC, Appellant Prenda Law, Inc. and Appellee Paul Duffy in 13-56028. Date of service: 09/25/2013. [8796477] [13-55881, 13-55859, 13-55871, 13-55880, 13-55882, 13-55883, 13-55884, 13-56028] (DJV)

  317. WDS says

    Anyone know anything about the Voelker Litigation Group?????

    The only thing I have found is that they are another Chicago firm.

  318. Daniel Neely says

    After what they did to Klinedinst, I wonder how much Voelker demanded up front before agreeing to work for the Prendanistas.

    Personally I'd want at least two of Lutz's unborn children.

  319. Dormammu says

    @ Jim Tyre: I didn't see Mark Lutz on that list. I wonder if he's going to go pro se; probably not a good idea given what happened to John Steele.

  320. Jim Tyre says

    @ Jim Tyre: I didn't see Mark Lutz on that list. I wonder if he's going to go pro se; probably not a good idea given what happened to John Steele.

    Nothing for Lutz to appeal, Judge Wright did not award any sanctions against him.

  321. Christenson says

    @WDS — it was, it was…Duffy claiming two identical cases weren't the same thing, which is why the judge wanted it IN WRITING. In a short space, only so much fits!
    A little something for the worried farmers– Judge Alsup can actually program, and he is sending patent trolls to explain their lies to a jury.

  322. ketchup says

    Does anyone here think that the North Dakota PRENDA act is designed to protect Mark Lutz's unborn children? This is too big of a coincidence to ignore!

  323. Jim Tyre says

    Anyone know anything about the Voelker Litigation Group?????

    Voelker has some experience with sanctions.


    Before COFFEY, EASTERBROOK, and WILLIAMS, Circuit Judges.

    WILLIAMS, Circuit Judge.

    Kauthar Sdn Bhd and three of its former attorneys, Daniel Voelker, William Howard, and William Factor, seek review of a bankruptcy court order sanctioning them for improper conduct during a bankruptcy proceeding. For various reasons, the appellants contend that the sanctions order must be reversed. Because the bankruptcy court committed no reversible error in sanctioning the appellants, however, we affirm.


  324. James says

    @Jim Tyre I like the opinion you linked. The 7th Circuit can usually be relied upon to throw the BS flag when lawyers and litigants misbehave, and Voelker seems to practice in the same style at Prenda. We can only hope the 9th Circuit will have a similar lack of patience.

  325. Lucius says

    Any thoughts on why Prenda is pursuing this appeal? It seems unlikely that Judge Wright's sanctions would be ruled as flawed given everything that is known. Prenda is likely to pay the full costs for both sides of the apparently-pointless appeal. The full amount will be collectible because of the expanded bond.

    This is still pocket change compared to what Prenda extorted from blackmail victims. Even so, shouldn't there be some expected gain, and a solid basis, to justify paying for such an appeal?

    The most likely outcome seems likely to air more of their very-dirty laundry to public view, which can be used in other cases to come.

  326. Clownius says

    My guess is the simple fact if they didnt appeal it would look like they accepted the Judges ruling. That and they probably didnt expect things to get a whole lot worse since.

  327. That Anonymous Coward says

    @WDS very good recall, you missed the 3rd case filed by Steele in FL was dropped before it could be removed to Federal Court.
    The most entertaining portion of that filing, to me, was Steele being Pro Se, but asking for attorney fees… in a State where he signed a document promising to never appear to be practicing law.

    @Lucius – I still consider that they are flailing trying to keep the acronyms from descending. I've not been as active as I would like to be on FCT or DTD, but I haven't noticed anyone talking about new rounds of 'settlement' letters being sent out. Seeing the passage of all of this time one does wonder if documents are being shored up and cleaned up to pass inspection. One also wonders if perhaps Lutz is being offered a seat in the dunk tank before the balls are thrown at the target finally.
    We were mislead by our client…
    But then this is just some guesses made by some nym online.

  328. Eric says

    A quick Google search for the name "Cory Eken" pulled up a facebook for a restaurant owner from Minnesota….coincidence? Wonder if Steele stole someone else's identity? Might need to verify his credentials gestapo style? lol. So would love to be at the hearing. Shame they don't try any of this crap closer to home. I'd love to shake Steele's hand and laugh in his face.

  329. Eric says

    Check that, he is the owner of "Eken Enterprises" The company apparently provides some type of "business services" and has been in business (or at least registered) for just over 5 years.

    Eken Enterprises

    Again, don't know if this IS the one on the list, but this was the ONLY resemblance that came up doing a Google search for that name. Coincidence that he is located in Minnesota? I doubt it. Will be interesting to see what he has to say….if anything useful.

  330. Eric says


    I don't know if that is the restaurant or not. I saw him listed as a restaurant owner one place and his facebook mentions owner of Eken Enterprises (1 employee)….but the mailing address is actually to a Kathryn Eken, not Cory.

    Again, this guy may NOT be the same one on the list, but it would be interesting if someone could get to the courthouse and see for themselves.

  331. says

    Prenda's exhibit list for the Sept 30 hearing consists almost entirely of hearsay documents: (1) various affidavits and declarations; (2) a letter written by Paul Godfread; and (3) Cooper's complaint. (Hearsay is an out of court statement offered to prove the truth of the matter asserted therein). None of the above hearsay documents is admissible at an evidentiary hearing (except possibly portions could be admitted to impeach a witness–eg portions of a prior affidavit or declaration would be admissible if the witness gives testimony at the hearing that contradicts what he or she said in the affidavit or declaration). But documents proffered to impeach need not be disclosed on an Exhibit List prior to an evidentiary hearing, since parties are not required to anticipate what a witness may lie about on the stand.

    Conclusion: Prenda's disclosed Exhibits if offered into evidence will be ruled inadmissible.

    Finally, all the Prenda principals already took the 5th re Alan Cooper; there is no chance John Steele (who is on the Witness List)will voluntarily take the stand and testify on this subject; if he does, there is a good chance the 9th Circuit appeal of Judge Wright's order will be dismissed as moot.

  332. says

    The appeal would be dismissed as moot because if a witness asserts the 5th amendment in a case and subsequently waives the 5th amendment in another case, in substance the witness simply refused to answer questions asked in the 1st case. A naked refusal to answer questions (while on the witness stand) is punishable as contempt and entitles the fact finder (the jury or judge) to make all adverse inferences from the naked refusal to testify.

  333. Eric says

    I wonder what the mayor of McGrath has to do with Prenda. Is he sure he wants to get mixed up with this crazy bunch? Have his name associated with their shenanigans?

  334. Lucius says

    @ktech: I seem to recall that the neighboring property to that John Steele sold was the location of, or linked to, 'Jack's Shack'. I think that address was used for one of the shell companies. There was a map posted at the time showing property boundaries, which resulted in comments pointing out the meaning of "Jack's Shack" in military camps.

    If this is accurate, maybe John Steele hopes to get his former neighbor to say something favorable for Prenda's case?

  335. Bystander says

    It seems to me quite likely that the purpose of several of these witnesses is to support the story that Cooper is a deranged, chain-saw wielding lunatic.

    The judge was very clear that the scope of the hearing is limited to determining the authenticity of the copyright assignments, and I doubt he'll have much truck with irrelevant ad hominem attacks (but more grist for the appeal mill if the testimony of Prenda's witnesses isn't allowed).

    It'll be interesting to see what team-Prenda does now they seem to have been pinned down on this issue: State under oath — as they haven't had to so far — that the-Alan-Cooper-who-was-Steele's-house-keeper did in fact sign or authorize the signing of the documents and is now perjuring himself; make their usual attempt to waffle around the issue, talk about Cooper's mental state, and by the way pay no attention to who signed what because it doesn't matter anyway; take the fifth; … ?

  336. That Anonymous Coward says

    Town has a population of like 80 according to Wikipedia.
    So when one of the land barons in the area needs someone to talk about local psychos with chainsaws…
    But then the property was transferred to an LLC that is defunct currently I believe.
    Was nice that it appears, IIRC, to have sold for less than the assessed value from John Steele to an LLC owned by John Steele.

    @SJD – Prenda not keeping their address updated with the courts?! Say it isn't so…
    BTW 2 pieces of mail bounced from that address back to the court.

    @Bystander – and its possible that the mayor heard Cooper say something that can be construed to be an admission of ownership. Of course one wonders where the documents for the founding of the company are, or a contract employing him… they could have produced such documents long ago and opted against it…

  337. Lucius says

    @TAC: Yes, they could produce founding documents at any time. Problem is, that once they dribble a document out, they can no longer alter it after the fact to fit their current story. Better to keep them hidden until an "official version" is needed to support one of their current imaginative stories …

  338. James says

    It seems to me quite likely that the purpose of several of these witnesses is to support the story that Cooper is a deranged, chain-saw wielding lunatic.

    While I know that sentence was not intended to entertain, it caused a flashback to the scene in Sharknado where the giant flying shark tries to swallow the guy holding the chainsaw. It was not good for the shark. Here is hoping that Alan Cooper can do the same to Sharkmp4.

  339. Sharon says

    @SJD – FWIW, the nixie is four months after the affidavit.

    14 May – "I am so there!" affidavit
    3 Sep – Court grants the motion, and presumably this is mailed within a day or two
    14 Sep – USPS "Not there, no forwarding address"
    19 Sep – Returned mail is received at CACD.

    Considering it was in theory a professional office, it seems odd to not have forwarding on file. Even if they didn't want to pay a tail fee to the office for forwarding services, it costs nothing to have the USPS forward stuff for a looong time.

    Amusing typo – Lutz's notice was sent to him c/o "Liverwire Holdings, LLC".

    Where I live, liverwire is the little cage you try to build out of a twistie and pantyhose or nylon net, in a (usually vain) attempt to keep your chicken liver bait from falling off the hook while catfishing.

  340. adam says

    Briefly perused that ketech liveblog. Looks like a good source (as I was also at the hearing). No time right now, but I will come back with my own input later.

  341. AlanF says

    So Lutz was a no-show again today. Who would have guessed it?

    Personally, if I were him, I would be nervously looking over my shoulder for possible hit men. He knows too much, and S&H really don't want him under oath. If he suffers a "tragic accident", it won't surprise me in the slightest.

  342. MarkH says

    If he suffers a "tragic accident", it won't surprise me in the slightest.

    It seems to me the tragic accident would happen only if he did show up in court. :p

  343. Dormammu says

    My prediction: Lutz will not be in a courtroom voluntarily for any more Prenda issues unless he's dragged in by federal marshals or flips on his cohorts.

  344. jimmythefly says

    Holy shit that liveblog! Thanks!

    SPOILER ALERT********

    Steeele's mother-in-law sent a text alerting Cooper that his name was being used as a signature on some docs he had no knowledge of. Godfread got those texts admitted as exhibits.

    As soon as that fact came out, Steele bolts for the door (from the gallery), presumably to make a phone call or two. Would love to have overheard THAT conversation.

  345. says

    It seems to me the tragic accident would happen only if he did show up in court. :p

    I don't think this would meet the generally accepted definition of tragedy.

  346. Cat G says

    I particularly like the part where Steele turns on his mother-in-law, talking about her as "religious" and that she reads DTD and SJD.

  347. WDS says

    It sounds to me like they are hoping to be able to file an explanation of why Lutz wasn't there, and then file his declaration claiming of course AC authorized him to sign, without being subject to any direct question either from the other side or the judge. Hopefully the judge won't let them get away with it.

  348. AlanF says

    Nancy Sims' report is excellent! I'm very happy that she took the time to be there and post the proceedings.

    It looks to me like the Prendanistas would rather lose on the copyright assignment issue than allow Lutz to be examined.

    Can Judge Noel hold AH Holdings in contempt for not having a corporate representative present? If so, is he likely to? What else could he do?

  349. Sharon says

    *wonders how many desks had popcorn spewed across them at the mother-in-law reveal*

    Of COURSE they point at the person who's not in court to testify and be crossed. *rolling eyes*

    If Lutz hadn't been seen appearing in person elsewhere in the past, I'd have a hard time accepting that he exists.

    What's the current story of the Cooper signature? Something along the lines of "Lutz signed for Cooper with Cooper's permission"???

    Oh, the transcript will be tasty …

    And I like Nancy Sims' writeup.

  350. MCB says

    Ok, so we know from the Hansemeier deposition that Lutz directed John Steele to find a "corporate representative" to sign for AF Holdings. Hansemeier stated in his deposition, iirc, that he did this because he was a very busy man and did not have time to sign all of this stuff himself.

