Judge denies motion to dismiss Prenda Law’s libel suit; Sets briefing schedule on remand request August 14, 2013 5:54 PM

July 16, 2014 § Leave a comment


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Judge denies motion to dismiss Prenda Law’s libel suit; Sets briefing schedule on remand request
August 14, 2013 5:54 PM

CHICAGO — A federal judge today allowed briefing to move forward on Prenda Law’s renewed motion to remand its libel suit back to St. Clair County.

U.S. District Judge John Darrah gave the defendants – Minnesota attorney Paul Godfread and his client, Alan Cooper — until Aug. 21 to submit a response, set an Aug. 28 deadline for Prenda Law to file its reply and scheduled an Oct. 30 status hearing in the case.

Also at today’s hearing, Darrah denied the defendants’ motion to dismiss the suit and granted Prenda Law attorney Paul Duffy’s motion to dismiss the defendants’ counterclaim.

But, the whole briefing schedule Darrah set over the remand request may turn out to be moot as Prenda Law filed a motion to withdraw its renewed request just hours after today’s hearing. No ruling on that motion had been entered as of late this afternoon.

Filed on Monday, Prenda Law’s renewed remand motion asserts that the court does not have jurisdiction to hear its suit against Godfread and Cooper because no federal questions are involved and diversity of citizenship does not exist.

Prenda Law sued Godfread and Cooper, as well as 10 potential John Doe defendants, in February in the St. Clair County Circuit Court. The suit was transferred southern Illinois’ federal court and in June, to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

In his transfer order, Chief Judge David Herndon noted that “a virtually identical, first-filed action is currently pending” in Chicago’s federal court.

That suit — Duffy v. Godfread, et al. — was filed in February in Cook County Circuit Court, removed to federal court and has since been consolidated with Prenda Law v. Godfread, et al., the suit originally brought in St. Clair County.

In their suits, Duffy and Prenda Law accuse Godfread and Cooper of making false and defamatory statements in a Minnesota lawsuit and that their statements, as well as those of currently unknown individuals on the Internet, have appeared on various websites.

Among other allegations, the firm contends that the defendants accused it and some of its attorneys of “criminal offenses; want of integrity in the discharge of employment; lack of ability in its profession; and the commission of fornication and adultery.”

Godfread and Cooper filed a counterclaim in which Cooper alleged he was a caretaker for Prenda Law attorney John Steele and eventually learned that his name was being used as an officer or director of AF Holdings, a client of Prenda Law, without his knowledge or consent.

They moved to dismiss the complaint under Minnesota’s Anti-SLAPP Act, which like other similar laws around the nation, aims to protect citizens in lawsuits that intend to prevent public participation. Duffy moved to dismiss their counterclaim for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.

At today’s hearing, Duffy appeared on behalf of his firm and Chicago attorney Erin Kathryn Russell appeared on the defendants’ behalf.

In an attempt to support his firm’s renewed motion to remand, Duffy told Darrah that the suit can’t proceed in federal court because diversity of citizenship does not exist between the parties.

He said that Prenda Law filed an amended complaint when the suit was pending in St. Clair County Circuit Court that added Alpha Law Firm as a plaintiff.

Duffy said that two exhibits “clearly pointed out” that Alpha Law is based in Minnesota, which he asserts destroys diversity of citizenship since Godfread and Cooper are also from Minnesota.

After asking whether the exhibits were attached to the amended complaint and Duffy responded “no,” Darrah said “how could they possibly have known?”

He then asked Duffy why he didn’t bring up Alpha Law’s citizenship earlier or correct the docket sheet in the case, which he said makes no mention of the Minnesota firm. Duffy told Darrah that he informed the defendants’ attorney.

Russell, who represents the defendants, denied Duffy’s claim after the hearing.

She told Darrah that Prenda Law’s amended complaint “should never have been filed” because the firm didn’t asked for leave to file the amended complaint and no order granting leave was ever filed in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

Instead, Russell claims, Prenda Law’s local counsel, Belleville attorney Kevin Hoerner, made false representations to an employee with the clerk’s office in order to get the amended complaint filed.

She told Darrah that an affidavit from Judy Kent, an employee of the St. Clair County clerk’s office, proves her claim. Kent’s affidavit is attached as an exhibit to her May 10 response in opposition to the firm’s motion to remand.

In her affidavit, Kent states that she file stamped an amended complaint on Feb. 21 in Prenda Law v. Godfread et al. and that there was no motion seeking leave to file an amended complaint or an order granting such relief in the record.

