Team Prenda Is Too Much With Us

Why did I stop writing about the travails of Team Prenda?

Because it got extremely tedious, that's why.

I started writing about Prenda Law as a vehicle to illuminate things about the legal system and how it works. But Prenda isn't representative of the system. It isn't representative because Team Prenda and their lawyers have grown steadily more cartoonish and surreal. It isn't representative because other villains get away with abusing the system all the time and don't face consequences like Team Prenda has. It isn't representative because media scrutiny and Prenda's bald-faced fucknucklery have inspired courts to devote unprecedented time and resources to relatively minor matters.

Journalists and bloggers like me have tried to turn Prenda Law into a big story. It isn't one. Paul Hansmeier is fond of the phrase "welcome to the big leagues." Actual big-leaguers don't say that, and don't need to. It's the sort of thing you say to impress a new salesman if you are the poly-blend-clad assistant manager of a Subaru dealership in Modesto. Team Prenda made a few million dollars, but they've never been in the big leagues, and never will be. They are small-time grifters with small-time hearts — petty, grasping, and trite, possessed of a low cunning but no real talent, no class, and no common sense. Following them to comment upon the legal system is like explaining education by laboriously documenting the movements of a C- sophomore who got kicked off yearbook and periodically shits himself.

All of that said, Prenda managed to have a notably bad day last week.

You may recall that Prenda, wearing its dinner-theater guise of Lightspeed Media, engaged in foolish and unsuccessful litigation in Illinois. Team Prenda sued a John Doe and tried to subpoena ISPs; when the ISPs resisted, Team Prenda sued them on the theory that they were co-conspirators with illegal downloaders. That was when Team Prenda was still brash and smirking, before its whole world turned brown and dank. Team Prenda dismissed the case when its nationwide fortunes shifted, but not soon enough — the court hit Duffy, Steele, and Hansmeier with more than $261,000 in attorney fees as a sanction. Team Prenda blustered, claimed lack of due process, and pled poverty, all to no avail.

Now the United States Court of Appeal for the Seventh Circuit has issued a bunker-busting opinion affirming the vast sanctions award. I've uploaded the opinion here. I could describe the parts that are worst for Duffy, Steele, and Hansmeier, but nearly every paragraph is both terrible and quotable. Joe Mullin and Mike Masnick have the details. In short, the Seventh Circuit called bullshit on every argument Duffy, Hansmeier, and Steele have been offering across the country — that they haven't been given proper notice of sanctions motions, that there are inadequate grounds to find they have committed nationwide misconduct, that they don't have money to pay sanctions, and that they are not actually part of a unified enterprise. I've seen opinions affirming criminal convictions that were substantially more flattering to the appellants.

The significance is not just that Prenda has lost badly in this case, or that Duffy, Hansmeier, and Steele must pay not only the hefty attorney fees but the costs on appeal. The significance is that now one of the United States Court of Appeals has noted and summed up Prenda's scheme and rejected the same arguments that Prenda is using in trial and appellate courts across the country. Courts work through precedent. This sets a very substantial one; it can't be written off as one district judge going rogue. The Seventh Circuit just made it substantially easier for every other court in the country to reject Prenda's arguments briefly, if not summarily.

Can things get worse for Prenda? I find that if you have to ask that question, the answer is usually "yes." There are more appellate courts set to hear argument on Prenda's appeals of sanctions orders. Investigations by state bars and federal prosecutors likely loom. This opinion represents a senior court effectively recognizing Team Prenda for what it is: a criminal enterprise.

But a small one.

Last 5 posts by Ken White

Comments

  1. David but not that David says

    Boy. You know, if I were writing it, I'd spell it fuck-knucklery, but I can see why you went with just the one k and one word.

  2. That Anonymous Coward says

    There might have been a new "Downfall" parody made, I might have had something to do with it. There used to be entertainment in watching the antics, hell I think I am still being sued by them technically… I just don't care. Not that I ever really cared, the dumbest thing ever would be to let me speak to a Judge the chapter and verse of the horror these "lawyers" have wrought.

    Team Pretenda are a parody, but the real problem is… they got away with it for so very long. The problems with the enticement for copyright trolling aren't getting any better, the legal system that skipped several chances to hamstring this entire cottage industry early on. Today there are still serious concerns that there is another company creating infringement to profit from on a VERY large scale.

    But I sit and I try to patiently wait for the next shoe to drop, for there to finally be the acceptable evidence of what I always suspected to be true, that opens the door for Does to be made whole again. While the Pretenda Saga would make a lovely training film for young lawyers, and people enjoy telling the stories… there are thousands of people who had their lives turned upside down with the courts allowing it. Time extended over and over, ignoring the rules… but buying more time to hope that the pressure might made a Doe crack. Guilty or not, it was always about getting the payday at ANY cost.

    The story does not end with a bang, but a whimper… the whimper of the Does as some courts remain complicit in their role as a cog in a shakedown machine. I don't think they all might be innocent, but I don't think any of them tried to shakedown grandmothers to make a buck.

  3. Nathan M. Easton says

    The current state of affairs regarding Team Prenda is yet more proof (which accumulates by the day) that I am not as smart as I think I am.

    If you had asked me a year ago if they would still have their licenses, I would have bet you a hundred dollars they would not. It is unbelievable that these people are still allowed to call themselves attorneys.

  4. Zemalkop says

    Sometimes it's fun to see the little guys get squashed in a big, showy trainwreck, it's a lot easier to relate with them than with the big-leaguers.

  5. Edd says

    So while it has become clear that the courts have had quite enough of Prenda's BS. Does any of this impact the future firms who want to follow in their footsteps?While it is fun to watch these guys get torn apart.. I would like to at least hope that this serves as a warning to other lawyers that want extort people that it will not go well

  6. Kathryn says

    I thought this was a witty and accurate way to insult Prenda without the disability slurs so many "smart" people like to use (especially the Skeptic Community):

    They are small-time grifters with small-time hearts — petty, grasping, and trite, possessed of a low cunning but no real talent, no class, and no common sense.

    but then you had to bring in the disability slurs:

    C- sophomore who got kicked off yearbook and periodically shits himself.

    Because having neurological or gastrointestinal problems that don't always give someone time to make it to the restroom is totally like being a deliberate bully who misuses the law for gainful purposes.

  7. wanfuforever says

    I've thoroughly enjoyed the whole long piece about Prenda. It has taught me a lot about the law and how things work. I can understand why Ken would get tired of it, but I for one have loved every second of it for the educational purpose of knowing how things work.

