NY Judge asks Malibu the ‘is porn copyrightable’ question.

malibu-media-case-consolidations

Judge Alvin Hellerstein of the Southern District of New York just did the right thing in denying “expedited discovery” which would allow Malibu Media, LLC to send a subpoena to the Time Warner Cable ISP, thus preventing Malibu Media from learning the identity of the John Doe Defendant.

The copyright troll blogosphere is no doubt about to erupt with this story — in fact, the Twitter feed is already bustling with comments from Sophisticated Jane Doe (@FightCopytrolls), Raul (@Raul15340965), and other bloggers. Bottom line, a United States District Court Judge just said “no” to allowing Malibu Media’s extortion scheme to proceed.*

Judges are the gatekeepers of the law, and the reason these cases have been allowed to fester and infest our legal system is because judges [until now] have been asleep. They have blindly allowed the plaintiff copyright trolls the ability to wreak havoc on the accused downloaders by allowing the copyright trolls access to them so that they can intimidate, harass, embarrass, and threaten to deplete all of the funds of the accused defendant’s [sometimes life] savings in order to avoid the costly alternative of litigating a copyright infringement lawsuit.

For the purposes of this article, I am focusing on two points which I found to be interesting in today’s Malibu Media, LLC v. John Doe (Case No. 1:15-cv-04369; NYSD) ruling (see Judge’s order here).

RULING 1: OBSCENE PORNOGRAPHY MIGHT NOT BE ELIGIBLE FOR COPYRIGHT PROTECTION.

This ruling (based on Judge Marrero’s Next Phase Distribution, Inc. v. John Does 1-27 (Case No. 284 F.R.D. 165, 171 (S.D.N.Y. 2012)) case is the “third rail” issue in copyright troll litigation. Do copyright rights extend to pornographic materials? What if they are considered “scenes a fair,” or scenes which contain the same “roles” and “characters” as in other films — are these considered copyrightable (keep the same story, scene, genre, and roles, but switch the actors)? Are these works considered art? And, what happens if the copyrighted film violates one or more obscenity laws — does that film still have copyright protection?

These are just questions, and to date, they are unresolved. However, the fact that Judge Hellerstein brought it up means that he is seriously considering whether this should be a basis to deny copyright infringement claims against John Doe Defendants.

Reference: See my 8/14/2012 article entitled, “How to make bittorrent cases go away once and for all…” (Reason 3)

RULING 2: MALIBU MEDIA ACCUSES A JOHN DOE DEFENDANT, BUT PROVIDES **NO EVIDENCE** THAT THE “JOHN DOE” DOWNLOADER IS THE ACCOUNT HOLDER. THUS, THERE IS **NO BASIS** FOR SUING THE ACCOUNT HOLDER OR IMPLICATING THE ACCOUNT HOLDER AS BEING THE “JOHN DOE” DOWNLOADER DEFENDANT IN THE LAWSUIT.

This has always been a blatantly simple, and yet tough argument to describe. But when you think of it, the simplicity — once it jumps out at you with the “aha!” moment — is charming and unforgettable.

In short, Malibu Media can prove that SOMEONE downloaded one or more of their titles. However, they do no prove (or even assert any evidence) to indicate that it was the account holder who downloaded the copyrighted film… so what legal basis does Malibu Media have to sue the account holder?? Judge’s answer: None.  In order to make a “prima facie” case that would convince a judge to rubber-stamp a subpoena permitting the copyright holders to force an ISP to turn over the identity of the account holder (whether or not he is the actual downloader), the copyright holder needs to provide some “link” identifying the actual downloader as being the account holder. No link is ever provided in Malibu Media’s pleadings, and thus in legal terms, the pleading “fails” and the copyright holder’s request for expedited discovery should be denied.

That’s it.  My two cents, for what it is worth.

Congratulations to District Judge Hellerstein for a brave and correct ruling on the law. Now if all of the other judges in the Eastern District of New York would fall in line with this ruling and abandon the “my court, my world, my rules” mentality, we can put an end to these cases once and for all.

Additional Reference:
Fight Copyright Trolls (SJD): Citing previous Malibu Media’s sheer abuse of court process, New York judge denies early discovery

*UPDATE (7/7, 6:30am): I am surprised that there are not more articles on this topic.  This should be all over the news for other NY judges (and judges in other federal district courts) to see.  Unfortunately, if other judges do not see [and act on] this ruling, then it gathers dust and it has little-to-no effect on future Malibu Media, LLC lawsuits. …and the scheme continues unhindered.