    John Steele then supposedly found Mr. Cooper and had he agreed to sign things (obviously, Cooper has a different view). So Cooper's job is: sign things to save Lutz time.

    Then, Cooper tells Lutz that Lutz can sign on Cooper's behalf. So, connecting the dots here, Lutz signs the AF Holding copyright as Cooper to "save time" from signing the same document as Mark Lutz, the de facto owner of AF Holdings.

    How did that save any time?

    It didn't. And I think this is a bigger deal than it may appear.

    Even taking Prenda at their word, what could having Lutz sign as Cooper have possibly accomplished? Only one thing: it obscured the ownership and decision making process of AF Holdings. That sounds like an intent to deceive and mislead folks about a key fact in the case. And the intent to do that kind of thing sounds to me like the key element of fraud (criminal and civil).

    Does anyone disagree?

  351. MCB says

    Looking at the depo, Hansmeier does suggest the same answer they gave today: we used a fake name to avoid threats, etc…

    But, does that explanation really make any more sense? If whoever's name is on the assignment is going to get harassed, what is Cooper's motivation in signing it? Wouldn't any thinking person demand compensation in exchange for substituting their name in to be the sacrificial lamb to receive violent and dangerous threats?

    Not to mention, why would the copyright assignment be the document you would want to keep on the down low? Attorney's names are all over the suits themselves. Lutz made calls. Demand letters went out. Why in the world would the signature on a copyright assignment be the critical document to hide from the public?

    I can, once again, think of only one reason: to hide the close relationship between the "client" and the attorneys running the show. And if you fake a signature to hide that kind of thing, then you have an intent to deceive.

  352. Dormammu says

    From Nancy Sims' article, it seems like John Steele is saying that he doesn't know who signed the name of Cooper on the assignment. But didn't the disastrous Paul Hansmeier deposition say something about John Steele being the only one who knows who signed it?

  353. MCB says

    Yes, Dorm. PH pointed at JS. My understanding is that JS implies Lutz signed Cooper's name with Cooper's permission.

  354. Scote says

    Wait, so Prenda Paralegal/AF Holdings Volunteer CEO/Busy Man Mark Lutz asked John Steele to find a volunteer "corporate representative" to sign documents because Lutz is so busy, er, master minding the AF Holdings legal strategy, but Steele now says that Cooper authorized Lutz to sign documents on his behalf, because, uhm, Cooper was busy? And Steele and PH *continue* to get away with this nonsense… :-p

    I'm frustrated by the lack of cross examination of Steele's testimony. I'm wondering if there was a sound strategic reason for not doing so? Seems more like a very wasted opportunity.

  355. That Anonymous Coward says

    And not to be missed was Steele alleged reason for retiring from practice.

    Now I might be one of the most harsh critics of Pretenda, but NEVER have I done or seen what Steele claims was done with a photo of his home, a gun, and either a picture of his child or a stand in child.

    I do find it very telling that when called to answer questions about the assignments, the spent nearly the entire time setting Lutz up, pretending Cooper is a shill, and crying how they are just under siege by the evil 'pirate' blogs.

    As I said when Nazzairine (sp) produced the single email (without headers) that terrified him so in court, it was convenient that he was so scared that he did not contact the authorities and managed to make sure that the submitted email could not be vetted.

    Funny, the defamation lawsuits had no claims about these alleged 'death threats'. Why is it they are only coming out in response to having to answer if they submitted fraudulent documents to a court?

  356. says

    Conveniently, he did not specify which blog it was. Both myself and DTD have VERY liberal moderating policy, but any of us would such shit immediately.

  357. adam says

    OK, so I just got done reading through all the tweets John Henry sent from this morning's hearing. He did a great job capturing the highlights so I'd recommend reading it. Thanks, John!

    I want to give my recap of the hearing. First I need to point out that I left when the judge called for the first recess. To be honest, it lasted quite a bit longer than I expected. And when the recess was called, Hansmeier had just called Godfread to the stand, Godfread objected (saying he had no first hand knowledge of the issues at hand), and the judge would decide whether to allow Hansmeier to question Godfread after the recess. Hansmeier indicated his questioning would be brief and that this would be the last witness. All this is to say that I had the impression there would be very little left in the hearning, and I was quite surprised to read from John about Steele testifying more about his mother-in-law and the whole scuttlebutt about Lutz's whereabouts. I'm definitely glad the judge was asking those questions, though.

    So I'm just gonna give my brief summary and highlights of the testimony I was present for.

    I'll start by saying this was pretty much Paul Hansmeier's show. I guess since the burden was on AF to verify that these assignment documents are what they purport to be, this was the chance for Prenda to go before the judge and attempt to do just that, and that task fell to Hansmeier. Godfread was the only other attorney present who played the attorney role. He was only allowed to raise objections where it concerned the questioning of his client, Cooper and only allowed to ask questions of Cooper. The judge handled all the other cross-examination of the witnesses. Pretty much the judge just asked each witness if they knew who signed Cooper's name on the assignment documents. No one did.

    Steele's testimony:
    Went on way too long and covered the same story they filed in other cases about his history with Cooper and how it all turned south when Steele decided to sell his property in July 2012. But the significant part of this was when he mentioned March 18, 2011. He testified he could nail down that as the date because he remembered it was when he went up North to his cabin and he and some friends, including Cooper, went to the Jack Shack restaurant (so apparently that's why Cory Eken's name was on the list of potential witnesses although he apparently was not at the hearing). Steele testified that on that date he introduced Cooper to Lutz over the phone — that he was on the phone with Lutz and handed his phone to Cooper whereafter he could hear Cooper's half of the conversation. IIRC, he testified there was one other time when he heard Cooper on the phone with Lutz. He testified that during these phone conversations, he heard Cooper authorize Lutz to sign documents for AF on his behalf. Other noteworthy things that Steele testified (as John Henry tweeted): that he later learned Cooper started spreading a rumor that Steele had molested Cooper's daughter, and that the reason he sold the Steele Hansmeier business to Prenda was due to the nastiness of the anti-piracy business — that someone pointed him to a blog which showed a picture of his house and his three-year-old daughter and had comments discussing which caliber bullet would be best to kill his family.

    Jason Flesher:
    He was a mutual friend of Steele and Cooper. Basically just testified the Cooper's ex-wife was telling him how she was upset about Cooper's involvement with the porn business. And since Steele and her never got along and almost never spoke, she had to have heard Cooper himself talking about it so he's basically saying bull that Cooper never knew anything about being involved in the porn business.

    Brent Berry:
    Steele's realtor testifying what he had already stated in affidavits in other cases (Cooper had chased him off the property a few times, later apologized, blah blah … ). One interesting thing I recall was him testifying that on one occasion he notified the police, but that there was never an official police report (so as far as we know, or at least as far as I recall, we still don't know if there are any police reports to corroborate allegations of Cooper's threatening behavior). Also he testified that Cooper told him in December of 2012 that Steele had molested his daughter (and I guess that he was the one to later told Steele).

    Hansmeier started off fairly aggressively questioning Cooper. He was focussing primarily on the motion to intervene filed by Godfread which contained allegations of forging signatures of Peter Hansmeier, Alan Mooney, and Dan Weber. Cooper was clearly confused, often mentioned having seen so many documents in the past year, and it was clear he is not up on all the finer details of all the filings. So for several minutes Hansmeier was grilling Cooper on things which Cooper didn't really understand and the questioning and testimony was getting nowhere. Cooper emphasized more than once he is only concerned about his own signature being forged and his own name being used without his permission.

    Of course the big interesting thing that came out of Cooper's testimony was that he first found out about his name being used from a text sent to him by Steele's mother-in-law. Hansmeier seemed to know this and was leading him to reveal this info. I have to admit I was confused about it. Cooper, at first, seemed reticent to reveal who had sent him this text message. But he eventually stated it was Kim Eckenrode (is that her actual name? Cooper called her Eckenrude and did not know the spelling of her last name). Anyway, the text contained the image of his forged signature and gave him a number to call. He said he called the number which was an attorney who put him in touch with Godfread. Cooper definitely stuck to his guns about claiming to know nothing about his name being used or having any connection with any porn company prior to receiving this text message.

    When Godfread took the podium to question his client, he produced a document containing the actual wording of the text and a copy of the image that it contained. It was admitted, the way I understood it, not as evidence, but as an exhibit as to what Cooper was testifying was contained in the text message — basically a document for the record to put the exact words of the message and the image he received according to his testimony.

    That pretty much covers all I was present for. I'm still a bit puzzled why Hansmeier wanted to lead Cooper to reveal who first texted him about these documents. My best guess is they wanted to get Steele back up to say his bit about his mother-in-law buying in to crazy conspiracy theories from DTD and make it out to be that it was this misguided person contacting Cooper that started all this hoopla over the whole issue. But of course I missed that part of the hearing and can't give any insight on how it may have gone over with the judge or anyone else.

    I welcome any follow up questions anyone may have. But it may be later in the week before I have a chance to respond.

  358. says

    Assuming (for the sake of argument) that Cooper authorized Lutz to sign Cooper's name to copyright assignments to AF Holdings– Cooper is not (and has never been) an officer, director or employee of AF Holdings (and no one claims Cooper is or was); so, Lutz signed Cooper's name (accepting copyright assignments to AF Holdings)knowing Cooper had nothing to do with AF Holdings? Why do such a thing? How does this scenario change the fraudulent nature of the assignments filed with the court?

  359. adam says


    At one point, Steele was saying (I believe in answer to a question from the judge) that Cooper and a kind of helper/assistant/entry-level type role with AF. I'm sure all the Prenda gang would say only Lutz (and Cooper) could say exactly what the nature of the role was. They don't want to claim he was an officer, employee, or anything because they all just claim ignorance. But Steele was testifying he did have a role of some kind and that's all he could say about it.

  360. says

    @adam: thank you. Now we have three attendees who told their stories (you, John Henry, and Nancy Sims), and hence the picture is becoming clearer and clearer.

    One note: Jason Flesher probably was a bit "forgetful" about the duration of being Steele's friend.

  361. Dormammu says

    And Mark Lutz, who has all the answers (allegedly), has now missed a deposition and two court appearances. Interesting.

  362. Bystander says

    Here's what Paul Hansmeier said, as AF Holding's representative, in his deposition for the Navasca case:

    The manner in which Mr. Cooper was designated as a corporate representative was Marks Lutz asked attorney John Steele to arrange for a corporate representative to acknowledge the assignment agreement on behalf of AF Holdings. Mr. Steele did so and returned the assignment agreement to AF Holdings bearing the signature of Mr. Alan Cooper.

    Can this deposition be used in these proceedings, and are these guys ever really going to be held accountable for telling the courts completely contradictory stories? And now that AF Holdings was specifically ordered to establish the authenticity of the copyright assignments, with the burden of proof on them, and Lutz didn't show up again, can the judge make a finding of fact that Cooper's signature is fraudulent and a forgery?

  363. Scote says

    Given that Hansmeier, as AF Holdings Representative, claimed that it was Steele who returned the signed copyright assignment and not Lutz, can Hansmeier be prosecuted as an Officer of the Court for suborning perjury?

  364. says

    According to Nancy Simms account: Steele testified (when questioned by the judge) it was Steele's "understanding" that Cooper was a "helper" for AF, but said Steele, he did not know if Cooper was an employee, since he (Steele) had nothing to do with AF. So, even assuming there was competent testimony that Cooper was a "helper", (which there was not), then all you have is someone who is not an officer, director or employee, signing copyright assignments on behalf of AF. Lutz and Steele tried this same "song and dance" with the Florida judge claiming Lutz was a corporate representative for AF. The judge told Lutz to sit down as he was not a representative for anyone and invited defense counsel to seek sanctions for attempted fraud on the court. Also. Cooper testified (with competent evidence ) that he had nothing to do with AF. Prediction: The judge will find the filing of the assignments was a fraud on the court.

  365. Scote says


    So Jason Patrick Flesher married Elizabeth Nicole Steele in 2001, but he claims to have only known John Steele for 4-5 years?

    I assume John Steele and Elizabeth Nicole Steele are related…if so, how?

  366. Matthew Cline says

    Quoting from the Techdirt article:

    [Hansmeier] voluntarily elaborated that Steele and Lutz had been booked on the same flight from Miami, that Steele had gone to Lutz's apartment to meet him (because Steele had Lutz's boarding pass), but found him not home. Steele had then, according to Hansmeier, driven around Miami looking for Lutz, and even encountered some of Lutz's friends who said Lutz had told them the night before that he had to make an early night of it because he was traveling to this court in the morning. Hansmeier offered the boarding pass as proof that Lutz had intended to come.

