What to Do About the Prenda Law “Informal Discovery” Papers?

First off, great recent posting by SJD and the response document by David Kerr, Colorado, concerning th “Informal Discovery” (ID) papers currently being sent out by Prenda Law. 

I have gotten a few people telling me they have received the Prenda ID packet for cases that were previously dismissed.  Note: please see the Fightcopyrighttrolls and DieTrollDie postings for more background.   

Here is some good information on what exactly ID is.   

In a sense, informal discovery can be defined by what it is not. It is not generally governed by any rules, scheduling orders, or official approved techniques. Unlike formal discovery, informal discovery may begin at any time you are considering a possible lawsuit and requires no court permission or supervision. Informal discovery is a short-hand description for the unregulated fact investigation undertaken by an advocate, or under the supervision of the advocate, in order to perform case analysis, garner evidence in support of a client’s claim or defense, discover adverse information that might defeat the client’s claim, or simply to reveal additional sources of information that might bear on the client’s claim.

OK, well according to this source, ID steps doesn’t require any cases to be opened and is often done when making a determination on a possible lawsuit. 

What makes the Prenda ID questionable is the stated association to an active case (cases were dismissed), as well as the comments that a person is required to respond.   Req_Informal_Discovery {1:11-cv-23036, AF Holdings LLC v. Does 1-162}   Docket

I‘m not sure if these ID papers are only being sent to people who were part of a dismissed cases, but I wouldn’t put it past them to send this to every Doe they can. 

The way the ID paper is written, it is designed to induce fear and get an individual to either contact Prenda directly or possibly hire an attorney to represent them.  A recipient of the ID papers may take it to a non-Intellectual Property (IP) attorney.  There is then a good chance the non-IP attorney will advise the person that fighting this will be more costly than settling.  As the non-IP attorney probably doesn’t know of this business model or Prenda’s record of ONLY recently naming and serving defendants (very small number), the option of settling is a logical option.  In most civil court cases, the two parties usually come to some sort of agreement prior to a full trial.  A good example of a settlement that was reached is when Prenda Law accepted a judgment against their Plaintiff in the Liuxia Wong case.  The exact details of the settlement are confidential, but Plaintiff/Prenda was the one paid out to Mrs. Wong. 😉

What to Do

1)  Treat it like any other Prenda generated document.  It is a scam and not worthy of a response.  Make sure you keep a copy of it in your files.

2)  Make a complaint to the State bar covering the Prenda Law office it originated from.

3)  File a complaint in the court which the dismissed case originated.  For this case (1:11-cv-23036, AF Holdings LLC v. Does 1-162), the court is the Southern District of Florida.

Chief Judge Federico A. Moreno
400 N. Miami Avenue, Room 13-3
Miami, Florida 33128-1812
Chambers Main Line: 305-523-5110
Courtroom Deputy: Shirley Christie
Law Clerks: Mariela Martinez-Cid
Thomas Keenan
Michelle Munoz
Lauren Morse
Reporter: Gilda Pastor-Hernandez 305-523-5118

Even if the complaints are not successful, this informs the various bar associations and courts on what questionable actions Prenda is engaged in.  There is no issue with Prenda trying to engage defendants (or possible defendants)  in a settlement discussion.  The issue the way they are doing it – slimy and walks a thin line of being unethical.  Note: The bar associations are not going to accept a complaint against Prenda unless you put your true name or employ an attorney to act as a shield for you.  So just make sure you are OK with Prenda seeing this and don’t fear their reaction.  Bottom line: If there is no evidence beyond the public IP address and you have the stomach to fight back – fire away.  Now as far as the various courts, I say send John Doe letters to court and clerks to advise them of what is going on.  It could have a positive effect. 

Thank you everyone and have a great day.

DieTrollDie 🙂  “Some ships are designed to sink… others require our attention.” 

PS.  I wonder what is next?

