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USCG Sues Copyright Defense Lawyer 360

Posted by samzenpus
from the nip-it-in-the-bud dept.
ESRB writes "The US Copyright Group has sued Graham Syfert, an attorney who created a packet of self-representation paperwork for individuals sued for P2P sharing of certain movies and moved to have sanctions placed against the defense attorney. Syfert sells these packets for $20, and the USCG claims the 19 individuals who have used it have cost them over $5000."
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USCG Sues Copyright Defense Lawyer

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  • Wait... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 28, 2010 @11:06AM (#34364940)

    So... they think defending yourself is against the law now, or something? Or informing other people on how to defend themselves?

    • Re:Wait... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Elledan (582730) on Sunday November 28, 2010 @11:11AM (#34364974) Homepage
      Yes, because it threatens their business model of threatening to sue people even if they have no intention to ever do so. All the USCG wants is for the people it sends a threatening letter to pay up $2,500. Negotiating a settlement or heavens forbid an actual court case would drive up their lawyer costs and make their business model unprofitable. Hence them trying to take out this 'threat'. Of course, they're trying to take on a real attorney, not some Joe Shmuck without a clue about legal proceedings.

      *settles back with some popcorn*
      • Re:Wait... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by onepoint (301486) on Sunday November 28, 2010 @11:56AM (#34365302) Homepage Journal

        You point out the truthfulness of the situation. Let's look at the business model.
        A) we have a LAWYER that has some courage and wants to defend people at a reasonable rate with a self help package provided in a PDF which is down-loadable.
        a1) it targets a very specific business model ( USCG bulk lawsuits )
        a2) the amount of USCG lawsuits is X
        a3) he should be able to convert 3% to 8% of the lawsuits after some reasonable testing.
        a4) so the amount of work he put into it might have been 60 hours ( 60 * $125 ) = nill, he was having a beer every time and relaxing doing it.

        the best thing that ever happened is that he got sued by these people, now everyone knows about him.

    • Re:Wait... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 28, 2010 @11:11AM (#34364976)

      When the law is outlawed, only the criminals will know the law.

      Wait, what?

    • Re:Wait... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by causality (777677) on Sunday November 28, 2010 @11:12AM (#34364992)

      So... they think defending yourself is against the law now, or something? Or informing other people on how to defend themselves?

      That's right. This is a religious battle. Therefore, it's not a matter of conflicting interests or disagreement or dispute. Nope, it transcends all of that. Clearly anything that interferes with their sacred agenda is EVIL! It is their holy crusade, and probably the only purpose in their sad little lives.

      Just a drop in a big, heavy, overflowing bucket of reasons why I refuse to purchase RIAA/MPAA entertainment. I'd consider it, if it didn't go to fund pathological bullshit like this. And if all current management were rendered jobless and penniless and all draconian copyright laws repealed, with the addition of penalties for the lobbies and politicians who pushed for them. Since that's not likely to happen due to this aversion towards justice that's currently all the rage, my purchasing decisions are rendered easier.

      • Re:Wait... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by GameMaster (148118) on Sunday November 28, 2010 @12:01PM (#34365338)

        Nah, I don't think they're anywhere near that emotionally invested. Remember, we're talking about the lawyers here, not the RIAA/MPAA themselves. For the lawyers, all they're probably interested in is the money. They're not pissed off because it gets in the way of their "holy crusade" because, the truth is, they'll probably still win most of these cases in the end. What they're so pissed off about is that he threw a wrench in their get rich quick scheme. Instead of being able to bully people into paying $2500 a pop with very little bill-able lawyer time, now they'll have to file their claims in a huge number of different courts across the country and will, likely, have to actually fight some of the cases. With all that interference, they might not be able to make the huge profit they were drooling over initially.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by causality (777677)

          Nah, I don't think they're anywhere near that emotionally invested. Remember, we're talking about the lawyers here, not the RIAA/MPAA themselves. For the lawyers, all they're probably interested in is the money. They're not pissed off because it gets in the way of their "holy crusade" because, the truth is, they'll probably still win most of these cases in the end. What they're so pissed off about is that he threw a wrench in their get rich quick scheme. Instead of being able to bully people into paying $2500 a pop with very little bill-able lawyer time, now they'll have to file their claims in a huge number of different courts across the country and will, likely, have to actually fight some of the cases. With all that interference, they might not be able to make the huge profit they were drooling over initially.

