Why filing a Motion To Quash an ISP Subpoena will fail.

motion-to-quash

A Motion to Quash might not be the proper response to a subpoena seeking to disclose your identity.

ISPs send you a notice saying that unless you file a motion to quash a subpoena, on a certain date they are obligated to hand over your contact information (your identity) to the plaintiff attorney. Their ISP subpoena notification letter suggests that YOU MUST file a motion to quash or object to the court, or else. In practice, filing a motion to quash might just get you in trouble. (Click to Tweet!)

Now, TWELVE YEARS LATER (January, 2022), the ISPs STILL SEND THE SAME ISP NOTIFICATION LETTER. Accused John Doe Defendants still read that letter and think, “Oh shoot! I need to hire an attorney to file a motion to quash!”

The original article started here:

“I have been closely monitoring the procedural side of a number of these copyright violation cases where thousands of internet users have been accused of illegally downloading various movies using the bittorrent protocol.”  

Motion to Quash – “IN THEORY”

Upon receipt of a notice that an ISP has been provided a subpoena forcing it to reveal the identity of a subscriber accused of downloading a copyrighted film, a motion to quash (a.k.a., an “objection to the court”) to stop the ISP from handing out the subscriber’s identity appears to be the suggested next step.  

Motion to Quash – “IN PRACTICE”

But IN PRACTICE, filing a motion to quash has not achieved the result we would like it to.  Plaintiff attorneys are claiming that the accused John Doe Defendant does not have “standing” to file the motion to quash because they are not yet a defendant in the case.

In 2010, there was a scam going on in mass-bittorrent-based copyright infringement cases.  Of the hundreds of defendants, NOBODY was named and served.

A number of these internet users have hired the Cashman Law Firm, PLLC to represent them through the “negotiation and settlement phase” of the lawsuit. [I put this phase in quotes because in truth what has been happening is that the plaintiff attorneys and the underlying media companies have performed what I consider a “slight of hand” with the legal system by naming each of these defendants in the lawsuit by their IP address or by being one of 1-5000 John Does.]

For the most part, as of today (this was November, 2010), the plaintiffs have not named any defendants in these cases. Instead, they have issued subpoenas to the internet service providers (the ISPs) forcing them to hand over their subscribers’ information. The plaintiffs claim this is so they can do “discovery.”

What is actually happening is that outside of the legal system, regardless of whether it is the Hurt Locker lawsuit, the Far Cry lawsuit, or any of the other smaller lawsuits, the plaintiff attorneys have been harassing the accused ISP subscribers and taunting them using scare tactics to persuade them to pay thousands of dollars each to make them go away. In my opinion, this is an abuse of the legal process, and I would like to see an attorney general order this activity stopped. Nevertheless, this is what is happening.

*2022 UPDATE*: This was a great article about motions to quash, but back when I wrote this article in 2010, copyright troll attorneys filed what were known as “mass bittorrent” copyright infringement lawsuits. Back then, it was common to have 5,000 John Doe Defendants clumped together in one lawsuit. TODAY, HOWEVER, copyright infringement cases usually only have ONE DEFENDANT — one “John Doe Subscriber assigned IP address 123.123.123.555” (or whatever the accused IP is).

However, even today (1/23/2022), ISPs still use the same ISP Subpoena Notification Letters that they did ten years earlier (in 2010). These ISP Subpoena Notification Letters still suggest that what the accused defendant needs to do is FILE A MOTION TO QUASH.

This actually happened: In 2010, a defense attorney sold “motion to quash” online forms for a few dollars a copy. Someone pirated the form, everyone used it, and the plaintiff attorney asked the court to sanction the defense attorney.

Because this happened in the context of this case, I kept this horribly terrible-but-funny piece of history in this article (I felt terrible for the attorney this happened to).

[Click here to read about this story in more depth.]

In 2010, a group of us attorneys were trying to figure out how to deal with the mass-bittorrent-copyright-infringement lawsuits, and specifically what to do about the ISP Subpoena Notification Letters where the accused defendants were led to believe that they should file a motion to quash as their next legal step to preserve the anonymity of their identity.

My approach was to realize that the motion to quash was a bad idea.

Another attorney’s approach [bless his heart, even today he has my utmost respect] decided to make a few bucks per defendant. He decided to sell “motion to quash” packages containing online forms to download and use (e.g., $10 per download). These “motion to quash” forms made it easy to file a motion to quash, and the attorney made a few bucks along the way, or else that was the plan.

…I will never forget the uncontrollable laughter an attorney next to me experienced when he realized that this defense attorney’s “motion to quash” package was pirated and UPLOADED TO THE BITTORRENT NETWORK. “What did you expect them to do?” he asked me.

As a result, many accused downloaders used this form to file motions to quash in this case (the one the article was written about). The plaintiff attorneys got mad at all of the extra paperwork this caused [because there were thousands of defendants], and they asked the court to sanction the defense attorney who sold the online “motion to quash” forms.

Why I do not recommend motions to quash.

Returning to the “motion to quash” topic, since then, a number of people have asked me why I do not advise a “march into court and file a motion to quash” approach.

Simply, so far, attorneys and individuals who filed motions to quash have not been successful. Just two days ago (2010), the plaintiff attorneys in the Voltage Pictures, LLC v. Does 1-5,000 case filed a motion asking the court to sanction an attorney who created forms which internet users purchased, copied-and-pasted, and filed with the court. [Now you know the story because I added it in, now 10 years later.]

While I just spent close to an hour e-mailing the attorney against whom sanctions were requested and suggesting ways as to how to properly defend himself against their accusations, the fact that the law firm maliciously went after this defense attorney trying to help people out of this situation is notable, but it is not useful to you, the reader.

motion-to-quash-isp-subpoena
blende12 / Pixabay

“NO STANDING” ARGUMENT: Filing a motion to quash is inapplicable to a defendant before he is named and served.

[2022 UPDATE: Unfortunately, it was this same case which gave birth to the “no standing to file a motion to quash” response that became a common plaintiff attorney response when someone files a motion to quash.]

What is telling is that in their motion (Case 1:10-cv-00873-RMU, Document 19, filed 11/22/2010, pages 4-6), the plaintiffs stated that a motion to quash, motions to dismiss, and motions for protective orders ARE COMPLETELY INAPPLICABLE BECAUSE DEFENDANTS ARE NOT YET NAMED OR SUED AS DEFENDANTS IN THE LAWSUIT. The plaintiffs continue (on page 5) and say, “The subpoenas are issued to the ISPs, and the Doe Defendants do not have to do anything in responding to the subpoenas [because they have not yet been named in the lawsuit].” (Emphasis added.)