  8. That Anonymous Coward says

    @Edd – Not in the least. The largest filer of copyright infringement cases in the US is still churning cases at a hectic pace. Still getting extensions while allowing cases to languish on the docket.
    Pop over to ArsTechnica or TechDirt and search Malibu Media. Many things "suggested" make it appear they truly refined based on Pretenda's missteps… but are just as full of themselves.
    My latest claim to fame is being called a psychopath and member of an internet hate group in a Federal Court docket by these nice people who were trying to seal cases from public view.

    @Nathan M. Easton – When I was a young coward, I thought the system would police itself and end this much sooner. I've gotten quite the education about the legal system and how long it takes the wheels to move. The added benefit for me is I've been upgraded from fringe loon, to almost trusted source. (What, sometimes you just gotta RickRoll someone.)

  9. Dave Crisp says

    When the opening line of a legal opinion quotes the First Law of Holes, you know the rest of it is gonna be good.

  10. MrEye says

    Writing about Prenda need have nothing to do with the law any longer.

    You write about Ponys because they are the Popehat animal mascots.
    In a similar way Team Prenda has become the human version of Pony's for you, and that's why you write about them

  11. says

    Oh, FFS.

    Kathryn, as someone with Crohn's Disease, I don't need you to speak for me. I didn't find that sentence remotely offensive. In fact, I found your post attempting to label it a "disability slur" far more offensive than the slur itself. The metaphorical teenager in question clearly shits himself through sheer laziness, not due to 'neurological or gastrointestinal' issues. He is pulling a C-, after all.

  12. ZarroTsu says

    :Prenda: "I bet my dad can beat up your dad!"
    :Defense: "Okay."
    :Prenda: "WAIT NO MY DAD HAS CANCER STOP IT"
    :Defense: "Okay."

  13. Fasolt says

    They are small-time grifters with small-time hearts — petty, grasping, and trite, possessed of a low cunning but no real talent, no class, and no common sense.

    If I was a lyricist, I'd be setting that to music right now.

  14. CylonRaven says

    Kathryn,

    Wait, what, no lambasting them for "low cunning," slurring people of below-average intelligence and equating moral value with cognitive ability? Golly, how ableist you are! Where is your intersectionality?!

  15. darthskeptic says

    It's the same kind of craziness that lead to the focus on Jack Thompson's antics from 2005 until his eventual disbarment in 2008.

    Team Prenda just involves more $ and porn.

  16. Kathryn says

    Just because you're OK with people using "shits themselves" to mean "lazy" or "most incompetent ever" doesn't mean that everyone else agrees with you, whether they have accidents due to Crohn's, IBD, cerebral palsy, autism, seizure disorders, etc.

    In the autistic community, we're really tired of the autism parents who tell the world about their children's toileting habits up to adulthood and conclude that a son or daughter who hasn't learned toileting by age X is so horrible that anything the parents do is justified. It's shorthand for "my child isn't really human." It's prominent in Autism Speaks scaremongering–wipe out autism or you might have a kid who will always be in diapers (even though that's <5-10% of autistics). It's a primary reason people want to institutionalize autistics.

    So apparently this means something different to me than it does to you. It must be nice being privileged enough that you don't have to worry about being considered less than human and locked up in a basement or a nursing home or just killed because you're too much of a burden and your mother can't stand the idea of anyone else taking care of you.

    That was not hyperbole, by the way.



  17. Steve says

    Hey! I grew up in Modesto! Just because it's the home of George Lucas, Gallo Wine, and Kirby Hensley, is no reason to call out the essential mediocrity of the place!

  18. TheOtherMatt says

    Kathyryn:

    I agree with the previous commenter, as a person with about a half dozen congential disabilites, i can tell you that it was not a slur. and calling it such is lame, and has the potentail to weaken efforts to curb the use of real slurs espically among `smart` people

  19. Kathryn says

    I don't know if my comment got through or not. This version is better, if the other's just stuck in moderation.

    Maybe Anton Sirius is like that one woman who feels complimented by catcalls while the rest of us feel gross. Maybe "shitting oneself" comments mean less to people with conditions that show up later in life. I apologize if I cast my net too widely trying to be inclusive and not limit my empathy to my own community.

    In the Autistic community, we are painfully aware that "autism parents" often consider their children less than human if they're not completely toilet trained on schedule. This is one of the primary things they bring up as an excuse for locking their sons or daughters in the basement (1) or even killing them (2) because caring for them is "too much to handle". It's one of the primary arguments used for anti-Autistic eugenics, even though it isn't one of the core features of autism.

    So using "shits oneself" to mean "incompetent" means something a lot worse to me than it does to you. It must be nice to have enough privilege that it doesn't bother you.

    1. http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/crime/autistic-twins-who-were-locked-in-basement-will-be-temporarily-cared-for-by-guardians/2014/07/30/632db5ec-1833-11e4-85b6-c1451e622637_story.html
    2. http://www.forbes.com/sites/emilywillingham/2013/09/05/if-a-parent-murders-an-autistic-child-who-is-to-blame/

  20. Kathryn says

    You do not have the right to gaslight me and say that something people use as justification to KILL people like me is not a slur.

    What are you going to do for an encore, call me the R-word?

  21. Dan Weber says

    I'm glad Prenda went into low-report mode. There seemed to be a feeling of piling on, as well as an attraction of a kind of commentor who thought that there was nothing wrong with stealing people's movies. After a certain point it doesn't make any difference to make yet another post about how they suck.

    It's still nice to see the big parts of them getting their comeuppance.

  22. TheOtherMatt says

    Kathryn:

    I'm not saying that you *shouldn't* call out slurs, just pick your battles a bit better, and since when has shiting yourself been a captial offense?

  23. says

    I don't really understand the slow-burning flame here… To the best of my mental abilities I conclude: Kathryn suggests that comparing Prenda folks to sophomores who periodically shit themselves is an unjustified insult to sophomores who periodically shit themselves.

    Correct me if I'm wrong.

  24. En Passant says

    Like other devoted Popefans and readers above, I concur with your assessment:

    They are small-time grifters with small-time hearts — petty, grasping, and trite, possessed of a low cunning but no real talent, no class, and no common sense.

    But even small-time grifters of low cunning sow a swath of chaos and destruction through the lives of innocent people. That is why your labors exposing Prenda's skullduggery to public view are such a valuable public service due thanks and praise.

    So, thank you for your past reportage, and especially for this.

