Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 28th Nov 2010 23:22 UTC
Legal We've had a bit of a copyrightesque weekend here on OSNews, so it seems only fitting to end this Sunday with yet another story on this subject. This one isn't so much anger-inducing as much as it is what?-inducing - you'll either laugh or cry. It basically comes down to this: a smart lawyer is selling self-help packages to aid victims of the mass-P2P lawsuits in the US, and now the media companies behind those lawsuits are suing this lawyer... For causing them damage.
Order by: Score:
sue sue sue
by TechGeek on Sun 28th Nov 2010 23:26 UTC
TechGeek
Member since:
2006-01-14

This is classic. Next thing they will do is sue the guy who invented html cause you know we wouldn't have these problems if it weren't for him. These lawyers need sanctioned. And then removed from the gene pool....

Reply Score: 7

RE: sue sue sue
by boulabiar on Mon 29th Nov 2010 00:07 UTC in reply to "sue sue sue"
boulabiar Member since:
2009-04-18

If these people were able to kill without much problems, they would have killed the lawyer, maybe even the judge.

it's the first time I hear a lawyer is sued because he defended some people. Even if someone is a dangerous serial killer, the law permits to him having a lawyer.

Reply Score: 9

RE[2]: sue sue sue
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Mon 29th Nov 2010 19:01 UTC in reply to "RE: sue sue sue"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

The lawyer didn't defend anyone. He sold some forms that allowed people to defend themselves. That's an important distinction which may or may not be important to the case, but is vital in the pseudo legal discussions on message boards.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: sue sue sue
by Moredhas on Mon 29th Nov 2010 20:57 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: sue sue sue"
Moredhas Member since:
2008-04-10

This is no different, in my opinion, to the will kits that some firms produce. They lead you through all the steps of making a perfectly legal will without the services of a solicitor. How can a self defence kit be any different? People have a right to represent themselves in court, and all he's doing is selling people the means to do it. If anything it should be considered anticompetetive that the Copyright Group threatened to double the settlement for users of the representation kit.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: sue sue sue
by TheGZeus on Tue 30th Nov 2010 03:22 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: sue sue sue"
TheGZeus Member since:
2010-05-19

The lawyer didn't defend anyone. He sold some forms that allowed people to defend themselves. That's an important distinction which may or may not be important to the case, but is vital in the pseudo legal discussions on message boards.

I just wanted everyone to look at this again.

...does this make sense?
Is this a joke?
A typo?
Sarcasm?
Irony?
Am I running a fever?

Mention something actually relevant, say it might not be, then say that the relevant fact is of importance in a place of no importance...

OW... >_<

Reply Score: 2

RE: sue sue sue
by Macrat on Mon 29th Nov 2010 00:07 UTC in reply to "sue sue sue"
Macrat Member since:
2006-03-27

These lawyers need sanctioned. And then removed from the gene pool....


Not the RIAA?

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: sue sue sue
by TheGZeus on Mon 29th Nov 2010 00:59 UTC in reply to "RE: sue sue sue"
TheGZeus Member since:
2010-05-19

First things first, yo.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: sue sue sue
by JAlexoid on Mon 29th Nov 2010 01:41 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: sue sue sue"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

I like this quote:

"Lawyers are scum," Daniel says in a passing moment of self-loathing. "Divorce lawyers are the fungus growing beneath the scum...


And this action shows that not only divorce lawyers are like that, but IP lawyers are like that...

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: sue sue sue
by TheGZeus on Mon 29th Nov 2010 02:01 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: sue sue sue"
TheGZeus Member since:
2010-05-19

Heh. I dated a law student once.
Once.

Reply Score: 7

RE[4]: sue sue sue
by panzi on Mon 29th Nov 2010 02:35 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: sue sue sue"
panzi Member since:
2006-01-22

Hey, as this case shows there is at least one honest lawyer.

Reply Score: 6

RE[5]: sue sue sue
by TheGZeus on Mon 29th Nov 2010 12:06 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: sue sue sue"
TheGZeus Member since:
2010-05-19

Ah, but I would still probably avoid hanging out with him.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: sue sue sue
by TechGeek on Mon 29th Nov 2010 02:59 UTC in reply to "RE: sue sue sue"
TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

"These lawyers need sanctioned. And then removed from the gene pool....


