NEGOTIATION: Strike 3 Holdings Settlement Costs

Have you been on the receiving end of a copyright infringement lawsuit from Strike 3 Holdings, LLC? Chances are that your first thought was “how much is this going to cost me?!” and fortunately, the answer is surprisingly within your reach.

Strike 3 Holdings has become notorious for its aggressive lawsuit tactics in an attempt to extract a settlement from each “alleged” copyright infringer. But with no attorneys writing the answer as to how much a Strike 3 Holdings settlement will actually cost you (until now, all you knew was that the settlement amount varies), I understand that it can be incredibly frustrating trying to weigh your options and decide on what path you should take.

I hope to take some of that stress away with this MONSTER of an article; hopefully what I am sharing here will help. I have NO DOUBT that getting through this article in one sitting (or even ten sittings) is nearly impossible. Come back to this article as often as you need to.

If you need more information after reading this, please feel free to contact me at the Cashman Law Firm PLLC so that I can answer your questions.

Why I wrote this article: It’s time that we take away some of the mystery around Strike 3 Holdings settlements. I hope to share everything I know about the tactics they use in soliciting a settlement – including typical settlements amounts, and how they arrive at that number!

In this article, I’ll review all the facts surrounding these lawsuits so that you have everything you need when making your decision as to what to do.

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Strike 3 Holdings, LLC is a adult film company that sues those they believe downloaded their copyrighted titles without permission. They do this by filing Civil Lawsuits in federal courts against an unknown “John Doe” defendants.

Each defendant is suspected of illegally downloading or streaming copyrighted films owned by Strike 3 Holdings, LLC.

Each lawsuit seeks monetary damages ($150,000 per instance of infringement). However, an accused defendant can hire an attorney and negotiate a settlement payment in return for a release of liability and a dismissal of the lawsuit… all for a lot less.

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Providing just a bit of context, Strike 3 Holdings has become well-known in copyright law for their lawsuits. Over 10,000 lawsuits have been filed by them since 2017. They claim over 3 million illegal video views, and they are known for their aggressive litigation strategies.

A main strategy is the pursuit of Strike 3 Holdings settlements from accused individuals. Too often, they ask for exorbitant amounts compared to other copyright claims lawsuits filed in federal courts. If the defendant cannot afford the settlement numbers, then attempt to begin an invasive analysis into how much each defendant can pay. It is common for them to ask for bank account information and tax documents, but your attorney should not comply with these requests.

In my opinion, there is no need to provide any financial documentation in a Strike 3 Holdings settlement. And, if we can negotiate a settlement without providing them any documentation, this is my preference. But, if you do not have the settlement numbers they are asking for, they may require financial documentation to agree to a settlement. Such a “hardship based” settlement makes use of your inability to pay the large settlement amounts they ask for.

When dealing with a Strike 3 case, it is important to understand what their motive is: money and settlements!

Knowing how much you could potentially be liable for if found guilty might seem important when making decisions about your case; however, what they can ask for as a settlement versus what they do accept are like night and day. Knowing what the expected settlement amount would be (or could be) will help you make better informed decisions about whether settling the claims against you or fighting your case in litigation is a better strategy given your particular circumstances.

Strike-3-Holdings-money-settlements person in black long sleeve shirt using macbook pro
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There are clear reasons WHY [as an accused defendant] you might decide to settle the claims against you.

There are also clear reasons WHY NOT to settle.

Knowing when to settle (and when NOT to settle) based on an unemotional analysis of RISK [as opposed to the fear tactics that many “settlement factory” attorneys might employ] can give you EXACTLY the direction you need when reacting to an ISP subpoena notification letter that you just received in the mail.

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In short, there are certain times you should NOT settle.

For example, under no circumstances should you settle with Strike 3 Holdings, LLC if you did not do the downloading. Without evidence to prove that you downloaded their copyrighted adult movies, you cannot be found guilty of copyright infringement.

You might have been told that “fighting a lawsuit on the merits is significantly more expensive than just settling the claims against you.” This is honestly not true. Copyright infringement lawsuits filed in any federal court all go through the same procedural steps. The burden of proving that you are guilty is on THEM, not you. Thus, the passive approach of “defending the claims against you” can be significantly cheaper than any settlement an attorney would negotiate.

Other factors might lead me to suggest that settling may not be the best option for you. For example, if your age or financial documentation indicate that it would be impossible for you to pay any settlement amount offered by Strike 3 Holdings, LLC perhaps settling is not the right approach.

There are ways to let the plaintiff attorney know that you cannot afford to settle. I have written about it in the past referring to it as a “no settlement letter.”

Obviously, a “no settlement letter” strategy would not be successful as a legal defense to copyright infringement if you were named and served. However, having an attorney explain to the Strike 3 Holdings, LLC attorney that you cannot afford a settlement might be all that is needed to avoid them throwing you into litigation.

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Settling with Strike 3 Holdings, LLC involves signing a settlement agreement that generally requires them to release you from all claims and liabilities related to the lawsuit. This means that when you enter into a Strike 3 Holdings settlement agreement, the civil lawsuit against you will be dismissed in Federal Court. No reporting to your internet company is necessary, as they are not involved in the lawsuit itself. Their only job is to comply with the subpoena that is sent to them.

There is no reason to settle the claims against you if they wouldn’t be able to prove that you did the downloading in the first place. Remember — the burden is on THEM to prove that you downloaded their copyrighted titles. It is NOT your job to prove that you did not download their content.

If you did not do the engage in the illegal downloads of Strike 3’s content or distributing of illegal content as alleged by Strike 3 Holdings, then you should not be settling. Why? Because settling would mean you accept responsibility for something you did not do, or for something which was done by someone else. Remember, you are not responsible for downloads that occurred on your internet account without your knowledge and consent.

In my opinion, if you did not do the downloading, then paying them anyway is unfair. Any attorney who suggests otherwise could be engaging in unethical conduct. This is my main issue with settlement factories — these law firms encourage and often use fear tactics to push a settlement. But what their clients do not realize is that NO SETTLEMENT might have achieve the same dismissal (and for many thousands of dollars less).

