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Righthaven's Lawyers Target of State Bar Investigation 49

Posted by Soulskill
from the as-ye-sow dept.
New submitter nwf writes "Ars Technica reports that three of copyright troll Righthaven's company lawyers, including CEO Steve Gibson, are the subject of a Nevada State Bar investigation. Details of the inquiry aren't public, but judges have been blasting Righthaven's legal team so strongly in court that the move is hardly a surprise."
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Righthaven's Lawyers Target of State Bar Investigation

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  • by orphiuchus (1146483) on Saturday January 14, 2012 @11:27AM (#38698044)

    ...is that for everyone who tries to make a career by abusing it, there's someone who's made a career by stopping people like them.

  • by pclminion (145572) on Saturday January 14, 2012 @11:30AM (#38698060)
    Don't kid yourselves. The ONLY reason Righthaven got boot stomped is because they were small and can't afford to pay off the right people. Not because what they were doing was "unacceptable" to our society. This is what happens when the little guy tries to play like the big guys.
    • You're just so CYNICAL! Can't you just accept the fact that sometimes, the lawyers and judges manage to do something right, just because it's right?

      Ohhhh - who am I kidding here? Yes, you got it right, and the MAFIAA organizations are the proof of that.

    • by hawk (1151) <hawk@eyry.org> on Saturday January 14, 2012 @01:40PM (#38699272) Journal

      I am a lawyer, but this is not legal advise. If you want legal advice, pay my retainer.

      That's just plain nonsense.

      Filing this stuff in a Nevada court was, shall we say, less than brilliant to start with. Neither our state or federal judges have much tolerance for trying to game the system with technicalities.

      Righthaven's "bright" idea was to technically assign the copyright to righthaven, which would sue, while leaving the beneficial ownership with the original holder.

      This violates so many basic principles that it's hard to list them all (lawyers owning an interest in the suit, a no lawyer firm practicing law, real parties in interest bring suit, . . )

      This is how righthaven lost, as it should have. It was also predicable, as log as someone stuck it the litigation.

      Now, if the papers had simply sued on their own behalf, some of the suits would have bee winnable. some, not all.

      The one that came across m desk involved an editor at the paper givng oral permission to use the articles, as long as they he full attribution. Turns out that righthaven was searching for the links back to the articles to find the "infringing" articles.

      Most of the uses out there probably were indeed infringing. However, it seems like the copyrights were only sent to righthaven after "violations" we're found, and only then registered with the copyright office' meaning that only actual damages were available up to the time of filing. With the articles remaining available from the papr for something like three bucks, this put a rather small cap on damages . . .

      hawk, esq.

      • by Khyber (864651)

        "Neither our state or federal judges have much tolerance for trying to game the system with technicalities."

        Except out in Texas. East Texas, specifically.

  • Lawyers (Score:5, Funny)

    by DnaK (1306859) on Saturday January 14, 2012 @11:30AM (#38698066)
    Lawyers getting in trouble for falsifying information? My god i thought lawyers were the good guys!
  • by danbuter (2019760) on Saturday January 14, 2012 @11:42AM (#38698156)
    I hope all of them get dis-barred for life. It's the only way other attorneys will get the message.
    • If you think other attorneys will get the message, you vastly underestimate the ego and chutzpah of the average lawyer.
  • by djl4570 (801529) on Saturday January 14, 2012 @11:49AM (#38698226) Journal
    They will sue the Nevada State Bar Association.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      That has actually happened in many states. Most recent one I can think of was Jack Thompson suing the Florida Bar Association.

      • by shentino (1139071)

        I'm surprised a warrant hasn't been issued for his arrest.

        • He's been disbarred though, notice how he's been a smidge quieter recently?
          • by shentino (1139071)

            Hardly quiet.

            He proclaimed the disbarment a legal nullity based on some fictitious technicality.

            I very much want to see him tossed in the clink for contempt of court.

  • You can chum the waters with shark meat.

  • Where do I go to get my stamp for beer?

  • by tsotha (720379)

    I won't be happy until they're hung, drawn, and quartered, their families are sold into slavery, and their fields are salted.

    Proverbially, of course.

  • by msobkow (48369) on Saturday January 14, 2012 @01:53PM (#38699380) Homepage Journal

    Here in Regina we have a lawyer named Tony Merchant who's been under investigation by the local bar many times, and he's not been chastized by the judges and the courts nearly as often as Righthaven.

    I was starting to think there was no oversight of it's members behaviour with Righthaven and a few ambulance-chasers making the news repeatedly but never being investigated.

    The bar association in each district is more than qualified and bound to pull the "lawyer licenses" from it's members who abuse their priveleges and the court system overall.

    Tony is still practicing, of course. There were issues that had to be resolved with his practice, and restitution made, but he learned his lesson and was allowed to continue practicing as a result. An investigation does not mean the Righthaven lawyers will be permanent disbarred, even if they are found "guilty" of something by the bar association in their state.

    • by msobkow (48369)

      As a "geek" who doesn't believe in Righthaven's abusive methods of using the threat of the courts to extort money from the accused, I do believe Righthaven has repeatedly violated the ethics of being a lawyer and should be permanently disbarred. Unlike Tony, they've been engaging in such activity for years and in hundreds or thousands of cases.

      • I have had exactly one experience with lawyers, and that was over a property dispute. The day before my deposition by the opposing lawyer, my lawyer and I sat down and reviewed all the evidence and arguments, and at the end of it she said "You, of course, must tell the truth. You cannot lie."

        There's no doubt that there are dishonest lawyers out there, and there is also often a bit of rationalization and see-no-evil behavior, but in general they are bound by a pretty strong code of ethics.

      • by Khyber (864651)

        So how do you disbar a no-lawyer organization?

        • by msobkow (48369)

          Easy. It's illegal to practice law and represent someone else in court. You're allowed to represent yourself, but only lawyers are allowed to represent any one else's interests in a case, including corporate interests.

          That's why you never see a "legal aide" prosecuting or defending a case, only filing paperwork to launch a case that has to be prosecuted or defended by the individual or their attourney.

          • by Khyber (864651)

            "Easy. It's illegal to practice law and represent someone else in court."

            Not true, not true at all. You can pick any person to be your lawyer. The worst that will happen is the judge will go "You've screwed this case up, default verdict. YOu should have hired a lawyer."

            I've seen it happen. Right before my own sentencing for prison.

The sooner all the animals are extinct, the sooner we'll find their money. - Ed Bluestone

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