Attorneys who defend troll victims

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26 responses to ‘Minnesota

  1. Well, Steele wasn’t kidding about MN (when he was BitTorrentBull). A whole slew of individual Doe suits were filed in Minnesota on 10/19. They all look to be Quad International, Ingenuity 13, and AF Holdings. They are being handled by the same attorney as the ones that were dismissed back in July. Michael Dugas of Alpha Law Firm. The ones in July were against individuals as well so I’m curious as to what he has changed to try and make this stick. It isn’t assigned to the same judge but hopefully the judge(s) will refer to the July decision.

  2. Business must be booming! He hasn’t had time to update his twitter account since April and the website listed on Twitter has had its account suspended. It doesn’t even look like they have a current website. Steele sure can pick ’em. I wish Steele had a twitter account. I’d commend him on his choice.

  3. I just received a copy subpoena to my ISP in the Guava LLC v. Spencer Merkel case, no 27-cv-20976. My deadline to respond is 1/3/13, only 10 days away! It appears to be an obvious move to send a MTQ just to raise awareness. With the precedents set in Minnesota in other cases earlier this year, how worried should I be? I certainly don’t want these d-bag trolls having any of my personal info if I can help it.

      • Looks like it’s in a state court (Fourth District – Hennepin). I can’t tell if there is only one defendant or not. Dugas appears to be the plaintiff’s attorney. Isn’t he a Prenda stooge?

        • Yes, Dugas is a Prenda’s goon. “Coopergate” started in Minnesota by drawing judges’ attention to possible super-fraud — in Dugas’s AF Holdings cases.

          Yes, it is a carbon copy of the IL Cook County cases filed in Minnesota local court. I don’t have any documents, and I’m dying to get them. But in your case it is irrelevant. Check the category Guava/Lighspeed to understand what it is about. And don’t worry much. These cases are going to explode soon. While there is no “smoking gun” of the fraud, we are getting there.

          Again, read around, and stop worrying.

    • I received one in the mail while I was out for the holidays. Guava LLC vs Merkel, same case no, same deadline. With lawyer fees at 2k for a retainer and MTQ, is it even worth it? It would seem like the chances the MTQ is denied with are greater than the chances of a case being brought against me. That would mean they get my info without a fight, but is it worth it for 2k? I don’t live anywhere near Minnesota…

      • One thing to keep in mind is Prenda’s success or lack of success in the home court district. There are some states where Prenda has no previous representative or where Prenda has had court setbacks. Courts there may know about the seedy operations. The already low probability of being target beyond the usual phone and mail threats would be even lower.

        • Formally they have Kevin T. Hoerner (who represented Lightspeed in the fraudulent lawsuit in a corrupt St. Clair county) — he is licensed in MO, even filed some mass suits there, but, surprisingly, Prenda never used him to go after individuals.

          See the Prenda page for the entire list of goons and states they are licensed in.

      • Would it help to call up my ISP and attempt to change some of my personal information, like a phone number? So what is given to the subpoena is incorrect, or is that illegal?

  4. Thanks for the feedback, I was already feeling a bit more settled thanks to your site. Thank you for this amazing resource!

    Since it is Xmas and all, I have not yet sent a MTQ. Should I still do this? Is there even time for it to get there by 1/3/13? Other than sending a MTQ, I am planning to just wait this out and keep tabs on the case.

    Thank you again for all the work you put into this Blog!

  5. Great site – thanks for the peace of mind. i am having a hard time finding ANY information on this case online. I am thinking of writing a motion to dismiss for lack or personal jurisdiction (never lived in Minnesota).

    i plan to keep my details anonymous, using the Charter Case and ID number on the letter – is this a good thing to do or will it encourage them?

    thanks for putting together a great resource.

