The following supposed to be an update to my previous coverage of a curious development in the Western District of Washington: a bittorent copyright troll David A. Lowe (Guardaley) became a laughing stock over the last couple of months by predictably dismissing his victims – one after another – as soon as the next said victim retained attorney Christopher Lynch, and Mr. Lynch sent a demand letter threatening to expose the troll’s fraudulent conduct.
When I reported this pattern for the first time, there were only four dismissed defendants. Today the count is eleven.
I diligently posted an update every time the troll dismissed a new defendant, which made the original story too lengthy. So, I decided to spawn a new post. Also, updates usually enjoy much less exposure than new blog posts, and undoubtedly this development deserves more attention (particularly from the FBI and DOJ).
The eleventh dismissal
In this Letter, Mr. Lynch questioned whether Guardaley-driven trolls (including Mr. Lowe) routinely fail to disclose real parties of interest – such as an infamous Guardaley’s shell Anti-Piracy Management Company. In particular, Mr. Lynch points to a recent filing in Louisiana, in which a local troll attorney Pierre V Miller II (Patrick Miller LLC) filed a time sheet with highly inflated fees for his purported work, which was billed not to the nominal plaintiff (Dallas Buyers Club LLC, which BTW was alleged to be a bogus entity that has nothing to do with actual filmmakers/rights holders), but to the German puppeteers (emphasis is mine):
This past week we became aware of ECF No. 34-1 in ED LA in Case No. 3:16-cv-112 where the plaintiff’s attorney moving for default judgment did not provide a summary of his law firm’s time sheets like your law firm submits. On March 21, 2017, that plaintiff’s firm submitted its actual bills. These bills are to “Anti-Piracy Management Company” c/o Carl Crowell.
Weaponizing Mr. Lynch’s letters
In his February post, DieTrollDie suggested:
Here is an interesting idea. What if a Pro Se Defendant in one of Troll Lowe’s cases files an “Answer” and attaches some (or all) of these letters as exhibits. Now Troll Lowe may be able to get them stricken, but for that to even occur, the court is going to read them and make a determination. Things are bound to go bad for the Troll. It was only a matter of Time for Prenda Law… Time is on our side.
I agree with DTD and predict that Lowe will try to strike the exhibit as a hearsay. However, I don’t think that Mr. Lynch will refuse to authenticate the letter if the defendant asks nicely. In any case, the judge will have to read the letter, so the damage to the troll is already done.
We need more of such acts, and not only in Washington: the plague affected dozens of jurisdictions.
A growing concern
In the motion embedded above, you may have noticed a disturbing accusation agaisnt a defense attorney who has been handling dozens of these cases:
Upon the inspection of the history of these cases, it would seem certain that there is a pattern in which defendants are individually represented by the same few attorneys who charge the defendants, each individually, more than the minimum statutory damages (far more than actual damages) would be for a default judgment, only to threaten the defendant with the addition cost of disputing the case in court, and, de facto, forcing the defendant to settle with the plaintiff in a case where the plaintiff has no admissible evidence, and utterly no case against the defendant.
I don’t want to join the allegations at this time. Notwithstanding, I’m getting increasingly upset by the toothlessness of the “mainstream” defense bar. These cases are fraudulent to their core, the crooks are quite aware of it and scared of the prospect of a scrutiny by a dedicated judge – like it was with Hon. Otis Wright’s smashing Prenda in 2013. Consequently, they consistently dismiss people who do their research and fight back, as illustrated by the situation with Lynch’s clients. Implicitly pushing defendants to settle under these circumstances is not cool, to put it mildly.
I think that either defense attorneys should become much more aggressive toward trolls – essentially making the shakedown business not profitable, or the government should chime in and show the trolls some Prenda love. I’m fine with either outcome.
Previous Chris Lynch’s letters
For your convenience, here is the list of Chris Lynch’s letters. Each of these letters resulted in a dismissal. Keep in mind that each letter is unique and addresses different troll’s shenanigans, so if you are a defense attorney or a pro se defendant, you should read them all.
- DieTrollDie (4/13/2017): Anti-Piracy Management Company (APMC) Still Running Strong – “Pay No Attention To That Man Behind the Curtain!”
Today the defendant mentioned in the “Weaponizing Mr. Lynch’s Letters” section above filed another motion to dismiss, to which he attached another Lynch’s letter:
I would like the court(s) to be aware (see attached documents) of a large number of declarations made, on behalf of Plaintiff, by a fictitious person. “Seems everybody but the United States District Court, the United states Attorney, and the Washington State Bar Association knows about the prolific use of this fictitious witness to trick Judge Lasnick.” […]
Today the troll filed an opposition to Mr. Winter’s motion to dismiss. Among usual bullshit statements, there is a claim in the Footnote 2 (emphasis is mine):
Likewise, references to a “Darrin Griffin” or “Crystal Bay Corporation” are irrelevant to this case. To the best of Plaintiff’s knowledge, the former is a former investigator for the latter, but which has never been before this Court or been relied on by any party in this District.
Lowe is lying. The Griffin fraud isn’t a new accusation, and “to the best of Plaintiff’s knowledge” is a lipstick on a pig that fools no one. “This Court” (WAWD) was defrauded at least 40 times by Lowe’s German “clients.” While a different scam artist – Richard J. Symmes, not David A. Lowe – filed those forgeries, Lowe’s denial is an insult to judge Jones’s intelligence.
Here are the WAWD cases in which various troll plaintiffs relied on forged declarations by Darren Griffin (like this one):
2:13-cv-00228, 2:13-cv-00063, 2:13-cv-00328, 2:13-cv-00194, 2:13-cv-00255, 2:13-cv-00256, 2:13-cv-00277, 2:13-cv-00278, 2:13-cv-00287, 2:13-cv-00288, 2:13-cv-00289, 2:13-cv-00455, 2:13-cv-00457, 2:13-cv-00458, 2:13-cv-00459, 2:13-cv-00460, 2:13-cv-00461, 2:13-cv-00462, 2:13-cv-00307, 2:13-cv-00308, 2:13-cv-00309, 2:13-cv-00310, 2:13-cv-00311, 2:13-cv-00312, 2:13-cv-00313, 2:13-cv-00314, 2:13-cv-00315, 2:13-cv-00316, 2:13-cv-00317, 2:13-cv-00318, 2:13-cv-00319, 2:13-cv-00050, 2:13-cv-00051, 2:13-cv-00052, 2:13-cv-00053, 2:13-cv-00054, 2:13-cv-00055, 2:13-cv-00056, 2:13-cv-00057, 2:13-cv-00456.
When a troll resorts to outright, easily debunkable lies to the tribunal, it may indicate that the scam outfit is running out of plausibly sounding justifications of the extortion. I hope that either Mr. Winter or someone else tells the judge about Lowe’s attitude toward truth.