I have added this page for internet users who have been contacted by Mark Lutz, Paul Duffy, Joseph Parea, or any attorneys from the Prenda Law Inc. firm (formerly known as Steele | Hansmeier, PLLC). The goal here is to open the lines of communication between accused internet users so that a person contacted by this firm can share with others what was said. It is also a good place to discuss the cases for which Duffy (or any of his local attorneys) is the plaintiff attorney. Should you learn of any updates regarding one of his cases, please post it here using the following format — (e.g., “AF Holdings LLC v. Does 1-1,058 (Case No. 1:12-cv-00048) filed in the U.S. “). Please also feel free to post new cases you find on the http://www.rfcexpress.com website where Duffy, his firm, or any of his local attorneys are listed as the plaintiff attorney.
Remember to please exercise discretion when posting (e.g., do not post your real name or e-mail address), and as usual, avoid using vulgar or offensive language (both towards Prenda and towards other users).
48 thoughts on “PRENDA LAW, INC.”
I’m not exactly sure whether writing small tidbits of news here will work (or whether this is useful to you), but as you know, not all things that happen in a lawsuit are relevant. And, to prevent cluttering up the blog, I’ll put the less relevant updates in these discussion sections.
i was previously associated with one of the doe cases. after a long period of inactivity on behalf of steele hansmeier and their proxy attorney in my state, most of the ips associated with the case were dismissed without prejudice, save for the few who had sent in motions to quash.
before being dismissed i received phone calls from mark lutz asking for a settlement; these all went to voicemail. this was some time ago in 2011 and at that point i assumed the issue was put to bed. i had little fear of litigation since i was innocent but the idea of having my name associated with the case and the effect it could have on my job prospects made me very weary.
several months later i was contacted by mark lutz on behalf of prenda law. he referred to me by name and notified me that i should be expecting court documents sometime soon since i had not agreed to a settlement. besides the fact that the amount they wanted was ludicrous, the insinuation that i was guilty is infuriating and has cast a large shadow over how i view the US legal system and copyright in general.
at this point i am wondering if i should hire an attorney to contact them on my behalf to shut them up or should i continue to wait until i am legally served?
Bubble Gum Productions, LLC (“BGP”) has retained Prenda Law Inc. to file lawsuits on their behalf. I expect these to follow the same suit as their other cases (which makes BGP even more vile than the originals (Millennium TGA, Hard Drive Productions, AF Holdings, First Time Videos, Openmind Solutions, Lightspeed Media, etc.) because they are *fully aware* of Prenda’s operations and yet they STILL decided to hop on the bandwagon and make suing with the sole purpose of scaring people into settling their business model of choice).
So far, I see the following cases:
Bubble Gum Productions, LLC v. Does 1-80 (Case No. 1:12-cv-20367-PAS) in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida (their new attorney is Joseph Parea (“Joe”) who is also the one answering their phones);
Bubble Gum Productions, LLC v. John Does 1-37 (Case No. 1:12-cv-00595) filed in the Northern District of Illinois (Paul Duffy is the attorney for this one); and
Bubble Gum Productions, LLC v. John Does 1-60 (Case No. 4:12-cv-00262) filed in my home court, the Southern District of Texas (they are using Douglas M. McIntyre as their local counsel).
Rob, I guess the rumors of Prenda and their new army of lawyers turned out to be BS. I fully believe that Steele and Duffy planted this idea alongside the pseudo named cases to drive settlements at the end of last year. Prenda is the same low rent operation. Same typos in motions, one guy calling thousands Of Does, and the same group of lawyers. I find it Crazy that they can’t find another guy to assist Lutz with the extortion attempts. Is this because of their small margins are because they don’t wantany outsiders in their cartel? I mean the new guy would be the first guy willing to testify to save himself from culpability when this scheme falls apart.
These 2 suits have multiple typos:
Duffy’s email is mistyped: [email protected]uffygroup.com. duffygroup.com is a head hunter company far away from Chicago and has nothing to do with our trolls. I checked – this email bounces. Should be [email protected]pduffygroup.com
The demands are insane: 100,000,000. If it’s not a typo, than Steele must be forced to wear a straightjacket.
In other news: I hope everyone had a chance to be amuzed by Steele’s reply to EFF’s amicus curiae brief.
Rob… All I can say is enjoy the reading. Prendas days are hopefully numbered.
