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Time to Re-up My EFF Membership

EFF is going after Righthaven and the Las Vegas Review-Journal in a big way, and I have to hand it to the Democratic Underground for standing up to these bullies. It appears to me that the Righthaven guys are now in way over their heads:

Opsahl noted three intellectual property attorneys from the San Francisco law firm Winston & Strawn LLP are working on the case for the Democratic Underground on a pro bono, or public service, basis. They include Andrew Bridges, whom Opsahl called one of the nation’s foremost intellectual property attorneys, with extensive experience defending Internet service providers.

Also working on the case for the Democratic Underground are J. Caleb Donaldson and Kathleen Lu of Winston & Strawn, Opsahl and Corynne McSherry of the EFF; and Las Vegas attorney Chad Bowers.

Righthaven are also now suing AR-15.com and Virginia Citizens Defense League. I’m not really going to be happy until these people are disbarred for this unethical behavior. I’m happy to live in a state where barratry is still a crime. Not that it helps people being sued in Nevada much.

4 Responses to “Time to Re-up My EFF Membership”

  1. Unfortunately, we talked to EFF at some length about this. They could not seem to find anyone to work on this pro bono. Admitedly, The Armed Citizen isn’t Democratic Underground.

  2. Because I’m a legal layman, is there a possibility of a class action, or is that an inappropriate response?

  3. Sebastian says:

    I doubt it. I think class actions have to go through federal court, and I don’t think the feds have a civil action for barratry.

  4. BC says:

    Packetman: there are four requirements, in federal civil procedure, for a class action:

    (1) Numerosity. The class has to be large enough that handling things through individual suits is impractical.
    (2) Commonality. The class must have claims or defenses in common.
    (3) Typicality. The class representatives’ claims or defenses must be typical of the rest of the class.
    (4) Adequacy. The class representatives must be able to represent the interests of the class adequately.

    It’s certainly possible for multiple defendants to seek certification to defend as a class, but I think, here, there might be problems with the numerosity and commonality requirements — while Righthaven has sued a lot of people there’s no indication it’s impractical to handle those suits individually, and it might be hard to find defenses common to all the class members since the circumstances of the alleged infringements vary.

    Note that the above is not legal advice and creates no attorney-client relationship; it’s just my own thoughts and observations.

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