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RIAA Balks At Complying With Document Order 166

Posted by kdawson
from the show-me-the-money dept.
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "When the RIAA was ordered to turn over its attorneys' billing records to the defendant's lawyer in Capitol v. Foster, there was speculation that they would never comply with the order. As it turns out they have indeed balked at compliance, saying that they are preparing a motion for a protective order seeking confidentiality (something they could have asked for, but didn't, in their opposition papers to the initial motion). Having none of that, Ms. Foster's lawyer has now made a motion to compel their compliance with the Court's March 15th order."
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RIAA Balks At Complying With Document Order

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  • I don't get it (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Slightly Askew (638918) on Thursday March 22, 2007 @10:35AM (#18443989) Journal

    This is something I don't understand about the US judicial system, and maybe NYCL can help explain it. If a judge orders someone to do something, and they refuse, isn't it then the justice department's responsibility to enforce that judge's order? Why do we so often see a judge's orders ignored, challenged, appealed, ad nauseum?

    As an example, I heard on NPR yesterday President Bush's counsel inform the reporter that, should the House vote to subpoena Rove et. al., the White House would be refusing that order. He flat out told them, "No, we will not comply with a judge's order." Now, I understand there is a stickler here with Executive Privilege, but this seems to me to be a growing trend. What happened to the good old days when a judge would give an order, a person would refuse, and they would be thrown in jail for contempt until a) they complied, or b) an appeals court overruled the judge? Am I just naive in my belief that the judicial system was supposed to, I don't know, be able to actually enforce their decisions?

    • by TheMeuge (645043)
      I don't get it either. I have a friend at Ropes & Gray - I'll ask him how such a situation is normally handled.
    • Re:I don't get it (Score:5, Informative)

      by tgatliff (311583) on Thursday March 22, 2007 @10:46AM (#18444155)
      The Bush issue is different. It is an Executive Branch versus the Congressional Branch issue. The Bush administrations , executive branch, is arguing that allowing the congressional branch to have access to the internal workings of the executive branch would undermine its "separations of powers". In the end, the Judiciary branch will decide if this is the case or not. In short, it will go to the US Supreme Court to decide... Keep in mind that no one branch has final say on anything. Each has their own special rights to balance the other... Read of the Separation of Powers to learn more...

      NOTE: This certainly does not mean I am defending the Bush administration... :-)
      • by igotmybfg (525391)
        Actually, they are not so much saying that it will undermine 'separation of powers', it is more that it will hamper the president's ability to receive confidential advice & counsel from his aides.
        • Right... (Score:4, Interesting)

          by DeadCatX2 (950953) on Thursday March 22, 2007 @12:35PM (#18446099) Journal
          Heaven forbid that the President's aides should be concerned that what advice they give to the man elected President of the United States ought to leak out into the public.

          I mean, as members of the Executive Branch, shouldn't they be, like, upholding the Constitution, and stuff? Why are they worried about their advice getting out? I would be PROUD to be an aide to the President, and I would tell everyone "Hey, yeah, that thing that he said? Yeah, that was my idea...." ...unless, of course, I was giving advice that I would be ashamed for the public to know...
          • by igotmybfg (525391)
            I'm not saying I agree with them, I'm just clarifying that that's what they are arguing (not separation of powers).
          • What about the guy that advised the President to scramble fighter jets and take down airliners the morning of 9/11? Can you imagine the radius of the blood spray when the journalists got through with that guy? It's conceivable the idea could have saved hundreds or thousands of lives especially when they didn't know how many planes were involved.

            The President's advisors need to be able throw out seemingly inconceivable alternatives because every angle needs to be considered. Someone, somewhere, has writte
            • No, I don't want hack reporters with a grudge to spread details.

              However, hack reporters != Congressional subpoenas.

              I do want the President and his executive branch officials to be held accountable by Congress if they believe something was wrong.

              Especially since those same people keep changing the story they tell Congress. I mean, if you don't have to tell the truth...what's the point?
              • The major problem with what Congress is proposing is that there is not yet allegation of criminal wrongdoing by anyone at the WH or in the Executive Branch.

