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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Duffy apologizes for misstatements in Prenda defamation case; says it was result of his memory, not intent to mislead

March 20, 2014 § Leave a comment

Home » Cook County » Federal Court » News »

Duffy apologizes for misstatements in Prenda defamation case; says it was result of his memory, not intent to mislead



Chicago attorney Paul Duffy apologized to a federal judge earlier this week in a filing that opposes the defendants’ fee petition for sanctions in Prenda Law’s defamation suit.

Before saying sorry, Duffy acknowledged his motion was late and then blamed it on defense counsel, saying she filed her clients’ most recent documents a day late, “a delay, while admittedly short, caused substantial scheduling problems for plaintiff, due to competing professional obligations and intervening personal medical issues.”

Filed Monday, Duffy’s motion asks U.S. Judge John Darrah to accept it despite its tardiness and opposes the attorney’s fees requested in the ongoing defamation case that he and the now-dissolved Prenda Law firm brought against Minnesota attorney Paul Godfread and his client, Alan Cooper.

Darrah today issued an order that accepts Duffy’s late petition and gives the defendants until March 21 to submit their reply. He also canceled a status hearing set for next week and scheduled one for June 12, when he will likely issue a ruling on the fee issue.

Duffy, who represents Prenda, asserts the fee petition filed by the defendants’ attorneys, Erin Russell of Chicago and Jason Sweet of Massachusetts, “includes a request for a vast amount of money for the work involved, and it raises many significant issues.”

They asked Darrah last month to order Prenda and Duffy to pay them at least $26,452.50 for the 60-plus hours they have spent since April 2013 working on the aspects of the case that spurred the judge to grant their motion seeking sanctions.

Darrah granted request on Jan. 23 and called out Prenda and Duffy in his memorandum and opinion for lying and engaging in duplicitous behavior in the now-consolidated defamation suits they brought last year in the circuit courts of St. Clair and Cook counties.

In regards to his determination that Duffy lied to him, Darrah in his opinion pointed to an August hearing at which Duffy presented with him with a motion to remand the suit back to circuit court.

The remand motion was almost the identical to the one Duffy filed and U.S. District Judge David Herndon denied when the matter was in southern Illinois’ federal court, except the caption had been changed to show Alpha Law Firm in Minnesota as a plaintiff.

After admitting he filed a similar motion in the Southern District, Duffy told Darrah at the August hearing that “the Court indicated that on the four corners of the complaint, it stated that it was a Minnesota corporation. However, the complaint also states that its principal place of business is in Minnesota.”

But, Darrah found that “the record reflects that the Southern District of Illinois Court said nothing of the sort. Duffy had the opportunity to address this lie in his response to the Motion for Sanctions and did not.”

He added, “To fabricate what a federal judge said in a ruling before another court falls well outside the bounds of proper advocacy and demonstrates a serious disregard for the judicial process.”

Duffy wrote in his recent filing that during the August hearing, “I mistakenly incorrectly described a decision issued by the U.S. Court for the Southern District of Illinois in denying a prior motion to remand this case to State court.”

“In reality,” he explains, “what I described was what I recall having argued; it was not what the Southern District of Illinois held in its Order. The statements were a result of my memory, not an attempt to mislead anyone as to what was in the Order. I apologize to the Court, counsel and the parties for my error.”

Duffy goes on to argue that defense counsel shouldn’t be entitled to fees for their work opposing his remand motion.

He asserts that he filed a request to withdraw his remand motion shortly after the hearing and while it wasn’t granted until August 20, its filing showed his “clear intent to abandon its attempts to have the case remanded.”

“Further, unless Defendants intended to oppose the motion to withdraw—and they did not oppose the motion—then there was no reasonable prospect that it would be denied,” Duffy states in his motion.

“Yet,” he adds, “instead of simply consenting to Plaintiff’s motion to withdraw, the Defendants took the far-costlier approach of opposing the motion to remand. The first (and less expensive) approach would have been a much more cost-effective approach of preventing remand.”

Duffy also claims the defendants’ fee request is “exorbitant.”

“Here, Defendants seek over $25,000—a significant portion of which was expended for the task of responding to a motion to remand that was pending withdrawal,” he contends. “This amount is exorbitant by any standard.”

He further argues that defense counsel failed to “substantiate the reasonableness of that amount.”

In their fee request, Russell and Sweet detail the amount of hours they spent working on the remand motion, as well as in seeking sanctions. Using their hourly rates, $400 for Russell and $409 for Sweet, their fees added up to slightly more than $26,000.