          You're technically correct but splitting hairs. I'm taking a broad view, not of the surface actors but of the authors of their scripts. Those actors, in turn, are voluntary participants and therefore part of the production. Sure, they're in it for the money but look one step beyond that: there is a reason that this is where they see the dollar signs. That reason is the (un)holy agenda of draconian copyright.

          Many bitter wars had mercenaries who were only loyal to their money; that didn't make such war

    • Re:Wait... (Score:4, Informative)

      by theexaptation (1948750) on Sunday November 28, 2010 @01:09PM (#34365908)
      I think they are confusing speculation with reality. The USCG lawyers are sending letters to people who are not guilty of anything (not until they are found/proven guilty). They are only asserting that they are guilty. Now they are suing someone for making it possible for the defendants to contest their speculation and requiring them to actually prove guilt in a court of law. The people they are threatening owe them nothing unless found guilty and someone enabling them to contest their speculation even less. Gaming the legal system in this way shows that their intent is to extort money using threatening letters with dollar amounts calculated to be cheaper than mounting a defense (as a zero sum game) not prove guilt. Not too much different from "you have a nice place here, I wouldn't want anything bad to happen to it".
    • USCG (Score:5, Funny)

      by WED Fan (911325) <(akahige) (at) (trashmail.net)> on Sunday November 28, 2010 @02:06PM (#34366452) Homepage Journal
      I think the U.S. Coast Guard should sue the U.S. Copyright Group.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by SeaFox (739806)

        I think the U.S. Coast Guard should sue the U.S. Copyright Group.

        Clearly they aren't happy with being expected to find pirates outside of U.S. waters.

  • by Kupfernigk (1190345) on Sunday November 28, 2010 @11:08AM (#34364956)
    A US corporation sues a US lawyer for not charging enough!

    Under English law, a lawyer merely provides advice which the client is free to make use of or to ignore, and there are plenty of legal self-help books. There is an excellent one for company secretaries which, back in the 90s, saved me thousands in legal bills. Is this not so in the US?

    • by sribe (304414)

      Is this not so in the US?

      Yes [nolo.com].

    • Re:Mind blowing (Score:5, Informative)

      by Bigjeff5 (1143585) on Sunday November 28, 2010 @05:08PM (#34368384)

      Under English law, a lawyer merely provides advice which the client is free to make use of or to ignore, and there are plenty of legal self-help books.

      The same is true in the US, however states have legal statutes to prevent a person from giving legal advice who is not a lawyer. Depending on how strict the statutes are, this can pose real problems for self-help legal products.

      However, that isn't what this appears to be about. Copyright is a federal matter, and the lawyer is licensed to practice law in the US, so that's not where the complaint seems to be coming from.

      Apparently several of the motions always fail, but USCG still must respond to them or they lose automatically. This costs USCG and, to a lesser extent, the courts, more money than is necessary. However, I don't see how a lawyer can be sued for advising clients to file a motion that is ultimately unsuccessful, even if he advises thousands of such clients to do so. He never filed any motions, he simply told the people how and suggested they do so. I can't see how he could possibly construed as responsible for the motions.

      I would suggest the USCG's bulk litigation practices are the ones that are actually wasting the court's time and money, since the majority of them are completely frivolous and must be responded to by each individual involved.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by IICV (652597)

        Apparently several of the motions always fail, but USCG still must respond to them or they lose automatically. This costs USCG and, to a lesser extent, the courts, more money than is necessary.

