Prenda explores a loophole in Pennsylvania’s law, its local counsel Isaac Slepner plagiarizes a memo

I think that John Steele has finally found a way to vindicate me: the amount of scams he conceives is so high, the brazenness is so staggering that I may get seriously ill from writing that much about this unpleasant man and his co-gangsters. No single day passes without a new record low that this gang registers on their way down.

Abusing a loophole in an exotic Pennsylvania law

It came to my attention that on 12/24/2013 Prenda tested a new turf (not exactly new — it was tried by others before, somewhat unsuccessfully: read along). Prenda filed a motion for leave to take pre-complaint discovery in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia on behalf of a non-existent plaintiff Guava LLC, trying to get identities of 40 Internet subscribers with a sole goal to harass and blackmail them into settling or doing some dirty job.

In short, this exotic law (“Writ of summons”) allows subpoenaing ISPs before filing a complaint (without any commitment to file it later). In other words, this law is a cousin of Florida’s Pure Bill Of Discovery, heavily exploited by both John Steele’s and Keith Lipscomb’s Mafias.

Readers of this blog remember that Liberty Media tried to exploit the very same loophole in the Pennsylvania civil law half a year ago. At that time, Marc Randazza was an in-house counsel for Liberty Media Holdings, and I believe that the idea of this fishing blitzkrieg was his. For a couple of reasons, it was a failure. Particularly, Mark Randazza’s local counsel on that case, Jordan Rushie, realized that this way to “protect copyright” is inherently wrong, essentially resigned (dismissed the case) and since then has been defending many Does — victims of predatory shakedown lawsuits [12/22/2014 update: Jordan is back at it — started filing for Germans. While my intuition always told me not to trust this ethical dwarf, I was admittedly too generous giving him benefit of doubt. Depressing.].

It is hardly a surprise to those who follow Prenda and other trolls: cockroaches tend to explore cracks in the floor (in this case, in the floor of the US judicial system).

An incredible mix of irony, shame and loathe

Here is the Memo in support of the motion (the other documents are linked at the bottom of this post)


Not that the memo embedded above is bad, it is actually good, but it is definitely not written by Steele. Then by whom? Let us look at the memo in the original Liberty Media filing:


Got it?

The entire text was shamelessly lifted from Rushie’s memorandum! Word to word.

I asked Jordan, and the answer was predictable: his firm has nothing to do with it. The fruit of his work (albeit adversary at that time, but still a decent work) was stolen either by Steele or his PA local counsel Isaac Slepner. (I apply trolls’ misleading terminology, which they hypocritically use when whining about pirates “stealing their clients’ precious pornography.”)

Isaac F. Slepner

As for the local attorney Isaac F. Slepner… Many local counsels deceived by Prenda turned out to be ethical attorneys (George Banas, Jonathan Torres, Matthew Wasinger, Trina Morrison…) and would not even think about associating their names with Prenda scumbags if they knew how much their cores are rotten. Seeing that, I would not rush and blame an underemployed attorney: I hope he will smell the stink of decay that the criminal organization Prenda exudes and will resign from this case — the sooner the better. If he was the one who pilfered Rushie’s text, he deserves some booing, but it is a much lesser crime than to make any deal with Prenda.

Last, but not least: abusing the law is Pennsylvania is one of the stupidest things John Steele’s hubris can conceive: there are certain superior attorneys there who will have a field day with John’s ill attempt to defraud justice, and they will take the matter as close to personal as their genuine professionalism allows.

Media coverage


On 3/11/2013 Verizon picked up the battle and filed a very comprehensive Motion to quash. It has an impressive set of attachments, including Pietz’s crash course in history of Prenda’s shenanigans.


26 responses to ‘Prenda explores a loophole in Pennsylvania’s law, its local counsel Isaac Slepner plagiarizes a memo

  1. So wait, since there’s no complaint and discovery has been allowed, is there no defense for these Does? Will they still have an attempt to quash? If there’s no complaint…who’s hears the orders to quash?