Prenda has dismissed a few cases recently in the ND of IL
Pink Lotus v. does 1-20, 11-cv-03048
HDP v. does 1-25, 11-cv-03864
HDP v. does 1-14, 11-cv-02981
Pacific Century v. does 1-34, 11-cv-03857
First Time Videos v. does 1-23, 11-cv-05417
As of yet they haven’t filed a new batch of individual lawsuits. Maybe they got everybody the ISP’s turned over to settle, or they have realized how much of a bad idea with individual suits actually are after what has been happening in California.
Received letter from ISP today, I have until the end of the month to file a motion to quash. I don’t think they are usually successful, would it still benefit me to file a motion to quash? First Time Videos LLC V. John Doe 2 11-cv-00690 in Southern District of Florida.
Hi I received the Prenda Scare Mail In January I think it was. My Case number listed is 1:11-cv-01274. I’m broke going to school and working trying to support my family. Is there any advice for me or something new I haven’t heard or read anyone has for me?
Prenda is off to a rousing start for Bubble Gum. Their motion to expedite was striken because they failed to show up to the motion call.
So what does this notice of dismissal mean to someone who was contacted by Lutz but never responded? Am I reading this right? That they dismissed they’re own lawsuit in order to not take up the courts time? And if so, is the information that they obtained in discovery still actionable?
Is this standard practice in these cases or a new development?
Am I asking too many questions? 🙂
I have received a second letter, wanting a settlement of 3400 to take our names off the list, and not be in the law suit.
the suit is ‘open minded solutions, inc. vs. Does
he even called one of our cell numbers. He was told to wait for his money when the judge said for us to pay.
should we be concerned??
Just a note from an avid reader of your blog,
I would like to thank all of you for what you are doing. It definitely takes some knowledge of these kinds of lawsuits and I hope you keeping helping others to fight this thing. I do hope the judges are listening to you and eventually you can get these lawsuits to disappear. I know its a war and we all have to keep soldiering on.
Again, keep up the good work.
There is a new one from Prenda in St Claire County, Il. I am a listed Doe in the case. I have talked to several EFF.org recommended attorneys that say to settle, are they in on it? I am not in the state of Illinois., any advice is welcome.
Sunlust Pictures LLC just hired Prenda Law to file suits against 120 Does. Anyone one know about this??
Here is some info on Sunlust Pictures LLC filed in Colorado.
Looks like they are trying in every State.
They filed in Illinois requesting subpoenas — I guess they know the judge, ha ha — for IP owners in the Southwest, including New Mexico and Arizona.
I was named as a Doe in the Sunlust Pictures, LLC v. John Doe. They say they have contacted my ISP, but I called my ISP and they don’t know what they are talking about. Should I settle or no?
We have been hearing from a number of Sunlust Pictures, LLC lawsuits lately. The number of defendants seem to be on the low side for each, but Prenda is hitting these cases quite hard. A lot of people are getting repeat phone calls and “scare” letters regarding the Sunlust cases, so I am posting them here.
CASES FILED BY PAUL DUFFY IN THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS:
Sunlust Pictures, LLC v. Does 1-75 (Case No. 1:12-cv-01546)
CASES FILED BY JOSEPH PEREA IN THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF FLORIDA:
Sunlust Pictures, LLC v. Does 1-120 (Case No. 1:12-cv-20920)
CASES FILED BY DOUGLAS M. MCINTYRE IN THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
Sunlust Pictures, LLC v. Does 1-75 (Case No. 4:12-cv-00695)
CASES FILED BY TIMOTHY V. ANDERSON OF ANDERSON & ASSOCIATES IN THE DISTRICT OF COLORADO
Sunlust Pictures, LLC v. John Doe (Case No. 1:12-cv-00656)
FYI, it does not matter whether the lawsuits are filed by Paul Duffy, by Joseph Perea (who last I check is no longer working for Prenda, so the attorney name is wrong on this case), by Tim Anderson (still local counsel for Prenda Law Inc.), or Doug McIntyre (who as far as I am concerned will be replaced by another attorney here in Texas soon, as he has taken on his own copyright infringement cases which puts him in competition with his so-called “employers” at Prenda); the lawsuits are all still following the textbook “copyright troll” lawsuit model.
I just posted a new article entitled, “At what point does a “copyright troll” stop being a troll?”
The article discusses the current trends by Prenda Law Inc. and John Steele as far and the comments explain the reason for the uptick in defendants getting named.