    CJ Wood's articulation of the panel's decision is a wonder to behold. Besides the opening line on the first rule of holes, his assessment of the merits of appellant's case is priceless:

    Appellants next throw a variety of arguments regarding the substantive ruling against the wall, with the hope that one might stick. None does.

  25. Duane Roelands says

    I think it's important to keep writing about, and I hope you do.

    There is one thing that, to my mind, does make this representative of the legal system at large: The bad guys almost always never have to pay.

    Team Prenda is on a losing streak that should have ruined them, both professionally and personally. Yet, so long as they can continue to file motions, it appears that they'll never actually have to pay anything.

    This is a common perception of the legal profession; the idea that being on the side of the angels doesn't matter. If the bad actor has lawyers (or, as in this case, ARE lawyers) who are willing to keep filing paperwork, they'll never actually have to suffer any consequences of their malfeasance.

    I hope that you will continue to write about Prenda. I believe that this case will serve to answer the question of whether or not the civil legal system is still worthy of the faith and trust or ordinary people.

    Thanks for your continued efforts!

  26. Scote says

    "That Anonymous Coward wrote:

    Team Pretenda are a parody, but the real problem is… they got away with it for so very long."

    Yes, I think that is part of why Prenda is so interesting, and frustrating, to a lay audience. These guys are cartoonishily obvious villains, yet many courts let them get away with tons of blatant manipulation, falsehoods and coverups. How is it, for instance, that Prenda could file for Guava LLC without so much as being summarily dismissed for failure to so much as prove an EID for the alleged corporation. Or for their other shell companies, supposedly owned by a Nevis trust. AFIK, even though their claims of who owned the purported shell companies, Prenda never produced any actual tangible *evidence* that there even was an actual trust in Nevis. They just claimed that to the court. How the heck is that possible? That such a key element never had to be proved? And as lawyers they seemed to get amazingly wide leeway from judges instead of being smacked by sanctions early on, rather than years later, and even then, only through extraordinary effort and research by opposing council.

    Although team Prenda are getting some comeuppance now for their fuckwittery, they got a pass in so many cases. The fact that they haven't been disbarred yet is just another example of what is wrong. Sure, they *might*, in future, but justice delayed is justice denied, is it not? How many people's lives can be ruined before these bufoons finally taken down by the legal system?

  27. CylonRaven says

    Kathryn,

    Insulting someone by saying they are (figuratively) shitting all over themselves is in no way a call for murdering disabled people. You make yourself look ridiculous and trollish by trying to guilt/shame people claiming that they want to lock autistic people in basements or kill them.

    And by the way, yes, everyone does have a right to disagree with you, whether or not you disingenuously call it "gaslighting" (implying a deliberate campaign to make you question your senses and unhinge you, as opposed to, you know, disagreeing with you).

  28. Lagaya1 says

    Kathryn-
    I'm very sorry for the situations that caused you to write your first post. But you must know that this website is not for the sensitive and faint-at-heart. If you take metaphors personally, you're gonna get hurt sometimes. Also, as a mostly-first amendment site, you scolding someone's choice of how to express themselves is a little curious.
    I hope life gets easier for you in the future.

  29. whheydt says

    Well *that* decision is certainly enough to peel paint of a wall. Personally the "money quote" that stands out to me is:

    Attached to each financial statement was a bombshell letter from appellants’ certified public accountant stating that appellants had “elected to omit substantially all of the disclosures required by generally accepted accounting principles”

  30. DRJlaw says

    @Kathryn

    If you've read this blog for any length of time, you are already quite aware that Ken uses non-specific slurs and obscentity, will probably continue to do so with the approval of much of his readership. Ken is perfectly capable of saying his own piece if he chooses, but you should stop to consider that the other commenters simply don't see the connection that you're making.

    BTW: The only privilege being asserted here is your perceived privilege to inject your views concerning autism into a post and discussion that did not raise it. It is not gaslighting for others to disagree with you, and they do in fact have the right to disagree with you. Using privilege as shorthand for "you are bad person for not caring about my issue as much as I do, no matter how how much I do" amounts to a thinly veiled personal attack, not a demonstration that your concerns are both warranted and reasonable.

  31. jimmythefly says

    has anything come of Lutz's no-shows? That's one of the most frustrating things to me. I get pipped for a parking ticket and the gov't is all over me(yes different gov't but you get the idea). A guy who is ORDERED to appear at court just decides to skip it, and so far that appears consequence-free.

    Will there be consequences? Can there be? I don't even know how/if that sort of thing is enforced or kept track of.

  32. says

    Consequences? Lutz is a fugitive wanted in three counties (Illinois and Wisconsin ) and apparently it is too expensive for officials to extradite him giving the insignificance of the crimes — failure to reduce speed, driving under influence of alcohol, failure to notify damage to unattended vehicle, criminal damage to property, disorderly conduct, and possession of controlled substance.

    If only he committed something serious… Like copyright infringement.

  33. sinij says

    Dear Popehatters,

    Please don't get concern trolled by Kathryn away from basking in the ignoble infamy of on-going Prenda Law scandal.

    Thank you,

    -Sinij

  34. sinij says

    The fact that they haven't been disbarred yet is just another example of what is wrong.

    Absolutely.

    Sadly attorneys don't eat their own.

  35. Dan Weber says

    Meta:

    Almost all of us (self included) are guests here. If you are a guest at someone's house, and another guest does what you think is an over-the-top freak-out towards the host, you don't need to keep drawing attention to it after another guest does so. Sometimes that just leads to a bigger mess for the host to clean up when he or she finally returns.

    Also check out the comment policy on the left-hand side, right below "Become A Member Of Popehat"

    Meta meta:

    Always be careful saying what someone else's policy is. (And be even more careful saying what someone else's guest policy *should* be!) I've tried to apply that advice to this comment. I hope I succeeded. Also, paste tastes awesome: yum yum yum!

  36. annonymouse says

    Scote says:
    How is it, for instance, that Prenda could file for Guava LLC without so much as being summarily dismissed for failure to so much as prove an EID for the alleged corporation.

    The expectation is that the attorneys do such vetting and pre-filtering beforehand as part of their responsibilities as officers of the court. That is a sort of default setting and can be challenged, as it has been with Prenda.

    The scenario is similar to how the retailer who accepted my check or credit card doesn't have to submit the driver's license information to the bank when they submit the check/card for payment. The initial expectation is that the retailer has vetted my identity. The issue of my identity and authorization to access those accounts will only be brought up by the banks if the check/charge does not clear or is later challenged.