2022 UPDATE: This document ended up causing the standard “no standing” response to all motions to quash filed after 2010. After this lawsuit, plaintiff attorneys responded to motions to quash by stating, “So-and-so just filed a motion to quash. However, I do not know who so-and-so is. I sued “John Does 1-5000”; so-and-so is not a defendant in this lawsuit.

“THUS, HE IS NOT A DEFENDANT IN THIS CASE, AND THUS HE HAS NO RIGHT TO FILE A MOTION TO QUASH YET. *IF AND WHEN* we name and serve him, if he does not live in the state, he can object to the personal jurisdiction of the court in his answer.”

…Thus the “no standing” objection to motions to quash were born, and thus died the filing a motion to quash.

My Opinion: There should be some motion or filing available to accused defendants, but a motion to quash has not yet been an effective answer.

I must point out that I disagree with the plaintiffs here because in my understanding, being named in a lawsuit (regardless of whether the defendant is named as an IP address or as a Doe Defendant) causes undue harm to the defendant even prior to being named as a defendant.

The reason I say this is that each John Doe Defendant is sent a threatening letter from their ISPs accusing them of illegal activity. Each Doe is “put on notice” that he or she has been named in a lawsuit and thus anticipates being sued. Each Doe Defendant is advised to retain an attorney and is told that he or she can be criminally and/or civilly liable for violation of the federal copyright laws.

Each Doe Defendant is then ACTIVELY solicited and threatened by the attorney plaintiffs to “pay up or face a real lawsuit” where a judgment can cost a family their home, all their savings, their freedom, and possibly force them into bankruptcy. In my opinion, to say that an unnamed John Doe Defendant at this point has no right to file such a motion because he does not yet have “standing,” and that such a motion is not yet applicable until the defendant is actually named in the lawsuit is simply irresponsible lawyering.

But so far, I have not seen the motions to quash be an effective tool against the media companies looking to enforce their copyrights. I have not seen the judges letting defendants off the hook for simply sending in letters and/or form responses asserting what in my opinion are proper jurisdictional arguments.

[2022 UPDATE: We are now 12 years later from the date I wrote this letter, and motions to quash are still the same, plagued with the same issues (and yielding the same response from the plaintiff attorneys) and the same outcomes. Cases have evolved and copyright trolls started suing defendants in the state in which they lived (making motions to quash useless because they claim the plaintiff sued them in the wrong state), but the “no standing” problem is still there, even today.

Similarly, the ISP subpoena notification letters still make the ISP subscribers think that they need to immediately file a motion to quash to preserve their anonymity. I am happy to share that after all of the articles I wrote over the years on motions to quash, now people are educated on the topic. Nevertheless, the initial gut reaction when someone is sued as a John Doe is STILL to file a motion to quash.

…still, twelve years later! [Please click here to Tweet!]


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    My name is Rob Cashman, I am the author of the TorrentLawyer blog; I am also the owner of the Cashman Law Firm, PLLC where we defend internet users who are accused of downloading pirated software, streaming uploaded movies, or using cracked software [without realizing that the owner was monitoring your use]. Now you are facing a copyright infringement lawsuit.

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    In my field, many attorneys are trying to get your attention, some using misinformation or fear tactics, others using legal strategy “silver bullets” which they know to be ineffective, and yet others by luring-you-in to “litigate” or “fight,” only to bait-and-switch you into a costly settlement negotiation.

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    The ISP Subpoena Notification Letter that you received in the mail likely used terms such as “file an objection with the court,” or “file a motion to quash” threatening that if you did not do this by a certain date, they would hand over your contact information to the copyright holder who sued you.

    The ISP’s letter (which is the same letter they have been using for 10 years now) gives the accused “John Doe” defendant an urgent need to act now or else lose everything. It also provides false hope that by acting now, the accused defendant’s contact information would remain “anonymous.” Yet after ten years, they continue to suggest that by filing this motion to quash with the court, even though doing so has rarely been effective.

    So-called defense attorneys have seized upon the ISP letter’s terminology, and they have built websites around the words “motion to quash” and “anonymous” to make their potential clients believe the attorney is protecting their anonymity when really, that attorney is looking to further his or her boilerplate cookie-cutter settlement scheme. We call these attorneys “settlement factories.”

    With cheap tricks such as luring you in to “file a motion to quash” when the attorney knew doing so would be ineffective, or suggesting that you settle the claims against you without being sensitive to the simple fact that you did not do the download or infringe their copyrights, there are many scams and schemes you are exposed to.


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    If you are still with me, it has always been our goal with the TorrentLawyer blog and its 200+ articles to report what we have found to be the best strategies in dealing with each copyright holder.

    As we learned strategies for each copyright holder [and personality-specific news about many “copyright troll” attorneys], we created FAQ pages to sort-and-simplify FACT from FICTION. However, our pages remained long and in-depth.

    Most recently, we realized that by figuring out which CATEGORY OF DEFENDANT you fall into, you can properly understand how to best approach your lawsuit.

    For example, you might be:

    1) an engineer accused of using Siemens Industry Software Inc.’s NX software without a license,

    or you might be:

    2) accused of downloading Strike 3 Holdings, LLC’s copyrighted videos or accused of downloading some other movie company’s failed movies (Fallen Productions, Inc.) which have been leaked onto the internet (possibly by the copyright holders themselves).

    Or, your might be further along in your case and you might have been:

    3) named and served as a defendant where you were formerly a “John Doe” placeholder defendant…

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    Each CATEGORY OF DEFENDANT is best served with a different approach.

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      ISP SUBPOENA NOTIFICATION RECEIVED FOR DOWNLOADING MOVIES.

      If you are here, chances are you received an ISP Subpoena Notification that you are IMPLICATED as a “John Doe” defendant. Now you want to know what to do.

      If you have already been named and served as a defendant, there is TIME-SENSITIVE relevant information that you need to know IMMEDIATELY. [Click here] to understand your options once you are NAMED AND SERVED as a defendant.

      ISP Subpoena Letter Walkthrough | Cashman Law Firm, PLLC

      ISP SUBPOENA NOTIFICATION WALKTHROUGH: TABLE OF CONTENTS.

      The purpose of this walk-through is to explain to you each topic that you as a “John Doe” defendant need to be aware of.