                If this was a criminal matter the subpoenas (if issued, they haven't been yet) would be followed and Congress could compel them so.

                Since there is no crime involved here -- even if everything alledged is true there is no proported crime -- the subpoenas are without teeth.

                White House staff - specifically not elected or appointed officals - should as a matt
        • Re:I don't get it (Score:4, Interesting)

          by dlapine (131282) <dlapine@NOSPAM.ncsa.uiuc.edu> on Thursday March 22, 2007 @01:37PM (#18447345) Homepage
          Of course, if the President didn't actually have a hand in this incident, that would imply that no "Executive Privilege" was at stake, se he wouldn't have consulted with these folks. And, of course, the president obviously didn't have a hand in the firing of these US attorneys, because that would mean that they were fired for political reasons. So why is the White House claiming "Executive Privilege" again?


          Of course, some scholars http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2007/3/20/215835 /227 [dailykos.com] don't believe executive privilege should even be an issue here.

          And the really fun part is watching the White House Press Secretary, Tony Snow, trying to explain http://www.mediainfo.com/eandp/news/article_displa y.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003560724 [mediainfo.com] why this was bad for the Clinton Administration, but OK for the Bush Regime.

          • by Dravik (699631)
            What would be wrong with political appointees being fired for political reasons?
      • Re:I don't get it (Score:5, Insightful)

        by sconeu (64226) on Thursday March 22, 2007 @11:07AM (#18444445) Homepage Journal
        Of course, this is the same Administration that, when we complain about the PAT RIOT Act, tells us, "If you have nothing to hide, then you have nothing to fear."
      • by dodongo (412749)
        "In short, it will go to the US Supreme Court to decide... "

        Maybe -- but my guess is that the Court would just say "Well, Congress, you have the power to hold people in contempt, so until you employ your remedy to the situation, you really have no business asking us to do anything." And I think they'd be just in that. If Congress has good reason to issue the subpoenas they recently approved, then issue those subpoenas. Let the White House refuse. And then start with the lowest-hanging apple, and find th
    • Re:I don't get it (Score:5, Informative)

      by Nimey (114278) on Thursday March 22, 2007 @10:48AM (#18444193) Homepage Journal
      A famous example of a court's order going unenforced is the US Supreme Court case Worcester v. Georgia [wikipedia.org].
    • by Kenja (541830)
      Judges do not have unchecked power. They cant jsut issue orders and have them obeyed. Everything they say SHOULD be challanged.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Aladrin (926209)
        I sense someone with an axe to grind.

        If everyone challenged EVERYTHING the judges said, as you are suggesting, the judges' rulings would have absolutely no meaning. So when a judge rules someone in contempt of court, they could just say 'I challenge that' and when that judge, or another, says 'denied', they just say 'I challenge that' forever.

        No, our system has plenty of checks and balances in place already. You always have the option of challenging a judge's ruling, of course, assuming that the judge in
        • Contempt of court means jail without due process and indefinite imprisonment until you comply with the order. Are you sure you want to support that?
          • No, as I stated above, it means until you comply with the order OR until you can appeal. My understanding is that, except in extreme cases of contempt (see the NY Times reporter / Plame incident) people who have an arguably valid reason for their contempt can be ordered released by the appellate court pending the results of that appeal.

            Of course, the majority of my legal expertise comes from Steve Martini, John Grisham, and the mass media, so I could very well be engaging in anal elocution.

      • Maybe you don't have an axe to grind, and maybe you do understand how judicial power works in this country, but for those that don't a simple explanation follows:

        The Judicial branch interprets the laws and their application to actual human events. Their humans appointed for political reasons, so their is some, but not much consistency in their interpretations.