    Why did Hansmeier have Lutz's boarding pass in the first place? It's really convient that Hansmeier had in his hands (alleged) proof that Lutz intended to come.

  367. DonaldB says

    I get the feeling that the judge at times allowed quite a bit of diversion from the main point of the hearing, but did come back to the single question: did Cooper sign the document.

    It sounds as if that is unquestionably a negative. Even the people that really need it to be Cooper have shifted their story to a loose claim that Cooper authorized Lutz to sign on his behalf.

    That can't possibly pass muster when there are no documents showing that Cooper was an officer, employee, contractor, client, customer, patron or inmate with AF Holdings.

    In a different reality Lutz might be able to spin a story that hinted Cooper was the controlling mastermind that carefully kept his name off of almost everything. But not when he doesn't show up.

    It's telling that Steele practically said he searched every bar in South Beach, implying that's where Lutz would normally be found. At first I assumed that Steele forgot that the judge doesn't know Lutz. Someone that knew Lutz might just say "oh, the usual, black-out drunk *again*". But now I wonder if they are intentionally creating a story of Lutz setting the whole scheme up but being too much of a drunk to remember or be truly responsible.

    But that might be giving them too much credit for thinking through to the end game. This might be just a minor rear-guard action. They've already lost the case. There is nothing to win at the hearing. They only need to do enough to avoid a significant sanction.

  368. Matthew Cline says

    Also, regarding Lutz: couldn't he attend via phone and be sworn in? Or does a person have to physically be in the courtroom to be sworn in?

  369. says

    I also expect that Morgan Pietz will file motions to dismiss the 9th circuit appeals of AF and Steele. Following taking the 5th before Judge Wright, Steele and AF have filed declarations and perpetuated testimony on the alleged Cooper assignments (the very issue they invoked the 5th on to Judge Wright). A person cannot take the 5th in one court, and testify (on that very issue) in another. In substance, the subsequent waiver and testimony in today's hearing is equivalent to a naked refusal to answer Judge Wright's questions at the April hearing. A naked refusal to answer Judge Wright's questions is punishable as contempt, and the naked refusal entitles Judge Wright to make all reasonable findings contrary to Steele and AF.

  370. whheydt says

    Perhaps one of the lawyers here can comment…can either the judge or the magistrate judge have Federal Marshals collect Lutz and make sure that he shows up in court?

  371. Scote says

    "Why did Hansmeier have Lutz's boarding pass in the first place? It's really convient that Hansmeier had in his hands (alleged) proof that Lutz intended to come."

    "Really, your honor, I have no idea why Lutz didn't get on the plane, and I have the boarding pass he would have needed to prove it!"

    Hmm…and why would Steele, who has nothing to do with Prenda or AF Holdings have the boarding pass of the purported legal mastermind and CEO of AF Holdings? Perhaps Lutz asked Steele to find a corporate representative to pick it up for him?

  372. Matthew Cline says

    can either the judge or the magistrate judge have Federal Marshals collect Lutz and make sure that he shows up in court?

    If that happened, I imagine that Lutz would fake a heart attack. Or, while in the airport, act in such a way that the airline refused to let him board, then claim it was due to a mental illness that hadn't manifested until then.

  373. says

    Mathew: If a witness is legally unavailable (on his death bed, beyond the subpoena power of the court, etc) his deposition testimony (usually videotaped) is admissible. Here the judge ordered a corporate representative for AF (Lutz) to attend. Lutz needed to be in court, so the judge could observe Lutz's demeanor on the witness stand while answering questions. That's hard to do over the phone. I have never seen testimony taken by phone (in any court) and I know of no rule allowing such testimony. Maybe some local rules in remote areas allow testimony via SKYPE, but I doubt it. There is something about the "crucible" of the court room, that tends to either bring out truthful testimony or reveal perjury.

  374. says

    @Scote: sister. John, Jaymee and Elizabeth are siblings. Jamie's boyfriend is (was?) Anthony Saltmarsh. Jaymee lived at the address in Arizona, that address was used to register VPR under Alan Cooper's name….

    I just touched about 1/100 of the web.

  375. says

    Whheydt: The problem is: the judge did not order Lutz to appear, he ordered a corporate representative of AF to appear. Now since Lutz is AF's only corporate representative, is that enough to hold Lutz in contempt? I don't know. In any event, I expect the judge will simply make all finding contrary to AF because AF was ordered to appear and did not. This means Cooper's testimony will control and Steele's testimony will be ignored or outweighed by the admissible evidence. So, AF is headed for a finding that AF attempted to perpetuate a fraud on the court.

  376. Scote says

    @SJD Thanks

    Am I right in thinking that Cooper's testimony about not signing the document is essentially unrebutted? Cooper testified under oath that he didn't sign it, and nobody testified under oath that he did, nor are there any documents proving he was a representative of AF Holdings in any way, shape or form.

    (And what is the rule for a legally authorized corporate representative. If Allan Cooper signed a document they wanted to deny responsibility for, wouldn't AF Holdings just say he's not a corporate representative and there is no document to the contrary? How do you know if the person signing for a corporation is authorized to do so when entering into a contract?)

  377. Jim Tyre says

    NSA has to deal with shut down, and I deal with inability to shut up timely.


    But NSA will not be curtailing services during the shutdown, that's known already.

  378. says

    Mathew: Cooper's testimony (on all relevant points) was unrebutted. No one has ever testified Cooper actually signed the assignments. If an unauthorized person signs a contract on behalf of a corporation (and the corporation does not subsequently authorize, ratify, approve or perform the contract) then it cannot be enforced against the corporation. So, yes, had AF not ratified the assignment agreements, then AF could claim Cooper's signature was unauthorized. Moreover, only certain officers and managing employees of a corporation have the authority to bind a corporation to a contract. So, even if Cooper was a "helper" for AF, he had no authority to sign the assignments. From the questions asked of Steele and Cooper by the judge, it is clear the judge knows this law. I predict the decision will say, something like, even assuming the truth of Steele's testimony (were it legally competent) the court finds the assignments filed by AF were not signed by Cooper and did not contain the signature of an authorized representative of AF.

  379. Scote says

    " I predict the decision will say, something like, even assuming the truth of Steele's testimony (were it legally competent) the court finds the assignments filed by AF were not signed by Cooper and did not contain the signature of an authorized representative of AF."

    I wonder if that is part of Steele's strategy (if he has one other than to prolong procedures by saying whatever will do so in the short run), to claim that ok, Cooper didn't sign them, *Lutz* signed them (in Cooper's name signing for Lutz behalf), so they are authorized after all. (Of course, I'm not sure if there are any documents of incorporation that show that Lutz is a valid officer of AF Holdings, especially given that he's alleged to not be paid for the position, so I don't know what that would get JS or PH other than more delays…)

    It seems beyond ridiculous that the court is supposed to believe that CEO/Manager/Volunteer Labor Mark Lutz is sitting in the AF Holdings World Headquarters looking at a copyright assignment thinking,"if only there was some way that AF Holdings could sign this, I could sign it, but I'm very busy, and so is the guy who signs stuff when I'm busy, so rather than just sign it, 'cause I'm CEO and all, let me sign it in *that guy's* name. That makes perfect sense!"

    Also, isn't it illegal for company's to accept volunteer labor? I recall Bank of America getting into labor law trouble when they expected employees to volunteer to adopt an ATM, i.e. clean it on their own time for free. Will poor Mark Lutz have to sue "Salt Marsh Trust" for back wages?

  380. That Anonymous Coward says

    @Lee – One itty bitty quibble. The fiasco in FL with Lutz, he was pretending to be the corporate rep for SunLust. IIRC. He stated it was his job to show up in court and play this role all over the country.

    So your CEO of a corporation making mad bank, and in your free time
    – your a 1099 contractor playing corp rep for other people
    – make threatening calls seeking settlements
    – sell off everything you own and take a trip to mexico
    – require someone to bail you out of jail from mexico
    – promptly vanish everytime a court wants to speak with you about your company

  381. James says

    The only thing missing from this story is a sound track with Ernie K. Doe singing the 1961 classic "Mother in Law" in the background (if you are too young to remember it click here:

    @Scote No, it is not illegal for corporations to accept volunteer labor. In the B of A matter you cited, I think they were pressuring regular employees to do extra work as "volunteers" but that crossed the line as they felt coerced into doing so, hence not really volunteers.

    As for the hearing, other than Alan Cooper stating that he did not sign the documents was there ANY relevant testimony? The issue is whether there was an attempted fraud on the court which can be disproven by showing either of two facts:

    1. Proving that it WAS Alan Coopers signature on the assignments, or

    2. Proving that is was somebody's else's signature, but executed with knowledge and permission of Mr. Cooper.

    I didn't hear anything that would allow the judge to rule that either of those facts has been established by a preponderance of the evidence.

  382. adam says


    I'm not sure just what standard a judge uses to determine whether the burden of proof has been met. But the relevant testimony other than Cooper's was Steele saying he heard Cooper telling Lutz that he could sign documents for AF on his behalf.

  383. Scote says

    "I didn't hear anything that would allow the judge to rule that either of those facts has been established by a preponderance of the evidence."

    IIRC, Prenda don't even try to argue that Cooper signed the document, instead they waffle and things like only Steele knows where the signature, and now, only Lutz knows. Steele testified (oh, so credibly) the brand new claim that he heard Cooper authorize Lutz to sign on his behalf (which makes no sense whatsoever since Lutz can just sign as Lutz, purported CEO). So, we get direct testimony from Cooper that he didn't sign it and no testimony from Prenda that he did, nor any documentation that he did. Seems like a pretty clear preponderance of evidence that he didn't sign it, and that's without even taking Steele's credibility into account.

  384. rsteinmetz70112 says

    I'm sure the judge is scratching his head wondering why Lutz would sign someone else's name to a document he could have signed himself, but that didn't really need his signature to begin with.

  385. Palimpsest says

    IANAL but.. is Duffy's claim "There was a name change filed in one copyright case, but not in many others" hold water? It's claiming that it's ok to have the name change where convenient and not have it where it's not convenient?

    The opening "your mother is a…" seems to beg the response;
    "your client's mother-in-law is a saint. " If she's reading this blog… "Hi!"

  386. says

    @adam: I want to repost your story on FCT. Is it OK? Don't want a valuable witness account to be buried in comments.

  387. Myk says

    So Duffy is still waving the "even though Steele, Lutz & Hansmeier took the 5th in front of Judge Wright, they had Very Important Exculpatory Evidence they wanted to share and now their rights are being trampled because they haven't had a chance to defend themselves" flag?

    Did Duffy get his law licence out of a cornflakes box?

  388. whheydt says

    I admit that I had forgotten about Lutz adventure in Mexico. One wonders if that had anything to do with his long conversation with Federal Agents…which give rise to wondering *whose* "Federal Agents". (Federales perhaps?)

  389. Dormammu says

    If Lutz is under investigation by the feds I would not be surprised that they would want to find out where he was going every time he gets near an airport. But I don't think that's the explanation for his most recent absence. John Steele having Lutz's boarding pass pretty clearly indicates an attempt to manufacture an excuse in advance. He can't risk letting anyone talk to Lutz in a courtroom or on the record otherwise.

  390. anne mouse says


    That's a default judgement against AF Holdings, which has no intention of paying (and never bothered to post a required bond). Mike Masnick of TechDirt tries to make a big deal out of a footnote in the proposed order, which says that AF = Prenda = Steele/Hansmeier/Duffy. But at the moment, the order is directed to AF Holdings only. Sweet might try to seize some of, say, Steele's assets under an alter ego theory, but he'll need a little more than this order to succeed at that.

    (testing the edit function… OK so you get 5 minutes starting from your original post, it doesn't restart the clock when you edit)

  391. rsteinmetz70112 says

    I imagine pretty soon we will be seeing a motion for costs and sanctions in Massachusetts.

  392. says

    So, where is Lutz. Here is what he said on June 28:
    "I am Mark Lutz and two attorneys named Morgan Pietz and Nicholas Ranallo are filing motions asking this court to issue orders without notifying me! I apologize to the Court for my anger, but I have never had a chance to fight any of their motions! The Constitution gives me the right of Due Process, which means that the courts can't take something from me without first giving me a chance to contest that decision. Just so I am as clear as I can be, I have never been served with any paperwork by either attorney Pietz or Ranallo. EVER.

    People's faith in the law rests on the belief that attorneys who break the rules don't get away with it. I place my trust in this Court to make sure that these attorneys will be held accountable for their actions. Here the record is obvious that Pietz and Ranallo have been breaking the rules. I therefore ask the court to strike all pleadings filed by attorneys Pietz and Ranallo that do not have a proof of service filed with them. I also ask that any orders that were entered by this court against AF Holdings, Ingenuity13, or me be vacated. These guys are total fraudsters."

