Category Archives: Strike 3 Holdings LLC

Why incorrect attorneys are listed on Strike 3 Holdings LLC case dockets.

There has been confusion in recent weeks as to which Strike 3 Holdings, LLC attorney has authority to represent the Strike 3 Holdings LLC client. Is Lincoln Bandlow in charge? Or John Atkin of The Atkin Firm, LLC?

Why do Strike 3 Holdings cases need a Kingpin?

In bittorrent-based copyright infringement lawsuits, in order to run a multi-state set of cookie-cutter lawsuits, an attorney behind the scenes or “kingpin” is often needed (or, found). This “kingpin” attorney directs each of the other local attorneys who file Strike 3 Holdings copyright infringement lawsuits in federal courts across the US.

A central figure, or “kingpin” is also useful to keep the Strike 3 Holdings settlements uniform. That way, whether you are a John Doe Defendant dealing with New York Strike 3 Holdings cases or California Strike 3 Holdings cases, the settlements are generally* the same.

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  • NOTE: Strike 3 Holdings settlements are not uniform. Each case has its own list of titles allegedly infringed, and the settlement amount that the Strike 3 Holdings attorney asks for is some per-title settlement number multiplied by how many titles there are.

  • For example: If there are 20 titles and the plaintiff is asking for $750/title (they do go lower), they would be asking for a $15,000 settlement. Strike 3 Holdings settlement amounts, however, are not the subject of this article.

Returning to the concept of a “kingpin,” the Strike 3 Holdings cases have been run behind the scenes by Lincoln Bandlow, until now, a partner at Fox Rothschild LLP. Thus, whether your plaintiff attorney was Shireen Nasir, [or, John Atkin, Jacqueline James, Andy Nikolopoulos, or David Grant Crooks (all local attorneys to Lincoln Bandlow working at Fox Rothschild LLP)], Lincoln was the attorney behind the scenes directing each of the Strike 3 Holdings lawsuits across the US.

The Strike 3 Holdings Attorney Shake-Up

Over the past few weeks, however, there has been a shake-up (perhaps a power struggle) between the attorneys at Fox Rothschild LLP. Rumors have been told to me that attorneys at Fox Rothschild and Lincoln Bandlow have been experiencing “tension.”

It wasn’t clear to me whether the issue was that Fox Rothschild LLP did not want to be known for suing thousands of bittorrent users in a copyright troll-like fashion, or whether there was a power struggle between Lincoln Bandlow, a partner at Fox Rothschild LLP, and the other @foxrothschild.com attorneys from other offices across the US who were filing bittorrent-based copyright infringement cases under Lincoln’s direction.

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PERHAPS the Strike 3 Holdings local attorneys wanted to be compensated for the time they spent in filing the cases — for example, in their annual billable hours requirement that attorneys working for a law firm often face.

Or, PERHAPS there was a disagreement about MONEY, namely, which attorneys would be financially compensated when a Strike 3 Holdings settlement is paid. MAYBE one attorney “owned” the Strike 3 Holdings LLC client (my guess, Lincoln), and PERHAPS only he was compensated on a contingency basis for each of the clients who settled.

Who knows what was really going on behind the scenes.

THE FIRST DEFECTION: JOHN ATKIN.

A few weeks ago, I noticed that John Atkin (one of Lincoln Bandlow’s local counsel) broke away from Fox Rothschild and started his own law firm — The Atkin Firm, LLC.

Atkin then started filing Strike 3 Holdings LLC cases using his own law firm as the attorney representing Strike 3 Holdings, LLC. It occurred to me that PERHAPS John Atkin’s flight from Fox Rothschild LLP could be a defection because he was taking the Strike 3 Holdings LLC client with him.

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Alternatively, as many copyright troll attorneys have done in the past, they calculate how much money they could make in commissions (contingency fees) if they themselves take a percentage of every settlement amount paid by a Strike 3 Holdings John Doe Defendant.

They calculate how quickly they could “get rich” from collecting settlements and they decide to represent the “dark side” of copyright trolling; in representing the copyright troll, they become a copyright troll attorney themselves (a plaintiff attorney who files cookie-cutter lawsuits in federal court with the purpose of collecting settlements from each and every defendant who is sued, regardless of whether the defendant actually did the download or not).

With my potential apologies to John Atkin (for whom I do not yet know the circumstances behind his defection from Fox Rothschild LLP), my initial thought was “here is another copyright troll attorney who thinks he could get rich suing defendants.” However, to my surprise, a week ago, I saw a second defection from Fox Rothschild LLP which was a surprise to me.