“I was informed by Mr. Hoerner, one of Prenda Law’s attorneys, that no one had been served with the original complaint, which is why I file stamped the amended complaint without a motion for leave,” Kent states in her affidavit. “I verified on my computer that my office had not received a return as of February 21, 2013.”

At that time, however, Russell asserts that both Godfread and Cooper had been served. Exhibits attached to her May 10 response show that Godfread had been served on Feb. 15 and that Cooper was served on Feb. 20.

Russell further claims that Prenda Law knew her clients had been served because Steele left a message with Godfread about an hour after he was served, saying “I understand you just got served” and asked whether he would be representing Cooper.

At the end of the hearing, Darrah asked Russell to provide him with “any supporting information regarding the docket in St. Clair County.”

Despite Darrah’s decision to allow briefing on the renewed remand motion to proceed, Prenda Law filed a motion to withdraw its motion just a few hours after today’s hearing.

“Plaintiff vehemently disagrees with representations made by Defendants counsel at the August 14, 2013 hearing regarding its Motion, but nevertheless due to the apparent confusion arising from Plaintiff’s Motion, Plaintiff seeks to withdraw its motion,” Prenda Law states.

The firm adds, “Rather than renew its motion, Plaintiff intends to, at the appropriate time if any, amend its complaint to add Alpha Law Group LLC as a Plaintiff.”

Aside from the briefing dates Darrah scheduled over the remand motion, he issued an order today denying the defendants’ motion to dismiss under Minnesota’s Anti-SLAPP Act and granting the plaintiff’s motion to dismiss the counterclaim.

Dismissing the defendants’ motion to dismiss, Darrah explained that “Godfread and Cooper fail, at this stage, to make a threshold showing that Duffy’s claims of their defamation involved public participation or were otherwise ‘aimed in whole or in part at procuring favorable government action.’”

In regards to Darrah’s decision to grant Duffy’s motion to dismiss the defendants’ counterclaim, the judge wrote in his order that “As the Counterclaim is presently constructed, it is unclear what role Duffy played in the claims asserted.”

He added, “It is clear, however, Godfread and Cooper believe multiple other individuals and entities are involved, who have not been named as parties to this lawsuit.”

Darrah, however, gave the defendants 30 days to file an amended counterclaim. In addition, he denied Duffy’s motion to strike 10 affirmative defenses raised by Godfread and Cooper, saying they met the basic requirements and are sufficient.

Russell said after today’s hearing that her clients plan to seek reconsideration of Darrah’s ruling and provide some clarification on some of the points they previously raised.

This entry was posted in Federal Court, News, St. Clair County and tagged Alan Cooper, Chief Judge David Herndon, Erin Kathryn Russell, John Steele, Kevin Hoerner, Paul Duffy, Paul Godfread, Prenda Law, U.S. District Judge Paul Darrah. Bookmark the permalink.
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Nebraska high court again rules father’s consent necessary for adoption

March 8, 2014 § Leave a comment

Nebraska high court again rules father’s consent necessary for adoption

23 hours ago  •  By MARGERY A. BECK / The Associated Press

For a second time, the Nebraska Supreme Court has ruled that a father who was intentionally misled about the birth of his child can stop the baby’s adoption.

In a ruling Friday, the state’s high court said the consent of the father, listed in court documents as Jeremiah J., is required by state law for the child to be put up for adoption. Further, the high court said the child’s mother, identified as Dakota D., failed to prove Jeremiah met any of the exceptions for consent because she did not show he had abandoned her or the child or that he would be an unfit parent.

Jeremiah learned in June 2011 that Dakota, his ex-girlfriend, was pregnant. Five months later, he was contacted by an adoption agency caseworker who told him he had been identified as the baby’s father and that Dakota planned to put the baby, due Feb. 18, 2012, up for adoption, according to court documents. Jeremiah told the caseworker he did not want that, then tried many times to reach Dakota, but she did not return his calls, records say.

The child was born Feb. 9, but Jeremiah was not told of the birth. He contacted Dakota on Feb. 13, but she did not tell him the baby had been born. Jeremiah also repeatedly called the hospital and caseworker to try to learn of the birth, but they refused to tell him, citing privacy policies. The adoption was put on hold after Jeremiah filed his appeal.

Dakota later testified in court that she did not tell Jeremiah of the child’s birth because she did not want him to know about it during the five days he had to object to the adoption.

