Another victory in Virginia

Posted: October 21, 2011 by SJD in Prenda
Tags: , , , , , , , ,


Timothy V. Anderson

Following judge Gibney’s order, another Virginia judge, Tommy E. Miller trashed a similar mass p2p porn lawsuit by a Virginia troll, Timothy V. Anderson (the same attorney who undersigned Steele Hansmeier’s amicus brief — a desperate attempt to prevent copyright trolling “business model” from falling apart). The judge was not convinced by the trolls’ “swarm theory” that was employed to justify improper joinder of multiple Does and ordered to sever all but one Doe from the case.

Judge Miller did not go as far as judge Gibney did: he did not label this case as frivolous, but there is an interesting paragraph in the order:

Further, Timothy Anderson, Esq., attorney for Plaintiffs, is ORDERED, within 5 days of the entry of this Order, to advise the Court as to whether he is associated with John Steele, Esq. in any way in this case.

The reason for that is a letter to Court, filed by an anonymous Doe, about a threatening call from John Steele himself:

On October 13, 2011, another anonymous Doe Defendant (“Doe Defendant X”) filed a letter under seal with the Court. Letter, ECF No. 16. In this letter, Doe Defendant X stated that he had been contacted by John Steele, Esq. regarding this matter. During the phone call, Mr. Steele offered Anonymous the ‘opportunity’ to settle for $3,400 by October 18th. Mr. Steele informed Doe Defendant X that Doe Defendant X would be named as a defendant in the case should this settlement offer be rejected.

This paragraph’s footnote refers to Steele, and this reference is far from being flattering:

John Steele, Esq., is an Illinois-based attorney, who has represented numerous other adult entertainment producers in cases now, or recently pending in the Northern and Southern Districts of Illinois. See VPR Internationale v. Does 1-1017, No. 11-2068, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64656, at *6 n. 1 (C.D. Ill. Apr. 29, 2011). District judges have begun recognizing Steele’s representation of these companies against multiple Doe Defendants, named without sufficient evidence as to their involvement, as “effort[s] to shoot first and identify his targets later.” Mem. Order, Boy Racer, Inc. v. Does 1-22, No. 11-C-2984 (C.D. Ill. May 5, 2011).

So, it seems like a mere association with John Steele is poisonous for any local attorney, and this is not my thinking, but judges’. Reputation is something that is built over years of hard work, but it can be destroyed in no time. Having switched from divorce law to ethically questionable mass p2p litigation, Steele destroyed his reputation pretty quickly. However, he still managed to collect some cash from uninformed defendants during a short period of time — until judges all over the US have finally learned about him and his scam.

Thanks to “yes im a doe” for the great news.

Update

Mr. Anderson has replied to judge Miller’s order and disobeyed judge’s order:

Further, the Court ordered Plaintiff’s counsel to disclose his association with attorney John L. Steele, Esq. Plaintiff has carefully reviewed the Court’s Order and respectfully believes that it is inconsistent with the spirit and letter of the Federal Rules.

Then he even tried to defend Steele and attack judge Shadur:

The Court’s views on Mr. Steele—and by extension, Plaintiff—have obviously been impacted by the sealed pleadings of putative infringers who have been impliedly granted the right to proceed pseudonymously. In its order, the Court heavily criticizes Mr. Steele, who has never even appeared before the Court.

…and what’s most egregious, he accused the anonymous filer of lying:

…Based on the Court’s discussion, the sealed pleadings discussed attorney John Steele, Esq. According to the Court, an anonymous filer claimed that he was called by Mr. Steele regarding this action, that Mr. Steele conveyed an offer of settlement to the anonymous filer and that Mr. Steele informed the anonymous filer that he would be named as a defendant in the case should the settlement offer be rejected.

Plaintiff is confident that the sealed pleading contains false representations. Contrary to “Doe Defendant X’s” representations, Mr. Steele has not personally “cold called” Virginia-based infringers in this action.

I have no slightest doubt that it was indeed Steele who called the anonymous filer. How wonderful it would be if the guy had recorded the conversation… But scumbags know when it is safe to lie: no proof of the conversation exists, yet if they think they fool general public (and judges) this way, they grossly overestimate their IQs.

To finish on a good note, judge Miller denied Anderson’s Motion to Reconsider outright.