I’ve got an attorney for one of these case filed by sunlust when they sent me the demand letter. But now I’ve learned that they have hired a local attorney to sue me. My lawyer called and and inform me that and also said that once the local attorney learned that I have counsel, he seems hesitant to push the case forward. I haven’t been serve yet, but I don’t know what to do in the mean time. Any suggestion?
Okay, so you’re being sued by SUNLUST. They sued you through one of their many local counsel, no surprise. You have an attorney, good for you, that was the right move (think “low hanging fruit”). You haven’t been served yet, no surprise (although read my most recent article here about where they are “naming” people). Now you want to know what to do next… Obviously this should be up to your attorney, as he has a few choices how to proceed. He can wait and see what happens… He can file a declaratory judgement action and push the issue… He can name you himself and push the case forward. I think that is something the two of you need to discuss, along with a whole slew of other options, all based on your tolerance, your “guilt” (only you and your attorney should know this), and your wallet.
Thanks for replying, seems like my attorney wants to wait and see. I’m not sure if that’s a good idea, what would be the most cost effective way to fight them? I will not settle that for sure.
As I said, there are a lot of options on how to fight this, and each method of attack is based on your risk tolerance, your wallet, and your sanity. Wait and see is sometimes a good strategy. Just understand the risk of that strategy is that you’re playing “chicken” assuming your plaintiff is not going to name you as a defendant. Make sure your attorney knows your copyright troll, and for yourself, keep an eye on the http://www.rfcexpress.com website in your state to see whether your copyright troll (I assume since we’re having this discussion under “PRENDA LAW INC.” we are talking about Steele and his attorneys and staff) has sued others in your home state. Also, communicate with your attorney if you find anything he should be aware of.
I’m surprised you don’t have a write-up on the Lightspeed Media Corporation v. Smith et al case. Poking AT&T and Comcast (especially AT&T) has to be about the worst idea in the history of the world unless Jones and Prenda have something up their sleeve.
Anon, I couldn’t agree with you more. The Lightspeed cases have been state-based cases, and since they are not federal cases, I do not have access to their pleadings or any judge’s rulings.
All I could say is that they were asserting the violation of federal hacking statutes which EVEN IF THE DOE DEFENDANTS did what they claimed they did, there is almost a ZERO chance they would be guilty of the statutes they claim the Doe Defendants violated.
Please feel free to post what you know, and I’d be happy to comment.
I know about as much as you. From what I gather, AT&T’s lead will be Bart Huffman. Just a guess due to his participation in the St. Clair County case and the pro hac vice application pending for the federal case. I just cannot believe Prenda sued two Fortune 50 firms with massive legal budgets. Either they’re high on “success” (settlements) and have developed a huge superiority complex and have become reckless or they have something up their sleeve. I’d bank on the former.
In case you missed it, today it was ascertained that Guava, LLC not only holds some assigned rights of LMC but HDP as well. I’m guessing it holds the assigned rights of other Prenda clients. After having their summer LMC train robbery largely derailed it looks as if this lawsuit is their Alamo before the inevitable implosion.
I’ve been named as a defendant in the Hard Drive v Does 1-1495 case and been sent a settlement letter from Prenda Law. The settlement letter I received contained my name misspelled and wrong address. Does it make any sense to contact them to correct this info, or should this be where I get a lawyer involved? I can’t afford one, and honestly have no clue what to do.
I want to make sure you do not fall through the cracks — contact me at [email protected] and I’ll give you some guidance as to what to do from here.
i got letter shuld I call there office
No way in hell should you call them. Be smart — learn what they are doing, and what they are up to. It could cost you many thousands of dollars to make a mistake by playing into their game.
There is a lot of hyperbole, anger, and creative pictures out there regarding copyright litigation. Is there a few things we can agree on?
10 Points that should be automatically agreed to by everyone
1. Copyright infringement is against the law and covered by Title 17 of the US Code.
2. People that do actually commit copyright infringement (pirates) are wrong and according to our laws, liable.
3. Being named in a lawsuit does not mean that you are a pirate, just that your alleged to be one.
4. Pirates are not going to report themselves to the copyright holders on their own.
5. There is disagreement over whether the current laws are fair to pirates and alleged pirates.
6. Plainitff’s attorneys are not expected to have all the evidence necessary to win their case the moment they file the complaint, including attorneys that represent copyright holders (trolls).
7. IP address are not people, nor does irrefutable proof exist via ones ISP that if an IP address is observed illegally downloading infringing material, that means the subscriber of the internet account with that IP address is liable.
