Wednesday, February 11, 2009

9th Circuit holds that if dismissal is "without prejudice" defendant is not prevailing party, in Interscope Records v. Leadbetter

In Interscope Records v. Leadbetter, the Ninth Circuit has affirmed the denial of attorneys fees to Ms. Leadbetter on the ground that, under 9th Circuit precedent, she is not a "prevailing party" because the dismissal was "without prejudice".

The decision is a "Not for Publication" decision, which means that it is not intended by the Court to be available as a precedent.

February 10, 2009, Decision Affirming Order Denying Attorneys Fees

Thanks to Copyrights & Campaigns for posting the 9th Circuit's link.

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


Alter_Fritz said...

B. FLETCHER, RYMER and FISHER, Circuit Judges wrote:

"This court has recently determined that a dismissal without prejudice does not constitute a material alteration in litigants’ legal relationship as it leaves the plaintiff able to re-file his claims."

OK, that sounds logical and therefor "fair" for me, but...

We reject [an argument made by appellant] as no statute of limitations determination was requested or made by the district court. Barring such a judicial determination, appellees, as the plaintiff in Oscar[541 F.3d at 981], retain the legal ability to re-file."

Now with that reasoning I have a problem in understanding.
I'm absolutely sure those honourable judges of the ninth circuit know the law very well so they are probably absolutely right in their analysis, but it does not sound logic to me.
OK, assuming that these "best-known and most well-respected record companies in the United States and the world" can as a matter of law re-file their claims (for direct copyrightinfringment by appelant Dawnell Leadbetter as they did initially):
Doing so would be IMO frivolous by those
criminal(?) wrongdoings committing lawyers from the Holme Roberts & Owen LLP law firm with approximately 240 attorneys in offices in Denver, Boulder, Colorado Springs, London, Los Angeles, Munich, Salt Lake City and San Francisco
in so far as the plaintiffs indeed have acknowledged that She is not the person they wanted to sue since they (according to their own statements) are only interested in suing the "real infringers".
By "throwing the towel" (albeit with the ability [I would say "trick"] to take it up again) they acknowledged that they have no case against here.
So while the honourable judges are probably right in their analysis of the pure word of the lawbooks "it makes no sense" when Plaintiffs would refile their initial complaint against her.
From the "menschlich" standpoint, she "won", she didn't do what "Evil4" accused her she had done and they admitted that by towel throwing.
She should get the money back she needed to defend herself against the accusations Evil4 made against her.

So what we have learned from this 9th circuit ruling is the following as far as I understand those judges:

Since we know that evil4 tries to "trick" themself out of liability for their errors when they sue the wrong person and throw the towel only without prejudice and you as defendant be let of the hook then make sure that the district court does at least rule about the probability of limitations that might apply with respect to their ability to "grab the towel up again".

Anonymous said...

The 9th Circuit Court has always been the outlier, and most reversed, court among all the appeals courts. Given what has been ruled in other circuits this seems right for SCOTUS review.

It is also horribly unfair and unreasonable of them.

{The Common Man Speaking}

Ben said...

So, the court says that if the lower court finds the statute of limitations is passed then they take no position. Is that a determination that Leadbetter can still request?

Anonymous said...

Actually, I've read that the 9th circuit is not an outlier. The notion that it's decisions are often reversed isn't quite true. From what I understand, there are more decisions coming from the 9th circuit period, which means they will also be reversed more often.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, you are simply wrong. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is by far the most reversed circuit court in percentage terms. They are a liberal nightmare who often needs to be reigned in. Take it from someone who lives in this circuit.

{The Common Man Speaking}

Anonymous said...

The Myth of the Liberal Ninth Circuit
Erwin Chemerinsky

Exploring the Myths About the Ninth Circuit
Stephen J. Wermiel

I too live in the ninth circuit, but you could hardly call any federal judge in Idaho liberal.

Anonymous said...

The defendant's motion for fees to the district court should have argued there was a material change of the legal relationship between the parties due to the lapse of the statute of limitations and due to plaintiff having moved for dismissal without prejudice twice (the Doe filing previously), both complaints based on the same facts and alleged infringement(s).


raybeckerman said...

Dear anonymous freddie

Have you reviewed the defendant's papers in the district court?