    So, where is Lutz?

  393. Odd Man Out says

    I take it Lutz is still MIA?

    Something else turned up today, though its from 23 September. Examine, wherein Prenda asks to continue delaying the DC argument re subpoenas (successfully BTW, per an order today which I haven't linked because it sends me to the mod queue).

    – So Duffy has been in the hospital? Uh huh. Let's see the bill.
    – Final sentence of the first paragraph has an amusing double negative. I guess opposing counsel and judges are just supposed to let things like that slide.

  394. says

    Her is what Lutz probably would have said from his August 27 affidavit:
    I, Mark Lutz, declare under the penalty of perjury that the following statements
    are true and correct:
    1. I am over the age of 18 and am competent to testify as to the matters set
    forth herein. I make this affidavit on the basis of my personal knowledge.
    2. I am the only manager that AF Holdings, LLC, a limited liability
    company formed under the laws of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis,
    (“AF Holdings, LLC”) has ever had. Further, AF Holdings, LLC has
    never had any employees other than me.
    3. Neither John Steele, Paul Duffy nor Paul Hansmeier ever served as a
    director, officer, manager, or employee of AF Holdings or otherwise
    possessed managerial authority or an ownership interest in AF Holdings.
    4. The only role that Steele, Duffy and Hansmeier have played with respect
    to AF Holdings, LLC is that of its attorney and, in the case of Mr.
    Hansmeier, a Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30(b)(6) designee in this
    particular case.
    5. Brett Gibbs and an associate attorney located in California (herein after
    “his associate”) were AF Holdings’ sole attorneys in this case until
    February 21, 2013. Neither John Steele, Paul Duffy nor Paul Hansmeier
    played any role in this case (other than serving as a 30(b)(6) designee).
    6. To the best of my recollection, until February 21, 2013, Brett Gibbs and
    his associate drafted all of the papers filed in this case, attended all of the
    hearings in this case, took and defended all of the depositions in this
    case, and were the only persons to advise AF Holdings regarding case
    strategy. In fact, Brett Gibbs paid the filing fee for this case on his
    personal credit card, and AF Holdings reimbursed him for that expense

  395. says

    On August 27 Lutz said:
    I, Mark Lutz, declare under the penalty of perjury that the following statements
    are true and correct:
    1. I am over the age of 18 and am competent to testify as to the matters set
    forth herein. I make this affidavit on the basis of my personal knowledge.
    2. I am the only manager that AF Holdings, LLC, a limited liability
    company formed under the laws of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis,
    (“AF Holdings, LLC”) has ever had. Further, AF Holdings, LLC has
    never had any employees other than me.
    3. Neither John Steele, Paul Duffy nor Paul Hansmeier ever served as a
    director, officer, manager, or employee of AF Holdings or otherwise
    possessed managerial authority or an ownership interest in AF Holdings.
    4. The only role that Steele, Duffy and Hansmeier have played with respect
    to AF Holdings, LLC is that of its attorney and, in the case of Mr.
    Hansmeier, a Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30(b)(6) designee in this
    particular case.
    5. Brett Gibbs and an associate attorney located in California (herein after
    “his associate”) were AF Holdings’ sole attorneys in this case until
    February 21, 2013. Neither John Steele, Paul Duffy nor Paul Hansmeier
    played any role in this case (other than serving as a 30(b)(6) designee).
    6. To the best of my recollection, until February 21, 2013, Brett Gibbs and
    his associate drafted all of the papers filed in this case, attended all of the
    hearings in this case, took and defended all of the depositions in this
    case, and were the only persons to advise AF Holdings regarding case
    strategy. In fact, Brett Gibbs paid the filing fee for this case on his
    personal credit card, and AF Holdings reimbursed him for that expense.

  396. says

    7. Brett Gibbs filed this case on AF Holdings’ behalf on a contingency fee
    basis and he stood to make a direct financial gain if the case was
    successful. No other individual attorney had a direct contingency fee
    interest in this case.
    8. Mr. Gibbs served as AF Holdings’ outside national counsel. All
    settlement negotiations were to be made through him and counsels
    representing AF Holdings in other states were directed to push
    settlement negotiations through him. It is my understanding that Mr.
    Gibbs required AF Holdings’ counsel in other states to put his contact
    information on complaints filed by AF Holdings.
    9. Although I had talked with Mr. Gibbs several times before then, I first
    met Mr. Gibbs in person in Las Vegas, Nevada, at the AVN awards show
    in January, 2012. We discussed AF Holdings’ business, the future of AF
    Holdings’ litigation and other executive-level topics. I informed him that
    I was pleased with how he was handling AF Holdings’ cases. He
    informed me that he was in the early stages of planning a nationwide
    campaign of suits against individuals on behalf of AF Holdings and my
    other company.
    10. On or around November 2013, I formed a company to pursue
    opportunities in the adult industry. The name of the company was
    Livewire Holdings, LLC (“Livewire”). Because of his efforts as outside
    national counsel for AF Holdings, I asked Mr. Gibbs to serve as
    Livewire’s general counsel. Mr. Gibbs agreed to do so. Mr. Gibbs
    resigned from Livewire on or around March 1, 2013. He informed me
    that he did so on the advice of the attorneys who were representing him
    in the order to show cause proceedings before Judge Wright.

  397. says

    11. I formed AF Holdings, LLC in mid-2011. I did so because I believed there
    was an opportunity to purchase undervalued copyrights. During that
    time I was working for a law firm, Steele Hansmeier PLLC, that was
    hired by adult content producers to defend copyrights against piracy. In
    that line of work, I came in contact with several industry participants
    who were effectively going out of business because people who used to
    pay for their content had simply turned to stealing it. I believed that I
    could purchase copyrights for little-to-nothing, retain attorneys to ward
    off the piracy and then resell the copyrights for a profit.
    12. I first hired Steele Hansmeier PLLC to represent AF Holdings. When
    Steele Hansmeier PLLC dissolved at the end of 2011, I retained Brett
    Gibbs of Prenda Law, Inc. to be AF Holdings’ national counsel. A true
    and correct copy of the retainer agreement I signed is attached hereto as
    Exhibit A. I had worked with Brett in several capacities during my time
    at Steele Hansmeier PLLC, and was comfortable with moving forward
    with him.
    13. AF Holdings is a limited liability company formed under the laws of the
    Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis. I hired a trust and estates attorney to
    form AF Holdings. The membership interests of AF Holdings are held in
    a trust. The name of that trust was “Salt Marsh.” The Salt Marsh trust
    was also formed using the same trust and estates attorney. The name Salt
    Marsh was chosen simply because I had to choose a name and, I made an
    indirect reference to a person who had previously helped me out. The
    beneficiaries of the “Salt Marsh” trust are any children born to or
    adopted by me, and any of my subsequent decedents. I have no children
    or descendents, so the trust’s beneficiaries are currently undefined.
    14. With minor exceptions, the settlement proceeds from litigation filed on
    behalf of AF Holdings, LLC were deposited into AF Holdings’ trust
    account at Prenda Law, Inc. There, the settlement proceeds would be

  398. says

    used to pay for future litigation. AF Holdings’ litigation was not
    intended to generate money for AF Holdings. Instead, AF Holdings’
    litigation was intended to send a message to people who stole its content
    that piracy was no longer going to be tolerated. The copyrights I held
    would be worth significant sums if even a reasonable percentage of the
    people who stole the content instead purchased it. Litigation was a
    necessary evil.
    15. I was summoned to appear before Judge Wright for a March 11, 2013,
    order to show cause hearing against my attorney, Brett Gibbs. I appeared
    via telephone, but neither Judge Wright, Morgan Pietz nor Brett Gibbs’
    attorneys asked me any questions. I did not have an opportunity to ask
    anyone any questions, including Alan Cooper or Mr. Gibbs. I was never
    served with Judge Wright’s order to appear.
    16. I was summoned once again to appear before Judge Wright for an April
    2, 2013, hearing. I appeared in person in Los Angeles, California. Once
    again, neither Judge Wright, Morgan Pietz nor Brett Gibbs’ attorneys
    asked me any questions. The April 2, 2013, hearing lasted an estimated 12
    minutes. I was never given an opportunity to ask anyone any questions,
    including Mr. Gibbs. I was also never given an opportunity to present
    evidence in my defense. I was never served with Judge Wright’s order to
    17. I have reviewed the findings of fact in Judge Wright’s order issuing
    sanctions against AF Holdings, Ingenuity13, LLC and others and while I
    have no personal knowledge regarding Mr. Gibbs’ conduct, but I can say
    that Judge Wright’s findings with respect to AF Holdings and
    Ingenuity13, LLC are completely untrue.
    18. For example, it is not true that AF Holdings was formed by Steele,
    Hansmeier and Duffy. I first met Duffy over one year after AF Holdings
    was formed. Further, it is not true that the proceeds of settlements were

  399. Jim Tyre says

    Odd Man Out:

    Something else turned up today, though its from 23 September. Examine, wherein Prenda asks to continue delaying the DC argument re subpoenas (successfully BTW, per an order today which I haven't linked because it sends me to the mod queue).

    I don't have it in front of me, but if memory serves, he asked for a month, only got a week. Yes?

  400. says

    "put in the personal accounts of Steele, Hansmeier and Duffy. Instead, the settlement proceeds were put in AF Holdings' trust accounts at Prenda Law, Inc…."

  401. mcinsand says

    Can we really be sure that Lutz was involved in the affidavit? I strongly suspect that this was a John Steele creation.

  402. WDS says

    @Jim Tyre

    He got seven day from the courts order which was yesterday, so he has until the 10th instead of the 23rd he asked for. This is exactly what the ISP's who filed an opposition to the motion asked for.

  403. says

    Lee, your links aren't working. It appears they were cut and pasted from something that replaced the middle with '…'. Assuming my google-fu is working, the correct link is here.

  404. Lucius says

    This affidavit supposedly by Lutz seems to be a very carefully-edited effort to shift all responsibility for any illegal acts by Steele, Hansmeier, and Duffy to Lutz. All the complex acts to set up and run more recent fake shells are now attributed to the clever mastermind Lutz, and any contributions by his ignorant acquaintances Steele, Hansmeier, or Duffy are explicitly denied.

    This is quite a set-up to direct all the consequences of bad actions to one target. It Lutz were allowed to reach a witness stand, this transparent attempt is unlikely to stand up for long.

    However, if Lutz were to completely disappear now, leaving behind only this carefully-prepared-and-edited statement …

  405. JTG says

    I find it quite interesting that there is a lot of detail about dates and names up until section 13 of the affidavit, where he says that AF Holdings was formed using the services of a "trust and estates attorney" in St. Nevis and Kitts. He doesn't say who or when. And the "Salt Marsh" trust was an "indirect reference to a person who had previously helped me out". Note the vagueness which can avoid any possible links to S&H. Then after that section, the detail starts right back up again.

  406. anne mouse says

    Not all that much detail, and what there is is often self-contradictory. Check the dates in paragraph 10, for example.

    If you were writing an affidavit in a case where you stood accused of malfeasance, and you believed somebody else (Gibbs) was to blame, and you knew of "an associate" who surely witnessed much of what Gibbs did, wouldn't you mention the name of that associate?

  407. Eric says

    Well, isn't that convenient. Again, nothing officially in court, or under cross-examination. Just a piece of paper supposedly signed by her and all said by "her."

    I'm not against people fighting the "good fight" against copyright infringement. I'm against idiot lawyers extorting good people and getting away with it…..and getting their families involved in it as well.

  408. Lucius says

    She was put in a tough position. Whatever the truth of the matter, permanently alienating herself from her daughter and son-in-law is not something a mother would want to do, once it became a public choice. I imagine she would sign anything reasonable put before her to avoid that.

  409. rsteinmetz70112 says

    Someone competent needs to depose all of these people. Kimberly's affidavit is a lot of hearsay about John and her husband.

  410. WDS says

    Hans memorandum in support of the motion to supplement is an interesting document. Hans is trying to make a big deal of the fact that AC supposedly knew something before the text, which makes him according to Hans guilty of perjury. They however have said multiple times, in sworn affidavits that he has been diagnosed as mentally ill and medicated for it, but don't bother to cross him about it when he testifies that he hasn't been. If AC is guilty of perjury, hey Pot meet Kettle.

  411. Anonymous says


    Considering what a piece of shit John Steele is, she may not care too much about alienating him. Unfortunately if her daughter is still under his spell, she may have to settle for all or nothing for now.