        But I was under the impression that real lawyers do shit like that all the time? I mean, one of the fundamental ideas of game theory is that you should attempt to maximize your opponent's ability to lose, while maximizing your ability to win - and if we're not supposed to game the system like that, why is it even poss

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by dreampod (1093343)

          Absolutely correct. This is standard operating procedure for lawyers to file for dismisal and a protective order even when they don't expect it to succeed, simply because it preserves routes for appeal and there is the possibility the opposing lawyer will screw up and it will get through. That said, one of the three claims his forms make which is that the district overseeing the legal action does not have personal jurisdiction is valid for most potential purchasers and should have the suit dismissed and f

  • Any reasonable judge would throw this out. Lets hope he/she does.
  • Erm...what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mouldy (1322581) on Sunday November 28, 2010 @11:08AM (#34364962)
    So, according to these USCG clowns, providing a working defence to the opposition is illegal?
    • by Kazymyr (190114)

      It is a mere application of the FUD principle.

    • Re:Erm...what? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by tomhudson (43916) <barbara.hudson@nOSpaM.barbara-hudson.com> on Sunday November 28, 2010 @11:20AM (#34365052) Journal
      That's the problem - one of the defenses did work. The "lack of personal standing."

      You can't sue for lost revenue if you're not the copyright holder. Further, you can't sue for lost revenue if you can't prove that, you know, you actually lost revenue.

      Which, come to think of it, is a problem with their current suit - they can't prove they lost revenue because of a successful defense against their tactics, because a successful defense means they weren't entitled to the MOH-NEE!.

      Then again, too many lawyers have this sense of personal entitlement. Just look at your politi-critters.

      Easy prediction - within the next decade, someone will successfully sue for the right of non-lawyers to represent people in court, on the following basis:

      1. Religious freedom guarantees. Several religious sects take the "no doctor of the law shall enter into the kingdom" literally, and as an injunction against being represented by lawyers. To allow ONLY them a religious exemption is unconstitutional, as it discriminates against non-believers (reverse discrimination);
      2. Full and complete defense: Money, money, money. An interested, motivated party who is not a lawyer may be better able, in some cases, to provide a full and complete defense, than ANY paid lawyer, no matter what the price; but on top of that, most people simply can't AFFORD the cost of "professional" services;
      3. Freedom of association: Some countries have a constitutional guarantee of freedom of association. The requirement to "associate" your legal case with a lawyer to represent you is contrary to such guarantees;
      4. Freedom of political expression: Insisting on a non-lawyer is certainly an act of political speech; more so than currently-protected political expressions such as flag-burning;

      As in this case, you don't need all 4 to be valid - any one succeeding will do.

      -- Barbie

      • by hedwards (940851)
        So, if they're politi-critters, does that mean that we have to be very careful not to have any committee meetings going after midnight? I'd hate to think that something bad would happen were they to have a snack.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by snowgirl (978879)

        I recall reading at one point that Arizona allows non-lawyers to represent other people in their state.

        It's more of a "you get what you pay for", or "buyer beware" state than anywhere else...

      • Re:Erm...what? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Bender0x7D1 (536254) on Sunday November 28, 2010 @12:33PM (#34365590)

        Now, I am not a lawyer, but it seems that all of your points are flawed due to one fact: You are allowed to represent yourself.

        • No religious exemption needed. If you don't want a lawyer, do it yourself.
        • You can hire anyone you want to testify or be your administrative assistant. They can't act in the courtroom as a lawyer or associate, but they can hand you notes on what to do/say if needed.
        • No association required if you represent yourself.
        • Assuming you aren't a lawyer, you have a non-lawyer representing you.

        Also, as a side note, don't try turning a courtroom into a political statement. If you annoy the judge, they can fine you or imprison you for contempt of court.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by tomhudson (43916)
          That's irrelevant. The point is that this is an illegitimate restriction on the constitutional right of a person to a full and complete defense, if their only possibility of such a defense rests with a non-lawyer.

          The availability of public defenders also doesn't enter into it. They have a history of not providing a full and complete defense.