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If there is no proof linking you to downloading or distributing their copyrighted content, then you should not settle. If you have read my other articles, remember that the EXHIBIT A listing multiple instances of copyright infringement is NOT SUFFICIENT to prove that you are the downloader. To prove you are guilty, they would need to obtain your TESTIMONY [in the form of you answering questions under oath in a deposition]. Without this testimony, proving their complaint would be difficult. Thus, you see that fighting a Strike 3 Lawsuit on the merits could end up being significantly less expensive than settling out-of-court.

Obviously, before you go and act on what I have written in this article, I urge you to seek legal advice from an experienced attorney before considering entering into litigation with Strike 3 Holdings or any other copyright holder. You can contact a Cashman Law Firm, PLLC attorney here. If for some reason I cannot speak to you immediately [here might be why], I will still be willing to assist you even if you do not become a client of our law firm.


As we just read, if you did not do the downloading, then fighting the case on the merits (a.k.a. passively “litigating”) can be significantly cheaper than paying ANY settlement. This is because the ‘burden of proof’ [to demonstrate to the court that you are guilty of copyright infringement] is on the company suing you. It is NOT YOUR JOB to prove that you did not download their copyrighted films.

This means that [assuming you did not do the downloading], you can fight the case and win without having to spend large amounts of money. Rather, cooperating with the plaintiff attorney’s requests might be sufficient to get you out of trouble. I don’t consider this approach anything close to “trying your luck in a federal court.” Rather, I am merely sharing with you a simple analysis of RISK. If you did not do the download, then Strike 3 Holdings LLC likely will not be able to extract the testimony they require to prove that you downloaded their films.

Yes, fighting a Strike 3 lawsuit on the merits will cost you time (and money), and you will be paying your attorney (me, at the Cashman Law Firm PLLC, or any other federal court litigation attorney like me) for preparing each step of this process. A barebones defense would include filing documents in court up to answer the complaint. It would include a case management hearing, along with some back-and-forth with the plaintiff attorneys. It would also include coaching you on how to truthfully answer questions when attending a deposition. Lastly, even if we did not want to settle, some settlement negotiations would take place because they would probably offer one or more settlement offers, so we would need to entertain them. In sum, I understand fully that entering into actual litigation practice at the US District Court (federal court) level is scary, but that is simply what we are trained to do.

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So while you might be frightened about considering a litigation strategy, most experienced attorneys (including myself) will tell you that for your copyright infringement case, you will likely NOT go into a full blown legal battle. More often than not, there are things to take care of in every litigation case, but it will not necessarily cost more than a settlement. Remember, the plaintiff attorney also pays for the time litigating, so they want to minimize the time spent in litigation too!

Thus, the lawsuit would likely be limited to the pre-trial stages of the federal court lawsuit. [Assuming that you did not download their videos online], the lawsuit should end shortly after Strike 3 Holdings, LLC realizes that they do not have evidence to prove that you downloaded their copyrighted content.

Again — before you go off any cooperate with them in litigation, you should probably speak to an attorney (speaking to me is fine), and have an attorney help you analyze the risk of this approach.

thumbs-down-cost Full Frame Shot of Eye
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There are several instances when you may not be named and served regardless. For example:

  • if you’re elderly or have nothing to pay them with,
  • if you did not do the download yourself, or
  • if you can provide Strike 3 Holdings with the name and address of the person who actually did the downloading.

You would also likely not be served if it would be embarrassing for Strike 3 Holdings LLC to take you to court.

In each of these cases, settling is probably unnecessary. It is my opinion that you would be wasting your money if you paid to settle when you could have achieved the same result if you did not settle.

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Obviously again, speak to me in order to analyze the risk if this applies to you. The reason for this is that just because you are not the type of person they would name and serve as a defendant, this does NOT mean that you have a legal defense to the copyright infringement. If you did the download, you can still be named and served and you could lose if they brought the case to trial.

strike-3-holdng-settlement-elderly man in gold wedding band
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If you are an elderly person and have nothing to pay Strike 3 Holdings for a settlement, then there is a low likelihood that they would name and serve you as a defendant.

Obviously, the question of whether you have “nothing to pay” is one where you should probably speak to an attorney. I could ask you a few questions so that you can gauge how Strike 3 Holdings, LLC would see your circumstances. If you can pay even a small settlement, they will still ask you to pay a settlement. However, if you cannot pay even that, well, this might be a reason in itself why you should not be settling the claims against you.

Remember, just because you cannot pay any settlement does not mean you can avoid their lawsuit – Strike 3 Holdings could still name and serve you as a defendant and proceed into litigation against you.

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If you have been accused of downloading copyrighted material from Strike 3 Holdings and you know that you did not do the download, it is your right to fight the claim against you. In a copyright infringement lawsuit such as yours, the plaintiff must prove that it is “more likely than not” that YOU are responsible for the infringements.

But, if they cannot prove this [especially when you were not the one doing the downloading], then they probably cannot muster enough evidence to find you guilty of copyright infringement.

However, let’s simply this. Practically, Strike 3 Holdings, LLC would not name and serve you if they learned that you were not the one who did the downloading. It is not your job to prove to them who did do the downloading. If you know who did it (e.g., if you have a roommate who won’t take responsibility for this, or if you have neighbors or workers who used your internet connection to download adult films without your knowledge and consent), then you can have your attorney share this information with them.

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Remember, you were implicated ONLY as a “John Doe subscriber assigned IP Address.”

A “John Doe” legally is merely a PLACEHOLDER when the plaintiff does not know the real identity of who did the ‘crime’ they are suing to remedy. If your attorney informs the plaintiff attorney that it wasn’t you who did the download, but it was “that guy,” then Strike 3 Holdings, LLC could just as easily go after that guy. When they decide who they want to name and serve, it would likely be “that guy” and not you.

Obviously, if you are considering this option, it is important to retain an attorney to represent you for this brief interchange. The plaintiff attorney might ask you to sign some documents, to draft and sign a declaration, or to provide testimony under oath. For any of these, you should really be represented by an attorney who could keep you out of trouble when employing this strategy.

