Prenda

Graham Syfert withdraws his call for sanctions against Gibbs and Wasinger; Gibbs claims that Steele and Hansmeier have been driving litigation in Florida

Thanks to Judge Wright’s resolution to get to the bottom of Prenda-related controversies, the poo-throwing among the Prenda gang members has recently escalated dramatically. In this light, yesterday’s event is not surprising. We covered the Sunlust fiasco (Sunlust Pictures v. Tuan Nguyen (12-cv-01685) extensively in December. This coverage started with a hilarious hearing where a stand-up comedian Mark Lutz tried to dupe Judge Scriven into believing that he was a Sunlust representative. Later we also wrote about apparent fact-bending in the series of declarations by the plaintiff and his lawyers, which resulted in a motion for sanctions against Gibbs, Steele, Duffy and Wasinger filed by the defendant’s attorney Graham Syfert. It is also worth mentioning that Prenda’s members (for the first time, to the best of my knowledge) have lawyered up.

Although the transcript from Judge Scriven’s courtroom gained a status of celebrity among court transcripts and was exhibited in numerous motions across the country, the case itself remained dormant for months — until yesterday.

On 4/11/2013 Syfert decided to withdraw his motion for sanction against Gibbs. In addition, all the issues with Matt Wasinger have been resolved. According to Syfert’s motion, this young attorney was “duped” by Prenda — he became Prenda’s local counsel for a short time, but unlike many other “local representatives,” either obtuse or ethically challenged, quickly understood that his career was at serious stake and called it quits.

The reason why Gibbs was also spared can be found in his damning declaration, which was filed as an exhibit to the motion embedded above. While the new statements contradict Gibbs’s previous ones, Gibbs seems to be more truthful now. He speaks about the lawyers who de-facto drove the lawsuit in question (it is not a big stretch to assume it to be true for all the other Florida cases). Is anyone surprised that these lawyers appear to be… John Steele and Paul Hansmeier?

Although those who have been following the Prenda quest find nothing new in Gibbs’s declaration, it is notable that his confession is now written is stone — in a public court document. No matter how obvious some things are, Prenda’s lawyers were good at concealing the smoking gun, and judges don’t like hearsay and conspiracy theories. Now we have juicy evidence.

In my opinion, one particular consequence for Steele is that Gibbs’s words imply that Steele and Hansmeier have been driving the Florida lawsuits, i.e. it possible that they have been practicing Law in Florida without license. Given that Steele signed an affidavit agreeing not to do it, I expect Florida Bar to be annoyed (to put it mildly). Remember that even though the law prohibiting practicing Law without license in Florida is rarely enforced; such practice is still a third-degree felony.

Coverage

Update

4/24/2013

On 3/23/2014 Judge Scriven issued a strongly worded order, letting Matt Wasinger go (I sincerely wish good luck to him) and instructing plaintiff to find a new counsel in 2 weeks and after that to file an opposition to Syfert’s motion for sanctions. Otherwise she promises to grant this motion and order Prenda to pay up:

Followup

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Discussion

21 responses to ‘Graham Syfert withdraws his call for sanctions against Gibbs and Wasinger; Gibbs claims that Steele and Hansmeier have been driving litigation in Florida

  1. Typo in the title. “Stele” should be Steele.

    And “Although the transcript from Judge Skriven’s”; isn’t it Scriven?

  2. Too good.

    This was signed yesterday, which means Gibbs hasn’t decided to stop talking after the rest of them took The Fifth. I can’t wait to see what he has in store for the case before Wright’s court, but I predict it will trigger more apoplectic excuse-making and mental contortions from the rest of the assclowns’ attorneys.

    • Ooh, that might be tricky, because Gibbs was actually attempting to take over settlement negotiations in that case, which makes it a little harder to play file clerk.

  3. Congratulations, Prenda et al. You are now famous and/or infamous. Here comes the special purpose public figure and fair comment defenses in the libel suits. Open wide!

  4. Anyone care to vote on what sanctions Judge Wright will hand down? Jail or fines. Referral to the DOJ maybe? What amazes me with all the demand letters they sent with all the harassment over the years; that they didn’t target a IRS agent, a judge , a police officer or a just one pissed off killer.
    If they kept this up they were bound to find someone even more dangerous then judge Wright

    • How do you [or any of us, actually] know they haven’t already targeted an IRS Agent? I’m inclined to think they did target someone in government a long long time ago.

  5. One of the most hilarious things I’ve seen in this whole debacle? John Steele claiming that somehow, this is all due to the efforts of the EFF trying to stop “anti-piracy enforcement”. The man’s either suffering from a “god complex” delusion or he’s still banking that people are still buying his bullshit.

    On the other hand, he’s just handed his opponents in copyright reform the best weapon ever. When all this is over and the dust settles, the RIAA and MPAA are going to cringe at the mention of his name. “Yeah, you know who else claimed the EFF was campaigning against anti-piracy enforcement? John Steele, that’s who.”

  6. Interesting how these lawyers (some might call wizards) can discern via one part time employee/ part time student working in a basement in Germany, out of billions of people on this planet, exactly who is stealing their clients’ porn, yet when questioned about their own business and client, they know nothing (like Klinger of Hogan’s Heroes).

    • Wizards,
      Schultz was the one who knew nothing in Hogan’s Heroes. Klinger was the one who cross-dressed to get out of the Army via ‘Section 8’ in M*A*S*H.

      Shultz has got to be Handsmeier, just on the basis of that deposition alone.
      That would make Steele as Klinger.

      Now, here’s some weirdness:

      Bob Crane, the star Hogan’s Heroes, was murdered, allegedly by a camera tripod belonging to John Henry Carpenter. The two of them would pick up women, take them back to Bob’s place, and film them having sex with the women.

      Meanwhile, in AZ, wasn’t Steele setting up his own porn studio. Coincidence? And now the Prenda gang are turning on each other. All y’all better watch out for each other. You too, Gibbsie, especially after you filed that declaration. Steele might want you to hold a camera or something.

    • Credit is definitely due to the lawyers who are fighting these cases, but the wizards who worked here and on other boards deserve credit as well.

  7. The judge made a typo in paragraph 4. Are the Prendarasts going to claim they don’t have to pay the fine because the judge referred to “Sunlunst” instead of “Sunlust”?

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