Oral arguments in Prenda’s appeal to the Ninth Circuit: live video feed
Thyself shalt see the act:|
For, as thou urgest justice, be assur’d
Thou shalt have justice more than thou desir’st.
|Shakespeare. The Merchant of Venice.|
Almost exactly two years ago Prenda Law, its principals John Steele, Paul Hansmeier, Paul Duffy, Brett Gibbs¹, and two bogus plaintiffs (AF Holdings and Ingenuity 13) were epically smacked down by Judge Wright on 5/6/2013 (Ingenuity 13 v. John Doe, CACD 12-cv-08333).
This ruling was appealed shortly after². The stakes are high: Prenda and its owners were compelled to post a whopping $237,583.66 bond. If they lose, some money ($81,319.72 original judgment, subsequent fines, and possibly the costs associated with the appeal) will be released to the defendant.
- Prenda’s Opening Brief (Daniel Voelker, 11/18/2013)
- John Doe’s Answering Brief on Merits (Morgan Pietz, 1/17/2014)
- Prenda’s Reply Brief (Daniel Voelker, 2/25/2014)
It took almost exactly two years for the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to schedule the oral arguments, and here we are: 5/4/2015, 9:00 am Courtroom 2, Richard H. Chambers US Court of Appeals, Pasadena. The panel was announced a week before: Circuit Judges Harry Pregerson, Richard Tallman, and Jacqueline Nguyen.
I’m sure many would be happy to travel to Pasadena for this epic hearing. Those who can’t are not too unfortunate though because there is a live video feed from the courtroom. And it was archived for posterity (fast forward to 59:40):
- Prenda’s first oral arguments in front of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals: a picture is worth a thousand words
To say that it was an illustrious smackdownn is a gross understatement. I pass the baton to the pros:
- @Popehat tweets storified
- Popehat (Ken White): Prenda Law And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Appellate Argument
- ArsTechnica (Joe Mullin): 9th Circuit judges rip into Prenda law copyright trolling scheme
- X-Biz (Rhett Pardon) Prenda Law’s ‘Copyright Trolling’ Operation Blasted at the 9th Circuit; Prenda Law’s Strategy at 9th Circuit Baffles Legal Peers
- P2P Politics (K’Tech) Judge Calls Prenda an “Ingenuous Crooked Extortionate Operation”
- TechDirt (Mike Masnick): Team Prenda Has A Very Bad Day In Court… And You Can Watch It All
- The Houston Lawyer Blog (Rob Cashman): Prenda Law Appellate Practice – Expect No Orange Jumpsuits, Only Sanctions
- LA Times (Michael Hiltzik): Comedy gold: Watch three U.S. judges dismantle a copyright troll’s case
- The Ninth Circuit affirms fee award imposed by Judge Wright against Prenda principals three years ago
¹ Gibbs’s monetary sanctions were later vacated due to his health and financial hardships, and also because he blew the whistle on Prenda’s fraudulent activities.
² Because Judge Wright’s order applied to more than one case, Prenda filed eight appeals, later consolidated: CA9 13-55859, 13-55871, 13-55880, 13-55881, 13-55882, 13-55883, 13-55884 & 13-56028.
65 responses to ‘Oral arguments in Prenda’s appeal to the Ninth Circuit: live video feed’
Wow, nice. I’m going to have to figure out how to work my morning around this. It’s been so long since these goons were bitchslapped so hard they took up ADA trolling that I don’t keep up much anymore. Too bad I’m no longer strategically located to attend these live, the Wright hearings were comedy gold and I would love to see the Jester and his Merry Band perform for me one more time.
Hope you’ve been well SJD, it was fun and well worth the trouble from those Prenda dipshits.
Someday there will be criminal charges for these trolls that will have serious teeth to sink into these individuals and their lack of ethics and odor.
Think Judge Wright is good at tearing new ones? You haven’t met Judge Nguyen.
Thank you for posting the link to the live feed for oral arguments. You provide a great service to the readers of this blog!
So early in the day to be having popcorn… oh well…
If you need the bare URL for the video, it is
My comp just refuses to show the embedded player. Grrr. No, I don’t want to troubleshoot it.
Styoopid comment thinks I want to put in an embedded vid. (sigh)
After the standard YouTube URL, paste this: watch?v=5FDtJlZbCbQ
Thanks: I added the direct link.
> Particularly prejudicial was the District Court’s denial of the Appellants’ ability to call Mark Lutz, who had consistently been identified as the actual manager of AF Holdings and Ingenuity13 throughout the proceeding…
What, the Appellants would have more luck getting Lutz into court than the Appellees or the lower court?
And lets not mention the fact they were unable, unwilling, & unrepentant when their “client” went MIA multiple times. We totally could have gotten him to show up this time, trust us.
Can someone explain why Hans night be appearing and not Voelker who filed the appeal? Has DV put in a withdrawal as their attorney? Did Hans file an appearance or is that done for appeals court? Just wondering of the switcheroo.
Oops – never mind. Voelker did appear for them.
Changed travel plans so I could be home watching this. Just popped a beer!
