North Carolina Headhunter Subpoena-based Cases
In June, 2017, our Cashman Law Firm, PLLC had its first glimpse of the North Carolina Headhunter, LLC subpoenas. Seeing their connection to Carl Crowell’s RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT company, we immediately created a Headhunter Productions FAQ page which addressed the NC Headhunter subpoenas. The ‘copyright troll’ attorney who filed the NC Headhunter cases is Kathleen Lynch (“Kathleen Maher Lynch”), of Lynch Van Sickle, PLLC in Cary, North Carolina. If this is the first time you are seeing her law firm’s name and you do not recognize a copyright troll, you are not looking carefully.
Now the name “Kathleen Lynch” might not mean anything to you yet, but if you look at her “Lynch Van Sickle, PLLC” law firm, this might jog your memory of R. Matthew Van Sickle (a.k.a. Ross Matthew Van Sickle) of the I.T. Productions North Carolina lawsuits. The new law firm name is slightly different (Van Sickle Law, PC [then] vs. Lynch Van Sickle, PLLC [now]), but the ugly troll rears his head. In other words, looking at Van Sickle’s involvement in this new copyright troll, we must suspect that we are dealing with a RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT copyright troll, and… [checking Carl Crowell’s RightsEnforcement website] vwallah!
NC Headhunter Subpoena Cases – This is Wave 1 (July, 2017)
Even though the Headhunter, LLC copyright troll is new and pink, we already understand the strategies of the common troll entity behind the scenes. Understanding that Matt Van Sickle is Kathleen Lynch’s partner in these lawsuits, now we have an idea of how these cases will unfold because we know the proclivities of the copyright troll lawyers behind the scenes.
We are suggesting that those accused of being a John Doe Defendant in any of the NC Headhunter cases to read the Headhunter Productions Subpoena FAQ, which we posted on our law firm’s website.
Why do we believe a common troll entity is behind the new Headhunter, LLC cases?
[RECAP: Seeing Matt Van Sickle’s name, I immediately realized that we were likely dealing with a common troll entity. It took 5 seconds to visit Carl Crowell’s RightsEnforcement.com website and see that the “A Family Man” movie was explicitly listed as one of their clients. This confirmed my suspicion that we were dealing with yet one more common troll entity set of lawsuits.]
I understand that a common troll entity licenses the rights from movie production companies to “enforce” the copyrights for that company. Here, they approached the production company who filmed and copyrighted the “A Family Man (2016)” movie, and they licensed the rights to enforce (think, sue) the copyrights owned by this production company. Hence the Headhunter settlement extortion scheme lawsuits were born.
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Where are we in the timeline of the Headhunter, LLC cases?
The first wave of Headhunter, LLC cases were filed in June, 2017. North Carolina federal judges appear to have rubber-stamped these new lawsuits, just as they have done with past bittorrent-based copyright infringement cases.
Headhunter attorney Kathleen Maher Lynch (armed with orders from the NC federal judges) sent subpoenas to AT&T U-verse subscribers, and AT&T subpoena notices (called “Notice of Subpoena for Records”) were sent to the ISP’s subscribers who were implicated in the NC Headhunter lawsuits. These subpoena notices were all sent by AT&T’s “GLOBAL LEGAL DEMAND CENTER.”
NEXT: NC HEADHUNTER, LLC SUBPOENAS DUE ON AUGUST 5TH, 2017.
*The first wave of NC Headhunter, LLC subpoenas ALL appear to be DUE IN AUGUST, 8/5.*
This means that unless an accused defendant wishes to file a motion to quash the subpoena, AT&T is under a duty to hand over the names of the subscribers accused of being John Doe Defendants in these North Carolina Headhunter, LLC cases.
However, it must be noted that the 8/5 deadline is merely the deadline that AT&T U-verse has given their subscribers. Chances are that they will provide the names of the subscribers implicated in the North Carolina Headhunter, LLC subpoenas at some future date (as listed on the subpoena itself).
To see the actual deadline by when your AT&T U-verse ISP must hand out your information to the NC Headhunter, LLC attorney, check the subpoena itself included in the packet you received from your ISP.
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What are your options in defending or resolving claims in a Headhunter, LLC North Carolina-based case?
If you have read this far, you are likely one of the John Doe Defendants in this case, and thus here are your options on how our Cashman Law Firm, PLLC (or any other competent copyright litigation attorney) can help you in this case.
OPTION 1: FIGHT
In this option, your attorney would fight this case on your behalf. Since the Headhunter, LLC scam has been exposed through the past lawsuits of their parent entities, the inherent weaknesses in Kathleen Lynch’s case are now well known. This option is more expensive than the other options, but it is probably the most satisfying option when you win and ask for attorney fees from Headhunter, LLC.