      Click on the “Go to the Top” link to return to the list of topics below:

      1. How did I get sued (and how was I caught)?,
      2. Why did I receive an ISP Subpoena Letter from my ISP?,
      3. How does copyright law apply to my lawsuit?,
      4. What if someone else used my internet connection? Would I still be responsible if it was not me (the ISP account holder) who did the download?
      5. What is a “John Doe” defendant and what if the person who did the download is not the account holder?
      6. What are my options now that I am sued as a “John Doe”?
        1. If I didn’t do the download, can I LITIGATE the claims against me?
        2. Can I SETTLE the claims against me now by paying them money?
        3. Should I file a MOTION TO QUASH / an “opposition” as my ISP notification letter suggested that I could to hide my identity?
        4. What happens if I just IGNORE this whole thing?
      7. Until when am I anonymous? Am I still anonymous now? Will I still be anonymous once my ISP shares my information with the plaintiff attorney?
      8. When to hire an attorney, and
      9. How do I hire YOU as my attorney? Will you take me as your client?

      Have you read enough? Book Now to get help. > >

      HOW DID I GET SUED?

      Your internet service provider (ISP) sent you a letter noting that a particular IP address (e.g., 108.225.23.115) was observed downloading or streaming copyrighted content.

      Until now, most lawsuits have been filed against internet users because the IP address assigned to the ISP account subscriber was “observed” joining a bittorrent swarm (where the uploading and downloading of the copyrighted movie was tracked by the copyright holder’s “experts”).

      Recent developments suggest that you could have also been sued because you visited a website which had content hosted by Cloudflare (or that was tracked with Google Analytics), and your IP address was “observed” in the company’s logs as having viewed or streamed a movie that was hosted on a particular website.

      Have you read enough? Book Now to get help. > >

      Go to the Top:

      WHY DID I RECEIVE A ISP SUBPOENA LETTER?

      You received the ISP subpoena letter informing you that you are a “John Doe” defendant simply because you are the you are the subscriber on the ISP account.

      The plaintiff attorneys [in theory] are supposed to do their due research before suing anyone, but the only tangible evidence they have is an IP address that was “observed” streaming or downloading a copyrighted movie.

      They cannot sue an IP address “because an IP address is not a person.” Thus, they jump to the conclusion that since you pay the internet bill, you must have been the one who was sitting at the computer when the copyright infringement occurred.

      Go to the Top:

      Without going into legal mumbo jumbo [remember, this article is simply to give you the information that you need], copyright infringement occurs when someone creates an unlicensed copy or duplicate of a copyrighted movie or film.

      Using bittorrent software to download a copy of the movie onto your computer is copyright infringement.

      “Watching” an unlicensed copy of the movie [from an unlicensed source] is copyright infringement. Why? In order to “stream” the movie on your computer, it must buffer or copy — even pieces at a time for only a few seconds at a time — the entire movie onto your computer.

      “Unlicensed sources” are pirate websites that advertise “free movies.” Some charge a monthly fee, others sell hardware which is modified to show pirated films (think, a pirated set top box, or a “Kodi Fire TV Stick”). Legitimate (licensed) sources of copyrighted content include Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, etc.

      Using Kodi and its plug-ins to “scrape” various websites to watch (“stream”) unlicensed copies of the movie is copyright infringement.

      Have you read enough? Book Now to get help. > >

      Go to the Top:

      WHAT IF SOMEONE ELSE USED MY INTERNET CONNECTION?

      You are not liable for copyright infringement for unlawful activity that occurs on your internet account without your knowledge or authorization.

      You cannot be found liable when a neighbor uses your internet wireless connection (“wi-fi”) without your knowledge or consent.

      You cannot be found liable when your 18+ yr. old daughter comes home from college and without your knowledge or consent watches a video she found on The Pirate Bay or PopcornTime [but she can be sued].

      You [the account holder] cannot be found liable when your SPOUSE watches a pirated video without your knowledge and consent [but he can be sued].

      Have you read enough? Book Now to get help. > >

      Go to the Top:

      WHAT IS A “JOHN DOE” DEFENDANT?

      “JOHN DOE” DEFENDANT PLACEHOLDERS WHO RECEIVE ISP SUBPOENA NOTIFICATION LETTERS.

      A “John Doe” or “Doe” is a PLACEHOLDER for a real person to be added later when the plaintiff attorney determines who actually committed the copyright infringement.

      A “John Doe” Defendant is a defendant who has not yet been named and served, but who has been implicated as a potential defendant in the lawsuit.

      At the “John Doe” stage of the lawsuit (before anyone is named and served), the plaintiff attorney presumes that the John Doe defendant is really the account holder. However, the plaintiff attorney could amend the complaint and name and serve someone entirely separate from the account holder.

      For example, the wife could be the account holder and the accused “John Doe” defendant. However, if her husband is the one who downloaded or streamed the movie without permission to do so (and the plaintiff attorney figures this out), he would name and serve the husband as the defendant in the lawsuit.

      When ISPs receive a subpoena from the plaintiff attorney ordering them to share the identity of one of their subscriber, they notify their subscribers (via an ISP subpoena letter in the mail) letting them know that they are being forced to share their information.

      It is in this “ISP Subpoena Letter” that the account holder learns that she is implicated as a defendant in a particular lawsuit.

      Have you read enough? Book Now to get help. > >

      Go to the Top:

      WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS NOW THAT I AM IMPLICATED AS A “JOHN DOE” DEFENDANT?

      You have three options now that you have been implicated as a “John Doe” Defendant:

      Option 1: Litigation (the extreme response that you will likely not take until you are named and served as a defendant).

      Option 1) File an answer with the court and proceed with litigation.

      After you file an answer with the court, you will probably end up answering questions under oath (interrogatory) or showing up at a deposition (answering questions in person under oath).

      This deposition is where they will take your testimony to prove whether [or not] it was you who did the download.

      If you did not do the download, the plaintiff attorney could dismiss you by filing a “Notice of Dismissal” with the court.

      If [in your testimony] you indicate that someone else did the download (e.g., a family member, a spouse, etc.), the plaintiff attorney will amend the complaint and add the person they believe actually did the download.

      If they amend the complaint, (your family member, spouse, child, visitor, or roommate) would need to be served, and they would need to file an answer with the court and answer questions under oath, just as you did.

      I am simplifying the litigation process, but I described the process to demonstrate that if you did not do the download, then you do not need to worry about litigation in a copyright infringement lawsuit.

      Go to the Top:

      NOTE: If you believe your family member did the download (e.g., if your 18+ child was home from college, and without your knowledge she or her friends downloaded the copyrighted videos), putting her through a lawsuit [that could affect her future career prospects] is probably not the choice you would make. Instead, to protect her, there are ways to settle the claims and protect your family without involving them in the lawsuit.

      Have you read enough? Book Now to get help. > >

      Go to the Top:

      Option 2: Settle

      Option 2) Settle the claims against you. If you are concerned that through the simple legal process described above that you will admit guilt to copyright infringement (or the plaintiff attorney will learn that you or a loved one actually committed copyright infringement), then you will be hiring an attorney to negotiate a settlement of the claims against you.