They dubbed that amount as more than reasonable and “a relative bargain” considering their rates fell below the 2012 median rate of $425 that was cited in a nationwide survey from the American Intellectual Property Law Association.”

Duffy, however, argues in his opposition motion that neither Russell nor Sweet are admitted to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark office so “there is no basis on which they can justify a rate applicable to intellectual property attorneys.”

He also asserts Russell’s rate is too high because she has “only been practicing for eight years and the median billing rate listed for actual intellectual property partners with that level of experience is $300.”

“In any event, however, Ms. Russell is not an intellectual property attorney. Nor is this an intellectual property case,” Duffy states in his motion. “Defendants’ counsel have failed their burden of establishing a reasonable hourly rate.”

In addition, Duffy asks Darrah to exclude sanctions attributable to other attorneys when he awards fees against him and Prenda.

Duffy explains that in his memo and opinion granting sanctions, Darrah “included a significant number of references” to Belleville attorney Kevin Hoerner, who appeared in state court when the case was pending in St. Clair County Circuit Court, but not in federal court.

Hoerner, who is not subject to Darrah’s sanction order, has been accused of making misrepresentations to the St. Clair County Circuit Clerk’s office to get an amended complaint filed without the court’s permission.

The amended complaint added Alpha Law Firm in Minnesota as a plaintiff, a move that would have destroyed the defendants’ diversity argument and had it been properly filed, possibly could have allowed the plaintiffs to keep the suits in state court.

[Hoerner] does not work for the undersigned, and (upon information and belief after a review of the court docket) he did he did not file an appearance in this case after it was removed to Federal Court,” Duffy states in the motion.

As such, he asks Darrah to “reduce any sanction imposed in direct correlation to the extent to which it relates to acts or omissions of individuals not in this case.”

In an order issued Wednesday, Darrah struck the defendants’ amended counterclaim with leave to re-plead them within 30 days.

The defendants’ counterclaim asserts the defamation suit was brought in retaliation for an identity theft suit they brought against Prenda Law and its principles over the alleged theft of Cooper’s identity.

The identity theft issue focuses on the claim Cooper’s name had been used as an officer of director of AF Holdings –one of Prenda Law’s clients that a few judges have dubbed as sham corporations created to benefit the attorneys representing them– without his consent.

Duffy sought dismissal of the counterclaims, a request Darrah this week deemed moot since he gave the defendants a month to re-plead them so they conform to federal rules, including one that requires paragraphs to be numbered.

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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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Duffy vs. Godfread ,Prenda law vs. Godfread

March 5, 2014 § Leave a comment

Duffy v. Godfread

NOTE: The information and commentary contained in this database entry are based on court filings and other informational sources that may contain unproven allegations made by the parties. The truthfulness and accuracy of such information is likely to be in dispute. Information contained in this entry is current as of the last event mentioned in the “Description” section below; additional proceedings might have taken place in this matter since this event.
Posted March 7th, 2013 by DMLP Staff


Threat Type: Lawsuit Date:  02/19/2013
Status: Pending Location:  Florida, Illinois
Disposition: Verdict/Settlement Amount: n/a
Legal Claims: Conspiracy; Defamation; False Light; Tortious Interference
This action is closely linked to two other threats in the database: Prenda Law v. Godfread and Steele v. Godfread. Several of the related filings can be found in the database entry for Prenda Law v….  read full description


Party Issuing Legal Threat: Party Receiving Legal Threat:
Paul Duffy Paul Godfread, Alan Cooper, and Does 1-10
Type of Party: Type of Party:
Individual Individual
Location of Party: Location of Party:
Illinois Minnesota
Legal Counsel: Legal Counsel:
Paul Duffy, Prenda Law Firm Erin Kathryn Russell, The Russell Firm; Jason E. Sweet, Booth Sweet LLP


This action is closely linked to two other threats in the database: Prenda Law v. Godfread andSteele v. Godfread. Several of the related filings can be found in the database entry for Prenda Law v. Godfread.

Plaintiff Paul Duffy is an attorney affiliated with a law firm (Prenda Law, Inc.) that has been representing clients in numerous plaintiff-side copyright cases concerning the sharing of movies over the BitTorrent protocol. These cases have been brought on behalf of several different asserted rightsholders, including the entities AF Holdings LLC and Ingenuity 13 LLC. According to a statement made by attorney Brett Gibbs, who identified himself as Of Counsel to the firm, both AF Holdings and Ingenuity 13 are incorporated in the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis. The defendant in one proceeding initiated by the firm has alleged that these entities are shell companies, and that the attorneys bringing the lawsuits own some or all of the these companies.