  412. rsteinmetz70112 says

    The affidavit reads something like AC may have heard or suspected something but the MIL sent him actual documentation, which if she is to be believed she got off the internet.

    She did not deny she also told him to get a lawyer or sent him a phone number.

    She needs to be asked about that under oath.

  413. Lucius says

    A good way to start resolving this would be if everything sent to Allen Cooper that alerted him be made openly available. This would benefit everyone, even Prenda, on the off chance the Prenda principals are for once telling the truth. It would save time and cost for future depositions and in court sessions.

    Paul Godfread put at least part of it into record as evidence. Does this mean we will see it shortly? If not, may Godfread and Cooper would find it useful to make it available, and end unproductive speculation.

  414. Lucius says

    A good way to start resolving this would be if everything sent to Allen Cooper that alerted him be made openly available. This would benefit everyone, even Prenda, on the off chance the Prenda principals are for once telling the truth. It would save time and cost for future depositions and in court sessions.

    Paul Godfread put at least part of it into record as evidence. Does this mean we will see it shortly? If not, maybe Godfread and Cooper would find it useful to make it available, and end unproductive speculation.

  415. Clownius says

    Still no mention of which mysterious blog had the scary pictures?

    Why am i not shocked about how vague the latest document is?

  416. Anonymous says


    Or how about a screenshot? They've filed screen grabs of entire comment threads on Fight Copyright Trolls as well as screen after screen of Twitter heckling, but for some reason there is never evidence for the claims of death threats or other really, maybe actionable stuff.

  417. Apotropaist says

    The affidavit specifically mentions two websites in item 6 and says in item 9 that she saw it on one of the above websites. Sounds to me like she means one or the other of those. That should make it easy to find.

  418. Just a thought says

    This affidavit's items 6 and 9 smacks of an attempt to drag DTD and FCT into this by trying to make them prove it wasn't on their blogs. Not much different to various other unprovable Prendassertions in other ways though.

  419. rsteinmetz70112 says


    Actually she says "I would visit various website such as …"

    So was the post on one of the two blogs named or one of the various blogs she visited?

  420. Myk says

    Question: Why was Kim Eckenrode visiting sites such as DTD & FCT?

    Given that the alleged photo showed John Steele's house, and another alleged photo showed Kerry Eckenrode, it seems to me that Kim Eckenrode would have no legal standing to request any takedown and the owners of sites involved in outing copyright trolls would know this. It should therefore be fairly easy to verify these alleged incidents.

    Also strikes me as odd that DTD & FCT, two websites that John Steele and Prenda have publicly mentioned as being critical of his scam extortion racket fraud "business model" are the only two websites Kim Eckenrode mentions. Techdirt, Ars and others have also criticised Prenda, but somehow escape mention despite being arguably more 'mainstream' and thus more credible as sites Kim might 'happen across' (no offence intended or implied, SJD!). Did she just type "porn copyright troll' into Google by accident one day maybe? This affidavit reminds me a great deal of Paddy Browne's FB postings defending the good & honourable fight her husband was fighting whilst the evil no-good pirates were criticising him. Anyone checked in on her views on the matter lately?

    Also, what line of work is Kim Eckenrode in? "Her" affidavit seems to be worded in almost textbook fashion to specifically take John Steele off the hook. Someone needs to get her on the stand under oath, preferably without Steele being present to intimidate or guide her.

  421. That Anonymous Coward says

    WDS – Hans knows about perjury.
    He either committed it in his deposition about AFH or allowed it from Steele on the stand.

    The potshots at FCT and DTD are the moves of desperate men, they want another bite at the apple to unmask the owners and posters.
    They are convinced that its being run by the EFF or EFF associated lawyers out to get them and destroy copyright law forever. They remain convinced that its just other lawyers trying to horn in on their action. They were sure that the lawyers sought out Alan Cooper and gave him the story to tell, and well that doesn't seem to have worked out well for them.

    Amazingly for all of these motions and claims, they have managed to avoid the elephant in the room. The Judges questions are not answered, they managed to change the story they have told on the record yet again, and are throwing poop at the wall hoping something sticks.

  422. says

    no offence intended or implied, SJD!

    You gravely offended me by implying that I might not understand that you did not mean to offend me. Hehe. :)

  423. LW says

    Regarding Hansmeier's latest and greatest, he says that Mr. Cooper has not been willing until now to reveal publicly who told him about the identity theft, so this is all new to the Prendarasts.

    But … Mr. Cooper sued for identity theft, and the Predarasts retaliated with three suits against him. One was dismissed, but the other three are open. Didn't it occur to these big league lawyers to send some interrogatories? And since they could have, but didn't bother, does this really qualify as "newly discovered" and thus appropriate to allow this affidavit (not subject to cross-examination) in?

  424. That Anonymous Coward says

    @LW – There are still 2 open cases, they are fighting having them merged together.
    It appears they even lied to a court clerk in an attempt to add a party to one of the cases to stop the merge. (Pretenda lie to a court!? I know, shocking.) "We" aren't even to the point where the case can proceed to the point of interrogatories.

    The cases only exist to harass Mr. Cooper, Mr. Godfread, SJD, DTD, Me, and 7 other "unnamed" Does oh and thousands of people who ever viewed a page on and (Given the logs showing hits from USAG, Federal Courts, State Courts, that list would be fun.)

    It is about running up costs, harassment, and getting the real world names of people they want silenced.

    The Pretenda version of the story has mostly been:
    Someone from/with EFF found this Alan Cooper with a connection to Steele and picked him so they could run a smear campagin against the poor put-upon champions of Copyright law. The EFF is a terrorist organization hell bent on destroying copyright law and tearing down society as a whole. (See filings GAND). These people running these blogs are or are directly in league with lawyers who have opposed their efforts to protect their clients work. This entire conspiracy against them shows how low the otherside will sink.

    Pretenda had many occasions to ask Mr. Cooper questions, but after the voicemails Mr. Steele sent it became clear they only wish him to remain silent or else.

    They have been cherry picking statements, witnesses, testimony to show that Mr. Cooper is mentally ill, has a grudge against Mr. Steele, EFF is paying him to appear.

    To ask Mr. Cooper where the text came from could have upset the apple cart, and look it did. We have a flurry of documents diverting everyone from 1 simple question… WHO SIGNED THE ASSIGNMENTS?

    The person who's name allegedly appears on the paperwork, that Pretenda seems to have now admitted is purported to be Mr. Alan Cooper caretaker, has claimed no knowledge or authorization allowing someone else to sign in his stead. Remember this is the same Pretenda when asked previously answered there were tons of Alan Coopers in the world.

    This latest filing is yet another delaying tactic. Unless they produce someone under oath who claims to have witness the signatures, all they can do is try to throw dirt to confuse.

    This document with the questionable signature (and incorrect company name on some occasions) was submitted to a court. Given Mr. Coopers statement, the document is fraudulent meaning fraud was perpetrated upon the court.

    Pretenda has stated that the Copyright Office doesn't care about who they were assigned to, only that the signature of the prior holder be real. I think this might be incorrect as at least 1 (maybe more) was assigned to a non-existant entity, which calls into question who actually has rights to the work in question and might result in a court having to vacate prior cases… shame the real money was in settlements outside the purview of the court, money that couldn't have been accessed without the courts issuing rulings for Pretenda based on fraudulent docs…

    I can recite all of this from memory, I have an amazing collection of documents… and Pretenda wants my real name to bring me to court for defamation charges… anyone think letting me get anywhere near a Judge is suicidal for them? It was an attempt to scare me into silence, and that worked out real well for them.

  425. PonyMaster2k says

    Prenda argues that the forged signature isn't fraud because even if the signature was signed by someone else, it doesn't make a difference for the purpose of the transfer of copyright. We'll see how well that holds.

    What's next on the prenda calendar?

    PS: Suggestion for the prenda wiki: Have a section on current cases, where the cases that have had popehat coverage (as an article, or in the comments), gets a section explaining what the case is about and a summary of what happened. The "list of law clients" is waay too big and confusing, and the "major cases" section is too small. Maybe just update of "major cases" is what's in order?

  426. DonaldB says

    I still don't understand what this sideshow wins for Prenda.

    Imagine if Cooper had been independently located by EFF and convinced by them to repudiate his association. Or that he orchestrated the whole issue to extract money from Steele et al.

    How does that change the issue: is it Cooper's signature on the copyright transfer?

    No one is testifying that it is Cooper's signature. Cooper says it isn't. Hansmeier said Steele got the signature. Steele says that he heard one side of a conversation that authorized Lutz to sign on Cooper's behalf. Lutz is effectively useless as a witness — he was absent in court, and anything he says now is far past untimely.

    And what could Lutz testify to? If Cooper signed it, Lutz should know where and when. If Lutz signed on behalf of Cooper, Lutz should be able to explain why he would do such a thing, and what authority he believed he was granted.

    Prenda really is playing the game of leaving as much unspecified as possible, hoping to modify the story later as they figure out what they are in trouble for.

  427. mcinsand says

    We could use a Prenda-driven change to copyright law. If the assignor's signature is valid but the assignee's signature is not, then the copyrighted works in question go to public domain.

    Then again, especially after recent years, we could use a lot of changes to copyright law.

  428. Dormammu says

    @ DonaldB

    You have pointed out the real reason Lutz keeps missing these court appearances. The other Prenda principals know he has to be kept out of court at all costs because he would have to answer some pretty embarassing questions, and the boat would sink a lot faster than it is now. They are bailing furiously and hoping they sight land soon (St. Kitts and Nevis?) If I were the IRS CID I'd be looking at all the known offshore money havens right now for suspicious activity WRT the Prenda principals.

  429. lee says

    To: John Doe From Chicago
    Date: Sat, 05 Nov 2011 14:06:27 -0500

    After careful thought, our client, AF Holdings would prefer not settling with you at this time. Im sure it would be much easier for you to find an attorney to work for free in DC than simply deal with our firm like an adult. Keep your insults and save up for the litigation. I think e should wait until your isp gives us your information before any settlement options are discussed.

  430. lee says

    Judge Noel then directed several questions to Steele about the documents in question, and Steele's understanding that Cooper had authorized Lutz to sign on his behalf. Judge Noel elicited that this was based on hearing Cooper's half of two phone conversations with Lutz. Noel also elicited that Steele does not actually know if Cooper signed those documents, but that as far as Steele knew, Cooper had had a position as a "helper" for AF Holdings. Steele testified that he did not know if Cooper was employed by AF — because Steele himself had no involvement with AF, other than them having been very briefly clients of the Steele Hansmeier firm. Finally, Noel questioned Steele as to whether he knew who signed the Cooper name on either of the exhibits, and Steele testified that he did not.

  431. Jim Tyre says

    Judge grants Duffy’s request for extension to respond to amended counterclaim in Prenda Law’s defamation suit
    October 8, 2013 4:19 PM

    A federal judge today granted Paul Duffy’s request for an extension of time to respond to an amended counterclaim filed last month by the defendants in a pair of defamation suits brought earlier this year by Duffy and Prenda Law.

    Duffy –who represents himself and the now-dissolved firm in the suits that were consolidated this summer in Chicago’s federal court — wrote in his Sept. 30 motion that he does not seek the extension “for purposes of causing undue delay or for any improper purpose.”

    Saying he doesn’t believe an extension will have an impact on a status hearing that is set for Dec. 12, Duffy explained in his motion that he needs “additional time to prepare and submit a motion addressed to the counterclaim.”

    He wrote the amended counterclaim that the defendants –Minnesota attorney Paul Godfread and his client, Alan Cooper– brought on Sept. 16 “alleges a number of matters (a striking volume of which are outright false or, at a minimum, materially misleading) that were not included in the first iteration of their counterclaim.”

    Duffy adds that he “believes that the amended counterclaim includes most or all of the same defects that led to the dismissal of their initial counterclaim.”

    He told U.S. District Judge John Darrah at a hearing today that he plans to file a motion to dismiss. Darrah granted Duffy’s request for an extension of time and gave him until Oct. 15 to file his response.


  432. That Anonymous Coward says

    The part that is really starting to bother me about these delays is that we know Pretenda has a huge list of names from all of their cases.
    We know that it appears that even after a Judge ordered them to not use anything gained in court, when the dismissed the whole thing, that suddenly named cases were filed in a court far from the first court.

    I am wondering if they have another name running, that hasn't been outed yet as being Pretenda. Sending out letters, demanding settlements or else. Like when, just as Judge Wright destroyed their believability, a flurry of badly copied letters were sent out under the letterhead of a closed companies name but directing payments be sent to Pretenda.