Not the RIAA?
"

Actually no. In this case the lawyers for the RIAA should have refused to do this as I believe it to be illegal. At the very least its is immoral and will probably bring harm to their law firm. You can have dumbasses as clients, but that doesn't mean you have to be a dumbass yourself.

Reply Score: 5

America is a crumbling empire
by ozonehole on Mon 29th Nov 2010 01:51 UTC
ozonehole
Member since:
2006-01-07

The USA is in its last days. The corrupt and dysfunctional American legal system which favors the rich every time is just another symptom of it.

The most annoying part is when the USA tries to export its rotten "intellectual property" system to other countries through various strong-arm free-trade agreements and targeted trade sanctions. Other countries should fight back, by threatening to suspend all their copyright and patent laws when the copyright/patent owner is a US-based corporation. I bet that would get the RIAA's and MPAA's attention.

Edited 2010-11-29 01:53 UTC

Reply Score: 13

RE: America is a crumbling empire
by TheGZeus on Mon 29th Nov 2010 02:05 UTC in reply to "America is a crumbling empire"
TheGZeus Member since:
2010-05-19

Yeah, I've been predicting the fall of the USA within the 21st century since the late 20th.

It took Rome a fair amount of time to recede to the Byzantine Empire (ironically less 'Byzantine' than when based out of Rome), then to shrink continually before finally falling...

I'm curious how much Mexico and the 'Indians' (yes, they're fine with that term, but the quotes are needed for clarity) will get back...

Reply Score: 4

RE: America is a crumbling empire
by umccullough on Mon 29th Nov 2010 05:17 UTC in reply to "America is a crumbling empire"
umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

The USA is in its last days. The corrupt and dysfunctional American legal system which favors the rich every time is just another symptom of it.


I wish I could agree with you, but alas, the court system favors the poor just as often. For every rich corporation that rapes someone who doesn't know their own rights, there is some poor person suing the shit out of some company for something they, themselves, did wrong.

The court system is screwed up, indeed, but it's not only the rich who "win" - it's also the lazy do-nothings looking for a quick payoff.

Edited 2010-11-29 05:18 UTC

Reply Score: 2

bornagainenguin Member since:
2005-08-07

umccullough posted...

The court system is screwed up, indeed, but it's not only the rich who "win" - it's also the lazy do-nothings looking for a quick payoff.


Yes, and because corporations are essentially immortal they simply appeal any rulings they don't like down to peanuts. Can you name any lawsuits won by the average person that resulted in a major payout that was actually received by the persons affected? Within a reasonable amount of time? Can you name five such cases?

Even the most scandalous case regarding McDonald's coffee was eventually appealed and arbitrated down from millions to thousands, yet supposedly there are all kinds of people getting rich suing these poor corporations...

Sorry, I don't buy it.

--bornagainpenguin

Reply Score: 7

umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

Can you name any lawsuits won by the average person that resulted in a major payout that was actually received by the persons affected? Within a reasonable amount of time? Can you name five such cases?


I can't name 5 such cases, but I know 3 such individuals here in my own area who have gotten rich by suing their employers for stupid accidents that IMO were their own fault. Several of them are now quite wealthy as a result, owning multiple businesses of their own and large houses. When having a work-related accident becomes the "golden ticket" - something is wrong with the system.

I also know many people who have racked up major credit card debt intentionally, and are now filing bankruptcy to get out from under it. How does that benefit the rich? It would seem to me that the "rich" are the ones loaning money to these morons so that they can take advantage of our country's "bailout" laws.

Edited 2010-11-29 16:49 UTC

Reply Score: 2

only one issue...
by AdamW on Mon 29th Nov 2010 03:18 UTC
AdamW
Member since:
2005-07-06

with the lawyer here, when he says:

"One of the major problems that people encounter when trying to hire me on these cases, is that a settlement is approximately what an attorney would need to even begin a defence"

The word he's looking for there is 'want', not 'need'. Lawyers *want* to be paid vast amounts of money. They don't *need* to be.

aside from that, though, a bang-up job, and good luck to him...