      I still believe that if you did not do the download, you should not settle the claims against you. But people have their reasons for settling.

      If you are settling to protect a loved one from being sued, your attorney (me or anyone else) would know to expand the scope of the settlement agreement to not only release you, but your loved ones as well.

      Have you read enough? Book Now to get help. > >

      Go to the Top:

      Option 3: Filing an “opposition” with the court, also known as a “motion to quash” to prevent your ISP from handing over your contact information.

      Option 3) The logic in filing a “motion to quash” is that IF you are successful in preventing the plaintiff attorney from knowing WHO YOU ARE, then they cannot sue you.

      By filing a “motion to quash,” you are trying to relieve your ISP from a judge’s order which instructed it to share your contact information to the plaintiff attorney.

      Filing a “motion to quash” tells the court that the subpoena issued to your ISP is defective because the federal court that authorized the subpoena does not have “personal jurisdiction” over you.

      For example, if you live outside of the state in which you were sued, you could file a motion to quash the subpoena by demonstrating to the court that it has no personal jurisdiction over you. Rather, if the plaintiff attorney wishes to sue you, they could sue you in the federal court of the home state in which you live.

      The first problem with a motion to quash is you are not yet a “named and served defendant,” but rather a mere “John Doe” placeholder. Thus the plaintiff attorney will argue that you do not yet have “standing” to file a motion to quash.

      The second problem with motions to quash is that if you are successful, the plaintiff attorney can [through his laptop] easily re-file the lawsuit in your home state’s federal court [undoing your efforts and the thousands of dollars you just paid to your attorney to file the motion to quash].

      Have you read enough? Book Now to get help. > >

      Go to the Top:

      Option 4) Ignore the lawsuit and pray that you do not get named and served.

      Option 4) Ignore the lawsuit and hope that you do not get named and served. Our law firm over the years had strategies on how to minimize the risk in doing this. We used to call it the “IGNORE ROUTE.”

      However, the immediate risk is that a client could get named and served when ignoring the lawsuit. We would hope for professional courtesy for a plaintiff attorney to let us know when our client will be named and served, but this does not always occur.

      The effectiveness of this strategy has become diminished because the number of defendants sued in each lawsuit has declined significantly. No longer does one lawsuit contain 2,000+ John Doe Defendants, but now, 1-25 John Doe Defendants.

      Have you read enough? Book Now to get help. > >

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      UNTIL WHEN AM I ANONYMOUS?

      When the lawsuit is filed, the plaintiff attorney does not know your identity. You are 100% anonymous.

      Assuming that you (the account holder) will not file a motion to quash for the reasons we discussed above, the ISP will be under a duty to comply with the subpoena. They will comply by sharing the account information of the subscriber that was assigned the IP address on the date and time when the pirated movie was streamed or copied.

      Generally, ISPs give their account holders 30 days before they comply with the subpoena.

      Once the 30 days elapses (or whatever deadline provided by the ISP subpoena letter), they will share the account subscriber’s information with the plaintiff attorney.

      Once the ISP complies with the subpoena and shares your contact information with the plaintiff attorney, the plaintiff attorney learns who you are (and where you live).

      After the ISP complies with the subpoena, you are no longer anonymous because the plaintiff attorney knows who you are.

      Have you read enough? Book Now to get help. > >

      Go to the Top:

      However, even though the plaintiff attorney knows who you are, there is no mention of your name on the court’s docket… not even the judge or anyone else in the world knows who you are or that you are involved in this lawsuit. Thus, aside from the plaintiff attorney knowing who you are, you are still anonymous.

      The plaintiff attorney has 90 days from the date he filed the lawsuit to name and serve you as a defendant. During this time, he will try to solicit a multi-thousand dollar settlement from you. In theory, he should also be investigating whether you actually did the download you were accused of when he filed the lawsuit.

      Merely filing the lawsuit with the intent of requesting a settlement from each defendant without investigating whether they actually did the accused download makes the plaintiff attorney (and his client [the movie production company]) copyright trolls.

      Once the plaintiff’s 90 day deadline to name and serve defendants has elapsed (the plaintiff attorney can ask the judge to extend this deadline multiple times), to avoid having the judge dismiss the case, the plaintiff attorney must at some point amend the complaint in the lawsuit and name and serve the defendant.

      Amending the complaint changes your status from an anonymous “John Doe” [placeholder] to your real name. At this point, you are no longer anonymous and the world knows who you are because your name is written on the court’s docket as being a defendant of this copyright infringement lawsuit.

      Have you read enough? Book Now to get help. > >

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      WHEN TO HIRE AN ATTORNEY

      The best time to hire an attorney is WHILE YOU ARE STILL A “JOHN DOE” *AND* WHILE YOU ARE STILL ANONYMOUS. The best time to hire an attorney is as soon as you receive the ISP subpoena letter.

      Once the plaintiff attorney learns who you are, unless you are represented by an attorney, he will initiate his investigation as to whether you downloaded, streamed, or viewed the copyrighted video or movie.

      To avoid the plaintiff attempting to contact you, before he learns who you are [from your ISP], you should hire an attorney to represent you as soon as you receive the ISP subpoena letter.

      This means that you should hire an attorney before your ISP shares your contact information with the plaintiff attorney. This happens as soon as they deadline indicated on the ISP subpoena letter passes.

      When you retain us as your attorney, we will send over a LETTER OF REPRESENTATION to the plaintiff attorney. This is a legal document that places him “on notice” that you are represented by an attorney. Thus, all communications — all phone calls, all letters, all attempts to secure documentation, data, evidence, etc. all must go through me (the attorney).

      The LETTER OF REPRESENTATION should be sent to the plaintiff attorney before the ISP shares your information with the plaintiff attorney (while you are still anonymous).

      Have you read enough? Book Now to get help. > >

      [You can still hire an attorney after the plaintiff attorney knows who you are (or even after you are named and served as a defendant), but up to the point that you retain us, we cannot control the flow of information and the communications or inadvertent admissions of guilt that might have occurred.]

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      HOW DO I HIRE YOU AS MY ATTORNEY?

      To hire me as your attorney, schedule a phone consultation so that we can speak about your case. I will happily answer any questions you still have. We will also speak about how much we cost, and I will provide you an estimate of how much it will cost you based on how you want to proceed.

      For our phone consultation:

      I do not charge for the phone consultation, but I do ask that you respect my time constraints.

      There is NO EXPECTATION that you will be a client of mine once we speak (I do not take every person I speak to as a client).