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Because of the predatory nature of adult film federal copyright infringement cases, judges often give the Strike 3 Holdings, LLC lawsuits extra scrutiny. If you have done nothing wrong but they still decide to pursue litigation against you anyway, a judge might take action against Strike 3 Holdings in the form of sanctions or some other penalty.

Similarly, if Strike 3 Holdings named and served a person who cannot defend themselves — for example, a person with a mental disability, or some handicap which a court would look sympathetically upon that person regardless of whether they did the downloading or not — naming and serving that person could be a tragic mistake for Strike 3 Holdings, LLC.

The reason for this is that federal court cases of a certain type are often all assigned to one judge to handle and adjudicate all of the cases of that type. If a plaintiff attorney upsets the judge or insults his moral code, this judge can have negative effect on each and every one of the plaintiff attorney’s HUNDREDS OF OTHER CASES in that federal court. (This has happened with both the Strike 3 and Malibu Media cases; Malibu Media cases are no longer being filed).

Remember, who you are (or what you have gone through) is not a legal defense to copyright infringement. It is just one consideration why it might be better not to settle he claims against you. You can have your attorney design a strategy around your special circumstances. Maybe they can even make it unfavorable for the plaintiff attorney to name and serve you.

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If you decide to settle, there are a few items your attorney should handle to protect your rights before you pay your settlement amount. For example, the plaintiff attorney should negotiate the terms of your settlement agreement.

A settlement agreement typically involves paying out some amount of money. It also involves signing a release of liability which absolves both you any claims each of you had against the other. By settling with Strike 3 Holdings LLC, they would be relinquishing their right to proceed against you in litigation, and they would guarantee that they will dismiss their lawsuit against you (with prejudice).

It is my strong opinion that if you DID download their copyrighted films, then you should probably settle the claims against you. Obviously, there are a bunch of other approaches as an alternative to settlement. For example, litigation. But if you went down that route and you sat in front of a reporter and gave Strike 3 Holdings your testimony under oath that you illegally downloaded Strike 3’s content, then you just lost the lawsuit.

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If you did the downloading, then you will probably settle the claims against you in order to provide resolution and closure of the case.

A settlement agreement will be drafted both by Strike 3 Holdings’ attorneys (AND by your attorney*). It must be signed in order to dismiss the lawsuit that was filed against your John Doe placeholder entity. This settlement agreement typically includes a release of liability and dismissal with prejudice, meaning the case cannot be brought back to court.

* NOTE: A boilerplate Strike 3 Holdings, LLC settlement agreement contains clauses that any competent attorney should renegotiate. If you retain a ‘settlement factory’ attorney, they might not be taking the extra steps to renegotiate this (you are simply not paying them for the time it would take them to do this). Also beware of “anonymous settlements” — they sound enticing to you if you just received a subpoena from your ISP (your internet service provider) threatening to release your name to Strike 3 Holdings, LLC. The problem is that they do not provide the basic protections that should be included in a settlement agreement for a case like these. Why? because here, the lawsuit is suing a particular “John Doe subscriber having only one IP address,” and this John Doe entity downloaded THESE titles as seen in our Exhibit A.

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In my opinion, negotiating the terms of the settlement agreement is important not only to resolve the claims in this lawsuit. It is also important to write it in a way that it proactively resolves any future lawsuits that might show up in the future (for past activities). If not done right, a settlement for one case does not guarantee an end to all future lawsuits related to this issue. This is something that your attorney needs to negotiate.

Accused defendants who choose to settle should always consult an attorney who has experience negotiating settlement agreement terms. It is one thing to negotiate the settlement price. If the settlement agreement does not properly protect the defendant who is potentially spending thousands of dollars to pay Strike 3 a sum of money, then that money is wasted. An improperly written settlement agreement could cause you to have to settle again when you are implicated as “another John Doe entity” in another Strike 3 Holdings, LLC future lawsuit.

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If you did not do the download, there could be circumstances where you might choose to settle anyway in order to protect a loved one (e.g., a family member or a child*). The way we at the Cashman Law Firm, PLLC phrase our settlement agreements, there are no admissions of guilt. We also keep the settlement agreements private and confidential. That way, even the court remains unaware of the person who actually settled the claims in the lawsuit.

Obviously, if you are settling on behalf of another person, you want that person also to be released from liability in the settlement agreement. With the Strike 3 Holdings lawsuits, we have often expanded the scope of the settlement agreement to include others that are not listed as the account holder. That way, not only are you [the person who is paying to settle while protecting a loved one] released from liability, but we write the agreement so that we also release your loved one from liability so that they cannot later be sued.

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Just so there is no confusion, there is no legal duty to settle for the downloads that another person made using your internet account. However, if the person who did the download is a family member, and they would need to settle anyway [using your money] if they were named and served, then it makes sense that you might want to settle to protect their identity from being revealed to Strike 3 Holdings. Remember to consult with an experienced attorney (for example, myself at Cashman Law Firm PLLC) who can help guide you through this process. We can listen to your circumstances and provide valuable suggestions about how the Strike 3 Holdings settlement terms could be phrased in order to protect your loved one and you.

Also, it should be noted that just because you want to settle to protect your loved one, settling on their behalf might not be the best settlement strategy. Be sure to speak with me so that we can strategize what the best approach would be to protect your loved one from being implicated as a defendant in this lawsuit.

* Also remember that a child under 18 is considered a minor in the legal world, and a Strike 3 Holdings attorney would not name and serve a minor. Thus, in a case where the child did the downloading without the knowledge and consent of the parent, there is absolutely no legal duty for the parent to pay thousands of dollars to settle the claims against the child.

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Being named and served in a civil lawsuit, especially one for copyright infringement like Strike 3 Holdings’ lawsuits, can cause significant disruption to your professional life. This comes up most frequently in my practice when my client has government security clearance.

If you have security clearance, then you have a low tolerance (or, zero tolerance) for being named and serve in a federal court lawsuit. Thus, even if you did not do the downloading, you might decide that settling with Strike 3 Holdings could be the right choice. Settling keep your name out of the public record and allows you to avoid having to deal with a court process which could cost you your security clearance (and by extension, your job).

This does not mean that if you have security clearance, then by definition you must settle a lawsuit claimed against you.