Reply Score: 3

RE: only one issue...
by sorpigal on Mon 29th Nov 2010 14:27 UTC in reply to "only one issue..."
sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

In a sense they do need to be paid that much. I'm a programmer by profession and know a shit-ton about computers, to the point where I advertise "Any problem solved" and have had no reason to back down on that. When people ask me if I can look at a problem I always quote them an enormous per-hour sum at which point they say "Nevermind," and I don't even have thousands in school fees that need to be paid back, nor do I need a to maintain a malpractice-defense-type fund. I can't be leasing my time for a token fee; it's worth more to me to spend it on my own concerns. I have to charge a certain ridiculous amount just to keep my workload low.

Yes, technically the amount you pay to a lawyer is in excess of costs+a modest profit, but there are (mostly) good reasons for that. A professional's time is always worth a certain amount of money. If a lawyer agreed to work for one tenth of his usual price, say, to combat any RIAA/MPAA lawsuit, soon he'd be spending all of his time for a meager return, possibly below his cost of living and certainly low enough to make the effort no longer worthwhile.

Reply Score: 3

CashmanLawFirm.com
Member since:
2010-11-29

First of all, speaking as an attorney, Syfert did not violate any rules by putting out the forms. The issue is that selling a form, you get what you pay for! The issue is 1) his form was NOT EFFECTIVE, 2) it DID NOT WORK, and 3) it lulled his clients into believing it would work.

One issue that the plaintiffs brought up was that people submitting his form were not told about procedure, e.g., the court rule requiring that any pleading also be served on the opposing attorney. This is almost as if Syfert sold a surgical scalpel and a picture of the brain to a patient and said "cut your tumor out here."

In short, from a legal standpoint, I understand that Syfert should not and will not get sanctions. However, his customers should understand that what they are dealing with *is* COPYRIGHT VIOLATION which is a serious federal issue. They would be better off hiring an attorney.

That being said, our firm, the Cashman Law Firm, PLLC has been helping internet users who have been accused of illegally downloading movies, films, and other copyrighted materials. Fighting such a case is not difficult; it is just important to understand where the defendant is in the legal process and moving forward and mounting a proper defense from there.

Rob Cashman, Attorney
Cashman Law Firm, PLLC
Website: http://federalcrimes.cashmanlawfirm.com
Blog: http://torrentlawyer.wordpress.com
E-mail: rzcashman@cashmanlawfirm.com

PS - Contrary to what you'll read, the motions to dismiss and motions to quash have NOT been working.

Reply Score: 1

UglyKidBill Member since:
2005-07-27

ooh'c'mon... the "Cashman Law Firm"? ;)

Reply Score: 5

WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Oh, wow, you're basically telling people to stop buying from him and instead buy from you and then you slap an ad at the bottom of the comment. Oh, and of course, you carefully watch out not to give any kind of useful information or anything at all. Nice.

Reply Score: 7

CashmanLawFirm.com Member since:
2010-11-29

There is a significant difference between a form and being represented by an attorney. Syfert wanted the money by playing a numbers game with the forms. Like myself, there are a number of attorneys on the EFF.org web site. I'd advise choosing any of them. Most of us are in regular contact with each other. Yes, we can better represent a client than can a few pieces of paper.

Rob Cashman, Attorney
Cashman Law Firm, PLLC
Website: http://federalcrimes.cashmanlawfirm.com
Blog: http://torrentlawyer.wordpress.com
E-mail: rzcashman@cashmanlawfirm.com

Edited 2010-11-29 05:31 UTC

Reply Score: 2

sagum Member since:
2006-01-23

Is it possible that, where the forms are legally useable even if they're not useful in terms on a single person, the mass inclusion of the forms from the 1000s of 1000s of people who they are trying to sue, will create such a headache for them and also a huge drain on their funds that they will simply give up and drop charges? I only ask as the documents cost $20 and the court case including these documents are costing in excess of $5000 court costs yet the claim is only for $2500 in settlement. meaning for every one of these document cases they win, they also lose 100%.
That means, they're really just wasting time for everyone, and if they have just a 1000, not the 1000s of cases suggested, thats a lot of court time wasted, lot of money wasted...