THE SECOND DEFECTION: LINCOLN BANDLOW.

To my shock, this past week, Lincoln Bandlow (partner) left Fox Rothschild and started his own law firm — “Lincoln Balndlow Law (BandlowLaw.com),” or the “Law Offices of Lincoln Bandlow, P.C.”. The “kingpin” left the law firm which [presumably] he worked many years to climb the ladder and become a partner. Why?!?

The answer is that I simply don’t yet know. I could only assume that the other Fox Rothschild LLP partners did not allow him to run the Strike 3 Holdings cases the way he wanted to run them. Or, perhaps the other partners were taking a large share of the settlement profits, all of which Lincoln could take for himself if he was not tethered to a law firm who pays him a salary.

Thus, Lincoln Bandlow, partner of Fox Rothschild LLP defected too, and started his own law firm… and he took the Strike 3 Holdings LLC client with him (or so it seemed).

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CONFUSION: WHICH ATTORNEY HAS ACTUAL AUTHORITY TO REPRESENT STRIKE 3 HOLDINGS?

The confusion as to which attorney had authority to represent Strike 3 Holdings, LLC became apparent on the court dockets of the hundreds of Strike 3 Holdings LLC cases across the US.

The new cases now list John Atkin of The Atkin Firm, LLC as the “lead attorney – attorney to be noticed” on the court dockets. This implies that JOHN ATKIN’S FIRM has authority to represent Strike 3 Holdings, LLC in these cases and NOT FOX ROTHSCHILD.

However, until now, Fox Rothschild LLP has been running ALL of the Strike 3 Holdings, LLC cases with with Lincoln Bandlow (partner) as the known “kingpin” of the Strike 3 Holdings, LLC cases.

Two sets of attorneys, each one claiming that they alone are representing the Strike 3 Holdings LLC client.

Then when Lincoln Bandlow left Fox Rothschild LLP, the problem compounded itself. Now on dockets across the US, names like Shireen Nasir of Fox Rothschild, or Andy Nikolopoulos and David Grant Crooks of Fox Rothschild, are STILL LISTED as the attorney of record, but their “kingpin boss” Lincoln Bandlow no longer works for the firm.

Lincoln presumably took the Strike 3 Holdings LLC client with him when he left, and even now, he is still representing the Strike 3 Holdings LLC client.

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With different attorneys claiming to each represent the same client, and apparently the “wrong” attorney is listed on the case dockets across the US, there was (and in some cases, still is) confusion as to which plaintiff attorney is authorized to represent Strike 3 Holdings LLC.

THE PROBLEM: THE WRONG ATTORNEYS ARE LISTED ON STRIKE 3 HOLDINGS DOCKETS

Honestly, I don’t care if attorneys have a “turf war” over a client, but there is a duty to properly list the attorney representing the client on the court docket. Otherwise, how would we know who to contact when sending over a letter of representation to the “other side”?

If the former attorney [of Fox Rothschild LLP] is no longer representing the client, that attorney needs to either withdraw as that client’s attorney, or they need to replace themselves with the attorney having actual authority to represent the Strike 3 Holdings, LLC client.

It is an confusing problem to have one attorney represent the Strike 3 Holdings client on the court docket, and to have another attorney claim to be Strike 3 Holdings’ attorney.

THE SOLUTION: FRACTURED DECENTRALIZED AUTONOMY OF DIFFERENT STRIKE 3 HOLDINGS ATTORNEYS

Just so that we are clear, I am pretty sure this “turf war” within the Strike 3 Holdings attorneys is probably still going on.

I think that at the moment, Lincoln Bandlow and John Atkin are negotiating with Emilie Kennedy, the General Counsel for Strike 3 Holdings, LLC (and former attorney to Keith Lipscomb, the former “kingpin” of the Malibu Media, LLC cases) to determine which of them have AUTONOMY to handle which Strike 3 Holdings, LLC cases in which federal courts.

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I also assume that Jackie James (in NY, NJ, CT) also is in the process of (or has already negotiated) autonomy in deciding how to run the cases and how to be compensated for her efforts in the cases she has filed.

Thus, I suspect that we will soon be seeing multiple attorneys each with authority to negotiate the claims on behalf of Strike 3 Holdings, LLC.