CONTACT FORM: If you have a question or comment about what I have written, and you want to keep it *for my eyes only*, please feel free to use the form below. The information you post will be e-mailed to me, and I will be happy to respond.

    NOTE: No attorney client relationship is established by sending this form, and while the attorney-client privilege (which keeps everything that you share confidential and private) attaches immediately when you contact me, I do not become your attorney until we sign a contract together.  That being said, please do not state anything “incriminating” about your case when using this form, or more practically, in any e-mail.

    shalta boook now cta

    OTHER RECENT MALIBU MEDIA (NYSD) CASES:
    Malibu Media, LLC v. John Doe (Case No. 1:15-cv-04713)
    Malibu Media, LLC v. John Doe (Case No. 1:15-cv-04717)
    Malibu Media, LLC v. John Doe (Case No. 1:15-cv-04720)
    Malibu Media, LLC v. John Doe (Case No. 7:15-cv-04725)
    Malibu Media, LLC v. John Doe (Case No. 7:15-cv-04728)
    Malibu Media, LLC v. John Doe (Case No. 1:15-cv-04729)
    Malibu Media, LLC v. John Doe (Case No. 1:15-cv-04730)
    Malibu Media, LLC v. John Doe (Case No. 1:15-cv-04731)
    Malibu Media, LLC v. John Doe (Case No. 1:15-cv-04735)
    Malibu Media, LLC v. John Doe (Case No. 1:15-cv-04736)
    Malibu Media, LLC v. John Doe (Case No. 1:15-cv-04738)
    Malibu Media, LLC v. John Doe (Case No. 7:15-cv-04732)
    Malibu Media, LLC v. John Doe (Case No. 7:15-cv-04733)
    Malibu Media, LLC v. John Doe (Case No. 7:15-cv-04734)
    Malibu Media, LLC v. John Doe (Case No. 1:15-cv-04741)
    Malibu Media, LLC v. John Doe (Case No. 1:15-cv-04742)
    Malibu Media, LLC v. John Doe (Case No. 1:15-cv-04743)
    Malibu Media, LLC v. John Doe (Case No. 7:15-cv-04739)
    Malibu Media, LLC v. John Doe (Case No. 7:15-cv-04740)
    Malibu Media, LLC v. John Doe (Case No. 7:15-cv-04744)
    Malibu Media, LLC v. John Doe (Case No. 7:15-cv-04745)
    Malibu Media, LLC v. John Doe (Case No. 7:15-cv-04367)
    Malibu Media, LLC v. John Doe (Case No. 7:15-cv-04374)
    Malibu Media, LLC v. John Doe (Case No. 7:15-cv-04370)
    Malibu Media, LLC v. John Doe (Case No. 7:15-cv-04377)
    Malibu Media, LLC v. John Doe (Case No. 1:15-cv-04368)
    Malibu Media, LLC v. John Doe (Case No. 1:15-cv-04369)
    Malibu Media, LLC v. John Doe (Case No. 1:15-cv-04371)
    Malibu Media, LLC v. John Doe (Case No. 1:15-cv-04373)
    Malibu Media, LLC v. John Doe (Case No. 1:15-cv-04378)
    Malibu Media, LLC v. John Doe (Case No. 1:15-cv-04380)
    Malibu Media, LLC v. John Doe (Case No. 1:15-cv-04381)
    Malibu Media, LLC v. John Doe (Case No. 1:15-cv-04382)
    Malibu Media, LLC v. John Doe (Case No. 1:15-cv-03130)
    Malibu Media, LLC v. John Doe (Case No. 1:15-cv-03135)
    Malibu Media, LLC v. John Doe (Case No. 1:15-cv-03137)
    Malibu Media, LLC v. John Doe (Case No. 1:15-cv-03138)
    Malibu Media, LLC v. John Doe (Case No. 1:15-cv-03143)
    Malibu Media, LLC v. John Doe (Case No. 1:15-cv-03144)
    Malibu Media, LLC v. John Doe (Case No. 1:15-cv-03134)

    How to make bittorrent cases go away once and for all…

    I am very excited to see that judges are starting to get involved in the discussion of whether it is proper to sue tens, hundreds, or thousands of John Doe Defendants accused of downloading copyrighted films (usually pornographic in character, and using bittorrent to do so) in one lawsuit.