A Hall County court ruled in the mother’s favor, saying Jeremiah could have hired an attorney sooner, but the Nebraska Supreme Court reversed that ruling last year, noting the mother’s deception. The lower court then ruled in Jeremiah’s favor, and Dakota appealed, arguing he is not a fit parent because he has an unstable work history, has used drugs and has a criminal record, among other things.

She also argued that Jeremiah neglected the child after she was born, and did not provide financial support for her or the child.

But the state’s high court rejected those arguments Friday, saying Jeremiah’s criminal record consisted of misdemeanor convictions as a teen. The court also noted that Jeremiah has denied any drug use, and that he has a stable job paying more than $12 an hour.

“And in any event, low income or an unstable job history does not alone establish parental unfitness,” Nebraska Supreme Court Justice Michael McCormack wrote for the court.

The high court also rejected arguments that Jeremiah did not provide financial support.

“Dakota clearly does not want to have Jeremiah in the life of the child, and she chose to not provide Jeremiah with a fair opportunity to offer financial support,” McCormack wrote.

Jeremiah’s attorney, Mark Porto of Grand Island, said the next step will be to file a paternity action in an effort to establish custody and visitation issues.

“He’s thrilled that he’ll be able to be a part of his daughter’s life,” Porto said.

An attorney for Dakota did not immediately return a message left Friday.

Weller children file lawsuit against state DSHS look for scrib link great pleading to educate for future ….

March 8, 2014 § Leave a comment

Weller children file lawsuit against state DSHS

Attorney says agency was told of peril many times before acting

By Paris Achen, Columbian courts reporter

Published: March 7, 2014, 1:50 PM

Updated: March 7, 2014, 7:28 PM

  • Buy this photoSandra and Jeffrey Weller enter Judge Barbara Johnson’s courtroom for sentencing in Clark County Superior Court March 20, 2013. The Wellers were convicted of imprisoning, starving and beating their adopted twins. Sandra received a sentence of 20 years, and Jeffrey received 21 years. (Steven Lane/The Columbian)

Five children who were abused by their parents in Vancouver have filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against the state, alleging that the Department of Social and Health Services failed to adequately respond to dozens of complaints about their welfare over an eight-year period.

Jeffrey and Sandra Weller of Vancouver each were sentenced March 20, 2013, to two decades in prison for imprisoning, starving and beating their adopted twins. A Clark County jury found Sandra Weller guilty of nine separate counts related to the twins’ abuse; Jeffrey Weller was found guilty of 13, related to both the twins’ abuse and assaults against the couple’s biological children.

The children’s Seattle attorney, David Moody, filed the lawsuit on behalf of the children Friday in Clark Superior Court.

One of the children’s teachers alone warned the DSHS a dozen times about possible abuse of the children and urged that they be removed from the Weller home, Moody said.

“He has documents he kept,” Moody said Friday. “He has voice-mail messages. There are a number of educators from the local school district who voiced serious warnings to DSHS over a period of years.”

“Those concerns were ignored every time,” he said.

The lawsuit follows a $54 million tort claim the children filed Dec. 18 with the DSHS. Tort claims give public agencies a 60-day notice of a lawsuit and allows them an opportunity to settle a case before litigation.

In this case, the children received no response, Moody said.

John Wiley, a DSHS spokesman, said the agency often does respond to and resolve tort claims prior to litigation.

“However, this case is complex, involving numerous plaintiffs alleging negligence based on activities that occurred over a number of years. As such, it requires more than the statutory 60 days to analyze and investigate the merits of the plaintiffs’ claim,” Wiley said. “It would not be in the taxpayers’ best interest to quickly make a settlement offer on a $54 million claim without a reasonable and diligent investigation into that claim by the state.”

Wiley said the agency has no other comment on the lawsuit at this time.

“We’ll let the court decide the merits of the case,” he said. “We don’t comment on the merits of the case.”

The lawsuit also alleges that the DSHS failed to obtain Sandra Weller’s Child Protective Services history in California, where she adopted the twins with her ex-husband. There were seven referrals about Sandra Weller’s possibly abusing and neglecting the twins and some other foster children who were in her care between 1998 and 2002, the lawsuit states. At one point, the state of California revoked her foster care license and took the twins into protective custody, according to the lawsuit.

Some of the complaints that Washington caseworkers allegedly ignored included allegations of threats against one of the twins’ lives and withholding food as punishment, according to the lawsuit.