OPTION 2: SETTLEMENT NEGOTIATIONS
Settlement negotiations does not mean that you downloaded the movie or that you are guilty of copyright infringement. Rather, it simply means that you want to pay to have the plaintiff attorney dismiss you from the lawsuit. This option can be used by both ‘guilty’ and ‘innocent’ defendants. While I do not recommend an innocent defendant pay ANYTHING to settle the claims against him, I do not judge defendants when they choose this option.
OPTION 3: “NO SETTLEMENT REPRESENTATION”
This is the discounted “no settlement” representation route that I discussed here. In the span of 2-3 hours, I would consult with the client, send over a letter of representation to the plaintiff attorney (to stop him from contacting the client directly). I would then draft a letter to the plaintiff explaining that my client did not do the download, and that we are not interested in anything other than a walkaway settlement, meaning that my client pays no settlement. The purpose of this representation is to put Kathleen Lynch on notice that my client is not the infringer she is looking for.
OPTION 4: “IGNORE” ROUTE REPRESENTATION
The ignore route is best described as ‘playing chicken.’ I best described the “ignore” route, and how it differs from the “no settlement representation” route here. The assumption with the “ignore” route is that Kathleen Maher Lynch is not yet naming and serving defendants in this case, so you would hire our Cashman Law Firm, PLLC to monitor the case for you. We would send over a letter of representation indicating that we are representing you in the case, but we would not engage in settlement negotiations.
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The intended client for the ‘ignore’ route is the innocent client that wishes to have a more ‘hands on’ engagement with their case over the “no settlement” representation letter route, where their attorney is actively monitoring the case and having active discussions with the plaintiff attorney. Both ‘guilty’ and ‘non-guilty’ defendants can utilize the “ignore” route, as this option is adjustable based on the circumstances of the client. If Kathleen Lynch decides to start naming and serving defendants, a ‘guilty’ client would likely have me open up settlement negotiations on his behalf, whereas a non-guilty client would instruct me to not settle and adhere to the ‘ignore’ strategy. Obviously getting named and served while in this strategy would be cause to decide whether to shift strategies to the “fight” or “settle” strategy, which is fine.
OPTION 5: ARGUE “MINIMUM STATUTORY DAMAGES” REPRESENTATION
I discussed the “argue minimum statutory damages” representation option in this article. The purpose of this option is to take the settlement negotiations away from a misbehaving plaintiff attorney. Instead of negotiating a settlement (where the plaintiff is asking for too much money), we would file an answer with the court admitting infringement, and we would then make the case for the judge to award minimum statutory damages of $750.
The intended client for the “minimum statutory damages” representation route is a client who did the download and either does not want to go through settlement negotiations, or who wants to take settlement negotiations out of the hands of the plaintiff attorney / copyright troll and leave the damages up to the judge to decide. Obviously since we are admitting guilt in this option, it is appropriate for the client to have done the download to use this strategy.
However you decide to proceed, if I can be of assistance or answer any questions about your Headhunter, LLC North Carolina case, please let me know.
LIST OF RECENT NORTH CAROLINA HEADHUNTER, LLC AT&T SUBPOENA LAWSUITS
Below is the list of NC Headhunter lawsuits filed between 6/16-6/30:
Filed within the North Carolina Eastern District Court:
Headhunter, LLC v. Does 1-9 (Case No. 5:17-cv-00310)
Headhunter, LLC v. Does 1-10 (Case No. 2:17-cv-00029)
Headhunter, LLC v. Doe 1 et al (Case No. 5:17-cv-00318)
Headhunter, LLC v. Does 1-9 (Case No. 5:17-cv-00296)
Headhunter, LLC v. Does 1-11 (Case No. 5:17-cv-00325)
Filed within the North Carolina Middle District Court:
HEADHUNTER, LLC v. DOES 1-8 (Case No. 1:17-cv-00545)
Filed within the North Carolina Western District Court:
Headhunter, LLC v. Does (Case No. 3:17-cv-00342)
WHERE ELSE IS HEADHUNTER, LLC FILING THEIR LAWSUITS (OUTSIDE OF N.C.)?
Headhunter LLC v. Doe-22.214.171.124 et al (Case No. 1:17-cv-04155)
Headhunter LLC v. Doe-126.96.36.199 et al (Case No. 1:17-cv-05314)
Headhunter, LLC v Doe-188.8.131.52 (Case No. 3:17-cv-00901)
Headhunter, LLC v. Doe-184.108.40.206 (Case No. 3:17-cv-00900)
HEADHUNTER, LLC v. JOHN DOES 1-11 (Case No. 2:17-cv-02986)
HEADHUNTER, LLC v. JOHN DOES 1-10 (Case No. 2:17-cv-02985)
Headhunter, LLC v. Doe-220.127.116.11 (Case No. 1:17-cv-00793), and
Headhunter, LLC v. Doe 1 et al (Case No. 2:17-cv-00987)
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