    Another scenario is that I do not have to produce the marriage certificate at the pharmacy and the doctor's office in order to pick up controlled narcotics and copies of medical records. My assertion that I was the patient's spouse was sufficient for one. The other asked to see my driver's license, yet did not record the data nor question the difference in last name.

    Prenda's inability to prove their clients exist is costing them now. The Merkel decision cited the failure to prove Guava's corporate existence as one of the reasons for determining there was no good-faith basis in the litigation. The appeal decision just posted a few responses above agrees, and refuses to overturn the district court's awards and reasoning.

  37. jb says

    "Attached to each financial statement was a bombshell letter from appellants’ certified public accountant stating that appellants had “elected to omit substantially all of the disclosures required by generally accepted accounting principles”'

    CPA here. That doesn't mean quite what a layman might think it does. it just means that the financial statements were released without footnotes. Unless the CPA also said something about how they couldn't form an opinion on the presentation of the statements, or how the statements did not fairly present x, y, and z, all it means is that important contextual detail is missing.

    It's still not good, there's no legit reason not to include the footnotes unless, out of extreme laziness, you didn't draft them in the first place, but there are many far more damning things a CPA can write in the audit opinion.

  38. NickN says

    So are the CPA statements going to reveal the detail of the fabulous Nevis trust?
    Enquiring minds want to know.

  39. says

    Oh Prenda, how I've missed you and your miscreant ways. And how I've missed Ken so causally bitch slapping you. Never change, Prenda. Never change.

  40. Scote says

    " annonymouse
    The expectation is that the attorneys do such vetting and pre-filtering beforehand as part of their responsibilities as officers of the court. That is a sort of default setting and can be challenged, as it has been with Prenda.

    The scenario is similar to how the retailer who accepted my check or credit card doesn't have to submit the driver's license information to the bank when they submit the check/card for payment."

    And yet they *do* have to submit all of the proper credit card info and that number is electronically vetted against actual account data. The bank doesn't just accept "They have a credit card, trust me" as a valid answer. Whereas in the lawsuit, Prenda merely assert the existence of Guava LLC, with no account numbers of any kind, no EID, nothing. I have to provide more proof than that just to fly on a plane or buy a beer. A Federal or State lawsuit should require at least as much or more proof of the existence of the entities it purports to sue on behalf of as it takes to buy beer at a grocery store.

  41. says

    Ken,
    I would love if you decide to pick a player in the 'big leagues' to illuminate things about the legal system and how it works for us. Prenda is amazing entertainment, but also hearing something more indicative of how the system normally works would be good for us.

  42. peter says

    The most significant bit, which other websites missed, is where you point out that it sets a precedence.

  43. annonymouse says

    Scote: Correct. Prenda merely says "We are satisfied that Guava LLC is who they claim to be. Now, on to the business at hand: here is the IP address …"

    The retailer merely says "We are satisfied the person who gave us the payment is who they claim to be. Now, on to the business at hand: here is the account number …"

    In both cases, the person presenting the claim "this third party X has satisfied me that they are indeed X" is the one who is getting the initial presumption of "having done the legwork to confirm X is X". The manner in which they did so, and whether or not they retained a record of it, doesn't come up unless there's a question.

    The account number in the example I gave is more akin to the IP addresses – "data without which we can't satisfy your request":.

    "Pay me!" "From what account?"
    "Give me a subscriber data!" "For what IP address, date, and time?"

    The corporate ID numbers and customer license numbers are not mandatory data elements for the fulfillment of the request. They are assumed to have been handled at a previous step.

    Once you've provided the proof to purchase/order the beer you are not providing it again to drink the beer. You are (usually) not providing your license to the gate attendant when boarding the flight. In each case the presumption is that a previous step in the process has done its job. (Prenda did not)

    The bank doesn't just accept "They have a credit card, trust me" as a valid answer.

    The bank does indeed do just that in the case of Card Not Present/Customer Not Present transactions , such as phone/mail/internet orders and the like. There is a flag that the merchant puts on the auth request and the settlement (payment) request to indicate what level of card-present verification was used. This then impacts the fees paid and who is liable if the transaction is challenged. However, the bank still needs the account number in order to complete the payment. That is a different issue from CNP and account-acquisition-method codes and we're starting to step out of the circle for which the analogy is valid so I'll shut up on that.

    Prenda, in these cases, is taking advantage of the fact that no one's likely to request proof of the client. Whether that is sufficient to prove that the entire filing setup be revised to require additional details and documentation, is another question. Those details would not necessarily prevent the abuse we've seen here in that they could do the corporation registration but still never show up in court or answer questions.

  44. says

    Maybe Anton Sirius is like that one woman who feels complimented by catcalls while the rest of us feel gross. Maybe "shitting oneself" comments mean less to people with conditions that show up later in life. I apologize if I cast my net too widely trying to be inclusive and not limit my empathy to my own community.

    Perhaps it does, Kathryn. Literally every person I know with Crohn's, IBD etc seems to have a very self-deprecating sense of humor about it. You should see the team names folks come up with for the charity walks… everyone deals with their issues in their own way. No one way is better than another. I apologize if my reaction to being told I should be offended by something came across as a rejection of the validity of your own feelings about it. I tried to make the response more jokey and exasperated than angry and judgey – that was the intention of the "clearly he's lazy" line – but it didn't seem to get across.

    I will say that speaking for others, or telling them how they should feel about something, is not "empathy", however. I'd suggest it's the opposite. "The rest of us feel gross." To be accurate, you feel gross. Some other women may also share that feeling, it's true, but some may be offended, some may feel disgusted towards the catcallers, some may be angry or contemptuous, and some may indeed be flattered. I suspect most women would feel some mix of those emotions, and what that mix is might even change depending on the circumstances, but I'd never presume to tell someone how they should feel about it.

  45. JDS says

    Kathryn, are you really trying to tell people what they can and cannot say on a blog that primarily focuses on Free Speech issues?

    Please go back to Tumblr.

  46. Trent says

    Regarding Lutz being wanted, Lots of people go decades with active warrants on them, some never even know the warrant was issued. He'll get pulled over some day for speeding and he'll be put in handcuffs and transported to the state that issued the warrant.

    The police don't have the resources to be tracking down nonviolent warrants (what with spending all their time on the war on drugs). The only time they will actively send officers after someone is if the warrant is felony and very serious such as murder, which is almost never. I've read stories of people tagged for warrants 30 years later where everyone that knew anything about the case (including the judge that issued the warrant) is long dead but they still get cuffed and extradited to some state they haven't seen in 30 years.