    Just a few days ago, I wrote about Judge Beryl Howell’s opinion in D.C. where she ruled that joinder of any number of defendants in a bittorrent lawsuit is OKAY. Her reasoning centered around the fact that the defendants are unnamed, and [ignoring the mass extortion scheme that is causing many families to hand over their life’s savings to the copyright trolls] that it is more “convenient” for the court to manage one lawsuit with thousands of UNNAMED Doe Defendants rather than trying to manage thousands of lawsuits with one defendant in each lawsuit.

    This evening, I read an article from Sophicticated Jane Doe’s “Fight Copyright Trolls” (kudos to Raul) entitled “Judge Marrero: Pornography may not be entitled to copyright protection.

    Quite frankly, the article is not only one of the best articles I have read yet, but it teaches and describes the issues in a very methodical order and in a way that cannot be replicated in any blog post of mine, and for this reason, I highly suggest that you read 1) that article, and 2) the actual order (which is equally a good read for those interested in the topic).

    My contribution is that although this order predated Judge Howell’s order, it addressed the split not only in the Southern District of New York, but it also describes the issues surrounding bittorrent copyright infringement cases in which judges have been ruling inconsistently across the federal districts. It demonstrates that the issues are heating up, and that there is a need for consistent application of the joinder rules across the federal districts.

    The funny part about this order is that whether or not joinder was proper in this case — “Next Phase Distribution, Inc. v. John Does 1-27” (Case No. 1:12-cv-03755-VM [or 12 Civ. 3755 for those New York attorneys who don’t like federal case law nomenclature], which is being heard by Judge Marrero in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York) — the SDNY Judge Marrero decided to sever and dismiss John Does 2-27 for reasons INDEPENDENT OF THE JOINDER RULES. Read on.

    Here are the three reasons [independent of joinder] which Judge Marrero used to sever and dismiss the defendants:

    Reason one – “it would be impossible to manage the discovery of 27 different defendants.”

    Imagine seizing 27 different sets of computers and dealing with 27 different sets of discovery, where each defendant held their own depositions, interrogatories, and where each defendant answered their complaint with potentially different and incompatible defenses (e.g., it wasn’t me, it was my son, it was my neighbor; I have an open wireless connection, my wifi was hacked, etc.). It would essentially be like holding 27 different trials in one trial. For this reason, the judge decided to sever and dismiss the defendants.

    Reason two – “it is conceivable that several of the John Does did not actually download the copyrighted film.”

    According to Mike Meier’s own admission, “roughly 30% of names turned over by ISPs are not those who actually shared or downloaded the videos.” Now while this statement can easily be taken out of context, it points to the reasonable doubt as to whether an accused infringer is actually the one who downloaded the copyrighted film. What made me stop and stare at the screen was that I was so excited that the judge explicitly stated that “an IP address does not necessarily correlate to a particular alleged infringer because several people may access the same IP address.”

    There is more to this statement than the judge realizes, and while it has application to IP addresses changing and being used by multiple infringers (specifically regarding cases where the plaintiffs track THE IP ADDRESS regardless of whether it was issued to the subscriber at the time the downloads happened), in this case, it has the simple application that the subscriber is akin to the owner of a telephone landline account, and many people come in to use their phone — the account holder is not the one that makes each and every call, and for this reason, the account holder cannot be held liable for something that someone else did on their account. Back to the case.

    Reason three – “if the Motion Picture is considered obscene, it may not be eligible for copyright protection.”

    I cannot state more clearly that as Raul described in his article, this certainly is a clear shot across the bow that I have been sensing in many cases for quite a while now — that pornographic films are obscene, and that they do not qualify for copyright protection.

    All I could say about this is that a number of attorneys and I have discussed this issue, not in the context of whether a “cheating housewife,” a “babysitter,” or any genre is copyrightable in and of itself (see the topic of “Scènes à faire”), but in the context of simply whether an obscene film is copyrightable at all.  For a long time, it wasn’t.  Then NY and some states started to allow it, and now perhaps courts will start reconsidering the topic. For an interesting write-up on the topic, see here.

    In short, judges are getting tired of these pornography lawsuits, and I am getting tired of judges granting early discovery to copyright trolls without restrictions.

    For this reason, I am happy that judges are starting to smarten up, and hopefully they will all start taking my advise that if they are going to grant early discovery to the copyright trolls, 1) the contact information of the accused John Does should remain private to the copyright trolls — only the CITY AND STATE of each accused Doe Defendant should be provided; 2) if contact information is to be provided, that it be “in camera” meaning that the ISPs should produce the information NOT TO THE COPYRIGHT TROLLS, BUT TO THE COURTS (so that the extortion scheme where plaintiff attorneys scare defendants into settling), and 3) the information provided on each John Doe Defendant only be permitted to be used IN THE INSTANT CASE (and not in a subsequent case where the plaintiff attorney threatens that “unless you settle now, we will ‘name’ you in a lawsuit in your home state.”