8. No one likes to be involved as a defendant in copyright infringement cases.
9. It is possible for someone to be named in a copyright litigation case that did not personally download the copyrighted material.
10. #9 does not mean all cases involving copyrighted content should be disallowed. Otherwise, any type of case in which a defendant has ever won should never be allowed to be filed again, including ever criminal charge in history.
11. The legal system does not allow people to appear anonymously unless granted leave to do so first by the court.
12. Legally produced porn, and adult content owners, deserve the same constitutional rights that other companies receive, and should not be discriminated against because of what they produce.
13. There is a method for changing laws you don’t agree with. Part of that process occurred earlier this month on the 6th.
14. If a defendant in a case states he didn’t do whatever he is being accused of, the Plaintiff is not required to drop the case.
15. Pre-suit litigation is favored by every judicial branch in the US, including the United States Supreme Court who has been clearly articulating that central premise since 1898.
5 points that trolls think is accurate, that almost every attorney will agree with, but that pirates may not agree with:
1. Discovery in America is liberal, and all that is required to receive the requested information is for that information to reasonably lead to relevant information. In other words, even if the subscriber is not the pirate, if knowing who the subscriber is might reasonably lead to knowing who the pirate is, then the subscribers information is discoverable.
2. To date, piracy is hurting entire industries, and if everyone can get away with stealing content rather than paying for it with NO risk of getting caught, piracy will increase or at least continue to be very high.
3. Whether or not you agree with the laws, they are the laws. You do not get to pick and choose which laws to follow AND get to pick whether the consequences apply.
4. If content producers receive money from a pirate through litigation, or pending litigation, it is legally permissible. Granted, almost every pirate and pirate friendly site does not like that producers might make money from copyright litigation, but this dislike is based on subjective hate of porn producers and trolls, and not based on the law.
5. If the content being stolen was a non-profit film on caring for sick children, and any settlement money received went to the Red Cross, pirates would still be upset about having to pay anything if they were caught.
I am not sure who you are or what your motivations are, but since you left your e-mail address for everyone to see despite listing yourself as “AnOnYmOuS,” I removed your e-mail from your post and marked it as [PRIVATE]. You’re welcome.
As for your tenets of copyright law, some of which I agree with, and some of which I disagree with, there is one glaring fact that you have failed to note. Copyright laws (and specifically the DMCA) give a remedy to copyright owners to protect their interests. They are given the ability to force content providers to TAKE DOWN WEBSITES WHICH DISPLAY INFRINGING MATERIALS. This includes websites which publish bittorrents which contain infringing materials and the bittorrent trackers themselves. This is a remedy given to them to stop the piracy of their content.
However, rather than take actions to stop the piracy using the TAKE DOWN safe harbor provisions of the DMCA, copyright owners allow the infringement to continue (and in some cases encourage infringement by seeding honeypots) for the sole purpose of catching unsuspecting users who often are unaware that it is illegal to download pirated materials.
I have no doubt that the copyright laws are there for a reason. However, I have every problem with copyright owners encouraging more infringement just so they can find more defendants to sue in their lawsuits.
Dear Mr. Anonymous,
In 2009, a goon troll lawyer associated with the troll network, just like you, pursued an octagenarian for downloading porn. She’s 89 years old, lives with her dog and no one else. The only visitors she has bring in food from Meals on Wheels.
Her internet connection is for the sole purpose of communicating with her great grandchildren on the other side of the United States. She doesn’t know how to download. She doesn’t know what BitTorrent is. And, at 89 years of age, it is highly doubtful she ever downloaded any of the precious porn.
Yet, not only did she receive a threatening letter from a lawyer, again just like you, commanding payment of $3,400.00, she also received phone calls threatening her with incarceration. Yes, they threatened to have her arrested.
Her sole source of income is $940.00 a month from Social Security. She called me in the middle of the night crying; the goons on the phone scared her into chest pains. Congratulations.
Upon receiving this phone call, I was for the first time introduced to the scams you and your network pull on unsuspecting innocent people. Here, a social security recipient, with no other means of support, was actually willing to start sending monthly payments to the goons – until I stepped in.
Now that I have become more educated and now that I know more about the abuses you and the likes of you commit, day in and day out, everywhere in this country, I sit here patiently waiting for the house of cards to fall apart, court by court, and district by district. You may think the gravy train will go on forever, but sooner or later a judge will stop you, and then will come the best part when every governmental agency in existence will begin standing up and paying attention to the vermin you really are. It’s only a matter of time.