For example, in April 2004, the DSHS received a complaint that Sandra Weller had told the 8-year-old female twin that, “If I had a knife right now, you would be gone,” according to the lawsuit. A month later, the agency received another complaint that the twins were “so stressed they are literally pulling their hair out,” the lawsuit states.

In September 2004, there was a complaint that the Wellers locked food cabinets in the house and locked the children in their room, which had an alarm on the door, the lawsuit says.

DSHS social workers visited the Weller home in October 2004. On Nov. 1, 2004, the social worker concluded that the allegations of negligent treatment or maltreatment were “unfounded,” according to the lawsuit.

The DSHS finally removed the children from the Weller home Oct. 7, 2011, after one of the twins left a note about their abuse at her therapist’s office.

“Please, help,” the twin wrote. “Behind the laundry room door is a big wooden stick covered in blood. They use it on me and (my brother) … If you leave without us, we’ll all ran (sic) away.”

The twins were substantially underweight and malnourished when they were taken into state custody, according to testimony at the Wellers’ trial.

They also testified at trial that Jeffrey Weller, often at the instruction of Sandra, regularly beat them with a 42-inch-long piece of scrap lumber. Police investigators found it stained with blood.

Moody, the children’s attorney, specializes in civil litigation against the DSHS related to the abuse of children or vulnerable adults. He said he won the largest jury verdict award against the DSHS — $17.8 million — in February 2000 in a vulnerable adult abuse case in Pierce County in which he demonstrated that the DSHS was negligent by inadequately investigating abuse allegations.

prenda at it again

March 8, 2014 § Leave a comment

Copyright, Child Custody and Cocaine in the County Courts

June 11, 2013 § Leave a comment

Copyright, Child Custody and Cocaine in the County Courts

Once upon a time there was  The Steele Law Firm LLC, IL SOS records show it was formed by  a 2006 University of Minnesota Law school graduate, John Lawrence Steele Jr. Esq.  Billed as a family law firm in 2008 -2011, the Chicago, IL practice, the Steele Law Firm LLC was fighting custody battles and purported pornography pirates. Yes, budding family law attorney, John Steele was devoted to saving children and the tranny porn industry! He started filing suits against 1000′s of John Does, dubbed himself the “pirate slayer” and set out to make cool millions! Despite John Steele having a fine ring to it for a porn name, perhaps the Steele Law Firm wasn’t catchy enough for copyright trolling; seems Steele decided to try on some other names: Media Copyright Group, Steele Hansmeier, Prenda, Anti-Piracy Law Group and the Chicago Family Law Group LLC.  Maybe it still wasn’t quite the right fit because in a rather complex web of “stories”, Steele claims to have retired, sold his family law firm to Peter R. Olson of the Peter Olson Law Firm and blogger extraordinaire Solo in Chicago.

Craigslist, where the finest lawyers come to but and sell law firms!

Now, according to a Solo in Chicago  blog post by Glenview,  IL native and Domestic Relations attorney, Peter R. Olson Esq. – in October 2008 he was checking out Craigslist,  looking for God knows what; and he found a law firm for sale.  By golly, it just happened to belong to his buddy, John the Pirate Slayer Steele! Despite the fact that Peter Olson had his own law firm and his Des Plaines condo was being foreclosed on and he was being sued by multiple creditors the purchase of a family law firm associated with pornography must have struck him as a solid investment.

No offense to Craigslist! Craigslist is great! Everyone knows that you can get some wonderful and affordable items on Craigslist: intimate encounters, a dorm fridge, slightly used slipcovers, re-homed lawn gnome, law firms – you know, really important stuff!  A quick look at the Cook County docket shows that Mr. Steele seems to have dropped all but one or two of his special  family clients in the summer / fall of 2011. But who needs clients when you’ve got a *found it on Craigslist* law firm to control! There is still no clarity about who actually owns the Steele Law Firm turned Chicago Family Law Group. Court documents show over a year of changing names, attorney, and firms numbers and stories with no end or truth in sight. Surely, NO ONE has ANY suspicion that they are laundering copyright money through that family law firm. No, doubt the Criminal Investigations Unit of the IRS won’t have any questions about Steele or Olson’s explanation about THAT firm. <cough*cough> Especially after that deposition about not paying any taxes! Nevis? St. Kitts? Offshore accounts? Trusts? Really? Come on guys who owns the CFLG?