RECENT STRIKE 3 HOLDINGS CASES (AS OF 4/1/2019)

Recent Cases filed in the Florida Middle District Court (as of 4/1/2019)
Strike 3 Holdings, LLC v. John Doe subscriber… (6:19-cv-00629), (6:19-cv-00631), (3:19-cv-00492), (3:19-cv-00495)
…IP address 172.5.54.85 (3:19-cv-00493)
…IP address 184.88.18.146 (5:19-cv-00216)
…IP address 184.89.213.178 (5:19-cv-00217)
…IP address 47.196.188.17 (8:19-cv-00779)
…IP address 47.199.238.60 (8:19-cv-00781)
…IP address 47.199.239.139 (8:19-cv-00782)
…IP address 47.199.247.145 (8:19-cv-00783)
…IP address 67.174.8.201 (5:19-cv-00215)
…IP address 67.190.196.212 (3:19-cv-00504)
…IP address 70.126.192.176 (8:19-cv-00784)
…IP address 71.199.255.8 (3:19-cv-00505)
…IP address 73.171.208.61 (3:19-cv-00506)
…IP address 73.224.41.91 (3:19-cv-00507)
…IP address 97.101.29.186, an individual (3:19-cv-00509)
…IP address 97.101.82.7 (5:19-cv-00218)
…IP address 98.231.74.245 (3:19-cv-00508)
…IP address 99.42.93.24 (3:19-cv-00496)
…IP address 99.5.68.72 (3:19-cv-00502)

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Recent Cases filed in the Michigan Eastern District Court (as of 4/1/2019)
Strike 3 Holdings, LLC v. John Doe subscriber assigned IP Address 108.223.196.143 (2:19-cv-11251)
…subscriber assigned IP Address 162.228.98.144 (2:19-cv-11256)
…subscriber assigned IP Address 23.117.52.196 (2:19-cv-11257)
…subscriber assigned IP Address 75.38.255.135 (2:19-cv-11259)
…subscriber assigned IP Address 76.243.106.115 (2:19-cv-11260)
…subscriber assigned IP Address 99.120.227.28 (2:19-cv-11261)
…subscriber assigned IP Address 99.186.113.152 (2:19-cv-11263)

Recent Cases filed in the New Jersey District Court (as of 4/1/2019)
Strike 3 HOLDINGS, LLC v. JOHN DOE SUBSCRIBER ASSIGNED IP ADDRESS 100.1.31.190 (2:19-cv-10239)
…ASSIGNED IP ADDRESS 100.8.22.2 (2:19-cv-10240)
…ASSIGNED IP ADDRESS 108.35.12.169 (2:19-cv-10242)
…ASSIGNED IP ADDRESS 108.35.139.176 (3:19-cv-10278)
…ASSIGNED IP ADDRESS 108.35.80.90 (2:19-cv-10244)
…ASSIGNED IP ADDRESS 108.53.110.45 (3:19-cv-10279)
…ASSIGNED IP ADDRESS 108.53.238.210 (2:19-cv-10246)
…ASSIGNED IP ADDRESS 173.54.58.54 (2:19-cv-10248)
…ASSIGNED IP ADDRESS 173.63.118.229 (2:19-cv-10249)
…ASSIGNED IP ADDRESS 173.63.201.22 (3:19-cv-10281)
…ASSIGNED IP ADDRESS 173.63.37.82 (3:19-cv-10282)
…ASSIGNED IP ADDRESS 24.0.8.134 (2:19-cv-10227)
…ASSIGNED IP ADDRESS 73.10.213.127 (2:19-cv-10229)
…ASSIGNED IP ADDRESS 73.194.88.76 (3:19-cv-10265)
…ASSIGNED IP ADDRESS 73.195.21.87 (3:19-cv-10270)
…ASSIGNED IP ADDRESS 73.80.191.41 (3:19-cv-10236)
…ASSIGNED IP ADDRESS 96.234.70.188 (2:19-cv-10258)

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Recent Cases filed in the New York Eastern District Court (as of 4/1/2019)
Strike 3 Holdings, LLC v. Doe (2:19-cv-02469), (2:19-cv-02472), (2:19-cv-02473), (2:19-cv-02474), (2:19-cv-02476), (2:19-cv-02480), (2:19-cv-02481), (2:19-cv-02482), (2:19-cv-02483), (2:19-cv-02485)

Recent Cases filed in the New York Northern District Court (as of 4/1/2019)
Strike 3 Holdings, LLC v. Doe (1:19-cv-00482), (1:19-cv-00483), (5:19-cv-00484), (5:19-cv-00485), (5:19-cv-00486)