      My ONLY goal is to give you exactly the answers you need (which are not always the answers you want).

      I have nothing wrong with giving you answers that you don’t like, even if that causes you to decide not to retain our law firm’s services. I prefer that if and when you retain me, you know exactly what you are agreeing to, and that you know [as much as possible] the outcome we will be achieving on your behalf.

      When you set up an appointment, you will receive the opportunity to upload a copy of the paperwork you received from your ISP. This is your ISP subpoena letter. Please provide this to me so that I can look up your lawsuit before we speak.

      Have you read enough? Book Now to get help. > >

      Go to the Top:

      What if all of your appointments are booked before the ISP needs to share my information?

      If you cannot get an immediate appointment with our law firm:

      1. Schedule the earliest appointment possible on our calendar. Then,
      2. Send me an e-mail — [email protected].
      3. a) Let me know that you have a deadline [that your ISP will be sharing your information before you could find an available time slot for us to speak].
        b) Let me know what dates and times you can take my call.
        c) Let me know that you would like to move your scheduled phone consultation to as early a time as possible.

      Have you read enough? Book Now to get help. > >

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      Can I tell you about my circumstances before setting up the free phone consultation?

      YES. Before setting up an appointment, if you want to contact me first to tell me about your particular circumstances, you can:

      1) Send me an e-mail at [email protected],

      2) Fill out a form on any page of our website (I see, read, and respond to each one of these), or

        3) Send a text message to 713-364-3476. This is our law firm’s phone number, but it also works to receive text messages (obviously let me know who you are when you send me a text message).

        VOICEMAILS: With these lawsuits, I often get too many phone calls at a time for it to be efficient to answer each call. End result: many calls will go into voicemail.

        Because sometimes 100+ individuals will call in a week, I DO NOT WANT YOU TO LEAVE A VOICEMAIL because it might be days before I even see it. (BUT I see e-mails and contact forms immediately as soon as they are sent).

        Thus, instead of leaving a voicemail, please send me an e-mail at [email protected], or set up a time for us to speak.

        Have you read enough? Book Now to get help. > >

        FAQ SECTION (RECAP)

        • What are my options when I am sued as a John Doe Defendant in a lawsuit?

          cashman-law-firm-logo

          You have four options when sued as a John Doe Defendant in a lawsuit.

          You can:
          1) File an answer with the court and proceed with litigation.
          2) Settle the claims against you.
          3) File an “opposition” with the court, also known as a “motion to quash,” to prevent your ISP from handing over your contact information.
          4) Do nothing. Ignore the subpoena, do not file a motion to quash (here is why not to file a motion to quash), and wait to see whether you are named and served as a defendant.

        • How did I get sued for copyright infringement?

          Most lawsuits are filed against internet users because the IP address assigned to the ISP account subscriber is observed joining a bittorrent swarm (where the uploading and downloading of the copyrighted movie was tracked by the copyright holder’s “experts”).

        • Can I only get sued for copyright infringement by using BitTorrent?

          No. Recent developments suggest that you could be sued by visiting a website which has copyrighted content hosted by Cloudflare. You could also have visited a webpage containing pirated content, and your IP address was tracked with Google Analytics. In both cases, your IP address is observed in the company’s logs as having viewed or streamed a movie that was hosted on a particular website.

        • Why did I receive an ISP subpoena letter?

          You received an ISP subpoena letter informing you that have been implicated as a “John Doe” defendant in a copyright infringement lawsuit. You received the letter simply because you are the you are the subscriber on the ISP account.

        • Can the copyright holder sue an IP address?

          No. A copyright holder cannot sue an IP address because an IP address is not a person. Instead, copyright holders sue the ISP account holder which was assigned that IP address when the copyright infringement occurred. Their logic is that since you pay the internet bill, you must have been the one who was sitting at the computer when the copyright infringement occurred.

        • How can I get sued for watching movies or streaming content online?

          You can get sued for copyright infringement if your IP address is monitored viewing, streaming, or downloading copyrighted content without a license.

          Unlicensed sources of movies are pirate websites which advertise “free movies.” Legitimate (licensed) sources of copyrighted content include Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, etc.

        • Can I get sued for copyright infringement if someone else used my internet connection?

          Yes, you can get sued for copyright infringement if someone else uses your internet account to download, stream, or view copyrighted content without a license.

          However, you are not liable for copyright infringement for unlawful activity that occurs on your internet account without your knowledge or your authorization.

        • What is a John Doe Defendant?

          A John Doe defendant is a placeholder for a real person to be added later when the plaintiff attorney determines who actually committed the unlawful act.

          A John Doe Defendant is a defendant who has not yet been named and served as a defendant, but who has been implicated as a potential defendant in the lawsuit.

        • Am I anonymous when I am a John Doe Defendant?

          It depends. Before your ISP hands your contact information to the plaintiff attorney in response to an ISP subpoena, you are anonymous.

          If you do not file a motion to quash and your ISP provides your contact information to the plaintiff attorney, you are no longer anonymous because the plaintiff attorney knows who you are.

          However, the entire time you are a John Doe Defendant, you are anonymous as far as the world is concerned. Nobody knows you are involved in the lawsuit, and nobody other than the plaintiff attorney knows you are accused of the unlawful conduct.

        • How would I know if I am a defendant in a copyright infringement lawsuit?

          You would know you are a defendant in a copyright infringement lawsuit when your ISP sends you a subpoena notification letter letting you know you are a defendant in the lawsuit.

          When ISPs receive a subpoena from the plaintiff attorney ordering them to share the identity of one of their subscriber, they notify their subscribers (via an ISP subpoena letter in the mail) letting them know that they are being forced to share their information.

        • How do I fight the copyright infringement claims against me?

          To fight the claims against you, you would 1) file an answer with the court denying all charges. You would then 2) show up to a case management hearing where dates and deadlines are set. 3) You would then be asked to show up at a deposition where the plaintiff attorney would take your testimony under oath to determine whether you did the unlawful activities you are accused of.

        • What happens at a copyright infringement deposition?

          The purpose of a deposition is to obtain your testimony under oath. In a copyright infringement deposition, you will be asked to sit down in front of a court reporter where you would be asked questions under oath. Your answers would be used as testimony to prove your guilt or non-guilt.

        • What questions are asked at a copyright infringement deposition?

          In a copyright infringement deposition, the plaintiff attorney would ask you whether you have downloaded, streamed, or viewed their copyrighted films using bittorrent.

        • In a copyright infringement deposition, do they need me to admit guilt?

          No. A copyright infringement lawsuit is a civil lawsuit, which means that the plaintiff attorney needs to prove that it is “more likely than not” you who did the download. They must establish that they are 51% sure that you did the download.