Rather, on a case-by-case circumstance, sometimes simply speaking to your commanding officer and informing them that the lawsuit was filed against you and that you intend to defend the claims against you is sufficient. You could defend against your lawsuit without worrying about losing your security clearance. And better yet, you would not need to pay thousands of dollars to settle claims against you that you did not do.

Again, this only applies if you can defend your case without losing your security clearance. Most of the time, I understand that this is not the case.

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It is well known that the leverage Strike 3 Holdings, LLC has in filing a copyright lawsuit is the reputation damage and embarrassment they can inflict with that lawsuit. Whether or not the accused defendant wins the lawsuit, his name and by extension, his reputation gets tarnished merely by being accused as a defendant in the lawsuit.

Sometimes the reputation damage is manageable — the defense attorney can ask the court for a protective order to hide the identity of the defendant. That way, he can properly contest the claims against him. However, not all courts agree to such an order.

It does happen that our law firm will accept a defendant as a client who is settling not because they did the download, but because they are absolutely concerned that their reputation would be tarnished by litigating the claims against them (where their real name would get exposed as being the accused defendant when they are named and served).

Similarly, it does happen that our law firm will accept a client who is settling because of his or her notoriety. Simply, the client is concerned that if his name was somehow associated with the lawsuit, that the media would recognize that he was involved in the lawsuit and would share with the world that he was involved in this lawsuit.

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I want to note that for such circumstances, while the settlement process still occurs, the fact that he did not do the download is a significant factor which can drastically reduce the settlement amount itself.

Obviously, speak to an attorney if you feel that your circumstances might place your ability to defend yourself into jeopardy. If you need us to negotiate a private and confidential settlement, this is an option too.

Strike 3 Holdings Lawsuits - Banker - garyh18 / Pixabay
garyh18 / Pixabay


Settling with Strike 3 Holdings, LLC involves signing a settlement agreement and a release of liability. A settlement typically requires payment of money to the plaintiff. In return, Strike 3 Holdings, LLC agrees to dismiss the civil federal court lawsuit against you. The process is usually handled via an out-of-court negotiation with Strike 3 Holdings’ attorneys. This is very different from a settlement conference which you might read about in similar cases.

When settling a copyright infringement case with Strike 3 Holdings, LLC, it is important to remember that they are filing suit as both copyright holder and plaintiff. However, they may also be acting on behalf of other rights holders who have authorized them to pursue lawsuits for alleged infringements made through their ISP subscriber’s IP address. I do not like or encorage these arrangements. However, if one presents itself, it is important that all claims are addressed when negotiating a settlement. Also be sure to get everything in writing for all the claims against you, even if this ends up turning into multiple settlement agreements.

When assessing potential damages from an ISP subpoena violation or similar set up by Strike 3 holdings LLC for copyright infringement claims against you, take into account not only any costs associated with fighting the lawsuit but also what settlements cost have been reached in similar situations. Additionally consider that if you do not settle the claims against you, there may be additional fees incurred during the course of litigation (such as attorney’s fees).

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It’s important to note that while many people try and negotiate their own settlements without an attorney present, this can often lead to less favorable outcomes. This is due to lack of knowledge about common industry practices or legal precedent used in these types of cases. That’s why we advise clients seeking our services to consult us first before moving forward regarding any kind of resolution offered by Strike 3 Holding LLC or its representatives. We understand how intimidating it can sometimes feel navigating this type of situation. We will always strive our best to give you the best outcome. On our consultations, we will also always give you the bad news first. I do not believe in having a client become our client until he understands the actual risks and likely outcomes given his particular circumstances.


Settling with Strike 3 Holdings, LLC can be a costly endeavor for the defendant. Aside from paying the settlement amount, you may also be asked to sign a settlement agreement that includes a release of liability and dismissal of all claims in the civil lawsuit. The process does not end there – striking a deal with Strike 3 Holdings can have long-term consequences beyond dollars and cents:

First, it is important that the settlement agreement be confidential and private. With this in mind, some defendants opt not to settle because they don’t want it reported on their record as having been implicated as a defendant in federal court by Strike 3 Holdings.

Second, even though settling will result in the immediate dismissal of your case, many defendants are surprised at how much financial documentation may be required by Strike 3 Holdings before they agree to settle. Depending on the circumstances, this can be more than what would normally be expected during copyright infringement lawsuits or ISP subpoena cases. The information they request could include bank statements or other documentation which might be provided before Strike 3 Holdings LLC agrees to any settlement amount.

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Just so that we are clear — as an attorney, it is my preference that no documentation is provided to the plaintiff attorney when negotiating a settlement. A plaintiff attorney is not ‘entitled’ to financial information until they enter “the pearly gates of discovery.” This only happens when they name and serve a defendant. Until then, they have no right to ask for anything. Thus, if I can achieve the same result (or a similar outcome) without sharing financial documentation, I will simply not share it.

Lastly, while settling ends one lawsuit against you; there is no guarantee that other lawsuits won’t come up due to multiple allegations of copyright infringement from different titles owned by Strike 3 Holdings LLC. Separate suits filed against other John Doe entities assigned to an IP address that was assigned to your internet account could entangle you again in a subsequent lawsuit. This is why it is important that the attorney you hire to negotiate a settlement agreement on your behalf not only negotiates a price that you could afford. He MUST also negotiate the terms in the settlement agreement itself so that you are innoculated against any future lawsuit.

All this being said, these types of lawsuits involving adult film downloads are expensive and time consuming. This makes settlement options attractive for those who are willing and able to settle the claims against them.

If this sounds like something you’re considering, make sure you know exactly what you’re getting into (and with what kind of attorney you have hired) before signing off on any agreements. That way you do not regret it later down the line!

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Settling your lawsuit with Strike 3 Holdings LLC can offer several benefits. First, the settlement agreement will include a release of any claims or liability against you and the case will be dismissed in federal court. This means that [if the settlement agreement is phrased properly,] Strike 3 Holdings won’t be able to file additional lawsuits against you for copyright infringement.

