Monday, May 4, 2015

Judge Jones Kills Subscriber Subpoenas in Dallas Buyers Club Cases

Judge Richard A. Jones
Judge Jones today quashed subpoenas that had been served on two Whitaker Law Group clients, as well as numerous other subscribers in several Dallas Buyers Club cases here in Seattle. 

Dallas Buyers Club filed numerous cases of copyright infringement here in Seattle like they have all over the country. Judge Jones initially granted DBC power to seek subscriber information so that it could name defendants. There is nothing particularly noteworthy about that. Pretty much all the courts around the country recognize that with nothing more than an IP address, there's nothing much a plaintiff can do.

But here, DBC wasn't happy with just that. After getting the names of all the subscribers, DBC actually started serving subpoenas on the subscribers themselves, demanding that the subscribers appear at the offices of DBC's counsel on less than a week's notice. And to make matters worse, DBC was demanding that those subscribers also produce a bunch of documents.

We filed a few motions to quash those subpoenas as violating all kinds of rules, not to mention notions of common fairness.  Judge Jones agreed. Today he granted WLG's motions without even giving DBC an opportunity to respond! In short, Judge Jones agreed that DBC's subpoenas were improper for a number of reasons, and he went even further and entered an order detailing what DBC has to do if they want to move forward with these subpoenas in the future.

So if you have been served with a subpoena to appear at a deposition in one of the Dallas Buyers Club cases here in Seattle, you need to read this order carefully. You very likely don't have to comply with that subpoena. 

See Judge Jones' order below.