        When is the best time to hire an attorney in a copyright infringement lawsuit?

        The best time to hire an attorney in a copyright infringement lawsuit is while you are still a John Doe Defendant. During the John Doe Defendant stage, you are not yet in litigation, and the plaintiff may or may not know who you are. It is during this stage that you can hire an attorney to discuss the claims against you with the plaintiff attorney, and to convince the plaintiff attorney not to name and serve you as a defendant.

        Go to the Top:

        NOTE: No attorney client relationship is established by sending this form, and while the attorney-client privilege (which keeps everything that you share confidential and private) attaches immediately when you contact me, I do not become your attorney until we sign a contract together.  That being said, please do not state anything incriminating about your case when using this form, or more practically, in any e-mail.

        ISP Subpoena Notification Letter | Cashman Law Firm, PLLC | Logo


        10101 Fondren Road, Suite 452, Houston, TX 77096
        Tel: 713-364-3476
        Fax: 281-764-8744
        info [at] cashmanlawfirm.com

        © 2017-2022 by Cashman Law Firm, PLLC.
        All Rights Reserved.

        Comparing the “no settlement” defense over the “ignore” strategy.

        Our Cashman Law Firm, PLLC used to offer an “IGNORE” route to clients (and in certain circumstances, we still do).

        Our Cashman Law Firm, PLLC used to offer clients an “ignore” route, where we would represent a client and handle all functions an attorney would take care of in a lawsuit, but we would not settle claims against a client.  For a while, this was a low cost successful strategy, and it was a good alternative to not being represented at all.  However, today, the strategy is not applicable to certain copyright holders who regularly name and serve clients.  For this reason, based on the suggestions of Matt Sag in his “Defense Against The Dark Arts of Copyright Trolling” paper, we are offering an even lower cost representation catered to those innocent clients who are left out of current attorney representation, namely, fighting the claims against a client, or negotiating a settlement.  This “no settlement” option is a strategy that I look forward to providing our clients.

        WHY WE OFFERED THE “IGNORE” ROUTE TO CLIENTS

        Our Cashman Law Firm, PLLC understands that in a number of ‘copyright troll’ situations, that the plaintiff attorneys were averse to naming and serving a “John Doe” Defendant.  Rather, they would prefer to keep the litigation in a “pre-trial” “pre-name-and-serve” state where they can continue to solicit settlements until the judge eventually forces them under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) Rule 4(m) to name and serve defendants or dismiss the case in its entirety.

        With this understanding, our firm offered a service which we called the “ignore route.”  (We also referred to it as “playing chicken” with the plaintiff attorney, drawing analogy to the 1960’s car game where two people each get into the driver’s seat of a car and drive straight towards each other at top speed, the first to swerve out of the impending head-on collision is the “chicken”.)

        HOW THE “IGNORE” ROUTE WORKED

        In this “ignore route,” we would take the “John Doe” defendant as a client, and we would send a letter of representation over to the plaintiff attorney.  This would invoke the ethical rule that prevents them from communicating with our client, the John Doe Defendant.  Thus, we would effectively stop the plaintiff attorney from being able to ask questions of our clients, some of whom did the downloading, some of whom did not.  As part of this “ignore route,” we would not offer a settlement, but we would also not engage the copyright troll in evidence-based discussions to establish whether our client was indeed the downloader or not.

        Eventually, once the plaintiff attorney ‘copyright troll’ collected a sufficient number of settlements from the other defendants, he would dismiss the case in its entirety, and our client’s ‘John Doe’ entity would be dismissed in the mix.  We would then notify the client of the dismissal, close his file, and move on.  As to the plaintiff attorney, we would continue to represent that client, and if any communications or attempts to settle were presented, we would communicate that with our client.

        MOST CLIENTS NEVER PAID SETTLEMENTS WITH THE “IGNORE” ROUTE

        Most clients who retained our Cashman Law Firm, PLLC for the “ignore” route never paid a settlement, and were never named and served as a defendant.  As part of our agreement, I continued to monitor the case and report back to the client as soon as anything relevant happened which affected the client’s involvement in the case.  If we suspected that the plaintiff attorney developed a proclivity to name and serve defendants, or if we received word that the plaintiff attorney would be naming and serving our client (filtering through the threats and bluffs to an actual threat), we would then give the client the choice as to whether to have us open up settlement negotiations on their behalf or not.

        Again, I am happy to share that most did not settle.

        THE “IGNORE” ROUTE WAS A GOOD STRATEGY, UNTIL IT WASN’T

        The “ignore” route was for a time a successful strategy, until certain plaintiff attorneys realized what we were doing.  As a result of this, a number of copyright trolls who sued John Doe Defendants from out of state hired local counsel and started naming and serving defendants.  Thus, the “ignore” route was effective only until the plaintiff attorney was willing to act on his threat and name and serve defendants.

        COMPARING 1) THE “IGNORE” ROUTE TO 2) THE “NO SETTLEMENT” REPRESENTATION ROUTE

        WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE “IGNORE” ROUTE AND THE “NO SETTLEMENT” REPRESENTATION ROUTE?

        The difference between the “ignore” route and the “NO SETTLEMENT” representation route is 1) one of time, 2) one of price, 3) one of strategy, and 4) one of innocence or “non-guilt.”

        TIME

        The “ignore” route took significantly longer to accomplish.  We monitored the cases daily on PACER to determine what the plaintiff attorney was doing with other “John Doe” defendants.  We also took the time to research and monitor the other lawsuits that same attorney (or those from his firm) filed in other states to understand what he would do in this case.  As such, a representation such as this one was more time intensive than the “no settlement” representation route because we were always in communication with the client, the opposing counsel, and other attorneys to determine when the “chicken game” strategy would lose its effectiveness.

        With the “ignore” route, John Doe Defendants were our active client for sometimes six months or longer.  In the early days, there were cases that went for over two years (the “Hard Drive Productions, Inc. v. Does” and “West Coast Productions, Inc. v. Does” cases come to mind), and we represented clients actively throughout that entire two year period for that one time fee they paid when they retained our firm.

        PRICE

        For the “ignore” route, we had clients pay a modest one-time fee.  Our firm guaranteed that the fee would cover all the months of research, monitoring, and interactions we had with the plaintiff attorneys on their behalf.  Because we often had multiple clients in one case, we were able to keep our costs low for the client.

        Obviously from a business sense, we tried to best estimate how long such a representation would take based on our experience with previous clients and previous cases with that same ‘copyright troll’ plaintiff attorney, but as a general rule, we were able to offload most of the expense a defendant would need to incur and thus the “ignore” route was at the time the cheapest route (aside from representing one’s self in the case).