        They don't enforce laws, they don't make laws so their powers are limited. There really is no need to _challenge_ the courts. Change the law the co
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by coolmoose25 (1057210)

      The conflict stems from the fact that the Judicial branch doesn't have the ability to enforce the judgement - they have to rely on the Executive for that... for instance, "just throw them in jail" doesn't necessarily work, since the jail and the jailors are part of the Executive branch. If the Executive branch chooses not to enforce the law, they can be held in contempt - the President can be impeached, etc. But at the end of the day, even though both the Legislative and Judicial branches have the power t

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by GigsVT (208848)
        The executive is damn close to taking over.

        We have administrative agencies making new laws (CPSC, FCC, US Mint). The congress does whatever the president wants them to do. It's basically absolute authority.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by coolmoose25 (1057210)

          Administrative law is the most fleeting of all... it is ill-written, and often times unenforceable. It can be challenged in numerous ways, although it takes more time and resources, as you have to exhaust your administrative remedies before you can file in a "normal" court.

          As for the executive taking over, I think there was an argument to be made when the Legislative and Executive branches were controlled by one party, but that era is done for now.

          I think this issue is emblematic not of the Executive

        • He wants line item veto.

          Which gives him even more control over Congress.
    • by mwvdlee (775178)
      Apparently there is some kind of silly law that allows parties in a legal case to defend themselves.
    • Re:I don't get it (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Dynedain (141758) <[moc.nilcmynohtna] [ta] [2todhsals]> on Thursday March 22, 2007 @11:01AM (#18444381) Homepage
      The Bush aide and District General issue is a special case.

      If the committee doing the investigation wants, they can issue a subpoena on their own authority. If the the subpoena is ignored by the Presidential administration, the committee can go back to the entire House of Representatives to vote on whether to hold people in contempt of violating the subpoena.

      At that point, they turn it over to the District Attorney of the District of Columbia to arrest the offenders and bring them to trial for disregarding a subpoena. That DA has the privilege of refusing to press the charges.

      So, those who would be responsible for bringing the offenders to court, are directly employed by the offenders that should be brought to court. Pressing charges against your own boss is not the kind of thing most politically-appointed officials are wiling to do.

      Now, as for the situation at hand. In a civil proceeding like the RIAA has been pushing, any party has the right to appeal or argue against a judge's orders. It's all based on whatever obscure precedents can be dug up to support your position. Whether or not the judge's order is overruled or rescinded is another matter entirely. Remember, this isn't the final outcome of the trial, merely one more movement of a pawn on the chessboard.
      • That's what impeachment proceedings are for. Although those are limited to high crimes and misdemeanors, which the framers probably didn't intend to extend to perjuring yourself about extramarital affairs.

        There are also House and Senate run investigations, such as the ones Joe McArthy and Oliver North each became infamous for. These don't typically result in findings of law (you've committed this crime) but findings of fact (you did something grossly unethical, morally reprehensible, nigh treasonous, or w
    • Why do we so often see a judge's orders ignored, challenged, appealed, ad nauseum?

      Kinda reminds me of those lawyer units in civ that can tie up a city in meaningless bureaucratic nonsense or whatever.

    • by Animats (122034)

      If a judge orders someone to do something, and they refuse, isn't it then the justice department's responsibility to enforce that judge's order?

      Actually, that's done by U.S. Marshals [usmarshals.gov], the enforcement arm of the judicial branch, with about 3,000 deputy U.S. Marshals.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      In a situation like this, it's not necessary to enforce an order that way. In these types of situations, if they don't comply the judge will just penalize them. If they don't comply with the order, the judge will just award Ms. Foster every nickel she asks for.
  • Contempt of court, anyone?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by mwvdlee (775178)
      Because they're filing a motion, which they are legally allowed to do?
      I hate the MAFFIAA as much as the next guy, but what they are doing here is perfectly normal.
  • OH MY! Its so big! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MrShaggy (683273) <chris...anderson@@@hush...com> on Thursday March 22, 2007 @10:39AM (#18444053) Journal
    I think that they are afraid because its such an embarrassingly big amount of money.

    I don't know how much they were trying to get, but if they spent more then they were after, then thats a problem.

    Especially because it went so far. But I'm sure that they could sue other people to make the money, or even drop out of litigation and get a paper route. I'm sure that someones Mom might be able to cover the court costs, until they can pay her back.

    Sweeeeeeeeeet!

  • by Black Parrot (19622) on Thursday March 22, 2007 @10:41AM (#18444079)
    a) Why does the defendent care about the plaintiff's billing hours?

    b) Why does the plaintiff care if the defendent finds out?
    • by MrShaggy (683273)
      The Plaintiff(the riaa), was found to have no case.

      The defendant was allowed to get the legal costs.

      I think (but not in the us..so) They both need to show the judge their legal costs.

      • by eam (192101) on Thursday March 22, 2007 @11:04AM (#18444413)
        > The Plaintiff(the riaa), was found to have no case.
        >
        > The defendant was allowed to get the legal costs.

        The defendant asked to get legal costs, but the plaintiff said the defendent's costs were unreasonable. The judge ordered the plaintiff to reveal *their* legal costs to see what the plaintiff considers reasonable.

        Then the plaintiff replied with, "Um,...what?"
    • by Donniedarkness (895066) <Donniedarkness AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday March 22, 2007 @10:45AM (#18444133) Homepage
      The court has ordered the RIAA to pay the defendant's attourney fees in this case. They want the RIAA's documents so that they can determine what "reasonable attourney fees" are.
      • by kalirion (728907) on Thursday March 22, 2007 @11:10AM (#18444489)
        The court has ordered the RIAA to pay the defendant's attourney fees in this case. They want the RIAA's documents so that they can determine what "reasonable attourney fees" are.

        What difference does it make how much RIAA pays its own lawyers? Shouldn't the attourney fees be whatever the defense lawyers charged? Does that mean that as long as I can find a lawyer who works for free (or only gets paid a percentage of the settlement, etc) then I can file all the frivilous lawsuits I want without fear of being forced to pay for the defense attourney fees?
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by freedom_india (780002)
          yes. But if the RIAA had silently paid what the judge had originally ordered, then the defendant's lawyers would not have asked for RIAA lawyers fees.
          However, RIAA refused to pay the bill presented to them stating it was too high. "Too high relative to what?" asked the judge. "Too high according to the fees we normally get" replied RIAA. Next the judge asked 'OK, if so what are your fees?"
          RIAA: Doh!"
        • by NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) * <ray.beckermanlegal@com> on Thursday March 22, 2007 @11:49AM (#18445185) Homepage Journal
          It should be what Ms. Foster paid her lawyer.

          But the lawyers for the RIAA are complaining that the amount of the fees is unreasonable. If they're going to make such a complaint, then their own fees become relevant.

          If the RIAA spent $100k on the case, they can't complain that Ms. Foster's attorneys' $55k in fees -- fighting them off -- was unreasonable.

          If they stipulated to the reasonableness of Ms. Foster's fees [which were, in my opinion, eminently reasonable, if not 'dirt cheap'], then this issue would go away.

        • by jrumney (197329)

          What difference does it make how much RIAA pays its own lawyers? Shouldn't the attourney fees be whatever the defense lawyers charged?

          Normally, yes. In this case, the RIAA challenged the defense lawyers' fees as unreasonable. So the court is trying to determine what is reasonable by comparing what the RIAA paid its lawyers to see if it is in the same ballpark.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Todd Knarr (15451)

          Because the RIAA is disputing whether the defendant's legal fees are reasonable. So the defendant said "OK, let's see what you consider reasonable then.", and the judge said "Yes, let's.". The basic argument behind that is that if the plaintiff spent 500 hours on the case, then the defense claiming 550 hours on the case isn't unreasonable. Similarly, if the plaintiff's lawyers are billing $500/hour, a defense lawyer billing $550/hour isn't unreasonable. After all, if plaintiff really thought times and rates

      • by Anonymous Coward
        The issue is that the RIAA objected to the defendant's costs, and said they were excessive. There is a court precedence that if the plaintiff spent oodles for their lawyers, then the defense is entitled to have spent a similar amount. The defendant now what to know how much the RIAA spent. The only reason this came about is because the RIAA didn't pay and instead said the defendant's costs were outrageous. Frankly, it looks like the RIAA was out-lawyered.
    • by Volante3192 (953645) on Thursday March 22, 2007 @10:47AM (#18444165)
      a) Why does the defendent care about the plaintiff's billing hours?