Oh, and I should mention that we are now also patiently waiting for the lawsuit naming her personally. We WANT the lawsuit to come and we WANT to be served with your silly porn case. We WANT her to be publicly accused of downloading porn. Then, the troll goon will get a whole lot of free publicity because in addition to a cross-complaint, I will personally see to it that every media outlet on the planet exposes your charade for exactly what it is. Extortion, plain and simple.
You picked the wrong senior citizen to fool with, Mr. Anonymous. If my friend is publicly named in a lawsuit, the plaintiff had better plan on getting out their checkbook. I will make you busy with Pleadings, Motions and a mountain of discovery demands, so much so that you’ll wish you never heard her name before. And then you will pay her to go away.
So victory for me in the courtroom today! Prenda hired some local attorney but he didn’t show up, he filed a motion to withdraw but it wasn’t granted so he had to call in by phone. The whole thing was a mess, Duffy himself sent in a letter saying that he had no knowledge of the case I was involved in and asked to court to excuse his absence. Surprisingly, Steele was there but he isn’t even practicing law anymore, I’m not sure why he was there since he lives in Chicago. Sunlust rep was their debt collector guy, after about 45 mins of the judge chewing out those guys, she dismissed the case. They now have to pay for all court fees and my attorney fees.
That is very good news! Which case was this, and in which court?
The original complaint is here
I think my case got moved to the middle district after me and my attorney decided to take this to court
Steele lives both in Miami Beach (on one of the Venetian islands), and Las Vegas (flying back and forth), but indeed he cannot practice law in Florida. As for “not practicing law anymore,” it is clearly not the case. He is quite active: when a patsy Duffy is required to attend, Steele finds excuses to supplement him and talk for him. Also he writes all the motions (possibly with Paul Hansmeier). Duffy is ZERO, a rubber duck, he missed an obscene number of hearings just because he is not capable of talking for Prenda.
In both recent Guava hearings Steele was the only one from the Plaintiff side talking.
Oh yea, he was there alright, the judge kept asking him if he is the representing attorney for the plaintiff and over and over he kept stating that he is not and he is not longer practicing law, and he is not a member of any firm. But why was he there? Must be the reason you stated above….
Also there was a guy representing Sunlust, Lut or Lutz, something like that, I didn’t catch his first name, but as far as I know, he stated that he is not an attorney, he get paid by sunlust to appear on their behalf at courthouses around the country.
Lutz is retired for a few months already. He is a paralegal and a “harassment director,” one doing all the harassing phone calls. His replacement’s name is Kevin O’Kelly, although I have not heard about him lately.
Judge asked him where is your suit and tie today in court, I thought that was hilarious….
Everything I am reading paints a hilarious story. I wish I was there to see it for myself. We suspected that Mark Lutz might still be working for Prenda Law Inc. in some capacity. Funny that his name surfaced here in the discussions.
Kevin O’Kelly is an attorney licensed to practice law here in Texas (we could be enemies 1) if his law degree was current (he is currently inactive here according to the Texas Bar website (http://www.texasbar.com)), and 2) if he actually lived here. He is Mark Lutz’ replacement, and quite frankly, he’s a nice guy. I checked the Illinois bar to see whether he was licensed as an attorney there, and apparently he is not; however, he functions in the capacity of a paralegal, not an attorney. I obviously disagree with his choice of an employer, but as far as things go, my guess is that this is just a job for him to support his family, and so I keep him off my radar of people to talk about.
A job to feed his family that results in extorting food money away from other families based on lies and assumptions. Nice of you to be so considerate, but I can’t help but feel he’s completely undeserving. I wish everyone who wrote a troll’s name would use full names every time. Google results would forever show their true natures. They deserve no less, because as Fantalis illustrated, they deliberately and with little hesitation forever connect often/sometimes innocent citizens’ names to the filth their clients peddle. No interest in slugging it out to fair resolution, just permanently soiling someone’s name for a cash grab.
No mercy or oversight of their own reputations is deserved in my opinion, though I do commend your sense of honor. I just wish it was reciprocated to humankind.
I don’t know how to say this more plainly. I choose my enemies carefully, and quite frankly, Kevin O’Kelly is not a threat until he reactivates his law degree and starts filing law suits in federal court. Until then, he’s an employee (merely a messenger) of the puppetmaster pulling his strings, John Steele. Fighting him will in no way stop copyright infringement lawsuits, and it will not protect John Doe Defendants anywhere. There is no benefit to hating him, fighting him, or slashing his tires.