          Further, what if you're the plaintiff in a civil case. You should be able to appoint someone else - even a non-lawyer - to act for you.

          Lawyers should have to compe

        • Re:Erm...what? (Score:4, Interesting)

          by nomadic (141991) <nomadicworld@nOSpaM.gmail.com> on Sunday November 28, 2010 @03:04PM (#34367100) Homepage
          You can hire anyone you want to testify or be your administrative assistant. They can't act in the courtroom as a lawyer or associate, but they can hand you notes on what to do/say if needed.

          Your other points are valid but this one I don't think would work; telling you what you should say in court is generally considered giving legal advice.
      • Re:Erm...what? (Score:5, Informative)

        by harlows_monkeys (106428) on Sunday November 28, 2010 @12:51PM (#34365764) Homepage

        That's the problem - one of the defenses did work. The "lack of personal standing." You can't sue for lost revenue if you're not the copyright holder.

        No, the defense that worked is lack of personal jurisdiction, not lack of standing. Courts in a state only have power over people who reside in the state, or have a certain level of contact with the state, or who consent to jurisdiction. Basically what the successful defendants are doing is telling the court, "Hey, you are a court of state X. I live in state Y and have no contacts with state X, so you aren't the right court for this", the the court is agreeing.

        Note that this doesn't end things. The plaintiff simply has to refile in the defendant's home state (or find some other state that the defendant has sufficient contacts with).

        You have to be careful when raising the lack of personal jurisdiction defense, because generally responding to a lawsuit in a given court is taken as conceding personal jurisdiction of that court. However, you can make what is called a "limited appearance", where you respond solely to raise the issue of personal jurisdiction.

        Further, you can't sue for lost revenue if you can't prove that, you know, you actually lost revenue.

        You can sue for statutory damages.

        • Re:Erm...what? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Achra (846023) on Sunday November 28, 2010 @03:01PM (#34367066) Journal
          Mod parent up, this is an important point and the crux of what is going on in this article. The points of note are:

          1) All courts of law foremost hate to have to make a ruling. If they have a valid excuse to not rule on a case, then they will seize it. In fact, the first hurdle to get over when you are plaintiff in a case is proving the court you have selected has jurisdiction. In this circumstance, since the court the copyright holders have chosen does not have jurisdiction in this matter, all it really takes is the defendant to come forward and say "Your honor, I live in a completely different state" for the judge to throw this out of his courtroom.

          2) Now, an attorney has decided to author a self-help pamphlet and sell it (constituting paid legal advice). This document is effectively a howto on how to make a limited appearance in whatever specific court these suits are being filed in, and file a motion to dismiss based on lack of jurisdiction.

          3) The legal team for the plaintiffs has decided that the legal advice of this attorney is adversely effecting their case, and they would like to figure out how to make him stop. In the legal world, the way you make someone stop doing something is you take them to court.

          I think that this is actually a rather interesting case, because depending on the state, there may or may not be specific laws governing the sale of self-help pamphlets.. The worst that could happen for this attorney is that the judge could rule that he is representing all of these defendants.. and make him enter all of these cases that he has offered advice in... lol. I doubt that would happen, but really, it depends on the state.

    • Re:Erm...what? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by UnknowingFool (672806) on Sunday November 28, 2010 @11:33AM (#34365140)
      No, that would be ludicrous. The USCG is suing Syfert for costing them money which is not criminal but a civil matter. Unfortunately, you can sue for anything. The USCG has shown that they are a litigious group. Really this doesn't surprise me at all.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by hedwards (940851)
        Yes, but suing for something that's known to be frivolous can get you slapped for vexatious litigation in some jurisdictions. And ultimately when they lose the suit, which they will, they'll almost certainly have to pay his fees and probably a bit more.
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Zibri (1063838)

          And then they can sue him again for the money they lost in this litigation. Profit loop!