Multiple filings in these copyright proceedings have included the signature of an “Alan Cooper,” who has been identified as a principal of both AF Holdings and Ingenuity 13. On November 29, 2012, an Alan Cooper, through his attorney Paul Godfread, filed a letter with two federal judges in the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota, stating that he had reason to believe that John Steele and Prenda Law were using his name on filings related to these lawsuits without his permission, and that he is not in any way affiliated with AF Holdings or Ingenuity 13. On January 23, 2013, Cooper (through Godfread) sued John Steele, Prenda Law, AF Holdings, and Ingenuity 13 for invasion of privacy and violation of Minnesota’s deceptive trade practices statute in the Minnesota District Court for the Fourth Judicial District.

On February 15, 2013, Duffy sued Cooper, his attorney, and 10 unnamed defendants for defamation, false light, tortious interference, and civil conspiracy in the Illinois Circuit Court for Cook County. This follows a nearly-identical lawsuit filed by Prenda Law against the same defendants for the same claims in the Illinois Circuit Court for St. Clair County, and was shortly followed by a high similar lawsuit by John Steele in Florida Circuit Court for the Eleventh Judicial Circuit. All three complaints alleges that Cooper and Godfread have falsely accused the respective plaintiffs of committing crimes and frauds, in both statements online and filings before the Minnesota courts. The complaints identify dozens of statements that are alleged to have been made on different online fora about Prenda Law and its members.

All three of these cases were removed to federal courts: the United States District Courts for the Northern District of IllinoisSouthern District of Illinois, and the Southern District of Florida, respectively. On March 6, 2013, John Steele voluntarily dismissed the complaint in the Florida action.


On March 7, 2013, the website dietrolldie.com reported that a subpoena had been issued on February 25, 2013 by the plaintiff in the closely related case Prenda Law v. Godfread to Automattic, Inc., the owner of WordPress.com, seeking all IP addresses that accessed that website andfightcopyrighttrolls.com. Both websites extensively criticize Prenda Law and its litigation methods, and appear to be the host of many of the comments alleged to be defamatory in Prenda Law’s complaint. The subpoena seeks the IP addresses of all machines that accessed the two websites from January 1, 2011 through present. The subpoena had a return date of March 4, 2013.

On March 21, 2013, Godfread and Cooper filed an answer and counterclaims. In addition to denying the claims asserted by Duffy, defendants claimed a series of affirmative defenses, including truth, litigation privilege, a bar on the claim based on Minnesota’s anti-SLAPP statute, and the doctrine of unclean hands, based on Duffy’s use of defendant Cooper’s name in litigation. The defendants also asserted counterclaims, seeking a declaratory judgment of immunity from suit based on Minnesota’s anti-SLAPP law, noting the threats of suit made both in communications to the defendants and in the two other defamation filings. The pleading also asserts claims of civil conspiracy and breach of privacy, and seeks to pierce the corporate veil of AF Holdings LLC, Ingenuity 13 LLC, and Prenda Law, Inc.

On April 11, 2013, Duffy filed a motion to strike the affirmative defenses and dismiss the counterclaims. The motion alleges that the counterclaims do not assert facts related to Paul Duffy personally, but instead are based on actions of non-parties John Steele and Prenda Law, Inc. The motion also alleges that the affirmative defenses lack any factual allegations.

On April  16, 2013, Godfread and Cooper filed a motion to dismiss pursuant to Minnesota’s anti-SLAPP act. The motion argues that under Illinois conflict-of-laws analysis the Minnesota anti-SLAPP is appropriately applied against the Illinois defamation claim, as Minnesota’s interest in the anti-SLAPP is to protect Minnesota speakers.

On April 23, 2013, the court issued a scheduling order staying discovery pending resolution of the anti-SLAPP motion. According to the order, responsive pleadings to the pending motions are due May 15, 2013, with replies due May 29th and argument scheduled for August 14, 2013.

On May 14, 2013, Cooper and Godfread filed an opposition to Duffy’s motion to dismiss the counterclaims and motion to strike the affirmative defenses. Defendants argue that Duffy is precluded from further litigating the merits of the defendant’s counterclaims following a widely-reported case in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, where a judge made a judicial finding that AF Holdings and Ingenuity 13 were created “for the sole purpose of litigating copyright-infringement lawsuits,” and that Prenda Law’s principals “stole the identity of Alan Cooper,” and “fraudulently signed the copyright assignment . . . using Alan Cooper’s signature.” The court in that case sanctioned Prenda Law and its principals, including Duffy, following their invocation of the Fifth Amendment to questions concerning their business practices. The defendants further argued that the counterclaims satisfy the pleading standard under Bell Atlantic v. Twombly by giving the plaintiff fair notice of the claims against it, and that striking the affirmative defenses under FRCP 12(f) is inappropriate as the pleading standards of Twombly have not been applied to affirmative defenses.