Would be interested to see your thoughts on that... Power to the mass of people and all ;)

Edited 2010-11-29 05:58 UTC

Reply Score: 2

TheGZeus Member since:
2010-05-19

Jesus, might as well add a paypal button to your signature...

Reply Score: 3

Luminair Member since:
2007-03-30

lol "rob cashman" YOU FUCKING RULE TOO!

Reply Score: 2

NxStY Member since:
2005-11-12

What a great name for a lawyer. ;)

Reply Score: 3

vodoomoth Member since:
2010-03-30

Give the guy a break. He didn't choose his name... just like I didn't choose mine, or my skin color, or height or whatnot.
That's the parents' responsibility. I personally know of some parents who IMO didn't care enough for their children.

Reply Score: 2

rexstuff Member since:
2007-04-06

Show us. I am very curious to see some stats about how many have been filed and what the resulting rulings on them have been.

From TFA:

Although all the motions to quash and motions for protective order, whether filed by an attorney or filed by a pro se defendant, have been denied repeatedly by the judges, the motions to dismiss have not.

Defendants who filed a motion to dismiss for a lack of personal jurisdiction have been successful.


So we have one person saying they're working (though is vague whether the pro se motions to dismiss have been successful), and another, you, saying they aren't. Whom am I to believe without evidence?

Reply Score: 2

CashmanLawFirm.com Member since:
2010-11-29

E-mail me (rzcashman@cashmanlawfirm.com) and I'll forward a copy of the case docket as it has progressed so far. The case is available online via PACER, but it costs money per page to see each page. I have already downloaded the entire case so I'd be happy to forward the document to you in its entirety. Perhaps I'll post it online and let you download it and read it on your own. I'll be back in the office later tonight to do so.

Rob Cashman, Attorney
Cashman Law Firm, PLLC
Website: http://federalcrimes.cashmanlawfirm.com
Blog: http://torrentlawyer.wordpress.com
E-mail: rzcashman@cashmanlawfirm.com

Reply Score: 2

TheGZeus Member since:
2010-05-19

Do you realise how _bad_ these comments make you look?
"These forms aren't working!" So why did they lose at least 2 cases so far?
"I can do a better job! Hire me instead!" Yeah, because a lawyer that has time to make a ton of comments on the internet must be too good to get clients.

*series of adverts in 'signature'* ...yeah, that's real professional.

If you ever want to get another client, I'd back out now, dude.

Reply Score: 2

sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

Advertising in his signature is just good policy. If even one client comes out of it then it was a smart move. You may find it distasteful, but it's not immoral or unprofessional. He's quite clear and upfront about his bias here: it's a competing law firm. For proof and disclosure the signature contains the details.

Reply Score: 3

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Except, such signatures are decidedly against our policy, so I'll be removing them.

Reply Score: 3

TheGZeus Member since:
2010-05-19

Oh, snap!

Reply Score: 2

sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

There's a policy against advertising in osnews posts? I guess I had better be careful never to include a link to my own stuff, then, even if it is topical.

Reply Score: 2

TheGZeus Member since:
2010-05-19

It's a good way to make money.

Doesn't make it professional or morally sound.
Then again, it _is_ a lawyer.

Reply Score: 2

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Doesn't make it professional or morally sound.


Good thing he's not some ambulance chaser selling "self-help" kits....

Reply Score: 2

TheGZeus Member since:
2010-05-19

Yeah, because it's totally wrong to make legal documents inexpensive and easy to obtain at a reasonable price.
No one's ever made a business around that, oh wait tons of business sell legal Last Will and Testament kits.

Fail.

Reply Score: 2

sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

How about you put up a .torrent of the docket and post the link here?

