Monday, March 14, 2016

Dallas Buyers Club & Cobbler Nevada: Sample Pro Se Answer

So the Dallas Buyers Club and Cobbler Nevada people have been filing amended complaints and naming tons of people here in Seattle. I'm getting quite a few calls from people who just don't know what they're supposed to do. Everyone has started getting so-called Rule 4 letters, which are letters requesting that the subscriber waive formal service of process. In my experience, if you get one of those letters and it's properly addressed to you, the best thing to do is sign it and return it. Lot's of people want to be difficult and refuse to agree to anything, but in this case that will back fire. If you get the letter and it's properly addressed to you, if you refuse to sign it the service process will still move forward, you'll just have to pay for it yourself. Nothing good comes from refusing to sign those waiver letters.

Next, folks want to know what they're supposed to do after they waive service. Well, you have to do exactly what that letter tells you to do: Answer the Complaint. What that means is for every numbered paragraph in the Complaint, you have to either admit it is true, deny it is true, or say that you don't have sufficient information to either admit or deny.  Resist the urge to tell your story in the Answer.  Just don't do it.  Admit. Deny. Insufficient information.  Nothing else.

Bottom line, you can pay me to put together an answer that is tailored to your case and that is carefully drafted to ensure you deny everything you should and admit everything you must. But I'm not cheap. So lots of people choose to move forward on their own. That's certainly fine by me. But I worry about people trying to defend themselves in federal litigation without any experience. So I try to give you some information to help you out. To that end, below is a sample of an answer that an individual filed in a Dallas Buyers Club case that I think is pretty good. First is the Answer, followed by the Complaint that it answers.
But don't just download this document, change the name, and file it yourself. You need to understand it. Take a look at how each numbered paragraph of the Answer is actually a response to the similarly-numbered paragraph of the Complaint. That's what yours should look like.  Read each paragraph of your Complaint, then add a corresponding paragraph in your Answer.  Your response should be short and direct, like these.

If this is not something you feel comfortable handling yourself -- and as someone who handles these all the time, I can understand why you would not -- then you need to get some help.  Don't just wade in to federal litigation blind the way that Mr. Lessere did.

Good luck.


Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Cobbler Nevada: Meet the Lucky Contestants

As with the Dallas Buyers Club cases, the Cobbler Nevada folks have begun naming people in several amended complaints that have been filed recently. Below are the names I have so far. Are you on the list?

Case No. 2:15-cv-01435-TSZ
  • Azucena Rivera
  • Jesse Rosenfield
  • Alva Godfrey
  • Russell Jenkins
  • Kayla Norberg
  • Mariya Mudryak
  • Shannon Torgerson

  • Jorge Herrera
  • Bernice Cain
  • Don Vanderhule
  • Kristin Comstock
  • Betty Damos
  • Paul Snow
  • Jackie Elhard
Case No. 2:15-cv-01614-TSZ
  • Andy Chapman
  • Chuck Warren
  • Katelyn J. Martin
  • Laura Klein

  • Tien Tran
  • Rick Perkins
  • David Norwood
  • Sabrina Britt
Case No. 2:15-cv-01408-TSZ
  • Kamaljit Lidder
  • Cassandra Wallace
  • Daniel Rueda

  • Emily Crowe-Goldberg
  • Sandra L. Groves
  • Eric Furgeson
Case No. 2:15-cv-01616-TSZ
  • James Hamilton
  • Jeff Lockey
  • Samantha Duffy
  • Michael Wilson
  • Deena Krona
  • Doreen Walior
  • Scott Egbert
  • Jose F. Cruz
  • Bradley Nugent
  • Vitaliy Kravchenko
  • William Skibitzke

  • Chris Pinero
  • Max Mamotyuk
  • Kathryn Stapleton
  • Derek Agee
  • Yelena Michenko
  • Thomas Morrison
  • Gary Truman
  • Jeffery Kelson
  • Dana Gibson
  • Imee Hamilton
Case No. 2:15-cv-01406-TSZ
  • Tapeh Godo
  • Edward Straw
  • Richard Saya
  • Philip Lambert