Second, settling with Strike 3 Holdings LLC might be less expensive than going through the process of defending yourself in court. As you recall, this is not always the case. You’ll also avoid the risk associated with defending the claims against you in litigation. Such risks could result in you being found liable, and you having to pay damages for copyright infringement. You might also have to pay the other side’s attorney fees.

Thirdly, settlements are usually faster than having to actually go through litigation proceedings (although this depends on how willing both parties are to negotiate). In addition, if you settle quickly enough there may even be an opportunity to present a “hardship-based negotiation” that could drastically reduce the settlement amount you’ll end up paying.

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Lastly, settling with Strike 3 Holdings can give you peace of mind knowing that the claims against you have been resolved. Thus, you can resume your life without ever having to worry about this lawsuit again.

strike-3-settlement-negotiations resistance, defenses, defensiveness


Once again, a settlement should not be your first option in resolving the claims against you. If you have other legal defenses, it might be cheaper to assert those defenses in litigation rather than to negotiate and pay a settlement.

Again, all copyright infringement lawsuits (regardless of which federal court in which state they are filed) all follow the same Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP). These rules dictate the burdens of proof each side has to win the case, and they dictate the procedures that each party must take part in to move the case to completion. Thus, regardless of whether your Strike 3 Holdings, LLC lawsuit is in California, Texas, or New York, they all [more or less] look the same.

Thus, if you have a legitimate legal defense to copyright infringement, then it could be cheaper to simply have your attorney assert that legal defense rather than spending thousands of dollars to quickly settle the lawsuit.

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Just because you might have downloaded the copyrighted titles belonging to Strike 3 Holdings, LLC, there are certain defenses available to those accused of copyright infringement.


The most common defense in a copyright infringement case is fair use. Fair use is a doctrine that allows for a limited use of a copyrighted work without permission.

To determine if the use of copyrighted material is fair, four settlement factors must be considered:

  • the purpose and character of the use,
  • the nature of the copyrighted work,
  • the amount and substantiality of the portion used, and
  • the effect of the use on the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

If the use of copyrighted material is deemed to be fair, then it is not considered to be an infringement.


Another defense available to those accused of copyright infringement is the doctrine of de minimis. This is a very limited defense that applies when only a small portion of a copyrighted work has been used. The amount of the copyrighted work used must be so small that it falls below the threshold of what is legally protectable.

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In some cases, an accused infringer can use the statute of limitations as a defense. This defense applies when copyright holder waited three years from the alleged date of infringement before filing the lawsuit. In such a case, the statute of limitations has elapsed, and the plaintiff can no longer assert the claims against the accused defendant.


Finally, the defense of estoppel may be available to accused infringers. Estoppel is a legal doctrine that prevents a party from making a claim if they have already taken a position in the past that contradicts their current claim.

Here, the copyright holder may be prevented from alleging copyright infringement if they previously indicated that the accused infringer had the right to make the infringing use.

strike-3-holdings-settlement-amount defenses, ego, reactivity


Everyone knows that if you prevail in a copyright infringement lawsuit ‘on the merits’, the other side pays your attorney fees.  This is true for Strike 3 also. 

For example, if Strike 3 filed cases anywhere (if they have cases filed in Florida, in the Northern District of California, anywhere), they are very quick to trade a dismissal in return for a possible win.  Why?  Because if they ignore the fact that the ISP account owner might assert a valid copyright defense to their Strike 3 Holdings LLC subpoena, they might end up paying many thousands of dollars in attorney fees.

However, a better strategy to a Strike 3 Holdings LLC copyright lawsuit lawsuit (especially for someone entering into litigation) is to have the defense attorney offer a reasonable settlement offer early in the litigation. 

This strategy is effective because if the final judgement amount is less than the settlement amount, even if Strike 3 Holdings LLC wins, they would need to pay all of the defense attorney’s attorney fees from the moment they offered the reasonable settlement all the way to the judgement. 


Overall, while there are many defenses to copyright infringement, these defenses can help those accused of infringement avoid liability. It is important to understand these defenses and consult with a lawyer if you are accused of copyright infringement.

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In previous articles, I have explained why filing a motion to quash is a bad idea.

Motion to Quash the Subpoena: See this article to understand why I do not recommend this method.

In short:

  1. the plaintiff will claim the accused defendant is not yet a defendant (no “standing”), and
  2. even if the defendant succeeds in filing the motion, the plaintiff attorney can easily re-file the lawsuit (causing you to reveal your identity to Strike 3 in his home state’s federal court.

[Filing a motion to quash is generally a bad idea because it is an extra fee to some torrent defense law firm who takes you as a client, charges you a fee for motions to quash knowing that the motion will fail.  After Strike 3’s motion to deny the motion to quash is successful, Strike 3 comes and asks for higher settlement numbers because the opposition to your motion to quash filed by Strike 3 Holdings cost them more time.  Thus, you as the defendant will be asked to pay a higher settlement amount.]

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The cost of settling a Strike 3 Holdings lawsuit can vary significantly based on a number of factors. For example, the number of titles allegedly downloaded, and whether or not the defendant has sufficient financial documentation to back up any counteroffers they make.

Generally speaking, it is in everyone’s best interest for the parties involved to reach a settlement agreement in order to avoid lengthy litigation practices and court proceedings. This agreement typically involves a release of liability from both parties, as well as dismissal of all claims made against each other in federal court.

When settling with Strike 3 Holdings LLC, it is important to remember that their process for determining settlement amounts typically involves a simple multiplication of the number of titles allegedly downloaded and the “per-title settlement amount” an attorney is able to negotiate based on the relevant circumstances of the lawsuit.

Many people find themselves struggling to negotiate realistic settlement numbers due to Strike 3’s “Settlement Factory” attorneys who charge flat rate fees instead of billing hourly like conventional lawyers. While these Settlement Factories may seem more appealing financially upfront, they often do not take into account many strategies and techniques that can result in lower overall settlements costs than those offered through other legal avenues.

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Finally, depending on your personal circumstances, it may be best financially and emotionally for an individual accused by Strike 3 Holdings LLC not to settle at all. Some examples include elderly individuals without resources or anyone whose innocence can be proven before being served papers officially naming them as defendants.