Recent Cases filed in the New York Southern District Court (as of 4/1/2019)
Strike 3 Holdings, LLC v. Doe (1:19-cv-03713), (1:19-cv-03714), (1:19-cv-03715), (1:19-cv-03716), (1:19-cv-03717), (1:19-cv-03718), (1:19-cv-03719), (1:19-cv-03720), (1:19-cv-03721), (1:19-cv-03722), (1:19-cv-03723), (1:19-cv-03724), 7:19-cv-03725), (7:19-cv-03726), (7:19-cv-03727), (7:19-cv-03728), (7:19-cv-03729), (7:19-cv-03730)

Recent Cases filed in the New York Western District Court (as of 4/1/2019)
Strike 3 Holdings, LLC v. Doe (1:19-cv-00534), (1:19-cv-00535), (6:19-cv-06302)

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WHY COPYRIGHT TROLL NON-PRACTICING ENTITIES SHOULD NOT BENEFIT FROM COPYRIGHT LAWS.

Who is the “Real Party in Interest” in the Strike Three Holdings movie lawsuits?

Last night, I set out to explain the differences between the recent Strike Three Holdings ISP subpoena lawsuits and the Malibu Media lawsuits, but the similarities ended up haunting me.  Seeing yet again the makings of another copyright holder who is playing what is starting to look like a “corporate shell game,” I am again weighed down in wondering whether Strike 3 Holdings movie lawsuits (think, “Tushy.com [NSFW],” “Blacked.com [NSFW],” and “Vixen.com [NSFW]”) is really the old wolf — Malibu Media LLC — in sheep’s clothing.

What bothers me about each of these movie (or here, “adult film”) cases is the slick non-transparency between who the copyright holder is, who is actually the party filing the lawsuit (legally, the “real party in interest,”) and who the interested parties are in the lawsuit.

Attorney “Kidneys”

From a lawyer’s perspective (my own attorney “kidneys”), it really bothers me that lawyers LIE to judges and courts now when they file lawsuits.  Maybe this has always been the case, and what do I know — I’ve only been a lawyer active in my field for ten years now — but law school took SO MANY STEPS to teach us to be moral and ethical.

In order to be eligible to take the New York bar exam, we not only had to pass a [frankly, invasive] character and fitness review, but we needed to pass an ethics exam (the MPRE).  In that ethics exam, almost every answer to the exam was, “be ethical, turn that lawyer in to the authorities.”  This is what caused me to delve quite early into the legal malpractice field.

Our Legal System is BROKEN by attorneys who represent unethical clients.

But our legal system breaks when a small few attorneys allow their clients to engage in deception, distortion, and outright lies, as I suspect is already happening with the Strike 3 Holdings lawsuits. 

Looking at the selection of each of the new lawyers that have been chosen to file cases, I can already see the outcome and how each of the cases will play out based on that particular lawyer’s proclivities and skillset.

Some of these lawyers are “new guys,” or “fresh meat” (as I jokingly call them) — not because I can take advantage of their ignorance of the law (or at least the ignorance of how copyright law is applied differently in each of the federal courts across the US), but because I know that they are local counsel to a centralized (and likely criminal) enterprise.

Thus, they will act as “empty shells” who follow the dictates of their client masters…  as we have seen before, possibly at the peril of their own law licenses.

SIDE NOTE: Kudos to those local counsel who chose the ethical path, eventually.

Unrelated but relevant, I must note that a number of former “copyright troll” attorneys who have been local counsel to other attorneys are no longer “in the game,” so to speak.  They no longer file copyright infringement lawsuits for their masters, and they stood up and said “no” when their copyright troll clients asked them to take part in activities that would have cost them their law licenses.  I do take pride in commending these attorneys in taking a stand against their morally corrupt clients, and in a few cases, I know personally of a few attorneys who backed out of being local counsel and who likely saved their law licenses as a result.

Because many of these local counsel at one point were “fresh meat,” they took the copyright monetization (NPE) client [I’ll describe the “NPE” term later] thinking that this would bring in needed revenue to their law firm.  They thought they would learn a lot, and they rationalized that they were on the “right side of the law.”  This continued until they realized that they were representing a corrupted client, and then they were in too deep to drop them as a client.

Eventually, the copyright monetization (NPE) client turned on them (think, “honor among thieves,“)  and told them to do something unethical.  Risking loss of what became their entire law firm’s focus, they were forced to continue on their path hoping that they would never be caught by the state bar.  Eventually, in one particular case, their client stopped paying them their own commissions and they were left working for a client who was cheating them.

I have spoken attorneys such as these on a number of occasions (many of these attorneys are the subject of past articles), and I hope to have contributed to their decision to leave their masters as a battered wife would leave her husband.

I am also happy to share that I have been screamed at by a number of attorneys who direct lawsuits (most notably, John Steele of Prenda Law Inc., now disbarred, and who is pictured at the top of this article) “for speaking to and advising his local counsel” as to their rights when their own client (Steele) put them in a precarious position.

