Half a year ago I wrote about the sanctions imposed on Davenport Lyons’ solicitors. Today I woke up to read some huge yet anticipated news: one of the most famous proto-trolls, Andrew Crossley of ACS:Law was suspended for 2 years by UK’s Solicitor Disciplinary Tribunal.
Although, unfortunately, this feast of common sense does not take place here in the US, I hope that this sanctioning will send shivers down domestic trolls’ spines, especially since Mr. Crossley’s suspension was not the worst of his foes. In addition to that, he went bankrupt, and his reputation was completely destroyed. We do not see similar outcomes in the US at this time, because the speculative invoicing scam started in Great Britain much earlier, and giving the similarities between the British and the US judicial systems, the end of copyright trolling legal plague in the US is inevitable, in my opinion: we will get there sooner or later.
Meanwhile stay strong, educate yourself, and do not feed the trolls. Some settlements are inevitable: I understand that a teacher accused of downloading teen porn is risking too much even if he is innocent. Yet if you settle just out of irrational fear and do not make any effort to educate yourself and understand that trolls simply bluff, and that in 99% of cases they cannot do anything to you beyond harassment, settling is a bad service to society.
The news has been already widely covered, so I better stop here and let you read these reviews:
- Torrent Freak: ACS:Law Anti-Piracy Lawyer Suspended For 2 Years
- ISPreview: ACSLaw UK Boss Crossley Suspended for 2 Years by Disciplinary Tribunal
- ACS:Bore: ACS:LAWs Andrew Crossley suspended for TWO Years
- The Register: Crossley cops two-year suspension
- PC Pro: File-sharing ACS Law solicitor suspended
- thinkbroadband: ACS Law solicitor suspended for two years
- The Lawyer: SDT suspends ACS:Law founder for two years
- Law Society Gazette Crossley suspended for copyright infringement conduct
- theCMUwebsite.com: Sue the fans lawyer suspended for two years
- The Inquirer ACS:Law solicitor Andrew Crossley gets suspended
- Computer act!ve: Speculating on the demise of speculative invoicing
- v3.co.uk: ACS:Law’s Andrew Crossley suspended for two years
- View From Planet Jamie: The Final Chapter Of Andrew Crossley? Suspended For 2 Years
- TeckWeek Europe: Andrew Crossley Suspended For Two Years
- Forbes: As SOPA Stutters, UK’s “Speculative Invoice” Solicitor Suspended
Also, I’d like to use this opportunity to send regards to our British brothers-in-arms, who diligently covered and accelerated ASC:Law’s downfall:
For the reference, here are the charges vs. Andrew Crossley brought by SDT:
- Allowed his independence to be compromised;
- Acted contrary to the best interests of his clients;
- Acted in a way that was likely to diminish the trust the public places in him or in the legal profession;
- Entered into arrangements to receive contingency fees for work done in prosecuting or defending contentious proceedings before the Courts of England and Wales except as permitted by statute or the common law;
- Acted where there was a conflict of interest in circumstances not permitted, in particular because there was a conflict with those of his clients;
- Used his position as a Solicitor to take or attempt to take unfair advantage of other persons being recipients of letters of claim either for his own benefit or for the benefit of his clients;
I do not believe that the UK and the US judicial systems are significantly different: at least some of these charges should be applicable to our domestic crooks (and some additional charges — not implausible at all). Pity we do not have a central authority like Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal here, though there are some authorities that oversight attorneys’ conduct. Here is one for Illinois. I urge everyone to find similar organizations in states where trolls are licensed and overwhelm those organizations with complaints.
The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal’s judgement is now published: