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RIAA Accepts $300 Offer of Judgement In Carolina 165

Posted by kdawson
from the when-will-they-just-give-it-up-and-go-home dept.
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "In a North Carolina case, Capitol v. Frye, the RIAA has accepted a $300 offer of judgment made by the defendant. This is the first known use, in the RIAA v. Consumer cases, of the formal offer of judgment procedure which provides that if the plaintiff doesn't accept the offer, and doesn't later get a judgment for a larger amount, the plaintiff is responsible for all of the court costs from that point on in the case. The accepted judgment in the Frye case (PDF) also contains an injunction — much more limited than the RIAA's typical 'settlement' injunction (PDF) — under which defendant agreed not to infringe plaintiffs' copyrights."
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RIAA Accepts $300 Offer of Judgement In Carolina

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  • Does this mean this rather lenient deal the RIAA has accepted can be used as a precedent for future cases? Will it prevent them from successfully reaming people's grandmothers with 7-figure lawsuits? Hope so.
    • by ari_j (90255)
      Nope. It just means that one particular defendant convinced them to drop the matter for $300. No legal precedential effect.
      • by Camael (1048726) on Sunday July 15, 2007 @10:01PM (#19872739)
        Actually, RIAA won. In simple terms her offer was "Okay I'm willing to plead guilty and pay you $300 inclusive of everything" and RIAA accepted. So the award is made against her. It's different from convincing the RIAA to "drop the matter".
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Knara (9377)

          Right, but the important thing is that AFAIK it can't be relied on as precedence like it could be if there was an actual judicial decision in the RIAA's favor.

          IANAL

          • by ari_j (90255) on Sunday July 15, 2007 @10:57PM (#19873031)
            Even if the RIAA took it all the way to trial and won a judgment of $8 billion dollars, it would likely still have next to no precedential effect. It's not like you can go to another court with a different defendant and say "See! We over there against that chick, so, Your Honor, you have to give us money from this guy too!" Thankfully, whatever faults it does have, the American legal system doesn't work quite like that.
            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by Phil John (576633)
              Exactly, otherwise companies wanting easy lawsuits in the future could be very dishonest and pay someone to be sued (and lose).
        • by ari_j (90255) on Sunday July 15, 2007 @10:53PM (#19873001)
          Not really. First off, you don't plead guilty in civil cases such as this. Second, courts have held (see, e.g., Scosche v. Visor Gear [georgetown.edu]) that Rule 68 judgments do not have a preclusive effect on litigating issues they dispose of. Therefore, the RIAA probably cannot take the Rule 68-based judgment and use it against this defendant in a future case to avoid actually litigating the issues in the future case. Numerous sources indicate that Rule 68 has the sole purpose of encouraging settlement.

          Finally, the real issue that was raised and to which I responded: There is no precedential effect, no matter how you take the Rule 68-based judgment. Legal precedents are only as to issues of law. It seems that no interpretation of law was made here, and any issues that were disposed of by the judgment are factual in nature. There is no such thing as a legally binding factual precedent.
          • It didn't set a legal precedent. It may, however, have set a precedent in that once people hear about this, many more people will likely try to make similar offers.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward
          In simple terms her offer was "Okay I'm willing to plead guilty and pay you $300 inclusive of everything"

          Correct, except for the "plead guilty" part. That's only in criminal cases.

          • by NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) * <ray.beckermanlegal@com> on Sunday July 15, 2007 @11:05PM (#19873091) Homepage Journal

            In simple terms her offer was "Okay I'm willing to plead guilty and pay you $300 inclusive of everything" Correct, except for the "plead guilty" part. That's only in criminal cases.
            Well, a formal Rule 68 offer of judgment is something different than that. It's kind of a dare. It's saying to the RIAA:

            Here's a judgment for $300. I'm throwing $300 on the floor. Either pick it up, or go forward.
            I dare you to try to recover more than that.
            If you don't recover more than that, you're going to be liable for all of the court costs from this day forward.
            If you've got the guts, bring it on.
            If you don't, pick up the $300 and get out of my life.
            • I notice that the settlement offer explicitly excludes any claims for sanctions that the defendant has already requested. Can you give more information on possible sanctions against the RIAA and/or their lawyers?
              • Re:Sanctions? (Score:5, Interesting)

                by NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) * <ray.beckermanlegal@com> on Sunday July 15, 2007 @11:23PM (#19873185) Homepage Journal

                I notice that the settlement offer explicitly excludes any claims for sanctions that the defendant has already requested. Can you give more information on possible sanctions against the RIAA and/or their lawyers?
                Those of us who believe the RIAA's litigation tactics are frivolous would like to move for sanctions under Rule 11 (c) [cornell.edu], but the rule is quite limited, providing the offending party with a "safe harbor", and many judges are reluctant to invoke it altogether, as the consequences of a Rule 11 sanction against an attorney are very severe. So it is invoked rarely. I am not aware of any successful invocation of Rule 11 in the RIAA cases by a defendant. I am aware of one instance in which the judge disagreed with the defendant's lawyer on the merits of the underlying motion, found the Rule 11 motion to itself be frivolous, and has held that the defendant's lawyer should be sanctioned, based on several things he had done that irked the judge.
                • by Anonymous Coward
                  the defendant's lawyer should be sanctioned, based on several things he had done that irked the judge.

                  Irking the judge has defensible standing in law?

                  If it does, how come that the RIAA's lawyers bringing meritless suits based on an almost total absence of evidence against a sizeable proportion of the young population has not yet irked any judge, and sent their lawyers packing?
            • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

              by Paradise Pete (33184)
              a formal Rule 68 offer of judgment is something different than that. It's kind of a dare.

              It seems like such a powerful tool that it would be almost automatic to offer a small amount. What happens in cases where it isn't done? Are costs typically shared evenly?

              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                a formal Rule 68 offer of judgment is something different than that. It's kind of a dare. It seems like such a powerful tool that it would be almost automatic to offer a small amount. What happens in cases where it isn't done? Are costs typically shared evenly?
                Normally the court costs are awarded to the prevailing party.
            • by sethg (15187)
              If a plaintiff refuses a defendant's offer of judgement and ends up losing at trial, does the plantiff also have to cover the defendant's legal bills? Or is the plaintiff only on the hook for court costs?
              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                If a plaintiff refuses a defendant's offer of judgement and ends up losing at trial, does the plantiff also have to cover the defendant's legal bills? Or is the plaintiff only on the hook for court costs?
                Good question.

                In a copyright case, the answer is probably yes, since the Copyright Act includes attorneys fees to the prevailing party as part of the costs.
    • by Nefarious Wheel (628136) * on Sunday July 15, 2007 @09:13PM (#19872497) Journal
      The blog said no precedent was being set, that it was clear it was the best the RIAA could expect from the case given that the subject was not likely to give much return on the collection effort, and another high-handed collection effort from a penniless mum would work against them. There was very little that could be taken from her, being another single mother receiving housing and income assistance. I'd say that that $300 was a pretty big whallop out of her budget though, and will make the RIAA look even worse as a result.

      Providing that's possible, of course...

      • by GizmoToy (450886) on Sunday July 15, 2007 @09:28PM (#19872575) Homepage
        True, but on the other hand it's entirely possible she was guilty, knew she was guilty, and thus saw this as the cheapest way out. Which is not to say that the RIAA could have proved it to the satisfaction of the judge, but rather that the defendant knew she was wrong and owned up to her mistake.
        • by QuantumG (50515) <qg@biodome.org> on Sunday July 15, 2007 @10:42PM (#19872945) Homepage Journal
          I love the way people keep throwing around this word "guilty". Like this is a criminal case. The longer people apply criminal law terminology like "guilty" and "innocent" and "theft" the easier it will be for the copyright owners to get new criminal laws passed.

          Stop playing their game.

          • by GizmoToy (450886)
            There are other definitions of the term 'guilty' than merely the legal definitions. You'll notice the sentence doesn't even make sense using 'liable.'
            • by NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) * <ray.beckermanlegal@com> on Sunday July 15, 2007 @10:59PM (#19873047) Homepage Journal

              There are other definitions of the term 'guilty' than merely the legal definitions. You'll notice the sentence doesn't even make sense using 'liable.'
              I disagree. I think it would have made perfect sense to use the civil litigation language, instead of criminal terms:

              it's entirely possible she was liable, knew she was liable, and thus saw this as the cheapest way out
              • by GizmoToy (450886)
                Yea. I think you're right, it would have made sense. I don't know what I was thinking.

                Although I think the original usage was acceptable as I was not discussing the findings of the case, but rather her thought process on the matter. Still, using 'liable' would have been clearer. Apologies all around, hehe.
                • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                  by QuantumG (50515)
                  I don't doubt that was her thought process... specially, she was probably thinking about it as a matter of guilt, because that's the RIAA wants her to think about it. "I did something wrong" not "I caused significant damages to a music company". The first is easy to plant in people's minds, the second isn't.

                  Which is why I was saying that you shouldn't help them do that.

            • by Dun Malg (230075) on Sunday July 15, 2007 @11:03PM (#19873077) Homepage

              There are other definitions of the term 'guilty' than merely the legal definitions. You'll notice the sentence doesn't even make sense using 'liable.'
              "True, but on the other hand it's entirely possible she was liable, knew she was liable, and thus saw this as the cheapest way out."

              WTF are you talking about? It makes perfect sense.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            I love the way people keep throwing around this word "guilty". Like this is a criminal case. The longer people apply criminal law terminology like "guilty" and "innocent" and "theft" the easier it will be for the copyright owners to get new criminal laws passed. Stop playing their game.
            I agree wholeheartedly, QuantumG. I wince every time someone says "guilty" or "innocent".

            These are civil cases. The terminology should be "liable" and "not liable".
            • by ari_j (90255)

              Of course, courts will speak of people being "guilty" of, say, contributory negligence. The difference is that they are not using it as a legal term of art in those cases,* and I don't get as upset about it as I do when people speak of "plead(ing) guilty" in the civil litigation context. That's the one that really makes no sense, no matter how you slice it. At least "she knew she was guilty of copyright infringement and offered to settle" makes sense, so long as the context makes clear that no legal term

        • by Lumpy (12016)
          Dude, this is America.

          If you are in court and a defendant you are automatically guilty unless you can outspend the plaintiff.

          I don't give a rats ass what the "law" and other documents say. I have seen enough of the inner daily working of the court system to know that if you arrive in front of a judge as a defendant your chances of winning are incredibly low.

          Which is why even in divorce cases it is very important for you to file first and name the spouse as a defendant. Justice is not blind, it's happy to
        • I thought this was a civil case, where they talk about liability, not 'guilt or innocence'.
      • It's also likely they realized that even if they fought and won and could expect to collect, their legal costs would be higher than the amount of the judgment. Large legal teams are expensive.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by TechForensics (944258)
      The minimum damages the Courts must award for the RIAA's type of copyright infringement claims is contained in the statute, and is $750.00 per song. When cases of this kind have gone to default judgment (Ray, correct me if I'm wrong), judges generally award ONLY the minimum $750.00. This means you can easily trash the RIAA's absurd settlement demands EVEN IF YOU REALLY WERE filesharing by making an offer of judgment of $750.00 per song-- they almost have to let you go for that amount because if they don
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Binkleyz (175773)
        Just a quibble, but since we're all seeming to quibble here..

        You wrote: "**AA"s

        Wouldn't it be more proper to use "??AA"s

        Z
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Lloyd_Bryant (73136)

        (You're not the kind of dummy who downloads more than one song at a time, are you?)

        To the best of my knowledge, the RIAA have not yet sued a single person for *downloading* music. What the suits revolve around is *uploading* (or "making available").

        If there's only a single song at issue, then your analysis would be valid. But for most of the defendants in the RIAA suits, the allegation is that they "made available" (had in a shared folder) hundreds or thousands of songs.
        Since that's $750 per song, in these cases the bottom line is a hell of a lot more than $300.

        The fact that the RIAA a

        • To the best of my knowledge, the RIAA have not yet sued a single person for *downloading* music. What the suits revolve around is *uploading* (or "making available").

          Correct. The complaint mentions "downloading", among other things, but the RIAA knows of no downloading.

          If there's only a single song at issue, then your analysis would be valid. But for most of the defendants in the RIAA suits, the allegation is that they "made available" (had in a shared folder) hundreds or thousands of songs. Since that's $750 per song, in these cases the bottom line is a hell of a lot more than $300.