Ultimately deciding when and how much one should offer towards settling requires careful consideration and analysis – something which our Cashman Law Firm PLLC team specializes in providing through free consultation services!


Strike 3 Holdings follows a multi-step process when calculating monetary settlement amounts for their civil lawsuits.

First, they file the complaint in federal court and obtain an ISP subpoena against the alleged defendant’s ISP subscriber information. They cross-reference the subscriber’s name and address with demographic information they obtain through a paid service. This helps them understand whether the defendant they are negotiating with likely can pay a settlement or not.

Second, if the defense attorney wishes to introduce financial documentation to show that the accused defendant cannot pay the settlement numbers they would be asking for, Strike 3 Holdings, LLC will consider a counteroffer. This counteroffer would be supported by any financial documentation that is presented to them as part of the settlement agreement negotiations.

If Strike 3 agrees on a settlement and the settlement payment, they will approve our offer. The “hardship-based” settlement will permit the defendant to negotiate the best settlement possible, as the settlement amount itself is based on financial data which happened prior to your settlement.

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Third, they use their internal record-keeping processes to assess how many titles were downloaded by the Defendant or someone associated with him/her. This can be seen on the case docket as the “Exhibit A” to attachment to the complaint.

Finally, after considering all relevant factors, Strike 3’s preference is to calculate a proposed settlement amount which then starts the settlement negotiations themselves.


This is a key factor that can affect the settlement amount demanded by Strike 3 Holdings, LLC. As described in this article, the more titles that are listed in the Exhibit A of the civil lawsuit, the higher their asking price for settlement will be. It’s important to note here that Strike 3 Holdings will try to make it seem like you’re being charged for each individual title on the list, but this isn’t necessarily true. They often lump all these titles together and attempt to negotiate one flat rate for all of them.

The next factor in calculating a Strike 3 Holdings’ settlement cost is how long they have been pursuing you and any other associated fees (i.e., court costs). If they have only recently sent an ISP subpoena to your internet service provider (ISP), then they may not have had time to accumulate much evidence against you yet, making it difficult for them to argue for an inflated settlement amount at this stage in the process.

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When a Strike 3 Holdings, LLC lawsuit is filed in federal court, the plaintiff usually lists on average, 26 titles in the Exhibit A to their copyright infringement complaint. Usually, plaintiffs will include only titles that have either been illegally obtained or downloaded months before the lawsuit was filed.

This practice of reporting fewer than the actual number to titles downloaded is common in the Strike 3 Holdings, LLC lawsuits. This is because they compile the list of downloads before they file the lawsuit.

The settlement agreement, when agreed upon by both parties, will typically include a release of liability for all past activities as of the date of the settlement agreement being signed. This means if there are additional titles downloaded after the lawsuit is filed, those downloads are also included as part of the deal.

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If you can afford the settlement amount offered by Strike 3 Holdings, LLC and you choose to settle the claims against you, this does not mean that you will need to pay the initial settlement amount that Strike 3 Holdings has asked for. Rather, there are historical “per-title” settlement amounts that Strike 3 Holdings has agreed to settle for in the past.

If we can employ a strategy that can lower the settlement amount (even if you can afford the initial settlement amount), we will almost always do so. Just because you can pay a settlement does not mean that you should pay the highest price they ask for.

Based on our law firm’s experience with previous settlement numbers, it is also relevant to note that there are settlement numbers which do not yield a counteroffer. For example, if the defense attorney asks for a settlement amount which is “too low” (according to Strike 3 Holdings), they might just accept that counteroffer and demand to see the financial information to prove that this is all that this defendant can afford to pay.

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Thus, negotiating a settlement is a balancing act. On the one hand, we will negotiate for a settlement that is as low as possible. We will pay attention to whether our settlement offers are aggressive enough, or too aggressive so that they might ask for documentation to support our settlement numbers. For a client who can afford the settlement numbers they are asking for, sharing bank account information is an outcome I am sure our clients will want to avoid.


When the cost of a Strike 3 Holdings, LLC settlement is too steep for you to pay, there are other options available. This type of negotiation is known as a “hardship-based negotiation,” which typically involves discussing your financial situation with the plaintiff’s attorney and providing them with documentation (such as bank statements) to prove that you cannot afford to pay the full settlement amount.

In a “hardship-based negotiation,” we do provide financial information to the plaintiff attorney to show that a particular settlement amount is all that our client can afford to pay.

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The plaintiff’s attorney may then agree to reduce the settlement amount in exchange for payment of a lesser sum than what was initially requested.

It is important to note that this type of negotiation should be done with caution. A hardship-based negotiation requires that we reveal personal financial information. It also often leads to protracted negotiations between both parties. Additionally, if an agreement cannot be reached through hardship-based negotiation, it could result in proceeding with the accused defendant being named and served in the lawsuit.

It is important that anyone facing a Strike 3 Holdings lawsuit understand all their options before making any decisions regarding settlements or litigation. We at the Cashman Law Firm PLLC have extensive experience dealing with these types of cases. We can provide advice on how best to navigate this process based on your specific circumstances and goals.


Before entering into a settlement agreement with Strike 3 Holdings, LLC, it is important to ensure that you are offered a fair settlement amount. When presented with a settlement offer from Strike 3 Holdings, you can have your attorney propose a counteroffer suggesting that a lower settlement amount is appropriate. This will allow them to reevaluate their initial offer and potentially make their own counteroffer with the hopes that they will come to an agreement.

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Be aware, however, that this process could be lengthy and complex — requiring careful negotiation and possibly multiple rounds of negotiations — before an agreeable settlement is reached between both parties. It is important for the attorney you hire to engage in the settlement negotiations with the knowledge of what settlement numbers they have agreed to in the past. This way, your attorney will be knowledgeable as to which settlement offers the plaintiff attorney would likely accept, and which settlement amounts they will likely reject.

Again, there are also settlement amount price points where the plaintiff attorney will assume that the negotiation is a “hardship-based” settlement negotiation. Thus, they will approve the counteroffer and set a demand that the accused defendant provide bank account information or other documentation to prove that this counteroffer amount is all that they can afford.