In sum (and this was supposed to be a side note), not all local counsel are bad people.  However, at the moment while they are still suing defendants, they know I believe they are on the wrong side of the law, and here is why.

Why the law requires the ENFORCEMENT OF TRANSPARENCY in copyright infringement / bittorrent-based lawsuits.

The point of this article is that the law requires transparency and disclosure when filing lawsuits, and judges tend to rely on the filings of the plaintiff attorneys (in an honest world, those representing the copyright holder).  However, when copyright monetization entities (e.g., RightsEnforcement, etc.) step as a buffer entity in between the copyright holder and the defendant, this creates a disparity in favor of the local “empty shell” attorney filing identical documents (serially, or over-and-over) on behalf of his “boss” (the attorney who is running the copyright troll lawsuit campaigns for each of his copyright holder clients). As a result, the individual accused John Doe Defendant is harmed by this disparity by being thrown into trying to defend against an elaborate copyright enforcement scheme which could ultimately cost him his entire life savings.

DISCLOSURE can lead to an equal playing field.

I feel strongly that a copyright monetization company should openly and honestly disclose exactly who they are, what benefit the actual copyright holder is getting from the lawsuit, and who else has an interest in the outcome of the litigation.  At least then, the judge could understand who else this monetization company is representing, and he could “tame” them and their tactics so that the accused downloaders (the “victims” of what will end up being a settlement extortion scheme) will at least have an equal playing field in order to defend themselves and the claims against them.

I don’t wear the pope hat.

And while writing this, I don’t want you to think that I am wearing the pope hat.  I started my law career on the wrong side of the law.  As a brand new attorney, I worked for an entity who ended up representing “Intellectual Ventures,” a prolific patent troll.  I observed the shell companies they used and the games they played to purchase patents (or at least the rights to enforce them), only to turn from a harmless company to a patent troll with sharp teeth.

Needless to say, Intellectual Ventures turned “evil” (so to speak), and started enforcing their patents to “force” (I want to use the word extort) companies almost-remotely-maybe-infringing that patent into accepting a license so that Intellectual Ventures could take a mafia-share royalty off of each of that company’s profits.  So long as Intellectual Ventures (under their RPX Corp entity) received “tribute payments” in the form of a “membership fee” for entrance into their patent troll organization, they would not be sued by the patent holder (or the “NPE” patent troll conglomerate organization who held the patents).

In short, I learned how to defend against copyright trolls by working on behalf a powerful patent troll [and if you want to read the articles I wrote on that topic and the RPX Corp (what Intellectual Ventures became), please feel free to visit my articles from 2008 on the topic].  I wasn’t very active at the time in blogging, but the articles are still interesting to read.

Why NON-PRACTICING ENTITY (NPE) STATUS should be applied to copyright trolls.

What is relevant to my experiences with Intellectual Ventures (and later, RPX Corp) was the concept of a “Non-Practicing Entity,” or an “NPE.”  In patent litigation, a non-practicing entity is a corporate entity who enforces patents which it did not create.  Shortly after patent trolls and NPEs made a killing in the federal courts, the rules changed to make these kinds of lawsuits unprofitable.

I believe that the same “Non-Practicing Entity (NPE)” status should be applied in the federal courts to copyright holders as well.

AND HERE IS WHY.

My point:  The copyright law gives copyright holders rights to enforce their copyrights.  The purpose of these rights are to benefit the copyright holders (to reward their creativity, their ingenuity, and their contribution to the arts).  When a slime and base organization comes in and purchases those copyright rights to benefit financially from the rights due the copyright holders, the law should not allow those entities to benefit as if they are the copyright holders.

WHY COPYRIGHT TROLL NON-PRACTICING ENTITIES SHOULD NOT BENEFIT FROM COPYRIGHT LAWS.

Copyright Troll NPEs never contributed anything to the arts.  They do not benefit society.  They do not benefit the copyright holders (who are often cheated by them or only receive a small piece of what could be theirs under the copyright laws).  They do not benefit the actors, writers, or artists who created the copyrighted work.  Rather, NPEs make their attorneys wealthy and they target and destroy the lives and the savings of thousands of households each year, separating the working class from their hard earned savings.

So I ask you — should NON-PRACTICING ENTITY (NPE) STATUS be applied to bittorrent-based copyright infringement lawsuits who are deceptively managed by these NON-PRACTICING ENTITY (NPE) conglomerates who only serves to monetize the copyrights of others for their own benefit?