Today judge Alsup issued an order:
Previously, the following events were scheduled:
- All defendants must be served with the summons and complaint and proof of service on all defendants must be filed by JULY 14, 2011
- A case management conference is set for JULY 28, 2011, AT 3:00 P.M. Please file a joint case management statement by July 21, 2001 [sic].
Motions still can be filed, but only with the judge’s approval. I don’t think it is wise for any party to piss off the judge even by asking for a permission.
The named defendants should definitely file their replies to the Amended Complaint in order to avoid Sperlein’s Request to Enter Default. Those who have hired attorneys should talk to them about the joint case management statement. I am not sure, what pro se defendants should do about this statement. (Note that on the case IO Group, Inc., v. Does 1-50 Inclusive, Sperlein filed a Separate Case Management Conference Statement, explaining this choice by the fact that all the remaining served Does were pro per. After that, one of the defendants filed a Separate Case Management Conference Statement.)
I have mixed feelings about these developments
- The judge is definitely annoyed by wasting his time on this ill-conceived lawsuit, and any attempts by Mr. Sperlein to prove that the case is important and has merits may anger the judge.
- It is inconceivable that, given the reason for the order to suspend filing of motions, that the judge will be able to set a trial date at the time of the scheduled conference, if this conference takes place as scheduled (which is doubtful).
- While the case is effectively on hold, the named defendants, as well as those on the case who were not named, have extra time for observing the development of similar cases (e.g., IO Group, Inc., v. Does 1-50 Inclusive)
- This is a passive disapproval of plaintiff’s actions, i.e. won’t create a good precedent for other judges on similar shake-down p2p lawsuits.
Anyway, these are rather good news than bad. At least those who are considering paying ransoms should probably wait.