Judge Murphy denies Prenda’s motions to reconsider Smiths’s attorney fees, grants Comcast’s and AT&T’s motions for fees

Posted: November 27, 2013 by SJD in Lightspeed, Prenda
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

In Lightspeed Media Corporation v. Smith et al lawsuit (initially St. Clair county, removed to ILSD — 12-cv-00889), Judge Patrick G. Murphy has finally issued a highly anticipated order denying Prenda’s multiple copy-and-paste motions to reconsider his previous order to grant defendant Anthony Smith’s attorney fees. In addition, Comcast’s and AT&T’s motions for attorney fees have been granted as well, resulting in a hefty amount of $261,025.31, payable in 14 days.

Prenda’s fraudulent sophisticated scheme to reap benefits yet avoid liability failed miserably. John Steele, Paul Hansmeier and Paul Duffy are personally liable. Period.

The Court also finds that Duffy, Hansmeier, and Steele exhibited a “serious and studied disregard for the orderly process of justice.” […] These men have shown a relentless willingness to lie to the Court on paper and in person, despite being on notice that they were facing sanctions in this Court, being sanctioned by other courts, and being referred to state and federal bars, the United States Attorney in at least two districts, one state Attorney General, and the Internal Revenue Service. For example, at the November 13 hearing, Hansmeier skirted the Court’s direct questions, Steele made feigned protestations, and both flat-out lied about their association with Prenda Law, Inc. in the face of documentary evidence on the record in this case, and their sworn declarations in other cases.

The Court has also carefully considered the interrelationship between Duffy, Hansmeier, and Steele. Court finds, that these men acted in concert throughout the entirety of the proceedings in this matter, share total responsibility for their actions, and are jointly and severally liable for the fees and costs of Defendants.

Hat tip to Booth Sweet!


Media coverage
  1. John Steele's Reputation says:

    I would just like to take this moment to wish John Steele, Paul Duffy, and Paul Hansmeier a Happy Thanksgiving. Well, sort of. It’s sort of more what I have to be thankful for.

    For example, Judge Murphy’s order here.

    I do recall last year, or perhaps the year before – prior to things falling apart for Prenda – John Steele (presumably), wished Does a particularly douchey “Happy Holidays” or something along those lines – perhaps someone else remembers it.

    So this year, I’d like to offer a douchey Happy Holidays right back at you, John.

    *This comment was meticulously constructed to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act and no walls were destroyed by chainsaws in its composition.

  2. WDS says:

    A quarter of a million here, a quarter of a million there. Pretty soon this could start adding up to real money. :)

  3. Raul says:

    What is so awesome about this order is that Prenda thugs are now judicially branded as liars. They will never be able to launch this racket again in their own names.

  4. Thank you so much for this post. I am so glad to see some recompense being ordered in this matter. I echo Raul, and may the IRS find that this racket qualifies as racketeering.

  5. bringonthepopcorn says:

    so…. a judge effectively ruled that they lied to the court(s). Can he not find them in contempt?

    • Christenson says:

      Just wait two weeks…they will either be in contempt or posting an appeal bond. Crystal ball sees a law enforcement encounter at an airport.

  6. Anon. E. Mous says:

    It’s nice to see that the courts are starting to read the courts rulings and findings and taking note of them. You know Steele and Hansmeier just hate Judge Wright. Judge Wright’s ruling is starting to come up in more and more courts that have Prenda cases in front of them.

    The mere fact that Prenda will fail to pay in 14 days as usual will mean that Booth and Sweet will be revisiting Judge Murphy’s court to seek an OSC hearing which more than likely lead to another sanctions order.

    Steele and Hansmeier I am sure will protest and threaten to appeal and of course try to delay things as long as possible as is their standard mantra. The mere fact that the judgements are piling up and starting to weigh on old Paul Duffy who I am sure after seeing what a pittance he was receiving out of this to be the figurehead of Prenda must be wondering how he got suckered into this for such a measly sum.