So what happens when lawyers go rogue? 

Despite Steele’s claims of retirement and the Prenda was solely owned by attorney, Paul A Duffy, Steele seemed to be popping up all over the country at all sorts of court dates. As Steele showed up in court room after court room, some other things seemed to follow.  Yes, it was an outcry from many of extortion, lies, belligerent pleadings, threats in the hallway, improper service, questionable rulings in questionable places, and altered states.  Claims of identity theft, forgeries, and out and out lies.  It seems everyone affiliated with Steele stands accused of being involved with fraud. In time it seems most of the country caught on to the tricks and were no longer going to be fooled by troll games. On May 6th 2013, the Honorable Otis D Wright II issued an order for sanctions against Steele and some his minions in the form of 81k, a referral to the IRS criminal investigations unit and United States Attorney Office and the state and federal bar associations. Further, Judge Wright used words like “moral turpitude” as he described Steele, his minions and their business model. Still Cook County and St. Claire County seemed to be very willing to indulge the same behaviors that other federal court judges felt to be possibly criminal in nature.   Oh the men of Prenda fought hard to sue the internet or anyone that dared to speak out about their experiences with Prenda or Steele and they fought to do it in St. Claire County. Gosh, hate much?

Rut-Ro-Raggy! The Feds want to talk to ya!

But it seems that there is a little problem, the Feds are in St. Clair County. Moreover, it seems that a buddy of Steele, James Fogarty was dealing some coke to some judges, Cook and Christ. Christ  died of an overdose of cocaine allegedly provided to him by Fogarty. It looks that the drugs and mess don’t begin or end there or with those three people or that court system.

Bloomberg News and fightcopyrighttrolls.com both touched on the Steele  – Forgarty connection or at least what they knew about at the time. But is there more to that story? Read the news of the impact that cocaine had in the St. Clair court cases, is it any different in Will County or Cook County?

There were a lot of questionable rulings and the cocaine / dealer connection now explains much of how those rulings came to be in St. Clair Co. but what about the other counties?

Great! We’ve got judges on drugs making rulings for their dealer and Steele is sending dealers to do his dirty work.

How can the average litigant stand a chance of receiving any sort of justice when they are up against attorneys that are allowed to practice despite the overwhelming evidence of their abuse and misuse of the legal process. Seriously, what sort of world do we live in where it’s okay for a lawyer to send a drug dealer to someones home to “serve them” legal papers. Papers which are now really under-fire because a tsunami of evidence has surfaced to show that the “pirate slayer” is really the honeypot pusher. Could it get anymore disgusting?

How can anyone get a shot at justice when the judge is indebted to their dealer; to keep them supplied with cocaine and heroine and to keep their drug problem a secret?   It’s an environment where blackmail and extortion flourish and the innocent suffer the worst consequences. St. Clair news has already reported on how rulings were made in favor of the dealer. If you look at Cook County and Will County, is any different? When judges and lawyers get caught up in child porn, trafficking, drugs and dirty money – it’s clear that rulings are made based on vices, not the law.

What about the children in family court? Is this why so many rulings appear to defy both man and God’s law? If it’s not because of a vice, why are so many people crying out with nearly identical stories about their children being sent to live with their abuser? How does the court justify cutting off all contact with the protective parent? Now that the court has embarrassed “Parental  Alienation”, how come they always seem to accuse the non-alienating parent of alienation?  What is seen frequently is that the alienating parent pretends to be the “friendly parent” and accuses the other parent of PAS. The court then places the child with the REAL PA parent on the grounds that that parent will foster a relationship with the child and the other parent and then the REAL PA parent joins the court in cutting  off all contact with the other parent akin to a termination of parental rights. Why isn’t THAT parental alienation?  Why are children so frequently turned over to abusers despite the overwhelming evidence?  There are cases where the parent is clearly involved in drugs, child pornography, sexual abuse, and other harmful behaviors and the judges punish the parent that offers the court proof. It almost seems like the more evidence the protective parent has, the worse the ruling. The parents with no evidence of abuse and false allegations win.  The parents with pictures of the other parent watching child porn on the computer and witnesses of physical abuse lose. Good parents are disposable. Unlike coke and porn, good people and good parents just don’t seem to have much value anymore.

