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Submission + - How should I have responded to RIAA lawyer? 10

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "The RIAA's lawyers are a bit jumpy these days since their standard "making available" boilerplate was rejected by the Court in Interscope v. Rodriguez. But I still never expected, when I initiated a dismissal motion in Elektra v. Schwartz, that they would be reaching out to me , of all people, for help. But so they did, asking me "in the interest of efficiency... what precisely Defendant contends is lacking from Plaintiffs' Complaint for Defendant to consider it sufficient. Perhaps Plaintiffs may be able to satisfy these alleged deficiencies and spare both parties additional and unnecessary motions practice." Unfortunately my response was not very helpful; I couldn't think of anything better than to say, more or less, that "Plaintiffs have no case whatsoever against Ms. Schwartz, and their case against her was frivolous in its inception. Accordingly, there are no facts they can allege that will satisfy the plausibility standard." On reflection, I'm feeling kind of guilty that I didn't give them a more creative, and helpful answer, and I thought to turn to my friends at Slashdot, who are (a) almost always helpful, and (b) always creative. What would you have said?"
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How should I have responded to RIAA lawyer?

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  • It's not your job to tell them how to do their job. They are trying to open a legal trap; "Look, we already asked, and they had a chance to respond". Do go there, and respond to them in kind.
    • Of course you're right Bomarc. But they got caught in their own "trap".

      When Judges Trager and Levy read that stuff, they're going to realize, if they haven't already, how totally frivolous the RIAA's cases are.

      Can you imagine a lawyer filing a complaint in a federal court without first having enough facts to make his complaint "plausible"?

      And then asking his adversary what he should have put in it?
      • I'd have been tempted to tell them to Ask Slashdot :]

        Of course, I'd hate to accidentally help them, even though they'd be more likely to get pointers to goatse than useful information. I mean, look at the story over MediaSentry's collapse. Actually, point them to it. I think they deserve to know just how people feel about them.

        And I guess I WOULD tell them that their bigger problem is technical, not legal. True, we don't like the funny legal tricks they play to cover the technical shortfalls. But the o
  • How about: "Richard, if you drop the case with prejudice, pay all of my client's fees and costs, kneel down and beg forgiveness from the defendant and all other similar defendants, vow to never file such frivolous lawsuits again, and work pro bono to defend against such lawsuits, THEN you might just pass the plausibility standard."

    But seriously, I think you handled it appropriately.

    • Interesting, I did say something like that in one of my emails:

      Dear Richard, You have shown yourself to be an extremely clever lawyer, and would no doubt have no problem whatsoever drafting an appropriate pleading had you any facts or law upon which to base such a pleading. The problem is that you do not have a case against Ms. Schwartz. There is, therefore, nothing you can truthfully allege that will satisfy the 'plausibility' pleading standard. You would therefore to do well to dismiss the case with prejudice in order to avoid expanding even further yours and your clients' exposure to attorneys fees, damages, and sanctions. For your reference, attached is a copy of the decision in Morton v. Seltzer, 336 Mont. 225, 154 P.3d 561 (2007), where a plaintiffs' law firm was held liable to the defendant for damages for conduct quite similar to your conduct in the instant case. Also, attached are copies of Capitol v. Foster, 2007 WL 1028532 and 2007 WL 1223826, resulting in a $68,685.23 attorneys fee award against your clients based upon your firm's pursuit of a case very similar to the instant case.

      • by Dr_Art ( 937436 )
        I must have missed that part because I was visualizing Richard kneeling and begging for forgiveness...:-)

      • by Ixitar ( 153040 )

        ...exposure to attorneys fees, damages, and sanctions.
        You forgot ridicule.
  • Trouble is, they'd sue you for copyright infringement.
  • Ray, were you to help the opposing side attempt to screw your own client even further than they already have, I'd expect them to have you up before the state bar on ethics charges and facing disbarment, along with your obvious removal from this case.

    Come to think of it, that might be the only way they can win this.

    In fact, they should be up on ethics charges for even asking.

  • Hi Xeno and Nom

    1. There's no "way they can win this". All they can do is harass and extort. It's what they do.

    2. I think they really are confused at this point. They figured, hey Ray's a nice guy, maybe he can help us figure out what we're supposed to do now that that pesky Supreme Court requires "plausibility". How in heck can we get plausibility when we have no reason to think this lady, who doesn't even know to use a computer, ever infringed any of our copyrights?

    3. Yeah, that's what I should have

"So why don't you make like a tree, and get outta here." -- Biff in "Back to the Future"