    Duffy I am sure must be wavering in his will to continue on, all the pressure from the court, the sanction orders, bar referrals, referrals to the U.S. & State AG’s, referrals to the IRS Criminal Division and a possible RICO investigation, judgments to pay and his reputation in tatters must have him just wondering when the IRS is going to knock on his door or if he is going to hear about being indicted by a grand jury involving a possible RICO case.

    I would think Duffy must be looking at GIbbs and thinking I should save myself while I can rather than end up in a cell rattling the bars. Duffy I doubt would have the stomach to go thru a fight with the IRS and the U.S. Attorney General.

    Steele’s ego won’t let him admit defeat nor would he not try to profess his innocence and claim how he has been wronged by the trolls and the government and the courts. Hansmeier much like Steele will not give, but I believe he will break before Steele will.

    I do seriously believe though that Hansmeier and Steele are both neck deep in the ADA lawsuit game, there is no way either of them will want to give up the settlement/lawsuit game for that easy access to cash they got from their porn suits, the only difference is the courts and the lawyers are onto their schemes and they are going to find it a lot harder to game the system then it used to be.

    Neither Steele nor Hansmeier has or will ever use their licence to practice as intended, it will all be about the quick objection/ or settlement schemes to get the easy dollar, which will be what will stick them both behind bars.

    • SJD says:

      John Steele appeals Judge Wright’s order:

      Source: LA Times.

      One of the lawyers in the case, John Steele, said he intends to appeal the judge’s ruling.

      “We have appellate courts for a reason. Nobody’s perfect. In this case, I think the judge was misled by others,” Steele, 42, said by phone from Miami. “There’s going to be a lot of egg on people’s faces.”

  7. CTVic says:

    Allow me to recreate Thanksgiving’s post-feast sigh of gorged satisfaction:
    AAaaaaaahhhhhh… *burp*

  8. Anon says:

    A life time jail sentence seems more appropriate for these thugs.

  9. VPN says:

    How much do these appeals by Prenda is costing them? does anyone know?

    • Nobody says:

      How much? Well,

      1) they haven’t appealed anything except Judge Wright’s order so far, or at least, so far as I can remember.

      2) Judge Wright’s original order was for $81,000, which was calculated to be just above the cost of mounting an appeal. And,

      3) they’ve been filing all these “Motions to Consider Reconsidering the Already Considered Motions to Reconsider (or, Whatever)” pro se, so they haven’t spent anything to speak of.

  10. […] Nobody on Judge Murphy denies Prenda’s motions to reconsider Smiths’s attorney fees, grants Comcas… […]

  11. […] chambers on November 13, 2013. We all know what followed two weeks after the hearing — a scalding order, in which Murphy explicitly called John Steele and Paul Hansmeier […]

  12. […] approximately the same time frame, Prenda’s principals were sanctioned, did not pay and were found in contempt for not paying. Today I learned that Lipscomb is not eager […]

  13. […] the zombie of the Pure Bill of Discovery and punish wannabe filmmakers with attorney fees, like it happened in the Prenda’s Lighspeed v […]

  14. […] board for adult webmasters and producers. One of the last year threads there (NSFW) discussed Prenda’s fiasco in Lightspeed v. Smith. Amid some local boneheads’ denial of the obvious, there were many rational voices calling […]

  15. […] The evidence itself, scrupulously collected by defendant Smith’s attorneys, was compiled in a single sealed motion for contempt (#135 filed on 3/20/2014), and it has been intriguing us for a while: scarce references in Steele/Hansmeier/Duffy’s motions pointed to the treasure trove of information, namely Prenda’s financial records showing that our asshat trio was indeed more than capable of paying what they owe. […]

  16. […] Rightscorp. Mr. Huffman knows the playing field well: for instance, he represented AT&T in a disastrous (for Prenda) Lightspeed v. Smith. In that action Huffman quoted his hourly rate as more than $500, […]

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