        STRATEGY

        The “ignore” route is based on the theory that it is more costly for a plaintiff attorney ‘copyright troll’ to name and serve a defendant and proceed through the stages of litigation than it is to simply collect settlements from “settlement factory attorneys” who would scare their clients into paying thousands of dollars per case.  After collecting his extortion pay from the “settlement factory attorneys,” the plaintiff would then focus his efforts on other non-represented “John Doe” defendants.  In practice, our clients were never contacted and thus they paid no settlement.

        The “no settlement” representation is different from the “ignore route” representation in that the “no settlement” representation has us sending a notice of representation, followed by a declaration stating that the client did not do the download, and that he is unwilling to settle.  There is no calculating the proclivities of the plaintiff attorney, and there is no timing or strategizing if or when a settlement would be needed.  The strategy behind the “no settlement” representation is that the client did not do the download, and should not need to pay an attorney to prove his innocence.

        The “no settlement” representation relies on the fact that the plaintiff attorney can suffer consequences and sanctions if he names and serves the innocent defendant, as he would be fighting an innocent client.  And, as the attorney for this client, we are willing, able, and ready to defend the client should he be named and served.

        Knowledge of the copyright troll’s scheme where he does not actually have evidence of infringement is not relevant here, as the client has no need to fight the case because he did not do the download.  Thus, whether the attorney has faulty evidence or not is not relevant in this representation.

        INNOCENCE / NON-GUILT OF THE CLIENT

        The “no settlement” representation is built on the premise that we will be sending a declaration to the plaintiff attorney putting him on notice that our client is not the infringer.  By doing this, there is no further discussion or back-and-forth between myself and the plaintiff attorney.  I certainly would accept and forward evidence the plaintiff attorney would like to share, but engaging in investigations is not part of this representation.  The plaintiff attorney can name and serve the client, wait, or dismiss.

        This is different from the “ignore” route, where it is unclear whether the client did the download or not.  In the ignore route, we still avoid discussions with the plaintiff attorney as we would with the “no settlement” representation.  However, because guilt or non-guilt of my client is still in play, the plaintiff attorney has a number of ways of how to proceed.  He can offer a settlement, he can name and serve the client, or he can focus his efforts on the “settlement factory” attorneys who are willing to offer him huge sums of cash to dismiss his John Doe defendant.  The stated goal of the “ignore” route is to ignore, and not to settle.

        If our client gets named and served in the “ignore” route, the faulty evidence of the plaintiff attorney becomes very relevant, as this would be part of our defense strategy in representing the client in the later phases of the lawsuit.  Also relevant would be questions of joiner, guilt or innocence, questioning the validity of the experts according to the Daubert principles, and investigating the software used to track the client as he allegedly downloaded the film.

        IN CONCLUSION

        In sum, the “no settlement” representation and the “ignore” route differ in a number of ways.  The “ignore” route representation 1) sometimes took many months or years to complete, 2) it was more expensive than the current “no settlement” representation innocence letter strategy, 3) it saves time because the plaintiff is aware that the attorney sending the “no settlement” letter has a client who is unwilling to settle, and 4) the innocent client accused of copyright infringement has a low cost strategy on how to approach the copyright troll problem.

        Obviously the ‘copyright troll’ attorneys will try to defeat this strategy by naming and serving a certain number of these defendants.  However, our Cashman Law Firm, PLLC is very well aware of the weaknesses of the plaintiff’s case, and we are ready to expose those weaknesses for our clients.  We credit Matthew Sag and the “Defense Against the Dark Arts of Copyright Trolling” for exposing to the world the problems with the copyright troll lawsuits, and we look forward to seeing an end to copyright trolling once and for all.

        “No Settlement” Representation Option Offered to John Doe Defendants

        Cashman Law Firm offering a "NO SETTLEMENT" option

        “I did not do it, I am not willing to settle.”

        It might not be readily apparent why I am offering a “no settlement representation” option for defendants accused of copyright infringement.  Paying an attorney $750 so that attorney can review your case, speak to you, send a letter of representation, following that up with a letter indicating that you did not do the download and you are not interested in settling might make you question why this is of use to you.

        Copyright infringement lawsuits (a.k.a. “copyright troll” cases) are extortion-based cases which are based upon scare tactics and threats of expensive litigation.  Plaintiff attorneys (“copyright trolls”) scare defendants into settling because doing so is cheaper than litigating a lawsuit.

        Once an ISP hands over your contact information, plaintiff attorneys often contact defendants and convey that they have detailed evidence of infringement, which is often a bluff.  Rather than providing you with actual evidence of infringement, they offer “other evidence of infringement” to prove that you must be the downloader.

        To avoid the plaintiff’s detailed explanations of guilt, the simplest way to proceed is to have your attorney 1) stop them from being allowed to communicate with you, and 2) offer a letter of non-infringement.

        Why the Cashman Law Firm, PLLC can offer you a “No Settlement” discount option.

        I have thought a lot about this, and obviously me offering something like this requires some credibility.

        After seven years of service dedicated almost exclusively to serving John Doe Defendants in copyright infringement cases, and posting over 200+ information-packed articles teaching defendants about the copyright troll strategies on the TorrentLawyer™ blog, I believe I have developed enough credibility to make this offer real.

        My Experience: Innocent “John Doe” Defendants Are Left Without Representation

        Most of my TorrentLawyer™ blog is dedicated to exposing the schemes of the ‘copyright troll,’ who is tasked with extorting thousands of dollars in settlement monies from each “John Doe” defendant accused of copyright infringement. In recent months, I have been warning defendants of corrupted DEFENSE attorney tactics, where these defense attorneys are sometimes less ethical than the copyright trolls they seek clients against whom to defend.

        These so-called defense attorneys cash in on the “broken copyright system,” and they scare prospective clients with threats that “if they do not settle, they will be named and served by the plaintiff attorney to defend against $150,000 statutory damages, and they will have to spend thousands of dollars more in attorney fees to defend themselves.” Many of these defense attorneys run “turn-key settlement factories,” and some of them agree to even more nefarious schemes.

        An attorney who represents “John Doe” defendants generally represents PAYING CLIENTS. Even attorneys who are willing to genuinely 1) fight, 2) settle, or 3) negotiate a settlement (or even a nuisance settlement) cater their law firms towards a paying client.

        These firms (mine included) represent clients who either have the funds available to fight a copyright infringement lawsuit, or who are willing to pay a few thousand dollars to negotiate a settlement to pay their way out of a lawsuit. Many firms (again, mine included) will happily discount their fees to accommodate lower income clients, and we will even take a limited number of clients on a free pro-bono basis.

