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.