For an inexperienced attorney who was merely looking to “low-ball” the settlement counteroffer, this is a bad outcome because he or she might have been looking for a counteroffer. However, because they did not understand at what per-title settlement numbers Strike 3 Holdings agrees to settlement for, and at what numbers they do not, the defense attorney might stumble in suggesting a settlement amount that Strike 3 Holdings would not accept.

Thus, “being aggressive” is absolutely important in a settlement negotiation. However, knowing how far to push, and how far is “too far,” is also a useful skill in these negotiations.

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defenses, persona, disguise


Because there are hundreds of individuals implicated in Strike 3 Holdings civil lawsuits in federal courts each day, defense “settlement factory” attorneys often pay hundreds of dollars per click in Google Ads to lure as many of these defendants as possible to their law firm’s website. [As a result, many defendants accidentally click on these websites and get exposed to the high pressure “settle now or else” tactics that these volume-based “settlement factory” attorneys employ. My complaint about these attorneys is that they advise that you pay a settlement regardless of whether you downloaded their copyrighted titles or not.]

Settlement factory attorneys often offer a flat [“fat”] fee service where they will negotiate with the plaintiff’s attorney on behalf of the defendant in exchange for an upfront payment. While this may sound like an attractive option, there are several drawbacks that should be considered before entering into any type of agreement with a Settlement Factory Attorney.

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Too often, even these attorneys lack the real expertise and negotiating skills necessary to effectively negotiate on behalf of their clients. Additionally, most Settlement Factory Attorneys do not take the time to read through the complaint thoroughly enough to identify potential issues or arguments against the Plaintiff’s claims. Had they looked up the lawsuit before suggesting a settlement they could have potentially saved you thousands of dollars by not advising you to settle.


Furthermore, Settlement Factories tend to convince each client to settle the case anonymously so they can get the quickest settlement possible. They expose their clients to unnecessary risk because their settlement agreement do not protect their clients from future lawsuits. The reasons for this were outlined in my recent article on “anonymous settlements – buyer beware.”

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In short: without proper representation from experienced legal counsel who understands how ISPs serve subpoenas and how these types of lawsuits work – it is easy for someone who hires a settlement factory to get taken advantage of financially. They are often put at risk of being sued in future lawsuits asserting similar claims. The reason they were exposed to this in the first place is because their attorney did not employ defense strategies that settlement factories often overlook. We employ these strategies here at Cashman Law Firm PLLC.


Similarly, while an anonymous settlement might sound good to an accused downloader, it gives the settlement factory attorney a way to use a “boilerplate” settlement agreement. Such an agreement does not protect the settlement factory’s client against the next lawsuit.

This is because an anonymous settlement if done incorrectly will limit the settlement paid to release only the titles that ‘this Anonymous John Doe entity’ downloaded ‘with this IP address, in this lawsuit’.

A settling attorney must be aware that Strike 3’s attorneys are able to play semantic games based on the way the lawsuits are specifically writte – a “John Doe subscriber assigned IP address A” in lawsuit #1 is not the same ‘person’ as a “John Doe subscriber assigned IP B” in lawsuit #2.

Again, you can read more about my opinions on Anonymous Settlements (and why I do not recommend them) in this article.

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Although settlement factories claim to offer a cost-effective solution to a problem they exacerbate, their services cannot be equated to those of a traditional attorney.


With your flat fee, you are still only paying them for a specific number of hours. This is why settlement factories often rely on “boilerplate” settlement agreements that may not afford the same level of protection as a professionally drafted agreement prepared by a lawyer.


Furthermore, settlement factory attorneys lack the incentive to negotiate for the lowest possible amount and typically accept the initial offer without attempting further reductions.

Why? You are not paying them to spend extra time on you. So they don’t. Don’t be naive and think they do.

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Moreover, their volume-based workload with all of their other clients rarely allows them to do a comprehensive review or assessment of your circumstances. Thus, they do not take the time to develop and execute longer-term strategies to minimize the settlement amount you pay.

So while you paid the settlement factory attorneys less, you paid Strike 3 Holdings significantly more than you needed to.


To safeguard your interests during settlement negotiations, it is advisable to engage the services of an experienced lawyer. You wouldn’t hire an attorney only for his experience — settlement factories have experience too. However, your experienced lawyer will take the time to assess your situation and plan the negotiation to minimize the amount you will end up paying. But this is just the first step.

A reputable attorney will also ensure the release of all claims, including any future claims based on past downloads that may not have been explicitly addressed in the complaint or its Exhibit A attachment filed against you in this federal court case.

Additionally, they can tailor the settlement agreement to encompass other individuals, modify or expand the scope of protection and release, and cater to your specific needs. In other words, a reputable or experienced attorney will know not to just throw you in with the pile of other settlements. Every dollar counts, and you are paying him to not only minimize the amount you pay in your settlement, but to draft the release of reliability so that you will never need to worry about a lawsuit such as this one ever again.

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When it comes to settling a Strike 3 Holdings, LLC lawsuit, the primary difference between hiring a “settlement factory” attorney and an experienced lawyer for your case is in the amount of TIME these attorneys will spend on your case.


Settlement factories usually bill their clients a flat [“fat”] fee that does not include any estimate of the time they will take to negotiate the settlement agreement. This means they may try to rush you into signing an agreement without taking the necessary time to ensure that all of your legal rights are adequately protected further litigation – something that experienced lawyers us are vigilant about doing.


Additionally, settlement factories often pressure defendants agreeing to settle anonymously before their ISP hands over the defendant’s name and address, using this threat as leverage in negotiations.

However, this strategy has its pitfalls – there have been instances where plaintiffs have brought subsequent lawsuits against those who settled in “anonymous settlements,” but because the settlement factory settled that defendant’s claims as an “Anonymous John Doe Subscriber,” the plaintiff attorney might claim in a future case that this new John Doe Defendant is not necessarily the same ‘person’ as John Doe Defendant accused in the original lawsuit (which would require them to settle again for that second lawsuit).

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At Cashman Law Firm PLLC we take pride in providing our clients with high quality legal representation by spending ample time analyzing their cases and finding ways leverage this analysis when negotiating with Strike 3 Holdings’ attorneys.