          Yes they are theoretically suing for large numbers, but they are actually suing for $750 per song for their 'exhibit A' list (the songs their investigator allegedly downloaded), which is usually in the $5k to $8k range. That is what they go for in the default judgment cases. And they'll usually take around $4500 in a settlement. However, if a defendant fights back and gives them a hard time, they may tr

          • by Reziac (43301) *
            Re the last comment on your blog, from AMD FanBoi -- to the effect that this could be used as evidence that 1) that's all the shared songs are worth, and 2) that the RIAA is knowingly suing the wrong people. Your thoughts?

  • Decent Resolution (Score:5, Interesting)

    by GizmoToy (450886) on Sunday July 15, 2007 @09:07PM (#19872461) Homepage
    Seems like a reasonable resolution for the defendant. $300 to make a lawsuit like this go away could be worth it if you don't really have the financial means to mount a decent defense and there's no way the RIAA had spent less than $300 to that point, so they lost money on the deal. This a very low settlement amount for the RIAA, so it's possible others may be able to utilize this.

    It'll be interesting to see if the RIAA accepts it if anyone else tries it.
    • by Darundal (891860) on Sunday July 15, 2007 @09:12PM (#19872477) Journal
      I would be willing to bet they excepted not to be reasonable, but because they probably realized that they didn't have enough for a case with someone who would fight and they believed that she would. I would be willing to bet that this is actually a sign that at this point, if you make it clear you will fight, the RIAA will try to back down and save as much face as possible as opposed to going through having another botch on their end show up all over the web and on newspapers nationwide.
      • I haven't heard of them winning a case, and it seems any case that gets sufficiently far along, they just drop it. I'm sure this is because the evidence really IS weak (I mean it only takes about 5 minutes of thought for a tech person to poke about 10 serious holes in it) and because they know they are really screwed if they actually litigate and lose a case because then it is precedent, and can be cited in future cases.
    • by dattaway (3088) on Sunday July 15, 2007 @09:16PM (#19872529) Homepage Journal
      No. A reasonable resolution would be compensation for time and money to respond to a poor case with awful "evidence" and absolutely no detective work. $3,000 for the defense perhaps?
    • by Reziac (43301) *
      I found this comment (on Ray's blog) by AMD FanBoi most interesting:

      =========
      Seems to me that this just could put the RIAA into a difficult position. Either they sued the wrong person and still made them pay $300 for the privilege of being wrongly sued,OR They sued the right person and admit that the true cost of the alleged infringement is ONLY $300. Either the RIAA admits that they are suing the wrong people, or they admit that the actual value of the infringement at this level is $300, -- a figure for wh
  • by Karma Sucks (127136) on Sunday July 15, 2007 @09:20PM (#19872543)
    I'll be sure to ask my lawyer to translate it for me.
    • by hxnwix (652290) on Sunday July 15, 2007 @09:46PM (#19872647) Journal
      Someone's getting sued by the RIAA. He said to the RIAA, "look, buddy, I'll give you $300 to go away, and if you wont take it and you can take me to court instead. However, bear in mind that there are two ways things could go from there: the court could say I owe you more than $300, or they could say I don't. If for any reason they say I don't, you have to pay for my lawyer."

      The RIAA crunched the numbers and decided to take the $300.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 15, 2007 @09:59PM (#19872729)
      Let's say Joe sues you for $10,000 for your kids trampling his rose bush.

      You think Joe is full of shit, that his mangy rose bush is only worth $100. So you offer to pay him $100 to end the lawsuit.

      If Joe accepts, that is the end of it.

      If Joe turns you down, then he will have to pay all of your costs (and is some states, attorney fees) from that moment on if when the case goes to trial, he does not win MORE than the $100 you offered.

      The basic reasoning is that if someone who injured you offers to pay you what your claim is worth, you should take it. If you don't accept the offer, you should have to pay him for the trouble you cause to HIM by not taking his reasonable offer.

      If Joe wins MORE than the $100 you offered, he is in the clear.

      It makes people examine exactly what the claim is worth, and gives both sides incentive to offer (and accept) a reasonable offer.

      • > The basic reasoning is that if someone who injured you offers to pay you what your claim is worth, you should take it. If you don't accept the offer, you should have to pay him for the trouble you cause to HIM by not taking his reasonable offer.

        I am intrigued by this posters ideas, and would like to subscribe to their newsletter, but being an anonymous coward I have no forwarding address.