    In my experience things even out in the end, Lutz will get caught for that warrant, and the Prenda people will end up penniless and without law licenses. There are some people that get away with things their entire lives then all of a sudden the hammer comes down and takes it all away, usually in a situation where the loss is particularly painful.

  47. Kat Anon says

    Its a good thing Prenda was so cartoonish. Otherwise they wouldn't of gotten this attention which would of delayed the establishment of this precedent, which I think would only benefit Malibu Media. I would like to think that courts are taking a much harder look at Malibu Media because — at their core — they are a scarier, less cartoonish, version of Prenda.

    Prenda was bad, but they never seriously suggested subjecting Defendents to lie-detector tests to 'ensure they had the right person'.

  48. Kat Anon says

    They are small-time grifters with small-time hearts — petty, grasping, and trite, possessed of a low cunning but no real talent, no class, and no common sense.

    Don't hold back, tell us what you REALLY think.

  49. That Anonymous Coward says

    @Dan Weber –
    "as well as an attraction of a kind of commentor who thought that there was nothing wrong with stealing people's movies."

    Allegations are not evidence of wrongdoing.
    Allegations proven to have been false, never seem to get as much coverage.
    One could debate the finer points of copyright law for a very long time, can we agree that perhaps possibly that using Pretenda as ANYTHING other than an example of unbounded greed, abusive tactics adds little to the debate on copyright law. (with perhaps the small exception of if you put the file online are the copies then authorized?)

    They found a way to exploit copyright law and their position as officers of the court. The scales were firmly tilted towards them and they abused that imbalance. The used the trust of the courts faith in the "system" and availed themselves of several million dollars in "settlements", that with the benefit of the evidence on the record now were not deserved or warranted. The system often just shoo'ed them along to the next court to deal with, rather than see if their concern was based in fact.

    As to the location of Mr. Lutz, I still stand by my original assessment of under the new pool that was added to Steele's home. While the dings of the courts are adding up and making some sort of dent in the untold millions they have banked, Mr. Lutz has been held out as the client behind all of this and his absence means he can neither defend himself nor point at another as being the brains behind the whole thing. Maybe I read to much Miss Marple, but many other things I stated that were shot down as being to fanciful are now proven facts.

  50. Conster says

    JDS:

    Please go back to Tumblr.

    Heeey… only a small, vocal minority of Tumbleweeders (or whatever the name is) are like that. In fact, I'm pretty sure the furries outnumber them.

  51. Kathryn says

    I thought the part that was a very artful way of basically saying they don't aim high enough to be worth so much attention was fantastic!

    The part that made fun of people for something they can't help was a flat note in the solo. The reason the note seemed flat to me was that this has some pretty strong associations that apparently don't ring a bell with anyone else.

    People have the right to say mean things, but why does Ken (or whoever wrote this if it was another author on the blog, sorry) want to be mean to people who are basically just collateral damage? I thought maybe he didn't know he was being mean to my tribe. Now that I know he wants to be mean, I'll let my folks know that he thinks free speech is for only people who haven't been kicked around.

    If Weird Al Yankovic can make a sincere apology about the intellectual disability slurs in "Word Crimes" when mocking people is his stock in trade too, and agree that "punching down" at people who aren't the ones he has in mind (people who are lazy with words vs. people who honestly can't do better) I don't see why it's inappropriate.

    However, telling me that *I* have to feel a certain way about something because you do is NOT FREE SPEECH. If you step on my foot when I'm wearing ladies' office shoes, don't tell me that it doesn't hurt because people step on your steel-toed boots all the time and I shouldn't stand in line if I don't want my feet stepped on by people in steel-toed boots.

  52. ConspiracyKeanu says

    What if Kathryn is one of the Prenda attorneys (or friends) looking to distract with off-topic taint snortilage?

    Seriously, though, thanks Ken for this update post. It seems that there is a lot going on with this broader story lately. In addition to the MN state appellate court ruling already mentioned by another commenter, there's also some IL state court action with Comcast:

    http://madisonrecord.com/news/265740-comcast-seeks-payment-for-producing-names-of-subscribers-hoerner-moves-to-withdraw-as-local-counsel-for-porn-distributor

  53. Steve says

    This is make lurking this blog great, when someone jumps in and feels that they need to correct things. Sorry lady, you are not going to win here.

  54. Chase says

    SJD:

    To the best of my mental abilities I conclude: Kathryn suggests that comparing Prenda folks to sophomores who periodically shit themselves is an unjustified insult to sophomores who periodically shit themselves.

    Yeah, I think SJD got it. This is hardly random butthurt or concern trolling, this is just pointing out that people with incontinence don't deserve to be dragged along with Prenda's nasty antics.

  55. That Anonymous Coward says

    @Kathryn –

    1 – One need only scroll to the top of the post to see which misfit toy authored the story.

    2 – While you found it offensive, it appears that that was not the intent and a majority of readers do not seem to share your viewpoint on the matter.

    Your experiences dictate how you perceived the comment, and it appears it struck a nerve.
    I highly doubt you are going to get the apology you feel is owed, no matter how much effort you put into it.
    You are entitled to be as angry as you would like to be, you are not entitled to anything else from anyone else.
    By all means rile up your tribe and try to force everyone to behave exactly as you demand they do, or perhaps just maybe you should accept that every turn of phrase isn't a secret backhanded attack on you and your tribe.
    If that one line offended you, you might want to consider finding a filter for your internet.

    You don't know this, but several readers are currently choking on their beverage of choice.
    I am not known for my restraint, I am an equal opportunity offender, and delight in finding new ways to be inappropriate.
    So please consider this the polite response.
    You were offended, life continues despite that fact.

  56. Sami says

    Kathryn, I would recommend that you work on not perceiving every reference to an undesirable behaviour to be one which automatically is a slur on people with neurological or other disabilities.

    Ken's post didn't say that the hypothetical teenager was autistic or had any other health issue. It just said "periodically shits himself". Deciding that this means that this HYPOTHETICAL, NON-EXISTENT youth is therefore clearly autistic and it's a slur on autistic people is, in this instance, arguably more offensive than the original comment. It goes like this.

    1) Ken describes an inappropriate subject for a documentary, one with a quality which people tend to find repellent, in that someone shitting themselves is disgusting. Because *shit is disgusting*. It is unhygienic. Wear a nappy/diaper if you have to – they exist for a reason, and do go to adult sizes.

    2) You assume that, in naming that particular repellent quality, he is slurring autistic people.

    3) In doing so, you are effectively saying: "Autistic people shit themselves, like, all the time. Saying that it's a bad thing is mean to autistic people."