  2. How can any lawyer with the ability to Google “Prenda Law” sign his/her name to something that states this –

    “11. This is not a “fishing expedition” like that which the Supreme Court cautioned against in
    McNeil. In this case, Plaintiff already possesses the IP addresses of those individuals who have
    hacked into Plaintiff’s computer systems.”

    Sure, they plan to name, serve, and litigate this case. What a line of BS!

    DTD :)

  3. Steele is never going to quit, and I’ve lost faith in any criminal proceedings unless we are talking years down the road.

    Sure his success rate is going down in getting info from subpoenas, and I’d bet his settlement rate continues to plummet, mainly because of the light SJD continues to shine on his operation.

    But, this guy and his mafiso will never quit. The only people with the power to really slow him down at this junction is the ISPs. Notice this little test lawsuit only included Verizon? They didn’t want to test comcast, especially in Comcast’s own backyard. I wish the ISPs would step up more often. Their current participation seems bi-polar at times.

    When criminal proceedings finally come it will be one of those things where the legal community looks back and says, how did this continue for so long, with so much damage… Yet here was this website documenting the activities the whole time.

    This cockroach is going to show up in every single state court and federal court in the United States as long as one of him or his gang of trolls has a law license.

  4. Interesting that the address for Isaac Slepner and Jordon Rushie are at the same location, and looking at the information from 2424 Studio, (floor plan and tenant directory), look like actual offices and not just mailbox location? Wonder if they knew each other?

    • Yes, they do (judging on the mutual Twitter follows and a single endorsement on Avvo), but I doubt that they are much more than office neighbors. Friends don’t plagiarize friends’s work. And Rushie categorically denies any involvement (even the prior knowledge) of this.

      • I have absolutely no involvement in the case. Zone, zilich. Otherwise I wouldn’t be commenting about it.

        However, I’ve known Isaac for many years. Good guy. His office is in the same building as ours, but that’s our only business relationship. Isaac is friendly with most of the other Pennsylvania doe defenders, too.

        And… I had a good laugh at his expense this morning. “Dude… dude.”

        • well, here’s hoping you might be able to give him some tips on dealing with people the likes of Steele so he doesn’t end up like Torres and Wasinger

        • Jordan,

          If he’s friendly with the other Doe defenders does he have no clue about Prenda? I can see getting involved with some of the other firms… but local counsels in the Prenda cases get chewed up and spit out. I can’t think of one who has come out on top.

          If he’s a a good guy shouldn’t you drop him a tip? They really screwed over Wasinger.

        • Dunno. He has been in practice longer than I have, so it’s not really my place to tell him what to do and who to associate with.

          I’d rather not get in the middle of it unless I’m sitting on the other side of the courtroom.

        • Indeed. What else could be done? I twitted a friendly warning to him… If he runs from this plague, good for him. If not, I’m sure he will be happy to see this post on the top of Google search results after entering his name into the search box.

        • We all,learn for experience, unfortunately I am afraid your fellow Fishtown lawyer will derive nothing but disdain, ridicule and a dead suit in short order. Sad ( but maybe the thieving douchebag deserves it?).

        • Jordan,

          I understand… not giving you a hard time. Most Does can put this behind them in a few years, I feel some of the local counsels never will be able to do so. They can be victims too.

        • Jordan, just send him your latest blog piece about hubris (and humility), other than that I think he owes you a free [insert drink of choice] or 5 ;)

  5. So Steele is taking a page from Charles Carreon’s playbook?
    When you hit rock bottom, double down, then triple down and keep on digging?

  6. SJD Is there even more news coming about Prenda still with the protected comments? Because if so, I’m waiting in anticipation for the pile to grow.

  7. A review of the court docket reveal Slepner has filed two of these proceedings and obtained discovery. The other one was filed earlier on 11-28 with discovery Writ being docketed on 12-10 (Case no. 0079). Both proceedings target 40 Does.

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