One of my young readers, "Michael", who is a law student, posted a comment yesterday suggesting that the order Judge Davis issued might actually be a standard form.
I reacted vituperatively to Michael, saying that based on my 35 years of litigation experience, it was not a standard form.
As it turns out Michael may have been right, and I may have been wrong; it appears to be a standard form commonly used in Minnesota's federal court for settlement conferences.
None of my 35 years of litigation experience have been in Minnesota.
I apologize to Michael and all of my other readers, and I thank Michael and those other readers, here and on Slashdot, who corrected me.
Moral of that story: don't hesitate to question 'authority even when the 'authority' has 35 years of experience on you.
Meanwhile, as to the substance of the order, standard form or not, the record companies will have to produce 'officers' or 'managing agents' with decisionmaking 'power'. That still means Mr. Oppenheim cannot call the shots on this one.
3/3/09 12:50 PM UPDATE
The question of whether it's a 'standard form' is not necessarily so clear. I have just heard from a few veteran Minnesota federal litigators who say they have never seen such an order in their experience.
3/3/09 3:17 PM UPDATE
It's now starting to appear that, although it is a form, it is a relatively new development that judges are starting to use it.
Commentary & discussion:
Keywords: lawyer digital copyright law online internet law legal download upload peer to peer p2p file sharing filesharing music movies indie independent label freeculture creative commons pop/rock artists riaa independent mp3 cd favorite songs intellectual property portable music player