      The defendent doesn't care, the judge does.

      One of the arguments the RIAA is using to say they don't need to pay Foster's legal fees is that the cost of their legal team would have exceeded the amount Foster would have needed to pay them if the RIAA won. ( http://www.ilrweb.com/viewILRPDF.asp?filename=capi tol_foster_070221MotReconsider [ilrweb.com] , page 4)

      The judge is now saying "put up or shut up."

      b) Why does the plaintiff care if the defendent finds out?

      Two possible ideas I can come up with...(disclaimer, IANAL, so these may not even matter)

      1, it's a disgustingly high amount which is now released into the public record, which could bode badly in future cases
      2, it's a stall tactic, plain and simple.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by nomadic (141991) *
        Two possible ideas I can come up with...(disclaimer, IANAL, so these may not even matter)

        1, it's a disgustingly high amount which is now released into the public record, which could bode badly in future cases
        2, it's a stall tactic, plain and simple.


        Another party who is probably very concerned is the law firm involved. Law firms tend to be fairly secretive about what they bill, and how long it takes them to do things.
      • by kalirion (728907)
        One of the arguments the RIAA is using to say they don't need to pay Foster's legal fees is that the cost of their legal team would have exceeded the amount Foster would have needed to pay them if the RIAA won. ( http://www.ilrweb.com/viewILRPDF.asp?filename=cap i [ilrweb.com] tol_foster_070221MotReconsider [ilrweb.com] , page 4)

        Even if RIAA is telling the truth their legal fees, how could that possibly be a valid reason not to pay Foster's legal fees? If its a law, it seems rather silly and easy to abuse.
    • by Skye16 (685048) on Thursday March 22, 2007 @10:50AM (#18444223)
      a) Because the plaintiff complained that the defendant's billing hours weren't reasonable. Apparently when you are suing for attorney's fees, if the other side claims they are not reasonable, it is apparently allowable to take the defendent's billing hours and hold them up against the plaintiff's billing hours to see if they are reasonable. If the plaintiff spent 3 hours on a case, but the defendent spent 3000, then that would probably be considered "unreasonable". But if the plaintiff spent 3000 hours and the defendent 4000, it would probably be considered reasonable. Basically, the RIAA lawyers sued a lady and was rejected (or whatever) with prejudice. She then sued them for attorney's fees (since it was thrown out with prejudice, this is allowable). The RIAA then claimed the attorney's fees were unreasonable. It is apparently common practice for the courts to judge the reasonableness of a defense by the amount of hours the (former)plaintiffs had put in, so the judge ordered the billing records turned over. b) Because either the plaintiff DID spend 3 hours on the case, making it look like they weren't doing due diligence, or they spent 3000, which makes them look crazy (and not like a fox). So they probably don't want this getting out - and it will, becoming part of the public record. Which means their anti-RIAA foes will have a field day with their spending on these law suits. - - - - - Keep in mind, most of this I gathered from *seemingly* respectible slashdot posts. On the one hand, it could all be right. On the other, it could all just sound right, but be horribly, horribly wrong. So take it with a grain of salt. Or an entire salt shaker.
      • a) Because the plaintiff complained that the defendant's billing hours weren't reasonable. Apparently when you are suing for attorney's fees, if the other side claims they are not reasonable, it is apparently allowable to take the defendent's billing hours and hold them up against the plaintiff's billing hours to see if they are reasonable. If the plaintiff spent 3 hours on a case, but the defendent spent 3000, then that would probably be considered "unreasonable". But if the plaintiff spent 3000 hours a
      • You've explained it pretty well, Skye16. It's just one of the factors the Court needs to consider. As the Supreme Court said, the RIAA can't litigate tenaciously and then be heard to complain about how hard defendant's lawyer fought back.
    • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Thursday March 22, 2007 @10:55AM (#18444303)

      a) Why does the defendent care about the plaintiff's billing hours?