  • Raymundo Caballero
  • Phillip Lewis
  • Jane Kim
Case No. 2:15-cv-01404-TSZ
  • David McReynolds
  • Monyrin Oun
  • Eric Hazen

  • Richard Rikard
  • Pedro Alonzo
Case No. 2:15-cv-01420-TSZ
  • Jennifer Tu
  • Penny Galen
  • Bern Synder-Dillenbeck
  • Kang Hang
  • Kevin Frazier-Oswalt
  • John Kehrli

  • Rita Camorlinga
  • Andrew Moberg
  • Scott Amundsen
  • Steven White
  • Pamela Nix
  • Swetha Kamman
Case No. 2:15-cv-01443-TSZ
  • Derek Currie
  • Jackie Durao
  • Joe Eddie
  • Elissa Eddie
  • Elizabeth Dowling
  • Michael Thomas

  • Jason Shim
  • Sarah Christmann
  • Maricris Mayor
  • David Currey
  • Veronica Suarez
  • Chris Carlucci

Understand that this list may not be complete and this page is not an official court record. You need to verify your status and should not rely on this list being complete. I am doing this only as a service to those affected.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Dallas Buyers Club: Meet the Lucky Contestants

So Judge Jones earlier ordered the Dallas Buyers Club people to move these cases forward.  Today they apparently started doing that by filing a few amended complaints naming quite a few people.  I don't have much time right now, but here is a list of the lucky people:

Case No. 14-cv-01926RAJ
  • Peter Pham
  • Sophanna Pheap
  • Michele Cheung
  • Gerald Hefley
  • Taylor Merisko 
  • Andy Bui
Case No. 14-cv-01684RAJ
  • Mike Curtis
  • Allegra Rege
Case No. 15-cv-00133RAJ
  • Ying-Bin Zhao
  • Bethany Iocca
  • Mike Jovanovich
Case No. 15-cv-00576RAJ
  • Taylor Bland
  • Gene Yiu
  • Anthony Florio
  • Teal Williams
  • Susan Rath
  • Brooke D. Weller
  • Gerry Amburgey
  • Ravina Singh
  • Anna Lipman
  • Sadie Kennedy
Case No. 15-cv-00582RAJ
  • David Muckala
  • Nicholas Peltchie
  • Robert Rodi
  • Sharon L. Stenzinger
  • Jacob Stickley
  • Amy Rayl
  • Yuhon Wong
  • Patrick Armstrong
  • Mihn Nguyen
  • Katherine Debacker
  • Mike Miles
Case No. 15-cv-00581RAJ
  • Laurie Trout
  • Vu Nguyen
Case No. 15-cv-00579RAJ
  • Ji Lee
  • Cory Hanger
  • Brian James
  • Michael Mastin
  • Stuart Hirshhorn
If you are on the list, now is the time you need to start thinking about how to deal with this case.  Ignoring it is no longer the right answer.

A couple of the amended complaints are below.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Justice Scalia Found Dead In Room In Texas

It's a sad day for jurisprudence.  U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was found dead this morning in his room at a Texas resort.  No foul play is suspected, and it appears he died of natural causes.

Justice Scalia was definitely known as having a strong voice for his opinions.  Not everyone liked those opinions, but you have to respect his commitment to them.  No one ever wondered where Scalia stood on an issue. 

I for one will miss his wit.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Dallas Buyers Club: Court Orders Case to Move Forward

Lots has happened here in Seattle in the Dallas Buyers Club cases.  So here's the latest.  Judge Jones just handed down an omnibus order disposing of a ton of co-pending motions in the several DBC cases here.  Honestly, I couldn't even tell you what all the motions are, but there were many.  They included motions for contempt against people who did not appear for their "subscriber depositions"; motions for alternative service against people who DBC had yet not served; motions for more time to take more depositions; motions to reconsider the denial of subpoena power; motions to continue cases with "Doe" defendants.  I'm sure I missed some.  Bottom line: Lots of motions.