    Judge Forrest (and now Judge Marrero) has put one more spin on this which is commendable — that the identity of the accused Doe Defendant be kept anonymous on the court’s docket. While this is admirable, it is not enough because defendants don’t only settle out of embarrassment for being associated with a pornography case — they settle because it is cheaper to pay the plaintiff attorneys off than it is to fight them. This is a sad and broken part of the legal system, and putting the protections I outlined above would stop the copyright trolls in their tracks and would make these cases go away once and for all.


    CONTACT FORM: If you have a question or comment about what I have written, and you want to keep it *for my eyes only*, please feel free to use the form below. The information you post will be e-mailed to me, and I will be happy to respond.

      NOTE: No attorney client relationship is established by sending this form, and while the attorney-client privilege (which keeps everything that you share confidential and private) attaches immediately when you contact me, I do not become your attorney until we sign a contract together.  That being said, please do not state anything “incriminating” about your case when using this form, or more practically, in any e-mail.

      shalta book now cta

      UPDATE 3: More of Mike Meier bittorrent cases consolidated.

      All of Mike Meier’s Bittorrent cases consolidated by New York Federal Judge Forrest so that she can adjudicate them together.

      *** UPDATE (3/13, 11:45am CST): I might need to backpedal a bit here. I received word from an attorney who had ears in yesterday’s hearing that Judge Forrest is not going to bust these cases as I thought she would. The reason for the consolidations is to treat them as one larger case so that the rulings in each of the cases will be consistent throughout his many cases. I am editing yesterday’s blog posts with cross-outs (example) and underlines (example) so you can see where I am changing the tone of the blog post from overly optimistic to slightly somber. I will obviously post about the judge’s order [UPDATE 3/14: HERE – see comments below for commentary] once it becomes available. ***

      *** UPDATE (3/12): As we initially discussed last week, *new cases* have been handed over to Judge Forrest so that she can adjudicate the smaller bittorrent cases together. I have added them to the list below. They are not yet listed as part of the “consolidated” case list (in Case No. 1:11-cv-09705), but if you look at the case dockets for each case, the notations that Judge Forrest is now handling them should tip you off that these cases too are now in trouble are now under her scrutiny. ***

      New Cases Now Handled By Judge Forrest:

      Combat Zone Corp. v. Does 1-63 (Case No. 1:11-cv-09688)
      Digital Sin, Inc. v. Does 1 – 179 (Case No. 1:11-cv-08172)
      Media Products, Inc. v. Does 1-55 (Case No. 1:11-cv-09550)
      Media Products, Inc. v. Does 1-36 (Case No. 1:12-cv-00129)
      Media Products, Inc. v. Does 1-142 (Case No. 1:12-cv-01099)
      Next Phase Distribution, Inc. v. Does 1-138 (Case No. 1:11-cv-09706)
      Patrick Collins, Inc. v. Does 1-115 (Case No. 1:11-cv-09705)
      SBO Pictures, Inc. v. Does 1-92 (Case No. 1:11-cv-07999)
      SBO Pictures, Inc. v. Does 1-154 (Case No. 1:12-cv-01169)
      Third Degree Films, Inc. v. Does 1-216 (Case No. 1:11-cv-09618)
      Third Degree Films, Inc. v. Does 1-217 (Case No. 1:11-cv-07564)
      Zero Tolerance Entertainment, Inc. v. Does 1-56 (Case No. 1:11-cv-09703)

      This is obviously relatively good news for the roughly 1,200+ John Doe Defendants who can now breathe a bit more easily knowing that their plaintiff attorney’s cases are in trouble because 1) we now know that the judge is VERY aware of the MANY cases pending against the many Doe Defendants, and 2) rulings across the board will now be consistent — you will no longer have one judge letting one bittorrent case move forward, and another judge dismissing his bittorrent case for lack of joinder or improper jurisdiction. You can read about the judge’s order regarding the original consolidated cases in our “New York Judge consolidates and freezes SMALLER BITTORRENT CASES for plaintiff attorney” article. No doubt similar orders will in time be written for these additional cases.

      On a related note, Judge Forrest is not the only New York District Judge who has figured out what is going on with these copyright infringement (“copyright troll”) cases.