      • Re:Erm...what? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by gnasher719 (869701) on Sunday November 28, 2010 @11:49AM (#34365262)

        No, that would be ludicrous. The USCG is suing Syfert for costing them money which is not criminal but a civil matter. Unfortunately, you can sue for anything. The USCG has shown that they are a litigious group. Really this doesn't surprise me at all.

        Their problem is that by costing them money, Syfert hasn't actually done anything wrong. It is perfectly legal for Syfert to sell these self-help booklets; even if it is not legal, they have no standing to sue. Only a buyer who let's say paid $20 and got rubbish advice would have standing to sue for that. The cost to them is not caused by Syfert, it is caused by the defendants defending themselves, and that is just what you have to expect when you sue someone; they will try to defend themselves. Perfectly legal and expected.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by ScrewMaster (602015) *

          No, that would be ludicrous. The USCG is suing Syfert for costing them money which is not criminal but a civil matter. Unfortunately, you can sue for anything. The USCG has shown that they are a litigious group. Really this doesn't surprise me at all.

          Their problem is that by costing them money, Syfert hasn't actually done anything wrong. It is perfectly legal for Syfert to sell these self-help booklets; even if it is not legal, they have no standing to sue. Only a buyer who let's say paid $20 and got rubbish advice would have standing to sue for that. The cost to them is not caused by Syfert, it is caused by the defendants defending themselves, and that is just what you have to expect when you sue someone; they will try to defend themselves. Perfectly legal and expected.

          Maybe they're hoping he'll just fold, not want to spend the time and money to defend himself (you know, like all the other victims.) Can it be that they believe they are that scary? To an attorney?

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Patch86 (1465427)

            Maybe they're hoping he'll just fold, not want to spend the time and money to defend himself (you know, like all the other victims.) Can it be that they believe they are that scary? To an attorney?

            Not just an attorney. An attorney who's own modus operandi is to persuade people to defend themselves against frivolous litigation by selling them affordable self-help packs.

            I really struggle to believe that any collection of even moderately intelligent people could be that stupid.

          • Re:Erm...what? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Capt. Skinny (969540) on Sunday November 28, 2010 @12:39PM (#34365656)
            The USCG doesn't care whether Syfert folds, they just want to discourage other attorneys from offering the same type of legal assistance. Despite the outcome of this suit, the next guy who thinks about offering $20 self-representation instruction packets will have one more cost to consider when assessing the profitability of that product -- the cost and hassle of being sued (successfully or not) by the USCG.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by UnknowingFool (672806)
          Again, it's not a matter of "legal" or "illegal". You can use your neighbor if their dog peed on the street in front of your house. Like this lawsuit, the chance of you winning is slim, but that doesn't mean you can't file suit. The court will most likely dismiss the suit and politely ask you to resolve any disputes without court intervention. However if you repeatedly sue your neighbor for minor things, the court will not like it. Syfert being a lawyer will probably get this dismissed quickly. He als
  • by Alwin Henseler (640539) on Sunday November 28, 2010 @11:12AM (#34364986) Homepage

    From the article:

    (..) users who had downloaded films like The Hurt Locker, Far Cry and Call of the Wild

    I liked the game Far Cry, so how about that movie? Is it any good? Is it worth the download?

  • by tmosley (996283) on Sunday November 28, 2010 @11:13AM (#34365002)
    The lawyers who brought this suit should be disbarred, and they should be fined to fully compensate the court and the defendant for their time, AND for his emotional distress. This is a fucking outrage.
  • USCG branches out (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Idarubicin (579475) <allsquiet@hotm a i l .com> on Sunday November 28, 2010 @11:13AM (#34365004) Journal

    USCG Sues Copyright Defense Lawyer

    Am I the only one who read that headline and wondered why the United States Coast Guard was getting involved in copyright lawsuits?

