Can Ira Siegel no longer accept settlements for his dismissed cases?

Please allow me to extend a warm congratulations to the Cashman Law Firm, PLLC defendants (and all others) who have been dismissed from the New Sensations, Inc. v. Does 1-1,474 (Case No. 3:11-cv-02770) case and the Patrick Collins, Inc. v. Does 1-2590 (Case No. 3:11-cv-02766) case, both in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. While this is no longer news since the dismissal happened literally days after my last post, I wanted to follow up with a quick comment on these two cases.

I hate to pin this on Ira Siegel as no doubt Steele Hansmeier, PLLC (now Prenda Law Inc.) have made a mess of cases in the Northern District of California, but with these two plaintiff attorneys making messes of the bittorrent cases (to your benefit, of course), judges have smartened up about bittorrent lawsuits, and have been giving both of them a bunch of hurt. [There is news about the Hurt Locker case as well, but I’ll save it for the next posting.] In short, I no longer believe that there is a judge in Northern California who is oblivious to what is going on in these bittorrent cases, and I feel that these cases moving forward will be shut down faster than the plaintiff attorneys can say “boo!” (akin to how John Steele (and soon Prenda Law Inc.) was essentially shut out of the Northern District of Illinois courts).

Here is the interesting part about these two cases. In Judge James’ order (almost identical in the two cases), she forbade Siegel from accepting settlements after 12/7. This means that if you have not already received an “I’m sorry for asking you for money” letter (actually phrased as “we intend to go after you after the issues are resolved”), expect one in the mail (or in your e-mail, as this is how your plaintiff attorney likes to cut costs and avoid huge postage fees).

The problem in my mind is that while Judge James dismissed the case without prejudice [meaning that Siegel can easily file against any of the Doe defendants in their home courts], she was UNCLEAR as to whether Siegel can now accept settlements now that the case is dismissed. In other words, there is an AMBIGUITY in her order which on its face means that Ira can no longer accept settlements from Doe Defendants from this case; logic suggests that this is not the case. I actually inquired about this, and two days ago (12/22, pasted below), Ira asked the court for a clarification as to whether he is still allowed to accept settlements moving forward now that the case is dismissed. He wrote the same inquiry to the court in the Patrick Collins, Inc. case (link here). We will wait and see what the judge says.

8 thoughts on “Can Ira Siegel no longer accept settlements for his dismissed cases?”

  1. Ira Siegel loves to ask judges to amend their orders. I have a sudden desire to file an ex parte application to amend each and every Ira’s filing — replace all the occurrences of “settlement negotiation” with “extortion attempt”.

  2. Plaintiff’s motion is denied. Plaintiff is hereby advised that it may not negotiate any
    settlements based upon information it received as a result of a subpoena issued in this
    lawsuit prior to December 7, 2011.

    Filed December 30th

  3. Hello – I was a doe defendent in the Patrick Collins vs does 1-2590. I received a subpoena notice but never received a demand letter. It looks like this case has been dismissed, does this mean they can no longer make attempts to come after me? I believe my information may have been released by my isp as I did not file a motion to squash or anything.

    1. Please read anon’s comment below (or above, depending on how you’re looking at it). While you can still be sued individually in your home state, the plaintiff is not allowed to accept new settlements for this case. So, for the time being, congratulations on your dismissal. -Rob

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