    I have known a number of people at various points along the autism spectrum. Absolutely none of them have made a habit of shitting themselves, because decent people don't, because it's gross, so stop saying that autistic people do.

  57. Bradoplata says

    Serious question: If someone is autistic enough to shit themselves, would they have the awareness to even read the post and get offended?

  58. Steven H. says

    @Kat Anon:

    "wouldn't of" should be "wouldn't've". It's a contraction of "would not have".

    Don't know why I'm suddenly seeing this all over the place, as if it's a newly appearing perversion of literacy, but it annoys me whenever I see it (or its variations).

    Anyway, carry on with the scheduled Prenda amusements….

  59. Fasolt says

    @Kathyrn:

    However, telling me that *I* have to feel a certain way about something because you do is NOT FREE SPEECH.

    You telling us how to feel wouldn't be FREE SPEECH either, would it?

    Like Sami, I know some folks with varying degrees of autism, and none of them soil themselves. Until you brought it up, I wasn't even aware soiling oneself was one of the effects of autism.

  60. Fasolt says

    Addendum: To be fair to you, perhaps the autistic people I know are not affected enough by their autism to have soiling problems.

  61. ZarroTsu says

    I'm confused. Someone white-knights, the people they're trying to white knight are telling them to piss off, and now the white knight is trying to pacify the people they're trying to white knight because they won't accept their white knight-ism.

    This is why I never roll a Paladin.

  62. Enternal Optimist says

    Well,

    If Kathryn believes that her tactics are the best way to engender sympathy for autism, I suppose there isn't much point in arguing with her.

    Her strategy is as effective as Malibu Media going after IP subscribers to put an end copyright infringement.

    In all sincerity, if this was a "teachable moment", it's been wasted due to the style of the teacher.

    Had Kathryn taken the time to do her research, she would have seen that Popehat is a generally caring person. Sadly, she lashed out prior to doing her due diligence.

    At first I thought she was just being a troll. When I realized that she was being serious, I almost shit myself.

  63. TheOtherMatt says

    Wpw I can't belive we've spilled so many bits over the Kathryn issue. Anyway back to the point before i go off on another tangent, Now that an Apleate court has offically noted the typical Copyright Troll tactics, what are the chances of this precident being used to stop other trolls e.g Mallibu, and friends.
    Now back to the tangent she's a troll anyone who would equate, a retorhical floruish with the epidemic of murder suicides in the autism community is clearly one.

  64. CylonRaven says

    Now that I know he wants to be mean, I'll let my folks know that he thinks free speech is for only people who haven't been kicked around.

    Ken White hasn't weighed in yet, Kathryn. On what basis do you conclude that he "wants to be mean"? This reads to me like a passive-aggressive demand that Ken White immediately apologize and grovel or you're going to go back to Tumblr and tell your fellow SJWs that he wants to kill all disabled people.

    Your argumentation here has been dishonest from the start, as is typical of your "tribe" (and by that, I do not mean autistic people). For example, no one (and certainly not Ken White) has in any way implied that "free speech is for only people who haven't been kicked around." I mean, here you are, exercising your free speech.

  65. I was Anonymous says

    @Kathryn, we've gone far afield from the Prendanistas, but, here's my two cents.

    Background: my late wife suffered from ALS and ulcerative colitis. I was the one who had to clean her up. Therefore, I consider myself at least as equally qualified as you to determine offense, if you want to go for the victimhood claim.

    I found absolutely nothing wrong with Ken's comment.

  66. Dan Weber says

    So on the fines, is there any reason to think they will be paid now? My sorta history with these kind of folks is that they just keep on pushing the matter off indefinitely until you go through the expensive painful process of trying to seize assets or put a lien on their house.

  67. mcinsand says

    So far, we have learned two valuable lessons, particularly when it comes to having a combination of a determination surplus and logic deficit. For lawyers, this will eventually get you sanctioned in multiple courts. For commenters, if being offended is that important to you, then these criteria will get you what you want.

    Dan Weber's comments on being a houseguest are definitely spot-on. In fact, I used this same example when exiting a blog some time ago. We commenters are guests in the website holders' houses. They set the rules. If we don't like those rules, we are free to go elsewhere. In my message, I wrote that I respected those rules (or lack thereof), although I also tried to express why I didn't see them as optimal. If the blogger was happy with the way things worked, then carry on. If I'm not happy with the situation, though, then I owe it to myself to find internet watering holes that do fit.

  68. Elliot says

    According to the Seventh Circuit opinion, the Prenda folks filed an appeal bond for the amount of the sanctions once the district judge said they were in contempt for not paying them. So the defendants will collect that amount from the bonding company; it's unclear if the amount of the bond will also cover the additional costs ordered on the appeal, but at the very least the bulk of the sanctions/costs will be paid. (And bonding companies typically demand cash collateral for posting an appeal bond.)

  69. James says

    @Dan

    Yes, there is hope that the fines will be paid, not because Prenda wants to pay them, but because the defense attorneys demanded, and received, a supersedeas bond which is a guarantee that the damages will be paid if the appeal is unsuccessful (which is was). If the Prendanistas don't pay up then the surety has to pay instead, much like a co-signor on a car loan.

    You can be certain that the surety perfected a senior security interest in any and all assets the Prenda attorneys owned before issuing the bond. If the amounts remain unpaid for very long the surety will have to pay and will then move to foreclose on the pledged assets to recoup the underwriting loss.

  70. Mark says

    There has been a significant sum of knowledge imparted on certain ways that the justice wheels grind with the Prenda case. It has been educational as much as entertaining (getting to be near Reality Television levels of entertainment now – large and bombastic at first then just painfully cringeworthy when no one wants to change because if they do, then there will have been no point to the script/characterisation/method they've been using). Reading various types of legal documents has also been educational, as much judgments like this one as filings by lawyers, both without (Prenda's) or with (everyone else's) merit. It has helped me get a friend to write considerably better cases when she could not afford a lawyer, and she received due consideration while the other side was even more buffoonish than Prenda. (It was a Board, though, not a court.)

    As for the "periodically shitting himself" comment, I definitely read it as a sign of laziness, not of a condition such as autism, and feel there was no intent to denigrate the latter; I can also see that those with the condition are very sensitive because of real prejudice encountered daily and would fear that some people would read it as the condition, not the laziness. And it may be a valid concern, and perhaps a different insult on Prenda could have carried the same contempt. But when most people feel there was no disparaging meant, and that the symptom may not be pointing towards the sensitive issue, I would personally feel that a "Oh, sorry if I misunderstood, I hope you at least see where my concerns come from, and hope I've been a bid educational about the issue, please carry on" type of statement might make things better all around.