Update 2

I found the evidence of Timothy Anderson’s association with John Steele, presented by… John Steele himself:

John Steele of the Chicago law firm Steele Hansmeier is the chief lawyer filing these suits around the country.

He said he enlisted Virginia Beach attorney Timothy Anderson to file the two suits here on his behalf. Anderson did not respond to messages seeking comment.

Does it prove that Anderson’s lied in an official court document saying that Steele never called and blackmailed “Doe Defendant X”? I don’t know, but if I were a judge I would consider an investigation and sanctions for lying to the Court.

Comments
  1. DieTrollDie says:

    Well it looks like all the greedy ambulance chasing lawyer types will think twice before taking on an “easy” case from a copyright infringment lawyer, especially John Steele. LOL!!!!! ;) Hey John what do you think of the ruling????? I know you will say it is a small court and they got it wrong, due to other courts thinking differently on joinder issues. The main reason the courts are ruling against you and the other Trolls is your low-down dirty methods. We may refer to you as Trolls, but your guys are the ones who are giving us the ammo!

    DieTrollDie :)

    • Drown The Trolls says:

      Things seem to be blowing up in their faces in Virginia. Can’t wait to see what happens on Monday. Hopefully the Judge in Alexandria will follow suit. There has been no activity on those cases in almost a month with the exception of one poor sap settling. I’m beginning to wonder if the attorney handling those cases is starting to second guess what he’s got himself involved in.

  2. anon says:

    There has to be a few judges, attorneys, politicians, or their family/friends caught up in these suits.

    • TAC says:

      Oh no if they catch one of those, they drop them from the cases.
      There was a story on TF about the people one of them was dropping from his cases.

      My favorite was the lawyer dropping the “undercover cops” from a Bittorrent case so as not to expose them… and trying to figure out what sort of police investigation required the undercover downloading of porn….

      TAC

  3. TrollTrasher says:

    Yes! Great, great news. Hope to see Steele getting called out in other states, too.

  4. rob8urcakes says:

    Isn’t it embarrassing for a Country to pass laws (whether or not to protect an industry) that the majority of people recognise as being anti-competitive, deleterious to Human development and society as well as objectionable to all the tenets of fairness and justice in a market-place?

    Thankfully some US judges have sense and can see the damage these case are doing to society overall and not just in the USA.

    You gotta LURV those guys huh? :)

  5. […] attorney Joseph Perea and Illinois (as well as DC) licensed attorney Paul Duffy. Prenda Law employs many attorneys in obtaining John Doe information, all over the country. They write letters today, […]

  6. skered says:

    I have received a lawsuit from them on 11/07/12 Openmind v. John Doe (my IP address) Tim Anderson filed it in Western District VA court. I have been stressed out for a year now since Prenda first sent their extortion letters, thankfully I had no cell phone # for them to harass me at. So now I have this case pending and a deputy clerk signed it. What should I do?

    • Perturbed says:

      I am in the same boat, skered. I only received notification yesterday via UPS overnight that Comcast was subpoenad for my personal information (including phone numbers, mac addresses and more) in connection to a separate filing in Virginia’s Western District as well. It was filed on the same day as yours. Comcast says they will provide the requested information at the end of the month unless I file a motion to quash. It’s extremely unnerving.

      Everything I have read indicates it is best to let things go until you are actually named, and in the meanwhile do not talk to any of their people beyond the RPR. Granted, there is a significant fear attached to that. What if they do end up dragging me into court? Aren’t legal fees much steeper than the initial settlement request? Yes, it’s extortion — especially when I didn’t even do what they assert — but financial constraints are there no matter what the reality. From what I have read, legal assistance in these matters can become expensive quickly.

  7. Anonymous says:

    i received this too and i dont know what to do …any help?
    do i need to pay them or what?do i need to go to the court?on this coming december 21?

  8. I Just got back from depostion with one of Andersons troll underlings (Brian Harrison?). Told the truth and gave them my hard drive from the time of alleged download which I got back from my grandma who died recently. I hope there is a special place in hell for this scum sucking rat clan. Took about 20 mins with no terrible questions. I guess next these douches will wanna talk to my wife, and try to get some conflicting answers on purpose of course… I still pray to go Jeff Fantalis on these parasites…

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