  • by Nailer235 (1822054) on Sunday November 28, 2010 @11:13AM (#34365006)
    Filing a suit against an attorney who is informing citizens of their Constitutional rights? Absolutely ridiculous. The attorney who filed this suit should be disbarred.
    • but, he wont be. he will even earn more money. and be hired for doing more of this shit.

      just like how a footman violating feudal laws for the benefit of his lord gets promoted.
  • Good . . . (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mitchell314 (1576581) on Sunday November 28, 2010 @11:17AM (#34365016)
    he should be sued. Instead of this thorn-in-my-side bloke being known to a handful of people, he now has the publicity to level up to a bloody damn nuisance. 14000 more xp and he'll level up to a rebel.

    But seriously, you'd think that as much as the Streisand effect has come up recently (like once a month), certain organizations would take heed and just roll with the punches. But that would involve, you know, using common sense.
    • Re:Good . . . (Score:4, Interesting)

      by m509272 (1286764) on Sunday November 28, 2010 @11:45AM (#34365236)

      Agree totally. Since most people didn't know of the availability of this $20 package it's great that more know of it now. I think it should go a step further. I would love to see the guy (with the help of donations if need be) run a full page ad in USA Today so it spreads all over. They'll of course be follow ups on TV and other newspapers, etc.

  • Any copyright/trademark/patent zealot, please explain us, whether we have hit the rock bottom yet, or not.

    If not being sued for legally defending yourself against a private interest is not rock bottom, then explain us 'rock bottom'.
  • by orphiuchus (1146483) on Sunday November 28, 2010 @11:18AM (#34365034)
    ...please explain. There is absolutely no way that this is actually what it looks like on the surface, its just way to ridiculous.
    • by esme (17526) on Sunday November 28, 2010 @12:02PM (#34365340) Homepage

      I doubt very much they are trying to argue that he's doing too good a job of defending people. My guess is that they are going after him for providing legal advice to people where he's lot licensed, providing legal advice to people he's never talked to, or some similar rule that's setup to prevent lawyers from ripping off clients. The amount of money they are asking for is probably justified as recouping their expenses that came from his "malpractice".

      I don't know the details of the case, or have any idea if he's technically in violation of some rule or not. I do know that retail-packaged legal advice (like make-your-own-will computer software) sometimes runs into problems in some jurisdictions, so it's not that big of a stretch to think this might stick.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Trekologer (86619)

        It sees that the USCG is now complaining that the motions that the defendants filed in response (using Syfert's document pack) should not be accepted. The rule (that USCG quotes) says that the defendant's council must discuss with plaintiff's council before filing such motion and then serve defendant council with copies of the motion. However, the defendants are not being represented by any council (and certainly not Syfert, as indicated by his reply to USCG's request for sanctions) so those rules would not

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Bigjeff5 (1143585)

        It's federal, so he can provide advice nation wide with no restrictions so long as he has passed the bar.

        They are trying to say the motions he advises people to file (he personally files nothing and does not defend these people in court) are a waste of the court's time and resources, since each motion must be responded to.

        Thing is, they teach you in law school to file motions even if you think they will probably fail. The judges know this, they see it every day, it's standard operating procedure. There ar

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by causality (777677)

      ...please explain. There is absolutely no way that this is actually what it looks like on the surface, its just way to ridiculous.

      It sounds like you have a handle on the situation.

      In more civilized times, an angry mob would tar-and-feather asshats like this.

  • Anyone know where one could download the self-representation paperwork packs?
    Im kidding.....

  • The first thing I think about when I see this if free advertising for the accused lawyer. I mean if only 19 people have used the documents and 10x the number have paid for said documents at 20 bucks a pop. That's only around 4k of revenue. The article published on slashdot will likely generate far more income now. So the question is, are these documents real and effective or is this just an advertising campaign?

  • by webheaded (997188)
    Normally you can at least see SOME sort of legal justification but I don't really see anything beyond "we're really mad he's making our jobs harder" and I'm not sure HOW they have legal grounds to sue him or have sanctions placed...he hasn't done anything illegal or even...WRONG in this case. WTF?
  • by Joe The Dragon (967727) on Sunday November 28, 2010 @11:31AM (#34365118)

    Can the USCG attorneys be disbarred over this? I don't think you can shut down a attorney like this. Prisons have tried to limit inmate access to court / filing lawsuits and the courts have said they can't do that.