    There are still plenty of trolls out there in the wild, and all you need is a name that doesn't have a stink attached to it to shake the tree and see who panics.

    And lets not forget the case where they were given carte blanche by the court and Charter (IIRC) sued them to get paid for the lookups caused by the faulty subpoena, and to force the destruction of the records they got. Given their questionable understanding of telling the truth, why anyone would take them at their word is beyond me.

    I don't know how we find and help people when dealing with an unknown entitity.

  433. MCB says


    It's possible. But this is one of the things a criminal investigation could address. All of this ducking and dodging civil procedure that Prenda is currently engaging in won't do much of anything to avoid a GJ subpoena. Thinking about that possibility makes me wonder about the game of hide the Lutz they are playing and the mysterious "federal agents." Lots of possibilities.

    So I have been thinking about the Mother In Law (MIL) and her affidavit. Here is the thing that bugs me: why does she contact Cooper at all?

    Imagine as the affidavit would have it, MIL has religious objections to porn but otherwise has no reason to doubt Counselor Steele's honesty or business practices. She goes on websites and sees all of these horrible "conspiracy theories" and the general mad revolutionary activities of Castro and the EFF. Cooper's name comes up. She knows Cooper and has lots of reasons involving overhearing Counselor Steele's mother's-uncle's-friend's-former-roomate to think Mr. Cooper is managing a porn empire in between hunting elk and taking a chainsaw to Counselor Steele's cabin. Why does she then contact him and tell him to get a lawyer? Why would having religious objections to pornography make her think Cooper needs a lawyer? To think that his copyright assignments are anything but above board?

    It doesn't track. MIL doesn't reach out over her daughter to contact someone who could hurt her son in law without a better reason than that. Hey EFF overlords, let's depose her and see eh?

  434. MCB says

    And let's remember: after all of this MIL is still supposedly on good enough terms with Counselor Steele to sign her name to an affidavit for him. If she is some crazy nutjob, why does she suddenly trust Counselor Steele to write up an affidavit for her to sign? Again, something isn't right here. This does not add up.

  435. Jim Tyre says


    Hey EFF overlords

    You rang? ;-)

    We do strive for world domination, but even we need a case in which we're counsel of record, you know.

  436. MCB says


    Maybe if you are mean enough to them on the internet they will come to you and file suit in NDCA. They already know some judges there.

  437. Jim Tyre says


    Maybe if you are mean enough to them on the internet they will come to you and file suit in NDCA. They already know some judges there.

    A boy can dream. '-)

    Hell, I'd settle for CDCA. EFF HQ is in NDCA, but I'm in CDCA. As is Judge Wright.

    Lawyers who represent themselves having fools for clients, maybe some guy named Ken (can't remember his surname) would represent EFF.

  438. Lucius says

    The next one I'm aware of is October 15, when Duffy files his delayed response to the amended counterclaim. Normally, this sounds boring, but I'm sure Duffy will be able to screw it up enough to keep it interesting, even if it is largely ghost-written. Then on to the December 12 hearing.

    Doesn't the Northern California appeal come up in mid-November? That should be fascinating, assuming Prenda is foolish enough not to drop it.

    The Georgia case has been quiet since Lutz failed to show for his deposition, but something should be happening there at some point.

  439. whheydt says

    Hmmm…. How long is it going to be before a suitably energetic lawyer points out to a judge that Lutz has a pattern of not showing up when and where he is supposed to? What would be likely to happen if that judge happened to approve of a deposing him or wanted him in court as a witness?

  440. That Anonymous Coward says

    @MCB no they only file lawsuits against you in IL, IL, and FL. (As an EFF terrorist lackey, I know these things first hand… er is it because of intentional infliction of butthurt… I get confused.)
    They drop the FL one right quick as the other 2 get removed to Federal Court….

    Don't forget, I think they are supposed to file something in DC before Judge 'RIAA Cheerleader' Howell sometime soon IIRC.
    Something should be blowing up in GA shortly…
    Not sure where AZ is at right now…

    I need a new program to keep up with all of the fails on the brink of exploding.

    @Jim Tyre – re: my lackeyhood. Exactly when will the EFF be delivering my unmarked poptarts in non sequential flavors?

    @whheydt – I'm guessing that after Hans wonderful letter omitting Lutz blowing off courts previously, someone let the Judge know.

  441. Jim Tyre says


    Don't forget, I think they are supposed to file something in DC before Judge 'RIAA Cheerleader' Howell sometime soon IIRC.

    Close, not quite. It's the appeal to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals by the ISPs from Judge Howell's Order. AF's brief was due yesterday, Duffy filed it this morning.

    @Jim Tyre – re: my lackeyhood. Exactly when will the EFF be delivering my unmarked poptarts in non sequential flavors?

    I find no binding written agreement that you are a paid lackey.

  442. That Anonymous Coward says

    @Jim Tyre – but but but they made it sound like it was true…
    Just like me getting married someday would lead to hackers destroying paypal or something… He was being very overwrought and it was hard to understand his point.

    Yes the appeals court, my bad. Sadly no one was willing to take the bet they would file late.

  443. Jim Tyre says

    The filing is dated yesterday, and Duffy certifies that he filed it yesterday, but the e-filing header that is added automatically does not lie.

    USCA Case #12-7135 Document #1460739 Filed: 10/11/2013 Page 33 of 41

    I hereby certify that on this 10th day of October, 2013, I electronically filed the foregoing with the Clerk of the Court for the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit using the appellate CM/ECF System. Counsel for all parties to the case are registered CM/ECF users and will be served by the appellate CM/ECF system.
    /s/ Paul A. Duffy

  444. James says

    @Jim Tyre

    Is it still considered a late filing? I thought any filing made when the clerk's office was not open (i.e. like a weekend or holiday) was deemed received on the prior day and the only relevance of the time stamp was for settling disputes on who got to the courthouse first in cases where that matters to choice of venue or such.

  445. Jim Tyre says


    Yes, it was late. After two previous extensions of time, the Court gave him a hard deadline of yesterday, he filed today. Both yesterday and today being open court days, what happens with weekend filings is not relevant. In any event, if one files on say, a Sunday, it's usually treated as having been filed on the subsequent Monday, not the previous Friday.

    Where courts differ with e-filing is the effect of filing on the due date, but after the court's close of business. Some say filings are timely as long as completed by 11:59:59 PM on the due date, some say untimely if after COB. But that's not what happened here.

    It isn't jurisdictional, the Court may or may not penalize Duffy for the late filing. But as a factual matter, it was late.

  446. Jim Tyre says

    Hmm, Duffy just filed a motion for leave to file his late filed brief. He says that he tried to file it yesterday, but there was a technical problem with the Court's e-filing system. He spoke with the ECF Help Desk as soon as they opened this morning, apparently they acknowledged that there was a problem.

    Without regard to general credibility issues, it would be monumentally stupid to relate a conversation with the Help Desk people if no such conversation occurred or if the substance differed significantly from what Duffy says. So, perhaps, he really did have a problem outside of his control this time.

  447. That Anonymous Coward says

    Given the massive amount of time they were allowed to prepare this document… waiting until the last moment to file, after the court slapped you for asking for more time yet again, seems like a dumb idea.

  448. rsteinmetz70112 says

    It may be monumentally stupid to lie about taking to the Help Desk but that does not preclude Duffy from doing it.

  449. Lucius says

    A temporary link to Duffy's DC filing yesterday:

    I don't recognize the writing style of Duffy, Steele, or even Hansmeier in this document. It has flawed arguments, but they are presented coherently. It also stays focussed on the point at hand, which none of the Prenda attorneys seem capable of doing. The tone could be of someone with a history of representing the media industry.

    Duffy was filing such ridiculously bad documents that Hansmeier was starting to step in to clean up some of the flaws, although this may not be a good long-term solution. Could they have been able to hire someone more competent willing to write court filings quietly in the background providing there is no immediate risk his/her own reputation?

  450. MCB says

    "Without regard to general credibility issues, it would be monumentally stupid to relate a conversation with the Help Desk people if no such conversation occurred or if the substance differed significantly from what Duffy says." More or less stupid than telling the clerk to file your amended complaint because the complaint had not been served, when it had been served?

    I suspect the court will accept it. Honestly, I don't know why they even bothered to file an appeal at all at this point. It seems like they are in denial about the future of their business.

  451. htom says

    I'd say they were bouncing between anger and bargaining, with occasional returns to denial.

    — edit:
    Ooooh! Preview and edit are cool, and work! Yea!

  452. That Anonymous Coward says

    So any insights into how a court might react to the later filing after the dog ate my java excuse having been further edited beyond "correcting" the date to more accurately reflect when it was filed?

  453. ketchup says

    Prenda reminds me of an immature college student trying to get out of an assignment. I had a guy in one of my classes whose excuses kept getting more and more elaborate and desperate. Eventually the profs wouldn't take ANY excuse from him, so he "fell" down a concrete staircase on the way to class and showed up for the exam bloodied and bruised. The prof. had to send him to the health center to avoid being seen as a total clod. It got so bad that when we saw an ambulance in front of the science building, we said "Oh, student X must have an exam today!".
    I wouldn't be surprised if ambulances start showing up near Lutz or even Duffy before long. "Your honor, I can't file my response because I am in the hospital with a broken neck!"

  454. That Anonymous Coward says

    @ketchup – I'm guessing you were unaware that several cases have had delays due to "medical" issues where Pretenda is involved.
    The DC appeal had an extension once for "medical" reasons.
    Another appearance, IIRC in AZ, was delayed due to a "medical" reason.
    And I think that Nazzy in GA played the "medical" card as well.

    Its appeared several times, but only rarely has a court felt that these fine upstanding lawyers should need to bring a note from a Doctor, which I find shocking considering the collusion, forum shopping, disregard for courts orders they disagree with, obfuscation, questionable documents, etc. that are the hallmarks of their "business model".

  455. Dormammu says

    Have you noticed that, with rare exceptions, all the Prenda principals seem to be be resorting to argument via affidavit? No one except John Steele wants to talk in court about any of their claims save in very controlled situations like the most recent case where there is no cross-examination. Further, given that John Steele is part of the suit seeking to determine if Alan Cooper's identity was stolen, why would anyone believe an affadaivt allegedly by his MIL?

  456. That Anonymous Coward says

    @Dormammu – They wouldn't. All of the attention is now focused on did she write it, didn't she, what is all of this over here.
    The case they appeared for was to determine if the document had issues.

    The CEO was missing.
    The entire time was spent beating the horse that Mr. Cooper is this horrible person who is out to screw all of these fine upstanding lawyers, to please the EFF.
    He has mental issues, he started rumors, half heard phone calls and testimony they were unwilling to provide in court in CA.

    We all "know" they are forged documents that were used to defraud the courts, and that this sideshow was a delay tactic… but the court is not allowed to draw conclusions without evidence. Attempting to destroy the character of Mr. Cooper is the only thing left to them, all of them have now given different versions of the same events.

    There is a document that no one saw signed, allegedly transfering the copyrights of several movies to 2 different companies that are actually just 1.
    This document was submitted to courts as proof of ownership, with a signature no one can vette.
    At best they didn't do due diligence, at worst this was another portion of their long term plan to use the courts to assist them in obtaining settlements that some have characterized as extortion.

    I'm very tired of the sideshow and I wish that a Judge would ask the Marshalls to locate and bring Mr. Lutz to court to answer the questions he is ignoring. It really is past that time where speaking with his "representation" is of any value. A court should take the time to inform him directly of the actual consequences for his actions are, given that all of the parties involved have a vested interest in finding a fall guy… and he is the only one being told to ignore courts.

    Also I thought that one of the Judges in the identity theft cases basically kicked the can down the road after misreading Judge Wrights order and thinking Mr. Cooper was actually involved and taken to task like the others by Judge Wright. It was stop doing that and get out of my courtroom… not a useful outcome.

  457. Lucius says

    Duffy pleaded for an extension to file a response in Prenda's defamation suit against Allen Cooper. He was granted one, as long as he filed before October 15. That was yesterday.

    Did he succeed in this monumental effort, or is he waiting to report his terrible fall down the concrete staircase while attempting to deliver it?

  458. Jim Tyre says

    Back to Navasca, the case in San Francisco. Judge Chen just adopted inf full the report and recommendations of Magistrate Judge Vadas, and set an OSC for a further evidentiary hearing.