Looking at the fall out in St. Clair, the news lists some rulings that were not made because of the law or the merits of the case, the rulings were made based on vices and personal issues. This has to be eradicated. The very purpose of the legal system is to enforce the law for the betterment of society.  When lawyers are allowed to use forged  documents, extortion and break the law   – justice is denied. Evil prevails. When judges are beholden to their dealers, the law becomes useless. The best pleading or the most skilled lawyer won’t help the case, because it’s decided on a drug deal, not the law. We might as just cancel court and send the judges home, because noting good comes of this situation.

It’s great that the FBI is investigating St. Clair, but they need to come take a look at why Judge Pornlito was allowed to sit on the bench in Will County watching porn on the county computer on the tax payer dollars while making decisions about the futures of children and families. They need to look at why the Cook County Judge(s) in the Lucy Vega case doesn’t want to see the evidence of the father allegedly watching child porn. They need to look at why so many complaints about Due Process and abusive and erratic behavior are posted on the Robing Room about Judge Raul Vega in room 3001 at the Daley Center. They need to look at why Child Representative Jerry S. Goldberg used someone with a history of domestic violence to provide “professional supervision” between alleged abusers and their children. How about the DOJ coming in to take a look at the blatant ADA violations?

It wouldn’t take a big fancy sting. It just takes sitting in a few court rooms for a few days and taking a look at the records. (The complete record)

A check on the ARDC web site shows that John Steele, Peter Olson, and Paul Duffy are still free to practice law today. The judges of Will and Cook County go unchecked.


We need more Judge Wright’s – to judge right. We need eyes on the court and people to speak out about it and not shut up until the problems are fixed. We need the FBI to look at the similarities in judgments in Will, Cook and St. Clair Co. – maybe that won’t be the only similarity they find.  The common threads might be right in front of their eyes. Really, right in front of your eyes.

Thank you for visiting today’s blog posting Willcountyprose @ https://willcountyprose.wordpress.com/

Be sure to come back and read the extra special mid week blog post.


Special thanks to the good guys – doing good work. I like your suit.  You do this country proud.


Thanks to the judges and attorneys that are doing a stellar job. Your services are deeply appreciated. 


Justice will out!


Read more about Judge Otis D. Wright II and his outstanding command of the law and justice: 



Read more about Lucy Vega’s battle to save her son:




Read more about Prenda and his purported porn piracy shakedown: 




Read more about the man child rep, Jerry Goldberg used to provide professional supervision between parents and children: 






Read more about the rulings St. Clair Co, IL judges made in favor of their drug dealer:




Read more about the suspected collusion between Prenda attorneys and opposing counsel in Cook co and St. Clair co.:






*Be sure to read the “Agreed Orders” linked in the FCT web site. Look familiar?


Read more about what happened to The Steele Law Firm LLC and Chicago Family Law Group LLC: 




Read more about how “SJD” (Sophisticated Jane Doe) and Die Troll Die successfully kicked off a movement to fight back against abuse of the legal process: 






View the interactive timeline, map and cartoons of the evolution of IMHO fraud:



The timeline has some links to some documents that you might not have expected. Over 360 & growing!

Ohai DHS! Come back soon!


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Prenda has whats coming messing with the fed

January 24, 2014 § Leave a comment

Judge grants defendants’ motion for sanctions in Prenda defamation suit



The now-dissolved Prenda Law firm and its attorney are facing more sanctions after a federal judge in Chicago approved the request from the defendants in a defamation suit.

U.S. District Judge John Darrah at a brief status hearing today granted the motion for sanctions that defendants Paul Godfread and Alan Cooper filed this past fall against Prenda and Paul Duffy, who served as the firm’s sole officer before it dissolved and now serves as its attorney in the matter.

Following his verbal ruling on the sanctions motion, Darrah asked the defendants’ attorney, Erin Russell, to submit a list of itemized fees to the court by Feb. 6, presumably to help him come up with a dollar figure to attach to his decision.

Duffy did not attend today’s hearing in person, but did participate via telephone. After Darrah announced his decision, he told Duffy he could file a response to Russell’s submission, to which Duffy responded, “I would like to, your honor.”

Darrah gave Duffy until Feb. 20 to respond, set a Feb. 27 deadline for Russell to reply and scheduled a June 12 status hearing in the case. He also denied Duffy’s motion seeking leave to file a surreply to the defendants’ reply in support of their motion for sanctions.

Godfread, a Minnesota attorney, and his client, Cooper, also of Minnesota, as well as 10 potential John Doe defendants, were sued by Prenda and Duffy last year in a pair of defamation suits brought in the circuit courts of Cook and St. Clair counties.