      Judge Colleen McMahon (no doubt these judges talk to each other about their cases) has issued an order in two cases (so far; response due 3/30) demanding that Mike Meier tell the court why his cases should not be dismissed due to the inherent joinder issues in his cases (e.g., how bittorrent users can be sued together under the theory that they committed the “same crime at the same time” theory [when according to the plaintiff’s complaint, the bittorrent users committed the illegal act of downloading and/or seeding the copyrighted materials sometimes weeks if not months apart]).

      What I enjoyed most in the order was that Judge McMahon accused Mike Meier of [essentially] CHEATING the court out of the $350 fees for each of the 138 defendants (e.g., theft from the court of $47,950) who, according to the judge’s opinion should have been sued in SEPARATE cases. In addition, she states that the “misjoinder has resulted in an undercounting of the number of cases filed in this court and a concomitant distortion of the size of the court’s docket.” To make matters laughable, in response to a request from Mike Meier regarding one of the cases, she wrote, “[u]ntil I have decided whether joinder of these 139 defendants is proper-which I very much doubt-there will be no discovery. Motion denied. Get to work on responding to any order to show cause.”

      Cases involved:

      Patrick Collins, Inc., d/b/a Elegant Angel v. John Does 1-139 (Case No. 1:12-cv-01098)
      Media Products, Inc. v. Does 1-59 (Case No. 1:12-cv-00125)

      I don’t know about you, but when a judge accuses you of stealing $47,950 from the court, wouldn’t you worry that your cases won’t win? I expect to see more of these in the coming days and weeks with his other cases. More significantly, I’d be surprised if I saw any more filings from Mike Meier in the Southern District of New York. The last thing a copyright troll wants is a judge as an enemy who aggressively goes after his cases.

      Florida Judge consolidates and freezes ALL SMALLER BITTORRENT CASES for plaintiff attorney.

      *I AM POSTING THIS ENTRY UNEDITED BECAUSE OF THE IMPORTANCE OF ITS CONTENT. I WILL EDIT, ADD LINKS, AND WILL CLEAN UP LATER*

      If you were a plaintiff attorney suing thousands of defendants, what would you do if the judge figured out that you were not allowed to practice law?

      Terik Hashmi, owner of the Transnational Law Group, LLC just received a note from U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle essentially freezing each and every one of his 28 cases filed against John Doe Defendants, at first glance because he was not licensed to practice law in the state where he lives.

      In short, in order for an attorney to gain admission to practice as an attorney in a federal court, the court requires that you be licensed to practice law and be in good standing in the state in which you are licensed. Without delving too deeply into this, on Terik Hashmi’s letterhead, it says, “PRACTICE LIMITED TO FEDERAL COPYRIGHT PROTECTION AND ENFORCEMENT LAW,” which essentially says, “I’m not licensed in this state and this state’s bar, but I’m not practicing any state law,” which is usually a way out of being charged with the unauthorized practice of law (“UPL”), or practicing law without a license.

      Looking a bit deeper, when Terik signs his name, he signs it as “Terik Hashmi, JD, LLM (OH, FL/ND)” suggesting that he is licensed in the State of Ohio and in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida (the court that issued this ruling).

      Taking a look at the Ohio Bar’s website he appears to be licensed as an attorney and in good standing. Apparently he was sanctioned three (3) times during the years 2000-2001, 2002-2003, and 2004-2005 for failing to comply with the continuing legal education (“CLE”) requirements [he just had to pay fines for this], but other than these, I see nothing that indicates that he is not licensed as an attorney in Ohio.

      The problem is that it would NOT be the unauthorized practice of law if he lived in ANOTHER STATE and he was filing cases in the Northern District of Florida Federal Court as he has been. However, because Mr. Hashmi RESIDES IN the State of Florida (meaning he appears to be running his law practice while being in the physical borders of Florida — hence the “limited to federal practice” notation on his letterhead), the judge is suggesting that he is in violation of the Florida State Bar unauthorized practice of law statutes (and probably as a result will be in violation of his Ohio state bar’s ethics rules as well).

      For this reason, all of his 28 cases [for the time being] have been merged into Case No. 4:11-cv-00570 and are FROZEN. Lastly, quoting from the judge’s order, “Mr. Hashmi must show cause by March 9, 2012, why these cases should not be dismissed on the ground that he has no authority to practice law in Florida or in this court.”