On May 15, 2013, plaintiff Prenda Law filed a motion in opposition of the motion to dismiss under Minnesota’s anti-SLAPP statute. Plaintiff argues that the Minnesota statute does not apply to the action because there is no evidence that the statements were made in Minnesota. Prenda Law also argues that Illinois choice-of-law provisions should prevent application of the Minnesota statute, that application of the anti-SLAPP statute fails on the merits, and that federal courts should not be applying this statute, as it is largely procedural under the Erie doctrine. The defendants replied to this motion on May 28, 2013.

Following the transfer of venue in Prenda Law v. Godfread to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, the defendants filed a motion to reassign and consolidate these two cases on June 13, 2013. In a minute order on June 28th, the court noted that the plaintiff did not object to the motion to consolidate, and the court consolidated the two actions accordingly.

On August 14, 2013, the court filed an order denying Godfread and Cooper’s motion to dismiss under the Minnesota anti-SLAPP, denying Duffy’s motion to strike the affirmative defenses, and granting Duffy’s motion to dismiss Godfread and Cooper’s counterclaims (but allowing those claims to be refiled). Although the court found that Illinois’s choice of law provisions dictated that application of Minnesota’s anti-SLAPP law was proper in this case, the statute did not apply because the statements at issue were not shown to be directed toward public participation. The court also rejected Godfread and Cooper’s counterclaims due to being largely directed toward Prenda Law’s actions, instead of those personally done by Duffy, but allowed the defendants to refile amended counterclaims.

Related Links:

Illinois case law non immunity to state actors. Scumbags as well

March 5, 2014 § Leave a comment

Illinois Defamation Law

… for defamation in Illinois is one (1) year. See 735 ILCS 5/13-201 Illinois has adopted the single publication rule by statute. See 740 ILCS 165/1 . For a definition of the “single publication rule,” see …

Legal Guide – DMLP Staff – 08/19/2013 – 8:44am – 0 comments – 0 attachments

Illinois Right of Publicity Law

… , the Right of Publicity Act, is codified at 765 ILCS 1075 . You should familiarize yourself with the statute, especially …

Legal Guide – DMLP Staff – 05/03/2013 – 5:08pm – 0 comments – 0 attachments

Illinois Statute of Limitations for Intrusion Claims

… for intrusion claims in Illinois is 1 year. See 735 ILCS 5/13-201 . Intrusion claims are governed by the same limitation period …

Legal Guide – DMLP Staff – 03/02/2008 – 10:10am – 0 comments – 0 attachments

Prenda Law v. Godfread


Date: 02/12/2013 Status: Pending Disposition: n/a
Type: Lawsuit Location: Illinois Publication: Blog; Email; Forum

This action is closely linked to two other threats in the database: Steele v. Godfread and Duffy v. Godfread. Plaintiff Prenda Law is a law firm that has brought numerous plaintiff-side copyright cases concerning the sharing of movies…


Legal Threat – DMLP Staff – 08/14/2013 – 3:28pm – 0 comments

Bloggers Are Not Journalists, Illinois Juvenile Court Judge Declares

… proceedings. The provision addressing access, 705 ILCS 405/1-5 , states: The general public except for the news …

Blog Post – David Ardia – 10/16/2007 – 12:19am – 0 comments – 0 attachments

The Score in Illinois: First Amendment 2, Eavesdropping Law 1

… justifying that expectation .   720 ILCS 5/14-1(d) (emphasis added). In other words, the law applies regardless of …

Blog Post – Jeff Hermes – 12/04/2012 – 9:24am – 0 comments – 2 attachments

Peoria County Juvenile Court v. Hopkins


Date: 07/25/2007 Status: Concluded Disposition: n/a
Type: Denial of Access Location: Illinois Publication: Blog

Elaine Hopkins, a blogger from Peoriastory.com and former newspaper reporter, sought to observe and cover a juvenile court hearing in Peoria, Illinois. After the assistant state’s attorney Susan Lucas objected to Hopkins’ presence in the courtroom, Judge Albert Purham, Jr….



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