The lawsuits accuse them of making false and defamatory statements in a separate lawsuit and on various websites. The defendants, however, claim they were sued in retaliation for filing an identity theft suit in Minnesota against Prenda and its principals.

The identity theft suit stems from Cooper’s allegation that his name was used as an officer or director of AF Holdings without his knowledge or consent.

AF Holdings is one of Prenda’s clients that a few federal judges have dubbed as a shell corporation, created by the plaintiffs’ attorneys in order to file hundreds of copyright infringement and computer hacking cases across the nation.

Some of the attorneys representing the John Does in these suits, which only identify them by their Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, accuse Prenda of engaging in a scheme that attempts to extort settlements out of defendants by threatening to name them in a lawsuit over illegally downloaded pornography.

Besides Duffy, John Steele and Paul Hansmeier of the now-dissolved Steele Hansmeier firm in Chicago are considered to be key players behind Prenda.

Courts in California, Illinois and Minnesota have sanctioned Prenda and some of its associated attorneys. It appears that most, if not all, of the sanction orders have been appealed.

The defamation suits that Duffy and Prenda brought against Godfread and Cooper were eventually removed to their respective federal courts and consolidated this past summer in Chicago’s federal court before Darrah.

At an August hearing, Darrah asked Russell if she would like to file a Rule 11 petition, which allows courts to impose sanctions on attorneys, law firms and parties if it is determined they made misrepresentations to the court

Russell, who is representing the defendants along with Massachusetts attorney Jason Sweet, said after that hearing, “When a judge invites a party to file a Rule 11 petition, it seems like the court believes misrepresentations have been made.”

In September, Russell and Sweet filed a motion for sanctions, in which they accused Prenda and Duffy of “lying to court officials, presenting false documents … and at all times following a course of action from which any reasonably prudent attorney would run.”

“They have been brazen in their willingness to test the Court’s tolerance for this conduct, as well as Defendants’ determination to bring that conduct to light before the Court,” the defendants’ motion for sanctions stated.

In response, Duffy wrote in a September filing that the defendants’ motion seeking sanctions against him and Prenda “is a quagmire, short on substance and made up almost entirely of invective, pejoratives, and ad hominem attacks.”

He also asked Darrah in his response to award Prenda Law the costs and fees it has spent on defending itself against the defendants’ sanctions motion, which Duffy calculated as $16,294.43 at the time.

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Great forward from the copyright trolls

January 17, 2014 § Leave a comment

Paul Duffy, a career stooge

Posted: January 16, 2014 by SJD in Not so seriousPrenda

5 Votes


I recently promised not to write about Prenda except for entertainment purposes, and I couldn’t miss this opportunity. 

We all know that one of the three Prenda stooges (Steele, Hansmeier and Duffy) is especially entertaining. Paul Duffy, being contacted by the press regarding the fact that Prenda finally began to pay its victims, solemnly responded:

I hope you are doing well. I am devastated by the loss of Nelson Mandela and I hope you join with President Obama in remembering his legacy. He ranks with Mohandes Ghandi, Dr. King and President Kennedy in the struggle for human rights over the past 50 years. There are larger issues than the ability to steal porn… You seem like a nice guy. Thanks.

…only to later merrily celebrate Nelson Mandela’s Memorial Day on December 12, 2013:


The document embedded below describes some hilarity from the past: how our highly professional attorney avoided service 26 times in 2012:


..and how he threw a temper tantrum to the amusement of passersby during one of the service attempts:

[…]Mr. Willson and his associate rode the elevator with Mr. Duffy down to the lobby of the Daley Center. Mr. Duffy exited the building, followed by Mr. Willson and his associate. Mr. Willson called out Mr. Duffy’s first and last names, and, when Mr. Duffy turned around, Mr. Willson confirmed Mr. Duffy’s identity and handed him the summons.

Mr. Duffy tossed the summons to the ground. Later that morning, counsel’s office received a phone call from a County employee how works in the Daley Center who advised that the summons and complaint had been found on the ground outside the Daley Center.

After all this amusement, Duffy had a nerve to contest the way these events have been presented… with a straight face. Note how he states that he is licensed to practice in Massachusetts, which alone disqualifies him as one who can be perceived seriously. I also wanted to note that Duffy’s firm was involuntarily dissolved, but to be fair, this honorable achievement took place only shortly after the affidavit was

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