    3. Order to Show Cause
    Accordingly, the Court hereby orders AF, Mr. Steele, and Mr. Hansmeier to show cause as to why the judgment should not be amended to add Mr. Steele and Mr. Hansmeier as debtors for the attorney fee award. The Court further orders Mr. Steele and Mr. Hansmeier to show cause as to why sanctions against them should not be issued pursuant to the Court’s inherent authority (with the issue of personal jurisdiction being addressed by the order to show cause).
    A response to this order to show cause shall be filed within two weeks from the date of this order.
    A reply to the response shall be filed within three weeks of the date of this order.
    While the parties and Mr. Steele and Mr. Hansmeier may submit declarations in support of their respective papers, the Court hereby forewarns all persons or entities involved that such declarations (or affidavits) will be given little to no weight because the Court shall be
    conducting an evidentiary hearing on the order to show cause on Thursday November 21, 2013. Thus, any testimony in a declaration (or affidavit) that a party or nonparty deems important, significant, or critical must be presented at the evidentiary hearing by a live
    witness, subject to cross-examination.
    For the foregoing reasons, the Court issues the order to show cause described above.
    This order disposes of Docket Nos. 93 and 116.

    (The court bolded the last graf before the conclusion.)

  459. Jim Tyre says

    U.S. District Court
    California Northern District
    Notice of Electronic Filing

    The following transaction was entered on 10/16/2013 at 10:03 AM and filed on 10/16/2013
    Case Name: AF Holdings LLC v. Doe
    Case Number: 3:12-cv-02396-EMC

    WARNING: CASE CLOSED on 05/21/2013
    Document Number: 121(No document attached)

    Docket Text:
    ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE — See Docket No. [120] for full Order. Order to Show Cause Hearing set for 11/21/2013 10:00 AM. Show Cause Response due by 10/30/2013. Reply to Response due by 11/6/2013. Signed by Judge Edward M. Chen on 10/16/2013. (emcsec, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 10/16/2013)

  460. Eric says

    Either someone will be taking the stand under oath (doubtful) or they're going to invoke their 5th yet again. And boom goes the dynamite yet again, methinks.

  461. Kyzer says

    Love it.

    "The Court further orders Mr. Steele and Mr. Hansmeier to show cause as to why sanctions against them should not be issued pursuant to the Court’s inherent authority (with the issue of personal jurisdiction being addressed by the order to show cause)."

    So if I'm reading this right (IANAL) the show cause hearing regarding adding Steele and Hansmeier as debtors for the attorney fee award clears up the issue of personal jurisdiction, which then opens the door for Judge Chen to issue sanction for "bad faith conduct, and perpetrated fraud upon the court".

    Things seem to be about to get real for these guys. But I've been thinking that for almost a year now. Should be interesting.

  462. anne mouse says


    Basically right. More particularly, if Steele and Hansmeier are served with the *order* to attend the show cause hearing, then that establishes personal jurisdiction, as explained near the end of the order.

    IIRC, service by mail (with return receipt) is sufficient (maybe even email if they've been e-filing already); if I'm wrong, expect Steele and Hansmeier to take a sudden, long camping trip.

  463. Paul says

    Judge Chen also blows up the affidavit act – The only thing that will count is actual testimony. I would expect a very quiet courtroom

  464. WDS says

    As quiet as Judge Chen has been compared to the explosive Judge Wright, why do I feel that the Prenda Boys may suddenly start wishing for the good old days in front of Judge Wright.

  465. rsteinmetz70112 says

    Can someone please subpoena Lutz?

    If all three are not present and testify to the same set of facts, this circle jerk will continue.

  466. Eric says

    IF all three show up, or even two of them….can they be compelled to stay out of the courtroom during the other party(ies)'s testimony? I don't know if that is general practice or not having never really been involved in a case like this. Not being a lawyer and al.

  467. Dan says

    Sequestering witnesses is standard practice in some courts, not so common in others. The problem with applying it here is that Settle and Hansmeier are now parties, so they would have a right to be present for witness testimony.

  468. Eric says

    So the likelihood of them spitting out the exact same story is pretty high? Shame. I'd love to see the circles they'd go in if they couldn't hear the others' testimony

  469. James says

    Does Judge Chen's court have personal jurisdiction over Lutz such that he can be compelled to appear?

  470. whheydt says

    Re: James

    Judge Chen cerainly has jurisdiction over AF[whatever] as a named party to the case. Since Lutz is supposedly the only officer of AF[whatever], I would have a hard time seeing a way that Judge Chen *doesn't* have jurisdiction over Lutz, unless that's where corporate limited liability comes in.

  471. That Anonymous Coward says

    @Eric – the story being the same is actually fairly low.
    Hans gave a deposition on behalf of AF and recited a series of events.
    Hans put Steele on the stand in another court room, and he recited an entirely different version of those events.

    I do hope that the depo and sworn testimony are submitted to the court, so that the Judge can be fully aware of the changing version of facts told in legal proceedings based on who is talking. Well that and the whole issue of did someone perjure themselves somewhere along the line here.

  472. Eric says


    Thanks. I was just thinking if Lutz got on the stand third in line. If the defense was smart, Lutz would get called first, before he has a chance to hear the rest of the stories. It should be fun to see what happens.

  473. James says

    @whheydt Yeah, that was my thinking as well. The missing piece is that the judge kind of left it open as to what evidence HAD to be presented as the hearing is being conducted to let S&H show why they should not be sanctioned. If they want to toll the dice, they might just plead the 5th and take the consequences.

    Given how Steele testified in the Minnesota case a few weeks back, I don't see how any party other than Lutz can testify as to the history and relationships with respect to AF since it will be at least nine months before any of his unborn children can testify.

  474. says

    Given the expense (not to mention the risks) entailed by appearing and testifying, IMHO the Prendarasts will simply pay the sanctions and write it off as a cost of doing their sort of business.

    On the other hand, I'm not a lawyer . . . at this point is that even an option for them?

  475. anne mouse says

    Steve S.

    Aside from disbarment and similar unpleasantness (they realize the game is up, anyway, at least as far as the Prenda name is concerned), the Prendarasts have a little problem called criminal contempt of court. If they do show up, they may have a little problem called criminal perjury, and then there's criminal extortion, criminal fraud, and so on. Their strategy so far has been to do anything to delay the consequences, so I'm guessing that (after a bunch of "emergency" appeal attempts) they do show up, but plead the fifth. (How that will work for Steele, in particular, will be quite interesting, but he'll figure that the judge won't have him clapped in irons right that minute.) Then again, the "sudden illness/ federal agents" gambit has been working pretty well from their point of view, I wouldn't be surprised to see them try it again.

  476. darthskeptic says

    New filing in Wright's case by Brett Gibbs, arguing that the sanctions against him should be vacated. It has dirt on communications to keep him silent and Prenda's financial records. They show 70% of the settlement $ going directly to Steele/Hansmeier, 30% to assorted shells and interested parties, and none to AF/Ingenuity.

    Still waiting for the RECAP.

    This is the equivalent of throwing the Prendarasts under a Baneblade.

  477. Jim Tyre says

    Haven't had a chance to look at Gibbs' new filing yet. But meanwhile, in Northern California, Judge Chen has reset the briefing and hearing dates for the OSC in Navasca:

    California Northern District
    Notice of Electronic Filing

    The following transaction was entered on 10/17/2013 at 12:39:34 PM and filed on 10/17/2013
    Case Name: AF Holdings LLC v. Doe
    Case Number: 3:12-cv-02396-EMC

    WARNING: CASE CLOSED on 05/21/2013
    Document Number:

    Docket Text:
    Set/Reset Hearing re [122] Order,, Set/Reset Deadlines:, ***Deadlines terminated. Order to Show Cause Hearing set for 12/19/2013 10:00 AM. Response due: 11/21/13. Reply due 12/5/13 (bpf, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 10/17/2013)

  478. whyamihere..! says

    One of the funny things about Prenda business is the names they have given, like 'Salt Marsh', 'Under the bridge'.

    They named them as if to justify the functionality of the entities in their dubious business transactions. Are they that stupid?

  479. AlphaCentauri says

    @darthskeptic – thanks for the link. I especially liked this footnote:

    Duffy did introduce one new item into evidence during his cross examination of Gibbs — an “Engagement Letter” dated November 15, 2011 from Duffy to Lutz, which included this sentence: “The attorney who will be overseeing your company’s litigation, and your primary contact at Prenda Law, will be Brett Gibbs.” Although this was the first time Gibbs had seen this document, it had been attached to a Declaration of Mark Lutz filed April 29, 2013 as an Exhibit to a Memorandum of John Steele in a Florida case. Sunlust Pictures LLC v. Tuan Nguyen 8:12 – cv – 01685 – MSS (M.D. Fla.), Doc. No. 51 at pg. 22. In that case, the Defendant’s attorney pointed out that the Engagement Letter was printed on stationery which Prenda did not use at the time, strongly suggesting it was fraudulently created after the fact. Id . , Doc . No. 52. at pg. 7. Gibbs also believes this was a back-dated creation of Prenda designed to deceive the courts in both Florida and California and deflect blame from Steele, Hansmeier and Duffy to him. (Gibbs Decl. at ¶ 21). Gibbs finds it more than a little surprising that the Principals would submit yet another fake document to a federal court given the multiple accusations of fraud they already face in courts around the country.

    I am surprised that he would claim to find anything they do surprising at this point.

  480. Christenson says

    @Jim Tyre:
    Huge wolf-whistle for Gibbs' pro se declaration. He says, in effect, that he has seen God, and that transgressions involving describing a 1200 square foot house on a 7,000 square foot lot as huge should be forgiven by all of the good deeds he is doing since, and promises to further if he gets relief, such as providing silver bullets to EFF and others on the good side. He also says ignoring court orders was accomplished by Hansmeier, who told him things had been done, when they were not.

    Neither the words "silver bullet" nor "God" actually appear in the motion; I am being hyperbolic. He did reveal that he is a recent survivor of brain cancer. It is certainly easy to believe he has been doing good deeds lately…but I have to ask the various defenders if they believe the bit about the house size or not, and whether there are other misdeeds not discussed that Gibbs should answer for.

  481. MCB says

    WOW. WOW. Ladies and gentlemen, we have domestic bank accounts. We have profits. This document is incredible. Is there ANY way to square Hans's deposition with this document?

  482. MCB says

    Is Ken going to do a mail fraud and other assorted federal criminal statutes Prenda might be prosecuted under post?

    I mean they were writing checks to Counselors Steele and Hansmeier directly! WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?

    How on earth have they been stupid enough to keep talking about this. How were they stupid enough to piss Gibbs off? I am aghast.

    I'm not an experience criminal defense attorney like Ken, but if they were my client I would have told them to forget about their licenses, appeals, and civil litigation entirely. Their only goal should be to stay out of prison.

  483. Myk says


    He did reveal that he is a recent survivor of brain cancer.

    It's hardly a "reveal"; it features in pretty much every submission, document, post-it note and anything else Gibbs has written. I think he sees it as a way to garner sympathy for his plight.

    I read it more as Gibbs suggesting that having brain cancer kills one's moral compass and ethical judgement. Other brain cancer survivors seem to function in society without breaking every law they encounter, and if I was unlucky enough to be in that group I'd be pretty pissed off with Gibbs trying to imply it's a defence for his conduct.

  484. Myk says


    One of the funny things about Prenda business is the names they have given, like 'Salt Marsh', 'Under the bridge'.

    They named them as if to justify the functionality of the entities in their dubious business transactions. Are they that stupid?

    No, they think everyone else is stupid and won't pick up on their in-joke cleverness and subterfuge.

    They are wrong.

  485. MCB says

    Ok, who wants to pay the 20 bucks to get Under the Bridge's tax history?

    Entity Details
    File Number: 5107923 Incorporation Date / Formation Date: 02/10/2012
    Entity Kind: CORPORATION Entity Type: CLOSED CORP
    Residency: DOMESTIC State: DE
    City: NEWARK County: NEW CASTLE
    State: DE Postal Code: 197113258
    Phone: (302)266-9367
    Additional Information is available for a fee. You can retrieve Status for a fee of $10.00 or
    more detailed information including current franchise tax assessment, current filing history
    and more for a fee of $20.00.
    Would you like Status Status,Tax & History Information

  486. whheydt says

    Look like Gibbs, since he is under the bus anyway, has decided to remove the drain plugs from both engine and transmission.

  487. Christenson says

    Look, major medical treatment can put you in a desperate position, and there is a huge glut of JDs, which is how Gibbs seems to have gotten involved with S&H initially, and why (IMO) trolling got invented in the first place. Gibbs has obviously decided it's in his interest to turn, hard, on S&H. My question remains: How much SHOULD Gibbs remain on the hook for? Why or why not, in detail, and what would change your mind?