During our free consultations we will evaluate whether it makes sense for you to settle at all (given your circumstances) and provide you with an estimate of what sort of numbers we were able to negotiate down from previous cases similar to yours.

Ultimately, our goal is always getting you the lowest possible settlement cost while still protecting your legal interests from future suits or claims related civil copyright lawsuits.

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A settlement factory doesn’t take the time to consider the various factors that could affect the final settlement amount, such as the defendant’s circumstances or preferences in what information to make public, and what information to keep private.

As such, because they are paid a flat fee, they are more likely to quickly accept a high settlement amount without spending the time to bargain for a better deal.

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On the other hand, an experienced law firm will carefully analyze all available information and calculate an optimal settlement plan by factoring in all relevant details.

We also employ “time leverage” by delaying negotiations until we have received enough evidence to support our case and maximize our negotiating power.

This helps us ensure that our clients receive the fairest possible outcome with minimum cost.

Additionally, we provide them with comprehensive protection against future Strike 3 Holdings civil lawsuits through carefully crafted release of liability clauses in the agreement, which most settlement factories do not offer.

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Settlement factories will often tell you that they can get the lawsuit dismissed for “no cost” or a minimal fee if you settle with them before your name and address is revealed to the plaintiff attorney from your ISP’s subpoenaed records. They claim that an early settlement means that since Strike 3 has not spent a lot of time on your case, the early settlement might cost less than an ordinary settlement.

However, this is not always the case—in fact, it rarely is.

Settlement amounts are based on how many titles they believe you downloaded. Whether you negotiate a settlement all the way in the beginning of a Strike 3 Holdings case or later in the case (where Strike 3 Holdings is still considering a settlement with you before they run out of time to name and serve you as a defendant), it is my experience that there is no “early settlement discount.”

In addition, these sort of settlement factory attorneys have been known to take advantage of defendants who don’t know their rights and might be feeling desperate over the prospect of being named and served in a civil lawsuit in federal court.

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They may also try to pressure you into signing an onerous settlement agreement or release of liability without giving proper consideration to the terms and conditions included therein.

Moreover, these attorneys may fail to explain what happens after they’ve negotiated a settlement—that once you agree to pay the amount they offer, Strike 3 Holdings will move forward with its claims against you regardless unless there is language explicitly stated in writing within the settlement agreement that says otherwise (such as an agreed-upon dismissal).

It’s important that you research any lawyer or law firm representing yourself against Strike 3 Holdings before agreeing to enter into any sort of negotiation process or signing off on a settlement proposal so that you can understand their practice and how they handle such cases.

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When a defendant chooses to settle with Strike 3 Holdings, they may not receive comprehensive protection from future lawsuits. Even if the court approves the settlement and approves a release of the defendant’s John Doe entity, there remains the risk of being implicated in another lawsuit or being required to make additional payments for an issue that has already been resolved.

This situation arises when a plaintiff’s attorney engages in semantic games, claiming that an “Anonymous John Doe Subscriber” who settled in one lawsuit is not the same person as the accused John Doe Defendant in the second lawsuit, (so therefore they could ask for a second settlement amount). In such cases, defendants can be held accountable for multiple downloads when only a single download occurred.

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When resolving a Strike 3 Holdings, LLC lawsuit, it is crucial to ensure that all essential terms are incorporated into the settlement agreement. Unfortunately, many “settlement factory” attorneys do not dedicate the required time to negotiate or renegotiate these terms, which exposes their clients to potential future legal actions initiated by Strike 3 Holdings.

The boilerplate settlement agreements they offer may appear convenient and cost-effective, but they fail to provide sufficient safeguards against future claims from Strike 3 Holdings.

Consequently, they may leave you vulnerable to further legal action down the line.

It is essential to seek the guidance of an experienced attorney proficient in copyright law before entering into any settlement agreement with Strike 3 Holdings. Such an attorney can ensure that your rights are comprehensively protected in the settlement agreement through effective negotiation, including obtaining a release of liability, a dismissal of complaints in federal court proceedings, and addressing other critical aspects of the proper civil lawsuit process that larger, “factory-like” practices are unlikely to consider or incorporate when offering a boilerplate settlement agreement.

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When facing a subpoena from Strike 3 Holdings, LLC or a federal lawsuit alleging that you have downloaded movies without a license, you might feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to turn. At Cashman Law Firm PLLC, we are here to help. Before you even become a client, we will happily review the facts of your case and provide sound advice about whether settling or fighting a Strike 3 Holdings lawsuit is the right move for you.

We will also analyze the risk and likelihood of success for each option and discuss your settlement options with you in detail. I invite you to contact us for a free consultation so that you can understand all of your rights before making any decisions.

Just remember, you are not alone — Strike 3 Holdings filed so many lawsuits (more specifically, so many thousands of lawsuits alleging that the accused defendants downloaded adult films) that the legal system is already aware and is tired from what they have publicly done in the courts. Even Comcast is giving additional requirements to them, claiming that Strike 3 must provide a heightened level of scrutiny before they allow a subpoena from Strike 3 Holdings LLC to be issued.

Not only do we have extensive experience with negotiating settlements in these cases, but also in handling Strike 3 civil lawsuits involving copyright infringement claims from Strike 3 Holdings, LLC in federal court. We will guide you through every step of this process and provide advice on how to best protect yourself should the matter go to court — including drafting an appropriate release of liability or dismissal upon successful negotiation or payment of a settlement agreement.

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It’s critical to note that if you’re implicated as a John Doe Defendant in a copyright infringement lawsuit by Strike 3 Holdings, they’re likely working off an ISP subscriber subpoena issued by a judge authorizing them access to identifying information related to who actually did the downloading (such as your name and address).

That’s why it’s important not to delay; call us today – our firm offers comprehensive solutions tailored specifically towards helping defendants either defend the claims against them, or settle the claims against them, depending on which strategy seems to be in YOUR best interest.

FOR IMMEDIATE CONTACT AN ATTORNEY: To set up a free consultation to speak to an attorney about your matter, click here.  Lastly, please feel free to e-mail me at info [at], or call 713-364-3476 to speak to me now about your case (I do prefer you read the articles first), or to get your questions answered.

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