Reply Score: 2

CashmanLawFirm.com Member since:
2010-11-29

I think that is a great idea! I'll be out of the office most of the day, but when I get back later this evening, I'll seed the torrent and post the link of the entire docket (and then some) so you guys can see what we have access to, but need to pay for.

I agree that it is unfair that attorneys seem to have more information available at our fingertips regarding court cases and laws, and that everybody should have equal access. However, our realtime access to these cases is via what is called a "PACER" account (I'd also suggest you download a Firefox plug-in called RECAP so you can download the dockets for free while logged into your PACER account.)

I suggest everyone get involved in these cases because what is being done in the courts and procedurally to the accused downloaders and to attorney Graham Syfert is simply not proper.

I'll be back tonight to seed and post the torrent link to the docket.

Warm regards,
Rob

--
Rob Cashman, Attorney
Cashman Law Firm, PLLC
Website: http://federalcrimes.cashmanlawfirm.com
Blog: http://torrentlawyer.wordpress.com
E-mail: rzcashman@cashmanlawfirm.com

PS - Attorneys should ALWAYS have an identifying signature block to identify themselves and to adhere to ethics rules.

Reply Score: 1

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Wow, such vitriol against you. I guess it just goes to reinforce the stereotype that computer geeks think they know how to do everything better than actual experts.

I would definitely hire an actual lawyer vs buying my own forms. I do not knowingly violate copy write laws and am not currently charged with doing so.

Just wanted to post to let you know we aren't all clueless assholes here.

Reply Score: 3

rexstuff Member since:
2007-04-06

I agree. Our lawyer friend has been treated somewhat unfairly by the community here. I prefer to reserve judgement until I have some facts.

(Although, having the name 'Rob Cashman' is somewhat unfortunate in this situation.)

Doing some of my own research reveals this:
http://recordingindustryvspeople.blogspot.com/

which indicates that a lack of personal jurisdiction is a valid complaint during this process.

Reply Score: 3

CashmanLawFirm.com Member since:
2010-11-29

I agree. In the end, the personal jurisdiction argument will likely win the day. Bottom line, if you're sued in TX but you live in NY, the TX court has no jurisdiction over you (unless you're in the state or you have the minimum contacts [e.g., doing business in the state] that it would be fair that you'd be sued there.)

The issue in these copyright infringement cases (and I've gone into this at length on my http://cyberlawy3r.wordpress.com blawg is that the DGW attorneys sued thousands of internet downloaders... but they didn't name anyone! Instead, they've been dragging their feet "doing discovery," and the court has told them to get their act together by 12/6/2010 (a day I am very excited to have on my calendar) and name names or let people off the hook... and my understanding is that the issue is... PERSONAL JURISDICTION! Yay Law School 101 civil procedure class. You 1L law students should get a real kick out of these cases.

PS - BTW, Mr. Syfert and my law firm (Cashman Law Firm) are not rivaling law firms -- we're actually in contact with each other and have different business models on how to attack this problem. I went the traditional route [giving deep discounts since I do the same thing over and over for each client], and Graham sold forms with which he expects to achieve the same results. While I differ in the preferred method (which I've made clear my opinions in previous posts), I support Graham in his end goal and have offered my help with DGW's motions for sanctions because DGW is singling him out to make an example of him and that is simply not okay.

Reply Score: 1

CashmanLawFirm.com Member since:
2010-11-29

Thanks. It is always a risk when an attorney posts a message on a forum -- we're immediately perceived as the enemy and attacked as such. You should have seen the angry responses when I posted a response answering someone's question on TorrentFreak just a few days ago. I didn't even mention the Cashman Law Firm, PLLC or that we were helping clients who were caught downloading. Even with giving simple advice, I was literally cursed out many times just for visiting the forum.

Reply Score: 1

CashmanLawFirm.com Member since:
2010-11-29

Okay, the torrents are up. See OS News comment: http://www.osnews.com/thread?451611

Reply Score: 1

Gryzor Member since:
2005-07-03

GTFO, Lawer.

Reply Score: 1

TheGZeus Member since:
2010-05-19

dits or gtfi

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Luminair
by Luminair on Mon 29th Nov 2010 05:42 UTC
Luminair
Member since:
2007-03-30

........................................................