    Unless the writer of the statement chimes in and says it is about the condition, then fire ahead. :) Persistence in a personally important (and justified) issue, when the issue likely looks like, but is not applicable, only hurts one's cause. Thank you.

  71. Norahc says

    Dan Weber August 7, 2014 at 9:55 am
    So on the fines, is there any reason to think they will be paid now? My sorta history with these kind of folks is that they just keep on pushing the matter off indefinitely until you go through the expensive painful process of trying to seize assets or put a lien on their house.

    And even after all that, they probably still won't pay.

  72. darthskeptic says

    This one actually isn't over.

    The attorneys for Smith filed a renewed motion for contempt four days before Judge Herndon issued the order. Smith's attorneys had information that Team Prenda failed to disclose millions of dollars in assets to the court. (This motion is sealed). Each member of Team Prenda argued that millions of dollars in income in 2012 was utterly irrelevant to whether they could afford to pay $261k in sanctions in 2013. Further, Steele managed to simultaneously argue "I never had any accounts overseas" and "The $2000 I sent to a Latvian real estate company is meaningless"

    A hearing on this motion is set for November 12.

  73. Elliot says

    @ James:

    If the Prendanistas don't pay up then the surety has to pay instead, much like a co-signor on a car loan. You can be certain that the surety perfected a senior security interest in any and all assets the Prenda attorneys owned before issuing the bond. If the amounts remain unpaid for very long the surety will have to pay and will then move to foreclose on the pledged assets to recoup the underwriting loss.

    Having recently gone through the process of filing an appeal bond for a client in a federal appeal, I can tell you that the process is not nearly that complex. Unless the party filing the appeal is a major corporation with a solid financial statement, the bonding company doesn't want a security interest in the appellant's assets; they want cash collateral. So, in this case, the bonding company almost certainly got cash from Prenda (enough to cover the award, plus the bonding company's fee); and it will pay the winning parties as soon as the Court of Appeals' decision becomes final.

  74. Scote says

    "the bonding company doesn't want a security interest in the appellant's assets; they want cash collateral."

    How much cash? 100%? 50% 10% I got the impression that in one of their appeals they only had to pay a few thousand upfront for their bond.

  75. Elliot says

    How much cash? 100%? 50% 10% I got the impression that in one of their appeals they only had to pay a few thousand upfront for their bond.

    In my case, the bonding company wanted 150% of the amount being bonded, so that they could be sure to cover the award, any interest that ran while the appeal was pending, and their fee for writing the bond.

  76. trebuchet says

    Can things get worse for Prenda? I find that if you have to ask that question, the answer is usually "yes."

    Is prison too much to hope for? Obviously it'd be Club Fed, but better than letting them stay free.

  77. Sami says

    I have to say, I wouldn't be wholly surprised if it turns out something bad has happened to Lutz.

  78. That Anonymous Coward says

    I can not actually recall if they have gotten all of their bonds via the same company, and it has always confounded me to know what of value they might actually hold to use to secure the bonds.
    A terrifying notion is that the company providing the bond was shown books showing the "value" of the copyrights at the center of this, & secured based on them.
    If you go way back into the story, during a depo Hans basically described the copyright as nearly worthless assets they acquired and were using litigation to fix the value of them.
    It struck me as particularly cold blooded because I saw it as them using the concept of mortgage backed securities with copyrights.
    Acquire copyrights for dirt cheap, package them up, get them in the "market", watch the cash roll in.
    The downside being that they don't put them on the market for sale, they put them into the "market" of coercing settlements.

  79. nickn says

    So how do bond companies work? Do they have to have funds on hand to cover the amount of the bonds they post? If so, then any collateral that is worthless would only matter to the bond company. I would imagine they be conservative about taking much other than cash.

    Also, I thought that several courts referred further investigation of the Prendaists to the state bars. Has anything come of that? Is there an expected time scale for a response?

  80. SA says

    I'd be inclined to agree with you, except that an actual person claiming to be Lutz has appeared in court at least twice in these cases.

    He appeared without counsel in the hearings with Judge Wright, and at least once in Florida. In the one Florida case I can recall without searching, he claimed to be a representative of Sunlust. The judge in that case said No-you're-not after he stated he didn't know anything about Sunlust and that he didn't have the authority to bind the company to contracts.

    Lutz has a page on the Prenda wiki, with photograph and warrants and links.

  81. SA says

    @Devil's Advocate

    I don't know. There were no photographs posted of the "Mark Lutz" who appeared in court, and I was not present myself. Maybe someone who was present at Judge Wright's hearing could say.

    Personally, I have a hard time believing an actor would have been sent to Wright's hearing in Lutz's place. There were too many other Prenda people who knew him personally.

  82. Dan says

    Scote:

    Whereas in the lawsuit, Prenda merely assert the existence of Guava LLC, with no account numbers of any kind, no EID, nothing.

    I would suspect this is because an LLC does not require any sort of accounts, EIN, or anything comparable. Certainly, most operating LLCs will have one or more bank accounts, and will have an EIN, but neither is required to establish the existence of an LLC. If the existence of the LLC is in doubt, the most relevant piece of evidence would be the formation documents, stamped/filed by whoever is the relevant authority in the jurisdiction where the LLC was allegedly formed, or some form of certificate of existence from that authority. Something comparable was requested, but not provided, in this case.

    It's really the same as if a lawsuit were filed in an individual's name–the plantiff doesn't have to attach any sort of ID to the complaint establishing identity, residence, or anything else. If those matters are legitimately in question, the defendant is expected to raise that issue, and then it can be addressed.

  83. That Anonymous Coward says

    There photographs of him at various points and in various places, but until recently no one pursued the line of thought that he might have just been a shell-person with someone playing him in different appearances. Sadly I think some NDAs for those who have won against them, might keep them from confirming or denying it was the same person.

    At some point there was a Mark Lutz.
    For many of the victims he was just a voice on the phone.
    His existence lead to his arrests, and warrants.
    We suspect that he had a drinking problem, as many photos show him drinking and the arrests were drinking related.
    We suspect that a home very quickly emptied via sale on Craigslist was his.
    We suspect that he was taken into custody & jailed in Mexico.
    We suspect that he was bailed out by Steele.
    We suspect that something went horribly wrong the first time he missed court, and it was claimed he was "detained" by "Federal Officials" who made him miss his flight.
    We suspect that there was something wrong in a story of a citizen being denied access to his counsel for over 8 hours.
    We suspect that his failure to meet Steele at the airport to obtain his boarding pass was a calculated plan.
    We we REALLY shocked that the lawyers claiming to represent him, his trusts, who were most able to discuss them, were unable to explain his absence from court merely promising that he'd have a REALLY GOOD explanation later. (I can't remember if they ever filed that reason, if it was filed it most definitely wasn't timely.)

