Can Ira Siegel no longer accept settlements for his dismissed cases?

Please allow me to extend a warm congratulations to the Cashman Law Firm, PLLC defendants (and all others) who have been dismissed from the New Sensations, Inc. v. Does 1-1,474 (Case No. 3:11-cv-02770) case and the Patrick Collins, Inc. v. Does 1-2590 (Case No. 3:11-cv-02766) case, both in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. While this is no longer news since the dismissal happened literally days after my last post, I wanted to follow up with a quick comment on these two cases.

I hate to pin this on Ira Siegel as no doubt Steele Hansmeier, PLLC (now Prenda Law Inc.) have made a mess of cases in the Northern District of California, but with these two plaintiff attorneys making messes of the bittorrent cases (to your benefit, of course), judges have smartened up about bittorrent lawsuits, and have been giving both of them a bunch of hurt. [There is news about the Hurt Locker case as well, but I’ll save it for the next posting.] In short, I no longer believe that there is a judge in Northern California who is oblivious to what is going on in these bittorrent cases, and I feel that these cases moving forward will be shut down faster than the plaintiff attorneys can say “boo!” (akin to how John Steele (and soon Prenda Law Inc.) was essentially shut out of the Northern District of Illinois courts).

Here is the interesting part about these two cases. In Judge James’ order (almost identical in the two cases), she forbade Siegel from accepting settlements after 12/7. This means that if you have not already received an “I’m sorry for asking you for money” letter (actually phrased as “we intend to go after you after the issues are resolved”), expect one in the mail (or in your e-mail, as this is how your plaintiff attorney likes to cut costs and avoid huge postage fees).

The problem in my mind is that while Judge James dismissed the case without prejudice [meaning that Siegel can easily file against any of the Doe defendants in their home courts], she was UNCLEAR as to whether Siegel can now accept settlements now that the case is dismissed. In other words, there is an AMBIGUITY in her order which on its face means that Ira can no longer accept settlements from Doe Defendants from this case; logic suggests that this is not the case. I actually inquired about this, and two days ago (12/22, pasted below), Ira asked the court for a clarification as to whether he is still allowed to accept settlements moving forward now that the case is dismissed. He wrote the same inquiry to the court in the Patrick Collins, Inc. case (link here). We will wait and see what the judge says.

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Judge Alsup takes over “New Sensations, Inc.” case

I was reviewing the various New Sensations, Inc v. Does cases in the US District Court for the Northern District of California, and one of them caught my attention.

In the New Sensations, Inc v. Does 1-1745 (3:10-cv-05863-WHA) case, I noticed that Judge William Alsup has taken over this case. This can only be good news for you and bad news for your plaintiff attorney, Ira Siegel. In short, Judge Alsup has the reputation for being known as “Mr. Rocket Docket”. Why? Historically, he has no patience for plaintiffs who sue and then sit around for months and months doing nothing (while they pressure defendants to settle). I have seen already a few cases where he gets tired of a case and on his own, he dismisses them for lack of prosecution. No doubt, if Mr. Siegel is paying attention, he’ll be paying attention to this case over the others or else he’ll have the case snatched from him.

To date, the other New Sensations, Inc v. Does cases in the US District Court for the Northern District of California are as follows:

New Sensations, Inc v. Does 1-1745 (3:10-cv-05863-WHA)
New Sensations, Inc v. Does 1-1474 (3:11-cv-02770-MEJ)
New Sensations, Inc v. Does 2-1768 (4:11-cv-02835-CW) <– severed from New Sensations, Inc v. Does 1-1768 (5:10-cv-05864-PSG) by Judge Paul S. Grewal.

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