It may be time for Judge Pregerson to retire.
He is a little slow, and likes to talk.
Not the first case, and the first case is going longer than scheduled.
Thanks for this, SJD. The only thing better than reading about trollawyers squirm is to watch them squirm in real time! This is fantastic!
Prenda boys are getting their asses handed to them.
“And you’re a great lawyer, too.”
“Well, thank you your honor.”
“At least that’s what your ad says …”
TROLLED! By a rambling 90+ senior judge who waves his hands in the air when trying to visualize the internet! BOOM!
You can tell Judge Nguyen, wished Judge Pregerson would get to the point.
If anyone recorded that, could they kindly post it on Youtube or some other site? I was only able to catch the last few minutes of arguments.
An official recording should be available later from the court. As soon as I learn it is, I will post it.
It appeared that I didn’t have to do anything: the archived video has the same URL as the live stream. Enjoy!
Based on the questions and comments by the Judges, which I know are not necessarily indicative of what they are actually thinking, I predict they will uphold the actual fee award, and then kick back the doubler for a rehearing under criminal contempt rules.
All three Judges seemed to think they were crazy for wanting to do that.
You can tell these judges are up to speed on the Prenda shenanigans and less than impressed with Voelkes arguments. I wish that in the beginning when they were asking him who was paying him and he kept sidestepping they had just asked him who signed the checks. He seemed very evasive and nervous about that for some reason.
Remember “Then who gets the money?” “Every dollar of it.”?
Now Prenda does not have the calibre of Abbot and Costello. But the tapdancing here around the check signing is approaching comedic levels.
Oh man, if I hadn’t been to the dentist today, I’d bust out the popcorn to watch this video….I guess I’ll just have to imagine the smell of it.
Let me get this straight. To the incredulous panel, Prenda’s appellate lawyer volunteered each of his clients for a criminal contempt proceeding at which ALL Prenda-related misconduct would be “fair game” (Nguyen) and for which the maximum punishment could be “life imprisonment” (Tallman).
I’m wondering if after the Prenda bunch watch the proceedings and talk to Voelker, if the case might be magically withdrawn by about end of business today?.
To anyone wanting to watch the proceedings the original youtube link has the whole thing archived. Meanwhile, Popehat has his blog post up here – http://popehat.com/2015/05/04/prenda-law-and-the-terrible-horrible-no-good-very-bad-appellate-argument/
And an archive of tweets here – https://storify.com/bmaz/popehat-livetweets-prenda-at-9th-circuit
Yeah, I already updated the post accordingly.
Oops, didn’t notice. 😉 delete delete…
These are links worth repeating many times 🙂
Did anyone notice how odd it was that this appeal’s oral arguments were held on “Star Wars Day”? “May the Fourth be with you” and all that.
Star Trek ruling appealed on Star Wars Day. Don’t tell me judges have no sense of humor….
Having rewatched the proceedings, I’m not sure how much more hints the panel could have given Voelker that his clients didn’t really want them to send this back down. Beside the comments about “Life in Prison” and “All the conduct fair game” already mentioned, they pointed out that he is former U.S.M.C. and played around with the words “Wright is always right” a few times.
ArsTechnica has their post up: http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2015/05/04/9th-circuit-judges-rip-into-prenda-law-copyright-trolling-scheme/
Enjoying this immensely!
Not to bring us back to reality but I wonder if that one particular dipshit from Miami paid attention to this today? That scam may operate slightly differently, but its the same breed with the same extortionate stench attached. Can’t wait for that enterprise to finally face these same sorts of questions and outcomes. Eventually some Judge(s) will have had more than enough of bullshit german investigators “facts”, the pretend extreme financial harm, and the disturbingly excessive demands, and put an end to that racket as well. They may not be world-class Prenda Assclowns, but they are pathetic Assclowns nevertheless.
Steele, Hanns, Duffy, etc. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA ………….. thanks again for the laughs boys! Keep up that stellar lawyering that you all do so well. ADA claims is it now? Is there no end to the shyster trainwreck?
Can’t anyone say: 18 U.S. Code §1961 ? Anyone?
Listening again, I noted something.
Nguyen at 1:13:15 reviewed the factual findings, that the lawyers set up the shell companies, and said that they were well supported.
Voelker offered was no counter-arguments. “I am not arguing the facts. I’m arguing that the process was tainted.”
I think that this is a fatal point for the appeal. The finding was that the lawyers and the ‘client’ were one and the same. With that point standing, everything else is a side-show. Lutz failing to testify (or being ‘prevented’) is nearly irrelevant. That no later proffer was made makes him wholly irrelevant.
Nguyen came back a few minutes later saying that she was amazed that they wanted a criminal sanctions hearing. I think that she had just confirmed her understanding to that point, and was moving on to the interesting aspect of Prenda being asking for a criminal sanction hearing.
I’m guessing that she’ll write the opinion, and that it will say that the lack of Lutz testimony was unimportant — it would have been only a sideshow.
Nguyen is super-sharp, no doubt about it. According to Wikipedia,.