The order demonstrates that Judge Jones' patience is at its end.  He basically walked through the development of the cases and expressed some real concern that they just aren't progressing like one would expect from legitimate litigation.

The order is pasted below.  It is definitely worth a read.  Bottom line: DBC needs to either fish or cut bait.

Who knows what DBC will do.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Curious Case of Anthony Reale

This story is actually worth highlighting.  There have been several Dallas Buyers Club cases filed here in Seattle.  My last count is about 13 or 14. One of the things that the DBC folks like to suggest is that their "forensic software" is so advanced and accurate that it never makes any mistakes.  DBC files a declaration of someone named Daniel Macek in every case that goes on for 8 pages about how sophisticated the software is.

So against that background, consider the curious case of Anthony Reale.

One of DBC’s earliest cases filed here in Seattle started with ten “John Does.”  Pretty quickly after getting the names of those Does from their ISPs, DBC filed an amended complaint naming eight of them.  DBC included some exhibits with the FAC that had a table associating the names with their IP addresses.  One of the named individuals is Anthony Reale, associated with IP address 50.135.196.210.

When DBC filed its amended complaint, it included a lengthy listing of a bunch of movies that DBC says were all being shared by the respective defendants at about the same time as the Dallas Buyers Club movie.  There was one listing for each named defendant. DBC alleged that Mr. Reale was “observed” downloading the Dallas Buyers Club movie on or about June 14, 2014. 

If you look at those listings, sure enough you see tons of movies being downloaded with bittorrent.  In most cases, there is a listing that starts months before the Dallas Buyers Club movie shows up.  But still, the listings always include the Dallas Buyers Club movie in there somewhere.

Or do they?

When I started writing the brief that I mentioned in an earlier post, I started looking through the tables because I was very troubled by the fact that DBC was apparently monitoring all these people for months before the Dallas Buyers Club movie is apparently "observed" being shared.  I believe that is a pretty clear violation of the Federal Wiretap Act, and as soon as any case I have moves forward I want to make sure I have my evidence marshaled.

So as I was looking through those listings, I got to the listing for Mr. Anthony Reale.  The first thing I noticed is that DBC apparently started "observing" his IP address on October 31, 2013, which is about seven months before he is even alleged to have downloaded the Dallas Buyers Club movie.  That greatly concerned me.  Why was his bittorrent activity being monitored for seven months?  Who are these people who just record all the bittorrent activity for everyone regardless of what they are downloading?  That CAN'T be legal.

The second thing I noticed about Mr. Reale's listing is that I didn't find the Dallas Buyers Club movie may first pass through the list.  Not the second pass through it either.  Nor the third or fourth.  The text is really small so I did a "find" with the software and it didn't show up then.  So I actually printed the whole listing for Mr. Reale and painstakingly walked through each individual movie.

Guess what?  Mr. Reale didn't download the Buyers Club Movie.  At least not at any time during the ten months that DBC was "observing" him. 

This is troubling.  Very troubling.  DBC is so brazen in its litigation tactics that it will shamelessly name someone in a Federal lawsuit, throw in some massive table of downloads to try and make Mr. Reale look like the next Jimmy Hoffa or something, and in doing so admit that it doesn't have a shred of evidence that Mr. Reale did what he is being accused of.

And understand that this is just the first table like this I have even reviewed.  DBC hasn't filed any more like this to my knowledge here in Seattle.  But if you are aware of similar situations, please let me know.  I'm compiling these instances in order to support that Federal Wiretap Act claim I mentioned earlier.

If you want to take a look at the table and try to find the Dallas Buyers Club movie yourself, I pasted it in below.