  488. James says

    OK, that's it. Gibbs is now definitely off of John and Paul's Christmas card list.

    Holy moly, this just got real for the evil doers. What kind of a moron do you need to be to share private financial information over a DropBox account with somebody who is not a partner in the firm, and then try to stick that same individual with the bill for all of the sanctions? I cannot wait to read Exhibits E and F.

  489. Palimpsest says

    I liked the "Gibbs was playing in another league" statement. Clearly not the big leagues since he doesn't want to go to the Big House.

    IANAL but I'm fascinated.

    Does Gibbs information include enough to put the payments into evidence.

    Does Gibbs as an officer of the court have a responsibility to contradict Steele saying he had no interest in Prenda or does that fall under the normal adversarial lies a lawyer is supposed to condone?

    Do the various shells include any money going to a Nevis trust or was that a total fabrication?

  490. snjwffl says

    What I don't understand is why they sent Gibbs that information, and told him (partly) about "Under the Bridge Consulting" during the implosion (certainly after the original motion for sanctions, and probably after the first OSC).

    I like footnote 12:

    At the March 11 OSC hearing, the Court asked, “Do you feel like you have been duped by Hansmeier and Steele?” Gibbs responded, “In a way, yes.” His answer today would be “In many, many ways, yes.”

    @James: The exhibits have all been RECAPed, though they don't seem to be showing up. Here are E and F:
    (There are 10 attachments in all. For the rest, just change the last number in the URL to a number 0-10.)

  491. Steve Simmons says

    This is the best submission since what's-his-name attempted to withdraw from representing Prenda with the statement that he could no longer trust anything his client told him. His closing paragraphs include

    While Gibbs is asking the Court to vacate the sanctions imposed upon him in its May 6 order, he is not asking the Court to withdraw the referrals the Court made to the U.S. Attorney, the Central District Disciplinary Committee, the State Bar and the Internal Revenue Service. Gibbs wants these investigations to proceed and will continue to cooperate fully with them.

    Not only has he handed Wright and everyone else strong proof about the real beneficial owners of AF/etc, he clearly thinks he can successfully defend himself in the investigations while further throwing Lutz, Hansmeier and Steele into the maw.

  492. snjwffl says

    @Steve: My interpretation was that he's trying to defend himself in the investigations by throwing Lutz, Hansmeier and Steele into the maw.

  493. Steve Simmons says

    Gibbs claims that Prenda threatened him and asked him to sign a whole shitload of stuff that would hang him out to dry for Prenda's actions. He says they also gave him copies of the books. They can be seen here as items gov.uscourts.cacd.543744.240.1.pdf through gov.uscourts.cacd.543744.240.10.pdf. Wow. Just . . . wow.

  494. Lucius says

    Exhibits E & F open up a number of new trails to follow. For example, S&H are happy to list expenses in detail, but list income as huge unidentified lumps from "pirates".

    Those vague huge lumps of income are obviously aggregates from a number of settlements coming into Prenda all at once. From where? Who collected this money and held it before Prenda? How did they decide how much to pass on to Prenda, and how much disappeared elsewhere?

    I recall a posted extortion letter requiring payment by wire made out only to a vague payee name something like "owner"? Did these deliberately-under-the-bridge payments ever make it to Prenda? If not, where did they go?

  495. Myk says


    Yes, I agree the cost of rehabilitation, particularly from something as major as BC is frightening, and I certainly don't mean to imply otherwise. While there is a glut of JD's, from what I can see the vast majority seem to be able to cope without breaking the law – even if it means working in other areas for a while.

    My "issue" with Gibbs is that I get the impression (and yes, I'm aware I could be completely misconstruing him) that he is trying to use the sympathy vote to lessen the impact of his behaviour. He wasn't telling everyone "I had brain cancer" when he was helping to ruin people's lives, after all – only once he started feeling the heat on his toes did he feel it a pertinent fact.

    Medical issues aside, there is a quandary of sorts here – if you let him off the sanctions, that sends a pretty clear signal to others that the courts are more bark than bite and despite various Codes of Ethics, Officer of the Court expectations etc, pond scum can still get away with things you & I could not, simply by saying "Oh, look, I'm sorry . It was all a big misunderstanding and I promise I'll never do this again". Conversely however, if you hold him liable for the sanctions it reduces the incentive for him to come clean.

    On balance, I think I'd have to fall on the side of utilitarianism here and say that if – and only if – he tells all, provides evidence to back up all his claims and contributes materially to the convictions of S/L/H etc, then his liability for the sanctions can be set aside. Quite how to deal with his complicity in any other criminal activity exposed in this process is another question.

  496. Anonymous says


    I'm sure at this point "surprise" is just being used as a rhetorical device by everyone except the Prendatards.


    Early on in Prenda's lifecycle, back in the Steele | Hansmeier days, Gibbs filed copyright infringement lawsuits asking for statutory damages for works that had not been registered with the copyright office, or even had registrations filed. One example is Hard Drive Productions, Inc. v. Does 1-118, which spawned a lawsuit against HDP, Seth Abrahams v. Hard Drive Productions, Inc. The complaint in that case specifically stated that an application for registration had been filed and asked for a statutory damage award (which requires the registration as a prerequisite). The Copyright Office's policy is to backdate registrations to the date an application was filed, and when the works in question were finally registered the registration dates were 6-8 months after the cases were filed, meaning Prenda was scrambling trying to cover their asses.

    Given all the other shenanigans from Gibbs and Prenda, since Gibbs was the attorney of record and supposedly competent to handle a copyright case, he was the one obligated to do the due diligence and figure out if the fucking works he was filing lawsuits over were even registered. Considering he didn't do this, then claimed they were registered and filed a complaint asking for the statutory awards, I think he deserves to eat shit for outright fraud.

    He was well aware of coverage of Prenda's misbehavior (like robocalling people and their families until they went crazy) and occasionally name-dropped the "pro-piracy" blogs in an attempt to whine his way to sympathy from a judge. Gibbs knew about the Cooper shenanigans months before it blew up in their faces, so he knew enough to be suspicious and start asking questions and at the very least GTFO months before he found himself in an impossible position before Wright. He was a willing and enthusiastic participant until it stopped being fun.

    @ Everyone Else

    Holy shit. I don't think Wright is going to ignore this filing. He disappointingly gave Steele a pass on destroying evidence (his Gmail account) at the last hearing, but given how hard he came down on Prenda without anything close to this kind of evidence of fraud, I don't see how this is going to slip by without another nuclear event.

  497. That Anonymous Coward says

    @Christenson – Mr. Gibbs has much to atone for, these records are a good start. His entire career is pretty well flushed right now, his only value is making sure the SS Pretenda goes all the way down.

    No amount of white washing what he has done will undo what he helped them do, but if he continues to serve up Steele, Hans, Duffy and the rest up on a plate I think even the most harassed Does would be happy to see him lose just the $500 in the bank and face real penalties from the other authorities.

    He will never be fully forgiven, and he will never be forgotten.

    There are many people who will take a vested interest in sitting on the sidelines making sure he plays by the rules.

    My concern moving forward from here is we might never know all of the damage Pretenda inflicted.
    I can count up Does
    I can divide settlement numbers into income…
    How do you quantify destroying someones life?
    What is the balance in the law for people they pushed over the edge?

    People like to poo-poo the notion claiming that no one would ever take that drastic step, funny I talked with many people like that and we found help for at least 1 tormented person who was on the edge.
    I don't think we will ever know the extent of the pain and misery, and there are some who can never be made whole by anything now.

    To paraphrase 'Heathers' –
    Dear diary, my extortionist bullshit now has a body count…

    How does the law fix that?

  498. James says

    The thought came to me overnight that Gibss has very, very likely disgorged all of this and more to the US Attorney, IRS, and other alphabet agencies. Having done so, he has earned the eternal hatred of his former law colleagues so he might as well try to get off the hook legally for the sanctions while he is at it.

    There is none so devout as a reformed whore (as the old saying goes) and there is no way to know whether his contrition is genuine or merely a weak intent to cover his own ass, but the monetary sanctions should fall hardest on those who made the money and that was not Gibbs. Given his ethical lapses I don't see how the bar allows him to keep his license without, at a minimum, a multi-year suspension and probably permanent disbarment. I think that if a young man like that has to flush his legal education down the drain that is sufficient punishment for HIS part of this sordid affair.

    And Gibbs' version of events contradicts Lutz's affidavits so of course Mr. Lutz must be called and cross-examined in person even if he needs a ride from the US Marshall Service. Meanwhile popcorn futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange are expected to advance sharply today.

  499. Christenson says

    At the risk of being called silly, I also came to the conclusion that Gibb's affidavit is not telling the whole truth even before reading the answers above. The telling detail is that S&H shared all that financial information with Gibbs. This implies beyond doubt that Gibbs was in cahoots and in a leadership position, at least a junior partner. I therefore also conclude that Gibbs knows how to lie convincingly, changing a few details to proect the guilty.

    I am therefore inclined that mistaking the size of that house wasn't at all inadvertent, and that Gibbs knew far earlier than that spreadsheet that settlements weren't going to clients, and that his 2012 income was far higher than he admits. He probably paid off his debts, and I doubt he is feeling guilt.

    Atonement? How about some pro bono brief research for ACLU and EFF on NSA cases? The glut in the JD market is no excuse, but I claim it is a cause for a few of the more ethically challenged lawyers to find new, unsavory sources of income.

    Thanks for the help, off to read the attachments…

  500. anne mouse says

    If I were Wright, I would take one look at Exhibit G, compare that to Gibbs' new story in the latest affidavit (starting on page 24), and after some time to calm down, conclude that the best way a judge can say "liar liar pants on fire" is to impose new sanctions.

  501. Resolute says

    When I saw 30 news posts in this thread since yesterday, I figured something big happened. But holy moly! I tend to agree with Christenson here. S&H don't share Prenda's financial details with Gibbs if he is merely local council/convenient fall guy. So I find that Gibbs is not yet being fully transparent with respect to his own position within Prenda.

    I wonder if he is holding back in the hopes of parlaying the full truth into criminal immunity when things get to that point? Prenda is basically now in open civil war. Forget throwing him under the bus, I suspect S&H and Duffy are going to try and throw Gibbs under a cruise ship in the hopes of completely destroying his credibility in the eyes of the alphabet agencies.

  502. mcinsand says

    @TAC and others, I have long thought that 'extortionist' is too kind of a word for any of the Prenda crowd. There is great irony in them callnig the EFF or anyone else terrorists. They were holding victims' reputations hostage for fear that they would file lawsuits on barely even flimsy 'evidence.'

  503. says

    @Christensen: I find it perfectly plausible that Prenda would be dumb enough to put all that stuff into a dropbox that a non-partner has access to. Their slapdash responses and malformed cut-and-pasteware documents are a strong indicator that they are both lazy and sloppy. They had a dropbox, they wanted to send stuff to Gibbs, and they were too lazy and/or too sloppy to create a new box or directory and set the permissions appropriately. Nope, it was quicker and easier to just drop them into the box they already and grant permission on it.

    I'm not saying that's what they did and why they did it. I'm saying that given the rest of their sloppy, error-filled work, it's perfectly plausible. We'll likely never learn the truth.

    If I were Gibbs (or the IRS), I'd be filing the paperwork right now to have Dropbox preserve the backups of that box. From the Dropbox help page:

    By default, Dropbox saves a history of all deleted and earlier versions of files for 30 days for all Dropbox accounts. If you purchase the Packrat add-on for your account, Dropbox will save your files for as long as you have the feature, so you'll never have to worry about losing a folder or file again.

  504. says

    A general comment on the financial data in Gibbs' exhibits –

    These are clearly *not* spreadsheets. They appear to be QuickBooks reports. If any of your out there are IRS agents, quick, get a search warrant for their disks before they feed them to a chipper.

    Caveat: "appear to be." That's based on my experience using QuickBooks to run a small consulting business for about seven years. I closed up that business over ten years ago and haven't used QuickBooks since, so take my opinion with a big grain of salt.

  505. Christenson says

    @Me again: Gibbs is trying to bargain away consequences right now. Think in terms of grief, and note that he has not yet befriended Bill Wasserstrom's 12-step program.

    Gibbs may not be completely incredible, but he has an elephantine self-interest in minimizing his involvement with S&H, whatever the reality may have been. Independent corroborating details and documents are therefore required for absolutely everything he says in that department.

  506. James says

    I can't speak to QuickBooks vs. some other accounting package, but these are clearly journal reports showing all the activity in and out of each account. In some ways those are more damning than a spreadsheet would be as each transaction is detailed to the pe