- 11/30/2012: A hearing transcript or a comedy screenplay? A must-read for those who think about settling.
- 12/4/2012: Expected development in a courtroom comedy: attorney Graham Syfert moves for sanctions.
- 12/18/2012: A quick update on dismissed Sunlust Pictures v. Nguyen case.
- 12/20/2012: Prenda hires an outside counsel in Sunlust Pictures v. Nguyen case.
- 12/21/2012: “White collar criminal defenders” attempt to defend Prenda’s scam artists. Surfacing of a new evidence of others’ identity misappropriation by Prenda.
- 12/30/2012: Does “under penalty of perjury” mean anything? Apparently not for Prenda and one of its plaintiffs
Despite the slow week, it did not take long for the defendant counsel Graham Syfert to react to the white collar crime defenders’ opposition to motion for sanctions in Sunlust Pictures v. Tuan Nguyen case (12-cv-01685). This time Graham concentrated on John Steele, accusing him of multiple fraudulent actions:
Assuming that the fax was in the custody and control of Daniel Weber from execution to transmission, even if Mr. Weber owned or chartered a private jet capable of near supersonic speeds, it is still impossible that the affidavit was executed on the 17th in India and faxed from India on the 19th. The only possible way Mr. Weber had custody and control of Declaration of Daniel Webber from signing to transmittal, would be that it was executed in India and faxed from Los Angeles, which would just be odd.
- questioned the purported sale of “Steele Law Firm,”
- debunked John Steele’s arrogant statements that “all the bar complaints against him have been thrown out,”
- ridiculed John’s explanation of communicating with Mark Lutz in the courtroom (“Hey Mark, I’m here!”),
- analyzed mail recipients of the email chains between Gibbs and local attorneys, noting that while neither the “official” Prenda principal Paul Duffy, nor Plaintiff representatives were even included, the “BCC” field listed both John Steele and Paul Hansmeier — actual puppeteers of the ongoing criminal tragicomedy.
The following witty (yet absolutely up-to-the point ) paragraph has made my day, and, I hope, yours (the emphasis is mine)¹:
Defendant previously filed for sanctions against Mr. Steele for his role in the November 27th hearing, and alleged that he drafted the letter sent to the court by Paul Duffy wherein Mr. Duffy stated he could not attend due to eye surgery. Mr. Duffy has filed a sworn statement that he wrote the letter. Dkt. # 40, Ex B. Therefore, Defendant withdraws only that portion of the previous motion for sanctions against John Steele to the extent that it alleged Mr. Steele wrote Mr. Duffy’s eye surgery excuse letter. In withdrawing that portion of the first motion for sanctions, Defendant has learned the valuable lesson that the name assigned to a specific electronic device does not necessarily mean that a person committed a wrongful act. Defendant and Defendant’s counsel apologize to Mr. Steele for his accusation in that matter.
I hope that everyone has read the document in its entirety and did not miss some truly amazing pieces. If you did miss them though, I quote a couple (emphasis of the hilarity is mine):
The Affidavit of Daniel Weber states that he was “unexpectedly in Los Angeles” which in itself seems peculiar, but his tweets show that he had dinner in Los Angeles on the 23rd of November and took his dog “Chopper” to the vet on November 24th.
[...]it is also apparent that Mr. Weber was in New York City on November 30th, 2012, attending a party at Club Pranna on Madison Avenue and 28th Street.
It is obvious from the public statements made, that as far as Mr. Weber was “unexpectedly in Los Angeles” he was also unexpectedly in New York three days after the hearing, attending a posh New York night club event with the other principal of Sunlust, his wife, Sunny Leone. Defendant found no details as to whether Chopper was also in attendance.
Paragraph twenty of Steele’s affidavit states that he drove with Mark Lutz to Tampa to observe the hearing before this court, but paragraph twenty-one states that in the middle of the court proceeding, he felt the need to reassure his existence to Mark Lutz. (Dkt #40, Ex. D) Although they had spent four hours in a car together, found a parking spot together, went through security together, rode up in the elevator together, and entered the courtroom together, John Steele asks this court to believe that he suddenly felt compelled to notify Mr. Lutz, “Hey, I’m here.” as if Mr. Lutz was worried about John Steele suddenly abandoning him in Tampa, or turning invisible like a superhero.
Defendant should not be forced to continuously be a gatekeeper of the correct spelling of the name of Plaintiff’s principals or the truth of statements made in this court under penalty of perjury.
- TechDirt: Prenda Law Accused Of Fraud On The Court In Defending Itself Against Claims Of Fraud On The Court by Mike Masnick.
On 1/14/2013 “white collar crime defenders” James E. Felman and Katherine E. Yanes replied to Syfert’s Second Motion for Sanctions, calling defendant’s accusations that are based on undeniably solid evidence “speculations.” One word: unconvincing. Well, I probably had unreasonably heightened expectations from this firm, but given the weakness of this opposition, KMF is rather a below-the-average provincial law firm. A tendency to simply ignore addressing tough accusations (the bogus dog excuse, for example), instead concentrating on relatively weaker opponent’s arguments or procedural issues is more a sign of a forum troll than a good lawyer. While reading this document by itself, it looks decent, but try to read it side-by-side with Syfert’s… Meh.
¹ I’ll try to explain the irony to the visitors who are not so familiar with the copyright trolling phenomenon: one of the gruesome and predatory features of the current blizzard of copyright infringement lawsuits is the astonishing percentage of false positives. In many occurrences (sometimes in 30% of all cases, as one infamous copyright troll, Mike Meier, admitted on the record) troll lawyers harass and extort people who have nothing to do with the alleged wrongdoing, but simply happen to pay the Internet bill (i.e. their name was “assigned to a specific electronic device”: a cable or DSL modem).