      As I understand it, the court ordered the RIAA to pay for the defendant's legal bills. The defendant presented the plaintiff and the court with a detailed invoice. Then the plaintiff complained that the bill was "unreasonable." The defendant then responded with a motion for the plaintiff's bill pretty much saying "if it's unreasonable, how much did you spend?" Basically if the RIAA never made the argument that the bills was unreasonable they wouldn't have to be forced to prove what is reasonable. The court granted the motion agreeing with the defendant and is only trying to determine what is a reasonable settlement. There is precedent that a party to a court case cannot spend as much as they want on a case and then complain about how much the other side spent when they lose and have to pay the legal bills.

      b) Why does the plaintiff care if the defendent finds out?

      Normally the plaintiff wouldn't care . . . if they didn't have something to hide. My best guess is that these suits en masse would show that their lawyers are not spending enough time on each case and just filing against people without really researching the details. In other words, they are abusing the system.

    • by mwvdlee (775178)
      As simple as possible:

      RIAA must pay Foster's legal fees.
      Foster shows them the bill.
      RIAA claims it's the legal fees are too high.
      Judge says; "Sure RIAA, how much money do YOUR lawyers cost?".
      RIAA thinks "If they find out our legal fees are a lot higher, our claim will be rejected".

      In fact, it may get even worse for the RIAA if the judge thinks they knowingly lied in their claim that fees were too high.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      (a) it's relevant to the 'reasonableness' of defendant's fees that the plaintiffs were spending money like there's no tomorrow on the case (b) only the plaintiffs can answer (b)..... what are they afraid of? i don't know.....
  • by G4from128k (686170) on Thursday March 22, 2007 @10:49AM (#18444199)
    IANAL, but I wonder when the class of people harassed by RIAA will grow so large as to constitute a class for suing the organization. If RIAA is indeed making extortionate use of barratry, then falsely-accused consumers would seem to have just cause for legal action.

    Of course, if they do win, RIAA will probably try to offer an in-kind compensation -- discounts for music downloads.
  • by realmolo (574068) on Thursday March 22, 2007 @10:54AM (#18444289)
    The RIAA's argument against paying "attorney's fees" boils down to this-

    The defendant should've just let the RIAA win. She didn't *have* to go to court, and hire a lawyer. And so, they shouldn't have to pay her fees. Even though the judge said they *did* have to pay her fees.

    Unbelievable. If that isn't enough to get the Feds to start investigating the RIAA for RICO violations, I don't know what is. They really *are* trying to blackmail people.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by locokamil (850008)
      From what I can tell, sadly, RICO only applies when you've committed two or more "racketeering" crimes... in this case, it's just extortion. But if the RIAA and its ilk were to diversify into, say, the protection business while keeping their core competencies (extortion), an enterprising plaintiff could cite RICO.

      IANAL... would a real lawyer care to comment?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by CodeBuster (516420)
      Alright, but this does not answer the original question of the parent. If the judge issues an order how can the RIAA or indeed any organization or individual "refuse" to comply with that order once their appeals and motions have been exhausted (i.e. they have played all of their cards and they lost). In the case of an individual I suppose that they could imprison them for contempt of court until they comply with the order or in the case of a corporation some sort of fine would probably be in order.

      It was
      • by NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) * <ray.beckermanlegal@com> on Thursday March 22, 2007 @12:18PM (#18445721) Homepage Journal
        They have really overstepped their bounds. The RIAA lawyers are not thinking clearly at this point. They're so desperate to keep the client (and the fee revenue), and so blinded by the humiliation they are experiencing in Oklahoma, that they've lost sight of the constraints within which a lawyer must conduct him or herself in order to continue being a lawyer. The judge has previously pointed to an instance in which they 'flouted' his order, and to do it again, and flout another order issued by the very same judge, is truly insanity.
        • they've lost sight of the constraints within which a lawyer must conduct him or herself in order to continue being a lawyer.