        Question: Is this a real principle of the they are quoting? (or something they made up?)
  • Surely I must be missing something here. What is to stop every North Carolina civil defendant from offering a $1 judgment to the plaintiff? What does the defendant have to lose?

    It would seem that the worst case for the defendant is that the plaintiff doesn't accept and then the defendant is no better of worse off than he was before. But for the plaintiff, the stakes are huge.

    What did I miss, here?
    • Surely I must be missing something here. What is to stop every North Carolina civil defendant from offering a $1 judgment to the plaintiff? What does the defendant have to lose? It would seem that the worst case for the defendant is that the plaintiff doesn't accept and then the defendant is no better of worse off than he was before. But for the plaintiff, the stakes are huge. What did I miss, here?
      Actually, I would not be surprised to see a lot of defendants doing just that.

      But there are consequences if the RIAA accepts the offer. There is a judgment against you, which shows up in a credit report, and in view of the judgment you can't claim to be the prevailing party and assert entitlement to attorneys fees.

      But for many the Rule 68 offer of judgment will be a useful tool.
      • How does a civil judgement go into my Credit Report?
        Does paying $300 by cash/bankers pay order make the judgement enter my credit report???
        If that is the case then all the traffic fines for no-parking, etc., would be in my credit file that is now idling in my hands.
        All i see in my credit file are my credit applications to www.apple.com and www.overstock.com and a overdue credit card which i can't seem to even remember i had (which is the prime reason i pulled it from Experian)

        • How does a civil judgement go into my Credit Report? Does paying $300 by cash/bankers pay order make the judgement enter my credit report???

          Civil judgments are supposed to appear on your credit report in the "Public Records" section. It's not a perfect science, however. Not all civil judgments have a SSN attached, and not all counties' judgments are picked up efficiently by the credit bureaus, but they are supposed to be.

          If that is the case then all the traffic fines for no-parking, etc., would be in my credit file that is now idling in my hands.

          That is incorrect. Traffic fines are criminal, not civil judgments. It may not seem like it in traffic court, but the prosecutor actually is supposed to prove his case beyond reasonable doubt, you can go to jail if you're

    • Because they're less likely to take it than an actual, reasonable offer, and if the judge sees you being a twit it'll factor into future decisions.
      • by lorcha (464930)
        You have missed the point completely.

        Because they're less likely to take it than an actual, reasonable offer,

        The defendant wins whether or not the plaintiff accepts the offer. If the plaintiff accepts, then the defendant gets off with a measly $1 judgment. If the plaintiff declines, then the defendant is guaranteed free legal counsel if he prevails, but suffers no penalty if he loses.

        if the judge sees you being a twit it'll factor into future decisions.

        I would be surprised to learn that a judge reacted in a hostile manner to any motion that could potentially settle the dispute.

        • I would be surprised to learn that a judge reacted in a hostile manner to any motion that could potentially settle the dispute.

          I would too, but judges are typically intelligent enough to realize that a $1 offer, at less than 1% of what they could get for a win on a single song, isn't likely to settle the dispute.

          If the plaintiff accepts, then the defendant gets off with a measly $1 judgment. If the plaintiff declines, then the defendant is guaranteed free legal counsel if he prevails, but suffers no penalty if he loses.

          Two penalties if he loses: the judge regards him as a twit for offering a settlement that's ridiculously low compared to the amount that the RIAA could get for a single song, and the defendant has to pay his lawyers for the time spend writing and defending the motion.

          • by lorcha (464930)

            I would too, but judges are typically intelligent enough to realize that a $1 offer, at less than 1% of what they could get for a win on a single song,
            $300 is also much less than the statutory damages for a single violation. Why is $300 more reasonable than $1, then?
    • by Shihar (153932)
      First, I believe that the judge has to accept the deal. In other words, it needs to be a good faith attempt to offer reasonable compensation for the 'damage' that has been done.

      Second, offering $1 is silly because the 'you pay for me' effect only kicks in if the finial judgment is that less then $1 of damage is done.

      Think of it like this. The woman offers up that she did $300 worth of damage. The RIAA at this point can either go to trial or take the $300. If they go to trail and the judge rules that the
      • by lorcha (464930)

        First, I believe that the judge has to accept the deal. In other words, it needs to be a good faith attempt to offer reasonable compensation for the 'damage' that has been done.

