Guardaley | X-Art

How to topple the troll? Follow the money!

On Saturday I wrote about difficulties that defense encounters in trying to get documents from copyright troll Malibu Media / X-Art (M. Keith Lipscomb). My belief is that resistance to produce documents is caused by the fear that uncovered truths can essentially end the trolling enterprise. Specifically, it is very plausible that, being paid only a 10% cut, the plaintiff is not actually interested in recovering “damages” caused by piracy, and the entire attorney-plaintiff relationship is a sham. If it turns out to be true, this revelation will at minimum halt the lawsuit machine and prompt Bar investigations. The other essential part of the equation is the German “forensic expert” IPP International: if it indeed works on contingency, consequences for Lipscomb and his clique can be much more severe.

While to continue applying pressure via persistent discovery requests and interrogatories is the right thing to do, there is a more straightforward way to get necessary information, and defense lawyers across the country should seriously consider it.

Who, except Lipscomb, knows how much settlement ransom money he received, how much he paid to plaintiff, and how much — to “expert witness” IPP International? The answer is simple: his bank. It appears that there is only one point of entry for settlement money, and it is Lipscomb’s law firm’s deposit account as shown on the settlement check endorsements:

Indiana attorney Paul Overhauser pursued this path by sending a subpoena to SunTrust bank this fall:

(Subpoena and list of requested documents.)

Although the bank refused to produce Lipscomb’s financials, a mere threat of subpoena caused streams of sweat on his forehead, and he balked and dropped the complaint against defendants represented by Overhauser. This is a good enough finale for defendants, yet if any defendant wants to push further and convince a judge in a troll-hostile jurisdiction to compel SunTrust to reveal troll’s dirty laundry, a house of cards Lipscomb built so patiently could be blown away in a moment.

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