1 Aug 14 Update
On 31 Jul 14, the US Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit ruled on the Appeal of PAUL DUFFY, JOHN STEELE, and PAUL HANSMEIER concerning the Lightspeed Media Corporation case against Anthony Smith (Nos. 13‐3801 and 14‐1682). LightspeedAppealRuling The appeal did not go well for the Prenda gang – it was denied. Go Figure. You know it isn’t going to be good for Prenda when the Chief Judge starts off with this.
WOOD, Chief Judge. The first rule of holes, according to an old saying, is to stop digging. The two appeals before us bring that to mind, for reasons that will become apparent.
Here is the bottom line from the Appeals Court.
Appellants’ burden in each of these proceedings was high and the record supports the district court’s holdings that they did not meet it. Any arguments that we have not discussed do not merit separate attention. We AFFIRM the order of sanctions imposed against appellants in No. 13‐3801. We also AFFIRM the order in No. 14‐1682 holding appellants in civil contempt and imposing the stated fine. Costs of appeal are to be taxed against appellants jointly and severally. See FED. R. APP. P. 39(a).
I was also paid a very nice complement by the court when my 28 Feb 2012 article was cited in the decision (Page 23-24) concerning how public documents supported the decision that “… service on Duffy also accomplished service on Steele and Hansmeier.”
See also DieTrollDie, “Down the Rabbit Hole – Prenda/Steele/Hansmeier Wonderland,” (Feb. 28, 2012), available at https://dietrolldie.com/2012/02/28/down‐the‐rabbit‐holeprendasteelehansmeier‐wonderland/.
Little more need be said. We are disappointed that the appellants’ own attorney, Daniel J. Voelker, was either unable or unwilling to tell us at oral argument about the precise relationship between Prenda and Alpha Law, despite its relevance for the issues on appeal.
Here is a Techdirt article on the decision – Appeals Court Smacks Down Team Prenda… Again.
Doing a little research and I came upon some of the Florida company registration documents used by Prenda/Steele/Hansmeier. I’m no expert on FL law concerning company registration, but it appears FL requires any foreign (Non-FL based) company (Corp., LLC, etc.) doing business in FL to register with the State. What I found is a strange bit of wonderland. It even looks like our good friend Mark Lutz has graduated from Call-Boy to Registered Biatch.
The first document is the 22 Sep 11, Application for Steele Hansmeier PLLC, to transact business in FL. The business address is listed as 1111 Lincoln Road, Suite 400, Miami Beach, FL 33139. Paul Hansmeier is listed as the member/authorized representative of Steele/Hansmeier PLLC. Mark Lutz is listed as the agent for Steele Hansmeier. A copy of the MN State Certificate of Good Standing, for Steele Hansmeier PLLC (file # 3976619-2), 15 Sep 11, is attached. FL_Steele_Hans_22Sep11
*** Here is a 28 Feb 12, screenshot from the FL Div of Corporations Web site. Steele Hansmeier PLLC was changed to “Inactive” on 27 Feb 12 (Yesterday). Surprise surprise. 😉 ***
The second document is the 9 Nov 11, Application for Prenda Law Inc., to transact business in FL. Prenda Law asks the FL Division of Corporations to direct all correspondence on this matter to: Paul Duffy, 1111 Lincoln Road, Suite 400, Miami Beach, FL 33139, Paduffy@wefightpiracy.com, (305) 748-2012. The form lists the following out of State address: 161 N. Clark Street, Suite 3200, Chicago, IL 60601. Paul Duffy is listed in the following positions for Prenda Law: Chairman, President, and Treasure (Chicago, IL address). The FL registered agent for Prenda Law is Mark Lutz, 1111 Lincoln Road, Suite 400, Miami Beach, FL 33139. A copy of the IL State Certificate of Good Standing, for Prenda Law (file # 6821-218-9), 8 Nov 11, is attached. FL_Prenda Law_9Nov11
The last document is the For Profit Corporation Annual Report for Prenda Law, 3 Jan 12, with Paul Duffy and Mark Lutz as officer/director and registered agent. FL_Prenda_Profit_2012
What I didn’t find was anything on 6881 Forensics LLC, in the State of FL. I wonder if they are required by FL law to be registered in the States to provide support to the Prenda cases? Hopefully some of the FL Copyright Defense Lawyers can chime in on this question.
A search of Steele Hansmeier in MN State Web site disclosed that Steele Hansmeier PLLC, is an “inactive” (terminated) PLLC, as of 13 Jan 12. The registered office address for Steele Hansmeier is 80 S. 8th Street, Str # 900, Minneapolis, MN 55402 – Alpha Law Firm.
A search of Alpha Law Firm in the MN State Web site disclosed that Alpha Law Firm was initially filed as a LLC, on 22 Jan 10. Paul Hansmeier is listed as the manager, with an address of 80 S. 8th Street, Str # 900, Minneapolis, MN 55402. Alpha Law Firm is an “active” LLC, with a recent renewal date of 27 Feb 12.
I’m not sure exactly what is going on, but it sure looks like a shell-game. Someone may have to make a complaint to the Florida Secretary of State that Steele Hansmeier PLLC, is no longer in good standing with the MN Secretary of State, as the LLC has been dissolved.
If anyone has additional information concerning these companies and/or actors, please send me an email or make a post.