   

 

About DieTrollDie

I'm one of the many 'John Does' (200,000+ & growing in the US) who Copyright Trolls have threatened with a civil law suit unless they are paid off. What is a Copyright Troll? Check out the Electronic Frontier Foundation link - http://www.eff.org/issues/copyright-trolls
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10 Responses to What to Do About the Prenda Law “Informal Discovery” Papers?

  1. Pingback: New low of Prenda Law: trolls indiscriminately and inappropriately send out “Letter of request for informal discovery” « Fight Copyright Trolls

    • DieTrollDie says:

      Looks like they are requesting the court allow them to change the case from Sunlust Picture v. John Doe to Sunlust Picture v. William Cisa. The other “tortfeasors” are still part of the case, just not named. Prenda may serve Mr. Cisa or may wait to see if it scares him into settling. The 120 day clock is clicking on serving him, but it also depends on what the court thinks of this case and Plaintiff. This case has been open since 15 Mar 12. This may be a way to claim to the court they are moving forward.

      DTD 🙂

      • Anonymous says:

        What happens to a co-conspirator case if Doe #1 settles? Wouldn’t that cause him to be dismissed from the case and by extension cause the whole case to be dismissed?

      • DieTrollDie says:

        Very good question. IMO, it would close the case down, as the “John Doe” was the main defendant and the others were the tortfeasors/co-conspirators. Now the Troll can of course refile single cases against the co-conspirators. I say “single” cases, as filing another mass Doe case with essentially the same Does (just removing the original John Doe and the others who settled) is risky. Risky in it shows that the Troll is just gaming the system to their advantage – using the court as a ‘tool.’

        Another interesting idea is that because the troll claims that all the people involved (John Doe and co-conspirators) are “jointly and severally” liable, the fact that the main defendant (John Doe) settles, shouldn’t that make his settlement spread out between the remaining defendants. It is then the responsibility of the John Doe to go after the remaining co-conspirators.

        Yes…. I like this idea. Mr. Troll, please settle with the main John Doe and then try to go after the others.

        DTD 🙂

      • Anonymous says:

        Didn’t I read somewhere here that you can’t charge someone more than twice for the same issue or something along those lines? I.e. If the troll refiles a new case with the same co-conspirators then they wouldn’t be able to file a new individual case against any of them because of this rule?

      • DieTrollDie says:

        Yes. That is FRCP 41 (https://dietrolldie.com/2012/05/17/two-strikes-and-youre-out-frcp-41-copyright-trolls/). Now the simple fact that the rule exists may not stop the Troll from refiling and not mentioning this fact to the court or Does involved. The Troll would also probably claim that the prior cases were not directly against the co-conspirators, but that arguement is pure BS IMO. The fact that they sought and obtained ISP subscriber information on the co-conspirators show the action was against them also. Yes, the rules can be used to our advantage. Two dismissals essentially means the matter is done and over.

        DTD 🙂

  2. Subscribe says:

    Subscribe

  3. Anonymous says:

    This is getting sadder by the day. After all Buffy’s threats of armies of new attorneys, hundreds to thousands of named suits and “your gonna love what’s coming next!” posts the two great efforts are robocalls and pointless form letters? And they can’t even fill in the blanks properly in either case? And they are going to file motions in cases that have been terminated?

    These are painfully obvious low-budget efforts, they apparently couldn’t even afford paper and ink to print the sample motion to compel, memorandum of law and proposed order they say is included with the request. Nothing to indicate a will to do some actual work and litigate a case. Good thing they don’t realize this undermines their credibility even further and makes it even more difficult to take their threats seriously; I am really enjoying the circus now!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Would be too funny to see these documents. Are they no doubt printed on a a streaking and smearing ink jet with low budget paper? To those that suggested using them in the outhouse I would think twice unless you are looking for an inky bum. LOL!

    Though they might serve better as tender for the fireplace or lining the bird cage tray.

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