So, let me get this straight? They really want a portion of the sanctions sent back to the district for contempt proceedings? Really ?? Could they end up in Judge Wright’s courtroom?
That’s insane. They should be careful what they wish for.
I don’t think it is “Could wind up back in Judge Wright’s courtroom”, I think it is “It will wind up back in Judge Wright’s courtroom”.
So what is the timeline of events that will happen now? When will the judges make a ruling? I guess lawyers are used to it but for the rest of us these cases are particularly frustrating…every time it seems like “something is going to happen” its always seems like the same thing…judges ask questions, the trolls shrug their shoulders and the result is yet another case months or years down the road. Over and over and over and over and over again. Its no wonder we have these Prenda and Malibu Media/X-Art types out there. The system almost encourages it.
According to the court’s FAQ #18: “The Court has no time limit, but most cases are decided within 3 months to a year.” http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/content/faq.php
Great post. Looks like Congress is finally paying attention too: http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Fighting-patent-trolls-becomes-bipartisan-issue-6237196.php
Found it here: http://legalfeeadvisors.calls.net/legal-fees-shifting-in-patent-troll-suits/ “In a recent article, SF Gate reported on federal legislation that would shift legal costs to the loser in a type frequently seen “patent troll” cases. The article reported that “a key provision in the bill, written by Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, was to make the losing party pay legal fees. The provision was an attempt to increase the cost and risk for plaintiffs, deterring trolls from bringing many suits in what amounts to legal prospecting for a big payday.” This can only be good news, potentially restoring some measure of respect for the ability of Congress to respond to a need for litigation reform.”
It’s worth reminding everyone that we don’t know if ‘AF Holdings’ AKA ‘AF Films’ exists.
The sole deposition of someone held out as being with the company was of Hansmeier, and he spent hours deflecting questions and claiming to know almost nothing. That was when we first learned that Lutz was nominally in charge, but if you read the deposition and look at the timeline, that role was probably made up on the spot. Hansmeier was put into a corner with questions, and Lutz must have been the only name he could come up with. Lutz’s name next appeared in a filing made less than two days later, and in multiple additional filings soon after.
The sole document was a bad fax or scan of a Nevis corporate entry. It wasn’t actually a government document, but rather one from a company that specialized in being an in-country service firm for anonymous offshore shell companies. That was put forth as a self-authenticating document, but without the required certification to meet that standard. Nor did actually show anything beyond “yes, there is an entity with that name”.
Two years ago, after the Prenda guys had already invoked the 5th, there was a final effort to ask about the authenticity of AF Holdings. Duffy again plead the 5th, while referring the court’s inquiry to Gibbs on the pretense that he, as the local counsel, should have copies of everything. Gibbs, of course, had already filed a statement that he relied on Duffy’s assertion that the client was real when agreed to be local counsel.
For this specific case, it doesn’t much matter if AF Holdings exists. Judge Wright looked at the deposition, financial distributions and other evidence and ruled that Prenda and the lawyers were the true parties of interest. Lutz and AF Holdings were irrelevant beyond being details of the scam.. The only reason they matter is for other cases, and any fraud charges.
“It bothered me a lot when I saw the birthplace of Alexander Hamilton being defiled!” Judge Pregerson’s response to the assclowns using Nevis as the domicile of the shell corporations. That was priceless! LMFAO 🙂
The only real point that Voelker tried to make (Over & Over & Over) was that at some point Judge Wright has said he was considering incarceration as a sanction, which made the hearing “an indirect criminal hearing”. I vaguely remember that statement by Judge Wright, but have had no luck finding exactly when that was said, and under what context.
Does anybody remember which hearing that was in. It wasn’t in the 12 minute, take the 5th hearing. Was it when Gibbs was trying to explain himself after he found out that Judge Wright knew how to use Google Maps?
The only threat of incarceration I’m aware of is this, but I could miss another instance.
Thanks SJD. I had just come back to point out I had found that article on the site, and point out that threat was directed at Gibbs alone.
Keith Lipscomb, Esq. is an experienced intellectual property and commercial litigator and trial attorney. I mean, it says so, right there on his website.
I seem to have heard something similar to that just a couple of days ago. 🙂
RICO RICO RICO !!!
18 U.S. Code §1961
Come on DOJ, any State AG, or Federal Prosecutor. RICO 18 U.S. Code §1961
Massive litigation/extortion scheme, using Fed Courts, across state lines, across international borders, using foreign ‘investigators” and “evidence”, using foreign organizers and gameplan, using extortionate demands and techniques recognized as such by Fed Judges and now an Appeals panel…..what does it take to shut ALL these greedy copyright AssClowns down quickly and permanently, and to have them face the court from the defendents bench where they belong?
I made three < 30 sec (Twitter's limit) clips out of the hearing video yesterday.
1. “You don’t know anything, do you?” “They were engaged in extortion!”
2. “And you are a great lawyer too. That’s what your ad says when you go to the internet.”
3. “The birthplace of Alexander Hamilton (Nevis) was defiled!”
Pingbacks & Trackbacks