        Often left out is the innocent defendant who did not do the download, and who does not wish to pay an attorney (or anyone else) to resolve a claim they had nothing to do with. Their belief system is that they should not need to pay anything to resolve a copyright infringement claim they did not do.

        Thus, they do not pay an attorney to represent them, and as a result, they are left vulnerable and exposed to the crafty copyright troll attorney who has his way with them. In the end, they often are seen signing consent judgments where they admit doing something they did not do, or they pay settlement fees which end up being more than if they simply hired the attorney to represent them.

        Why a ‘turnkey’ operation for the innocent is needed.

        Literally, a “turnkey” law firm operation is needed to service THESE defendants. Candidates for a NO SETTLEMENT representation will be accused “John Doe” defendants in copyright infringement lawsuits who did not do the download.  Candidates for NO SETTLEMENT REPRESENTATION are not limited by financial need (I have nothing wrong servicing a wealthy client who did not do the download), so this option is not a low-income need-based program. We at Cashman Law Firm, PLLC believe that those accused of an act they did not commit (especially where it comes to copyright infringement and copyright trolling) deserve to be represented at an at-cost basis.

        What will be the cost of a NO SETTLEMENT representation?

        The cost of no settlement representation will merely need to cover the time spent on the following steps: 1) process the client’s paperwork, 2) speak to the client, 3) check the status of the lawsuit on PACER, 3) prepare and send a letter of representation, and a “letter of non-infringement / no settlement” letter to the plaintiff attorney, and 4) handle any follow-up communications with the client relating to evidence of infringement provided by the plaintiff attorney.

        I believe this can be covered with a $750 flat fee payment, but I might adjust this up or down as I learn how long it actually takes to handle each client.

        How a NO SETTLEMENT representation would work.

        For those who wish to have our firm represent them in the NO SETTLEMENT representation, this is what would happen. After becoming a client, we would send a letter to the plaintiff attorney explaining that they did not do the download and are unwilling to settle. By having our Cashman Law Firm do this, we will create a SPECIAL CATEGORY for the innocent who are unwilling to settle. Because you will have a Cashman Law Firm, PLLC attorney doing this on your behalf, all communications would need to go through that attorney. Consequently, contact with the accused defendant will become forbidden.

        If the attorney disputes the innocence of this defendant, he is free to share his information with our firm, and I would be happy to share that data with the client. Otherwise, there will be no communications with the plaintiff attorney, no settlement negotiations, and no back-and-forth communications. We would simply inform the attorney that he can either name and serve our client, or dismiss him or her without a settlement.

        Cashman Law Firm offering a NO SETTLEMENT REPRESENTATION option

        Why a NO SETTLEMENT representation can be effective.

        I mentioned above that starting a “turnkey” defense of the innocent will create a SPECIAL CATEGORY of defendants. This category will be those who are willing to state on paper that they did not do the download. By putting this in writing, this gives credibility to the claim that the download did not happen.

        Obviously it would be detrimental to the client’s case to have it come out that they have lied about their activities, and no doubt the plaintiff attorney would capitalize on that lie to extract the maximum amount that he can from the defendant. Thus, I expect that only innocent defendants will be willing to make this assertion.

        How would a NO SETTLEMENT representation differ from the “playing chicken” or “ignore route”?  How did you get the price so low?

        Our Cashman Law Firm, PLLC used to offer clients an “ignore” route, which could be compared to the 1960’s car game of “playing chicken.”  In this “ignore” route, we would represent a client in the “John Doe” stage of the lawsuit.  As such, we would and handle all functions an attorney would take care of in a lawsuit in its early stages, but we would not settle claims against a client as other settlement factories would.

        For a while, the “ignore” route was a low cost successful strategy, and it was a good alternative to not being represented at all.

        To compare the “no settlement” representation strategy to what we used to call the “ignore” route representation (or more commonly, ‘playing chicken’), click here.

        What are the risks of pursuing a NO SETTLEMENT representation option.

        The risk of pursuing a NO SETTLEMENT representation option is that the plaintiff attorney will name and serve you as a defendant.

        [I must take a moment here and mention that an attorney who names and serves a defendant -without evidence- can get sanctioned by the court. If there truly is no evidence against you, the likely outcome is that the plaintiff attorney will name and serve other defendants, perhaps those who actually did the infringing of the copyright holder’s copyright.]

        If you are named and served, the client would need to decide whether to continue defending your case having us remain as your attorney. If you wish to hire someone local, you can either keep us on as advisory counsel, or you can have that attorney take over the representation in its entirety. Remember, copyright infringement is exclusively a federal court matter, and our firm can represent you in any federal court.*

        *NOTE: Some jurisdictions have a requirement that an out-of-state attorney hire local counsel, and we know in which states we would need to do this. Otherwise, an out-of-state attorney can defend you in your federal court through what is called “pro hac vice,” which is a motion with the court which is almost always approved by the federal judge.

        How to get started with the NO SETTLEMENT representation option.

        In order to make an option such as this one sustainable, I will need to forego the phone consultation that I offer clients.

        I would have you:

        1) Sign my fee agreement, where you explicitly agree that you have not done the download, and that you are unwilling to settle the claims against you.

        – Ideally, I will offer this online, but for the moment, please fill out the form below, and I will e-mail you the fee agreement.

        [contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]

        2) I will provide you an e-mail containing a link to pay our fee.

        3) I will have you send me copies of the letter you received from your internet provider (or from the plaintiff attorney).

        – I would provide you instructions on how to send me information relating to your case in the same e-mail I would provide you in order to process your payment.

        Once those three steps are complete, again 1) fill out the form, and sign my fee agreement, 2) process your online payment, and 3) forward me paperwork regarding your case, I will send you an e-mail letting you know that I received it.

        Once you become a client, obviously I would need to speak to you.

        – The goal of our call will be to confirm that you were not the one that did the download. I will ask questions about your router configuration, family members, and other activities which the plaintiff might have access to, but the conversation will be to the point.

        At that point, I would remain your attorney until you are either dismissed from the case, or until your status as a “John Doe” Defendant ends.

        In sum, you are welcome.

        In closing, I am happy to proactively offer this service to you. It is my hope that since you should not have been involved in this lawsuit in the first place, I will minimize your involvement in it moving forward.

        Obviously, this NO SETTLEMENT REPRESENTATION option is for those who do not wish to have us represent them in fighting the claims against them. Similarly, it is an option for those who do NOT wish to have us engage in settlement negotiations on their behalf.

        If you would like to retain our firm to either fight, negotiate a settlement on your behalf, or some combination thereof, I invite you to set up a free phone consultation for us to speak about your case.

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