    Without the benefit of the full scope of knowledge, one might look at this story as a lawfirm lead astray by a client who hoodwinked them.
    Now that client appears to be missing, and could be the black hole where blame is directed.
    All good magicians know, the eyes are on them and not the assistants…

    While I doubt they would have had a direct hand in something happening to Mr. Lutz, one does has to wonder how the person set at the top of the pyramid seems to have no knowledge/reactions to the very large storm about to batter him. If, however, some drunk drank/drove himself to his death… it could hardly be their fault.
    Because if I owned a series of trusts who were taking in substantial amounts in settlements, I'd totally keep working for the lawyers as a paralegal and making appearances for a couple hundred bucks.
    It is just another unknown in a story where one can't trust the storytellers, and so much time has passed that trying to find the truth grows harder and harder.

  84. Devil's Advocate says

    @That Anonymous Coward:
    Entertaining the possibility that a nonexistent person was able to be successfully arrested goes beyond devil's advocacy into full-fledged paranoia. But I like the possibility that Lutz might have been some hapless guy they hoodwinked into signing some bogus paperwork, and that he's managed to run away, financed by the trusts they put in his name. And that would explain why the Prendists are supposedly broke, but feel reluctant to provide all the details.

  85. Devil's Advocate says

    (For clarity, my last post is saying that I no longer believe Lutz to be fictitious.)

  86. That Anonymous Coward says

    @Devil's Advocate – I think you might have misunderstood what I was trying to say.
    I believe there was a Mark Lutz.
    I believe he has no idea what his name is signed to, he helped out someone who helped him on several occasions.
    I believe he was a handy fall guy to take the blame if the wheels came off of this.

    There is suspicion that some of his appearances were not infact him.
    Given the nature & scope of what has come out (and been accepted by courts) it is not that hard to imagine that they would/could have used someone else to fill the role at some points.
    I do not think anything has been heard of or from him since his failure to appear, where they promised he'd be in touch with a really good excuse.

    If he finally got wise and has made himself scarce, or something bad happened we will not know until the criminal proceedings move forward.
    I have on several occasions expressed concern about his condition, and continued well being. One will always sacrifice pawns to protect the king.

  87. Bill says

    Count me among those who have been fascinated by 'the process'- As a layman, I'm genuinely horrified by what I see of The Law as the Prenda Guys twisted their way through various machinations and procedural delays. I'm even more horrified by watching Brett Kimberlins' RICO Madness lawsuit against numerous bloggers and media personalities.

    I agree with Clark who said (roughly, if not exactly-) some months back, "Burn the whole thing down."

    Prenda and Kimberlin both have shown me I never ever want to come in contact with the US Legal System.

  88. mcinsand says

    TAC,

    With respect to Lutz' whereabouts, I can't help but wonder if John Steele's house renovations might not be involved. Building a pool involves pouring some masses of concrete, and non-concrete objects have been used as filler in other 'ventures.' A spa might need a healthy concrete pad to support the water, depending on the soil underneath.

    Again, I can't help but wonder… a lot!

  89. James says

    @nickn Bonding companies are usually regulated by the states in which they operate as insurance companies. Just as banks do not hold 100% of their deposits in vault cash, insurance companies do not have 100% of their potential claims in cash. However, they are required to have a sufficient level of liquid assets to handle reasonably foreseeable claims and the value of the longer-term assets are backed by the capital of the insurance company itself.

    To Elliot's point, bond companies do very much prefer cash collateral. For every dollar you are short on cash, they will want some multiple of other assets to offset the difference. If they are taking real estate assets, the bonding company will take a VERY conservative view of the "fire sale" price and will likewise consider the difficulty and time involved in taking control of the collateral plus the carrying costs until disposal (like property taxes and stamp taxes). More liquid assets, like stocks and bonds, don't have such issues if the certificates have been surrendered, but there is still the valuation problem as the market can tank on short notice while legal cases drag on for months and years. It all factors into the bonding cost and the messier the collateral the more expensive the bond.

  90. says

    To what extent might the patterns of Prenda now be used to defend against other blanket copyright assaults? Is there enough meat to disuade The John Doe Shuffle™ in other cases?

  91. rsteinmetz70112 says

    I was sort of hoping that Prenda would not pay and did not put up sufficient collateral to cover the bond, so the bonding company would go after them to uncover their assets. I now think Prenda has actually pledged cash from their offshore hoard and the bond is simply a sham. That would eliminate the possibility that someone could start looking into their assets. I seem to recall something about the boning company being in the Caribbean or something.

  92. James says

    #rsteinmetz70112 You will find that pretty much EVERY insurance company is formed in Bermuda for financial / tax reasons. The particular bonding agent does business in most, if not all, states.

    Bonding agencies never go looking for assets, they get their hands on the assets up front. The other is too much work and can end badly. I don't know if the collateral is from US sources or overseas, but it was overseas the bond agent would want it transferred to their trust account "just in case". The question is whether the bonding agent would be responsive to an IRS subpoena since if the money was transferred into the trust account, their banking records would show the origin. That might be a fun can of worms.

  93. DB says

    Posting the bond through an off-shore insurance company was a 'cut-out'.
    It avoided revealing where the money came from. That was required because of the claims in various courts that there isn't money to pay sanctions.

  94. Melvin H. says

    RE: Mark Lutz: Wouldn't he now be in contempt of court in multiple jurisdictions–Minnesota state, Minnesota Federal, Georgia Federal, Illinois (Southern) Federal, Illinois (Northern) Federal, California (Northern) Federal, California (Southern) Federal, maybe Florida (Federal)(?), and how many more?–for failure to appear in each court when ordered, at a minimum? What could happen to him under the circumstances, if held in contempt; and if the unthinkable happens and Lutz actually had nothing to do with Prenda Law et al, how much more trouble could Prenda Law and its lawyers be in?

  95. Mikee says

    "Why did I stop writing about the travails of Team Prenda?"

    I think a better question is, "Why did you stop writing all together?"

  96. Mikee says

    Ignore my previous comment, apparently Chrome twitched out and refused to show me anything newer than this post for the last month.

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