    • I would think that an attorney suing another attorney is fairly common. Remember one party can sue anyone for any reason, especially in a civil matter. The chances of winning is another. The courts don't normally intervene unless one party is notorious for filing frivolous lawsuits. The USCG can be barred for certain actions like suborning perjury but not for act of suing.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by fishexe (168879)

        I would think that an attorney suing another attorney is fairly common. Remember one party can sue anyone for any reason, especially in a civil matter.

        Actually, if you file a suit which is clearly frivolous you can face sanctions under Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. You *can* sue anyone for anyone reason, but if the suit had no chance of winning then the attorney who filed it can face sanctions.

  • by Arancaytar (966377) <arancaytar.ilyaran@gmail.com> on Sunday November 28, 2010 @11:43AM (#34365218) Homepage

    Their legal team and/or cases sucked so much that they got their asses handed to them by untrained defendants using boilerplate this guy wrote.

    So now they want to sue him directly, after he already owned them by proxy, with a case that seems even more hilariously unjustified. What are they going to pin on him? Selling standard legal advice?

    Yeah, good luck.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Bigjeff5 (1143585)

      They have no legal standing to sue, that's the motion that wins.

      They are basically suing because this guy tells them to file three other motions in addition to the motion that USCG has no legal standing, and those three motions always fail.

      So, basically, USCG has no right to sue these people in the first place, but they are suing this guy for advising people to file the three more motions than necessary to defeat the lawsuits. Filing multiple motions in the hopes that one will "stick" is common practice, a

  • Wow! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MarkvW (1037596) on Sunday November 28, 2010 @12:20PM (#34365496)

    The lawyer trolls are going to lose. That's for sure. The only question is whether Mr. Syfert will get sanctions against them, and if so, how much those sanctions will be. Assuming that there is nothing defamatory in Mr. Syfert's materials, all Syfert did is sell information to third parties. There's no law against that (and the First Amendment supports it).

    The whole thing is now a free targeted promotional event on Mr. Syfert's behalf.

    Just a little bit of careful thought would have dissuaded the lawyer trolls from filing an action against Mr. Syfert. It will be fun to watch this circus as it unfolds its tents.

    • Re:Wow! (Score:4, Interesting)

      by mabhatter654 (561290) on Sunday November 28, 2010 @01:58PM (#34366358)

      if the forms and motions were not VALID, the court clerk would simply return them to sender along with a note that the motion is invalid. If the courts are accepting these "boilerplate" responses there must be something to them, or the court would sanction this guy directly.

  • by Skapare (16644) on Sunday November 28, 2010 @12:51PM (#34365760) Homepage

    ... pirated copies of these documents?

  • by Khyber (864651) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Sunday November 28, 2010 @02:06PM (#34366448) Homepage Journal

    Give me the names, and the address of the United States Copyright Group.

    I've still got a bunch of cash to burn and I'll happily burn it destroying them.

    Electronic Arts didn't fare too well against me (they settled to prevent precedent that would've killed the entire PC gaming industry) and I see EXACTLY how I'm going to destroy the US Copyright Group.

  • by grolschie (610666) on Sunday November 28, 2010 @02:47PM (#34366900)
    Fletcher: Your honor, I object!
    Judge: Why?
    Fletcher: Because it's devastating to my case!
  • by fishexe (168879) on Sunday November 28, 2010 @03:43PM (#34367546) Homepage
    Sounds like what this attorney was doing is fair game. If they can go after everyone with boilerplate, why can't people defend themselves with boilerplate? This fine, upstanding attorney is just making it happen, and taking one small step toward evening the odds. Of course the corporate behemoth doesn't like that; it thrives on being the beneficiary of a huge power imbalance.

Riches: A gift from Heaven signifying, "This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased." -- John D. Rockefeller, (slander by Ambrose Bierce)

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