          Does this mean that they will be disbarred and unable to practice law for flouting the orders of the judge?
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            I don't know about that but they could wind up with a Rule 11 sanction, and that is a major consequence for a litigation lawyer.
            • I don't know about that but they could wind up with a Rule 11 sanction, and that is a major consequence for a litigation lawyer.

              For the benefit of the uninitiated amongst us, including myself, would you please explain what a "Rule 11 sanction" is? Thank you.

        • The rules are not evenly applied.

          It really depends on the judge. In the SCO v IBM case, BSF, has flouted many court orders without any punishment what so ever.
  • protective order seeking confidentiality
    And they would be suing this lady because they respected her right to confidentiality and privacy? Or are they hypocrites? (Let's call that rhetorical.)
  • by BlueTrin (683373) on Thursday March 22, 2007 @11:02AM (#18444383) Homepage Journal
    Can't she claim more than the attorney's fees ?
    • For troubles and having her name cited as a pirate ?
    • For the time spent
    • For being sued without solid proofs
    • For bad behavior in the court from the RIAA attorneys (i.e. trying to spread false information or playing on words)
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by AK Marc (707885)
      Can't she claim more than the attorney's fees ?

      Yes, she can. She'd have to file a countersuit. She did not, she is just seeking fees for the one suit. Let her win the fees on this one, then someone else, after this case sets fee precedent, can also file a countersuit. It is best, when faced with so many suits being filed, to tackle one and only one legal issue with each case. It's easier to focus on the single issue and win.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by guruevi (827432)
      Sure, but she'll have to sue for:

      1) Damages to the persons reputation and possible loss of income/opportunities/jobs/...

      2) Damages because of loss of income or jobs (because the time she has to be in court, she can't work)

      3) A little more difficult for a person, but certainly an argument in 1). The court however can decide to pull the BAR license for the lawyers if it's really obvious that they're suing just because they're a**holes or just want to take the courts time and consideration from other cases.

      4)
  • by Volante3192 (953645) on Thursday March 22, 2007 @11:23AM (#18444697)
    Oy, the words are English, but the way they're put together hurts my head... but after going through the RIAA's responce ( http://www.ilrweb.com/viewILRPDF.asp?filename=capi tol_foster_070314Oppos [ilrweb.com] ) noticed something interesting on page 5...

    Plaintiffs' current counsel invoice Plaintiffs in accordance with alternative billing arrangements that they have negotiated with Plaintiffs. As such, Plaintiffs' counsels' invoices do not provide any information about the hours spent on any cases. Though counsel track their time for individual cases, that tracking is not part of the invoices.

    Sounds to me like this is being funded as a giant fishing expedition. I gather all RIAA's counsel has to do is say "We spent X man-hours today on Y cases." Doesn't matter how many cases or how many hours, just that there's X and Y. Based on what the RIAA is claiming, they don't even have any way of actually verifying their counsel's hours or case volume is accurate even since they're not getting itemized receipts.

    I'd figure with all the money problems the RIAA has, they'd want accurate records that someone can be held accountable to. This is like just throwing money to the four winds.
    • by rodgster (671476)
      I have never heard of a lawyer that doesn't track each and every billable hour (or part there of) to individual clients and cases. Sure looks like they are definitely trying to hide something.

  • I wonder how credible the RIAA think "motions for a protective order seeking confidentiality" are if all the people they wrongfully charge filed them.
  • The RIAA lawyers have said the amount of defendent's lawyer's fees were unreasonable, but by delaying and defying the judge, aren't they setting themselves up for even larger fines?
  • Having none of that, Ms. Foster's lawyer has now made a motion to compel their compliance with the Court's March 15th order.
    It seems the Ides of March is just a bad day for most tyrants. First Julius Caesar, then the Habsburgs, then Czar Nicholas II. Now they've come for the RIAA. I'm beginning to think that the Ides of March should be an international holiday.

When I left you, I was but the pupil. Now, I am the master. - Darth Vader

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