+ this guy fucking rules

Reply Score: 1

Obligatory quote...
by bornagainenguin on Mon 29th Nov 2010 05:49 UTC
bornagainenguin
Member since:
2005-08-07

Fletcher: Your honor, I object!
Judge: Why?
Fletcher: Because it's devastating to my case!
Judge: Overruled.
Fletcher: Good call!


--bornagainpenguin

Reply Score: 6

Torrent link?
by mkools on Mon 29th Nov 2010 12:02 UTC
mkools
Member since:
2005-10-11

Does anybody have a torrent link to those legal documents? ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE: Torrent link?
by CashmanLawFirm.com on Mon 29th Nov 2010 16:07 UTC in reply to "Torrent link?"
CashmanLawFirm.com Member since:
2010-11-29

I'll get a torrent link up later tonight including the entire docket so that you can read the whole case.

Once you download it, please continue to seed it so that others can view it as well.

--
Rob Cashman, Attorney
Cashman Law Firm, PLLC
Website: http://federalcrimes.cashmanlawfirm.com
Blog: http://torrentlawyer.wordpress.com
E-mail: rzcashman@cashmanlawfirm.com

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Torrent link?
by TheGZeus on Mon 29th Nov 2010 17:58 UTC in reply to "RE: Torrent link?"
TheGZeus Member since:
2010-05-19

Someone didn't notice that the signatures are against the site's policy...

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Torrent link?
by CashmanLawFirm.com on Mon 29th Nov 2010 18:25 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Torrent link?"
CashmanLawFirm.com Member since:
2010-11-29

Someone didn't notice that the signatures are against the site's policy...


Any ideas on how to edit previous comments? At first glance it didn't seem as if they were editable.

-Rob

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Torrent link?
by TheGZeus on Mon 29th Nov 2010 18:59 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Torrent link?"
TheGZeus Member since:
2010-05-19

There's a time limit, though Thom already said he'd be removing them.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Torrent link?
by Luminair on Mon 29th Nov 2010 21:40 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Torrent link?"
Luminair Member since:
2007-03-30

Don't worry about it. Old posts are history. Nobody is trying to clean up the history of the internet. Or at least not everyone is an anal asshole.

Reply Score: 2

CashmanLawFirm.com
Member since:
2010-11-29

After my posts last night, our law firm received a number of inquiries on the current status of these cases. I have uploaded them as TORRENTS using the following links:

http://btjunkie.org/torrent/Cashman-Law-Firm-Hurt-Locker-Far-Cry-Co...

and

http://www.kickasstorrents.com/cashman-law-firm-hurt-locker-far-cry...

Included in these torrents is the motion for sanctions against attorney Graham Syfert; this can be found in the "VOLTAGE PICTURES (HURT LOCKER - DC)" folder under document #19.

Reply Score: 1

sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

This ought to be modded to the sky.

Reply Score: 2

A Lawyer offering a torrent
by RikuoAmero on Tue 30th Nov 2010 11:53 UTC
RikuoAmero
Member since:
2010-11-30

Just to point out to people here, something funny about this Cashman guy. He claims to be a lawyer helping people in copyright infringement cases, and here he is, offering a torrent to a document that from where I'm sitting, he doesn't own the copyright to!
Just for the record, I torrent stuff all the time, just I find it fishy.

Reply Score: 1

RE: A Lawyer offering a torrent
by TheGZeus on Tue 30th Nov 2010 13:31 UTC in reply to "A Lawyer offering a torrent"
TheGZeus Member since:
2010-05-19

I've not downloaded the content, but it appears to be public record, and thus, public domain.
So he doesn't own the copyright, because it cannot be copyrighted.

Again, I've not downloaded the contents.

Reply Score: 2

RE: A Lawyer offering a torrent
by sorpigal on Wed 1st Dec 2010 12:08 UTC in reply to "A Lawyer offering a torrent"
sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

Court documents are normally public domain. You *can* charge for access to them, but copyright generally does not apply. The same is (mostly) true for bills before Congress and the like.

Reply Score: 2