      What this means to you is that as things stand, “…Mr. Hashmi must not attempt to settle any of these cases, must not accept any payment in settlement of any of these cases, and must not take any other action in any of these cases.” In other words, for the time being, Terik Hashmi’s cases (listed below) are DEAD.

      THIRD DEGREE FILMS, INC. v. DOES 1-259 (Case No. 4:11-cv-00570)
      THIRD DEGREE FILMS, INC. v. DOES 1-375 (Case No. 4:11-cv-00572)
      DIGITAL SIN, INC. v. DOES 1-208 (Case No. 4:11-cv-00583)
      DIGITAL SIN, INC. v. DOES 1-145 (Case No. 4:11-cv-00584)
      DIGITAL SIN, INC. v. DOES 1-167 (Case No. 4:11-cv-00586)
      NEXT PHASE DISTRIBUTION, INC. v. DOES 1-126 (Case No. 4:12-cv-00006)
      PATRICK COLLINS, INC. v. DOES 1-85 (Case No. 4:12-cv-00007)
      ZERO TOLERANCE ENTERTAINMENT, INC. v. DOES 1-52 (Case No. 4:12-cv-00008)
      MEDIA PRODUCTS, INC. v. DOES 1-34 (Case No. 4:12-cv-00024)
      SBO PICTURES, INC. v. DOES 1-92 (Case No. 4:12-cv-00025)
      SBO PICTURES, INC. v. DOES 1-97 (Case No. 4:12-cv-00026)
      METRO INTERACTIVE, LLC v. DOES 1-56 (Case No. 4:12-cv-00043)
      EVASIVE ANGLES ENTERTAINMENT v. DOES 1-97 (Case No. 1:11-cv-00241)
      ELEGANT ANGEL, INC. v. DOES 1-87 (Case No. 1:11-cv-00243)
      ELEGANT ANGEL, INC. v. DOES 1-115 (Case No. 1:11-cv-00245)
      ELEGANT ANGEL, INC. v. DOES 1-85 (Case No. 1:11-cv-00246)
      ELEGANT ANGEL, INC. v. DOES 1-77 (Case No. 1:11-cv-00247)
      MEDIA PRODUCTS, INC. v. DOES 1-175 (Case No. 1:11-cv-00248)
      DIGITAL SIN, INC. v. DOES 1-150 (Case No. 1:11-cv-00280)
      DIGITAL SIN, INC. v. DOES 1-131 (Case No. 1:11-cv-00281)
      EXQUISITE MULTIMEDIA, INC. v. DOES 1-178 (Case No. 1:12-cv-00002)
      MEDIA PRODUCTS, INC. v. DOES 1-43 (Case No. 1:12-cv-00003)
      NEXT PHASE DISTRIBUTION, INC. v. DOES 1-93 (Case No. 1:12-cv-00004)
      PATRICK COLLINS, INC. v. DOES 1-159 (Case No. 1:12-cv-00018)
      THIRD DEGREE FILMS, INC. v. DOES 1-195 (Case No. 1:12-cv-00019)
      MEDIA PRODUCTS, INC. v. DOES 1-168 (Case No. 1:12-cv-00020)
      SBO PICTURES, INC. v. DOES 1-98 (Case No. 1:12-cv-00021)

      On a personal note, do I really think this is the end of these cases? No, and this is merely because I am still floored that these cases are still around almost TWO YEARS no after they first started to appear. Plaintiff attorneys have come and gone, but the cases still appear to continue [for the most part] unhindered by the various Judges. Obviously many of them have smartened up the the mass extortion scheme being perpetrated on now a hundred or so thousand John Doe defendants, but the fact that the “Plaintiff v. John Doe 1-25” or “Plaintiff v. John Doe 1-250” cases are still around in the first place suggest that the attorney generals and the U.S. attorney generals are doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to make these cases go away as they did with the Trevor Law Group automobile repair shop extortion scheme cases (look them up) a few years back in the Northern District of California.

      Do I think Terik Hashmi is finished? Probably not. I am sure he’ll find a way to overcome this obstacle, but again, I say this only because I’m a bit dark and jaded from the fact that plaintiff attorneys still have their law licenses and are still filing lawsuits long after their cases have been shown to be what they are.

      For now, we should enjoy our victory and not get overly confident that these cases cannot reappear in the near future. Congratulations to all.

      Most importantly, THIS IS THE FIRST TIME A JUDGE HAS TAKEN DOWN ALL OF THE SMALLER “JOHN DOE” LAWSUITS AT ONCE. Other plaintiff attorneys should sit up and take notice.

      Skip to content