  6. All of Michael Dugas’ cases have been dismissed, including the Quad Int’l and state Guava ones. I wonder why… Maybe he read Paul Hansmeier’s deposition and had a “WTF am I doing” moment…

  7. I reviewed Capitol v. Thomas again, and kind of scared that if there might be one among us will get a verdict like that. Especially that was happened in Minnesota.
    Anybody knows why the pornography trolls haven’t push downloaders that field since it seems obviously profitable?
    I also wonder what the verdict would be if a defendant was proved to be liable for the case? Anybody has any idea about this? Thanks!

    • It’s not as profitable as it looks in most cases. Going through with a trial is very expensive for everyone concerned and a huge judgement in the end is only meaningful when the losing side has the ability to pay it. Thomas didn’t, and single guys sitting at home downloading porn and crap indie movies don’t either.

      Capitol went through with it once but you’ll notice they didn’t do it a second time. They’d made their point.

      If a troll did go through with a trial successfully the cases would not be for single titles and the results couldn’t be anything other than appalling. Lipscomb’s cases bundle dozens of titles for exactly that reason. The best case, statutory minimum, would be $750 per title, plus $3-400 an hour for the trolls’ legal fees. That’s well past $50,000 before counting paying your own lawyer. And there’s no certainty whatsoever that it wouldn’t instead be $7,500 a title. Or $75,000 a title.

      It won’t happen though. Someone with that scale of assets to lose would have better representation than taking a losing case to a verdict.

      • Thanks for releasing our mind. It seems that in the battle of Capitol v. Thomas, none wins. But RIAA at least dispersed quite a few downloaders. Not sure yet if these pornography trolls think they are worth to go through similar depth to appall and push other majority prospective settlers to settle. You are absolutely right that their is no such profit for them to persist, but just fear that there is still potential possibility.

        While that is also true that rarely any infringer would download quantities of movies to be their decent target to sound the alarm and kick off the battle to push infringers (might likely to be innocent people) further into settling.

        Something unpleasant did and does happen in this state, is that likely that trolls will turn here into another hot spot?

        • I wouldn’t find too much relief in that.

          I don’t believe terrible verdicts will happen for the reasons I outlined, but that’s not at all the same thing as terrible verdicts can’t happen and the insanity of the stakes are what set the settlement prices. Lipscomb’s settlement demands are in the $20,000 range and those are happening to four or five more people every day.

          Some district courts are more friendly to the nuisance value mass discovery suits than others but going after big money is done through individual suits and I don’t know of any court that has shot those down yet and I’m skeptical any court will.

          MN isn’t a populous state and Lipscomb doesn’t have local counsel there yet. It seems one of the safer states for the moment.

  8. Are there any other trolls active in MN now? I see Paul Hansmeie and Michael Dugas on the above. Not sure if they are still suing or will sue Minnesota people.
    It seems that my neighbor is living a hard life now with the fear of the duplicates settlement letters via ISP from CEG representing for Elegant Angel. Not sure shall he worry that too much. He denies infringement but can not tell and expose himself, and doesn’t want to settle but taking the risk to be revealed now, for he lives in a apartment and does not have that much money to lose if they took him to the end.

    • Tell your neighbor to try and relax, to the best of my knowledge CEG has no lawyers or lawsuits in MN. To borrow from SJD, CEG is mostly all bark, no bite.

      • Anything new about CEG? I just got internet last week, and tried out bittorrent for the first time, and got one of CEGs letters. I see three basic answers on line:
        1) ignore it, they don’t sue
        2) don’t ignore they do sue, contact a lawyer,
        3) wait until they actually sue and contact a lawyer to settle.

        I suppose the other possibility is to go to their website and settle now, but have heard that sometimes the website conveniently crashes when you try to do that, and they end up with with your information, claim you didn’t pay and up the price. So I’m hesitant to do that.

        Any thoughts or other people experiences would be helpful.


        • I haven’t heard anything new with these Bozos. Don’t forget the option to stop using BT to DL/Share copyright protected material. Also, Rightscorp is trying to force harser options from the ISP toward their subscribers when you start to get multiple notices from these idiots. My advice is to ignore and make sure the BT activity stops.

          DTD 🙂

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