        Why should a judge second-guess whether or not $1 is reasonable? The judge can't speak for the plaintiff.

        In this case, $300 is almost certainly not reasonable compensation. Statutory damages for even 1 infringement are between $750 and $150,000. How could $300 be any more or less reasonable than $1 when the minimum judgment, assuming the defendant was guilty at all, would be $750?

        Second, offering $1 is silly because the 'you pay for me' effect only kicks in if the finial judgment is that less then $1 of damage is done.

        But what does the defendant have to lose by offering? Worst case scenario for the defendant is that plaintiff rejects the o

        • by hengist (71116)
          Statutory damages for even 1 infringement are between $750 and $150,000. How could $300 be any more or less reasonable than $1 when the minimum judgment, assuming the defendant was guilty at all, would be $750?

          As I understand it, statutory damages are not equal to actual damages.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Shihar (153932)

          Think of it like this. Defendant offers plaintiff a $1 judgment. The three possible outcomes for the defendant are:

          1. Plaintiff accepts. Defendant pays plaintiff $1 and everybody goes home.

          2. Plaintiff rejects and the case goes to trial. Plaintiff is awarded more than $1. This is the same outcome as if the judgment offer was never made at all. Filing pointless motions does two things. First, it pisses off the judge to have to wade through your bullshit. Pissing off the judge is never a good idea because they can and will make your life miserable. Second, it costs money to file anything. Even if the filing itself is free, it costs lawyer time... and by lawyer time costs money out of

          • I am a Landlord, so I've been involved in plenty of small claims court type situations like this.

            Imagine if your neighbor threw a baseball through your window because he was sick of hearing loud music coming from your house. You take him to court and claim $10,000 worth of damage. Normally, you could be a dick and just carry on suing him because you want to make him pay his legal expenses as extra punishment and see how large of a settlement you can score.

            This is generally not the case. In simple property damage disputes like this, the actual damages are easily quantifiable. You don't get to just sue for whatever arbitrarily large number you feel like writing down.

            When I take a tenant to court who has damaged my property, the judge asks me to show what the actual damage was (show receipts), and demonstrate that the tenant is responsible for the damage. For a

  • by t0qer (230538) on Monday July 16, 2007 @01:07PM (#19878867) Homepage Journal
    One of the dot coms I worked for imploded. During the implosion there was a lot of confusion over who owned what, at the center of all this controversy was a little sun box that contained the source code for the company product.

    At the time I was the IT guy for this company. I took my orders from the CEO because the CTO was just psycho. In one of the meetings between me, the CEO and CTO the CTO accused me of being on "Mind Altering drugs" at work because I had a can of get this.. Jolt Cola on my desk (This CTO was a devout mormon)

    The CEO fired the CTO, then decided to pack up our office and head north from Sunnyvale to Alameda. Being the IT guy, it was my job to make sure the computers made it up there safely. A few months later the company completely imploded, everyone went off to work for different companies, and that was that or so I thought.

    About a year later I got a court summons. The CTO was suing me for $15 million dollars. I was being accused of "Stealing his source code" because apparently the company didn't own that little sun box I moved. After a few initial rounds in pre-trial we were all set to go to trial.

    My lawyer and I were sitting out in front of the courtroom when we got a surprise. The judges assistant came up to us and started telling us the CTO was willing to settle for $1500. He explained it like this..

    "You know toq, we're really sick of this asshole. Me, the judge, the other lawyers all think he's a cocksucker, but you already know that. Just take the settlement"

    Me, "But I didn't do anything wrong"

    Assitant, "Well let me put it to you another way. If you don't take this settlement, it's going to mean a trial, which is going to mean jurors, and a whole bunch of menusha I don't want to get into, but it's going to cost ALOT of money. The judge is going to look at the fact that you didn't take this $1500 settlement, and wonder why you costed all these people time and money"

    Me: "So the judge just wants this out of his hair, is that what you're saying?"

    Assistant: "Yes"

    So I took the settlement, nothing went down on my record.

    I'm guessing this $300 RIAA case is the same deal. The judge probably got sick of the team of lawyers that represent the RIAA tying up his courtroom with petty bullshit, and i'm guessing the person taking the settlement got the same speech I did.

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