Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Motion for substitution granted in Capitol Records v. Thomas

The motion for substitution of attorneys in Capitol Records v. Thomas has been granted.

The Court also issued an amended Trial Notice, which retains the June 15th trial date.

The withdrawing attorneys issued the following press release:

A few hours ago Chief United States Court District Judge granted Brian Toder’s motion to withdraw as defendant’s counsel and to substitute in his stead K.A.D. Camara of Camara & Sibley of Houston, Texas with local counsel Garrett Blanchfield of Reinhardt, Wendorf & Blanchfield of St. Paul, Minnesota. The trial date of June 15th in Duluth, Minnesota remains unchanged.

I have met with my partners and am pleased to announce that our firm will never seek any additional payment from Jammie Thomas for the considerable work we have done in her case. If we are to receive any funds from this case, it will be solely from plaintiffs if Ms. Thomas-Rasset ultimately becomes the prevailing party which we believe is highly possible given the caliber of the counsel and amici on her side.

I would like to thank Ray Beckerman, personally, for the help he gave us in acquiring local counsel, the help he has and continues to give others, but mainly for his tireless and noble efforts championing the cause against the destructive course of action taken by the RIAA.

Finally, I hope we are remembered not for withdrawing, but for the considerable time and expense we provided before we could no longer afford to stay in Jammie’s fight. Her interests are now well served, and we wish her well.

Brian N. Toder
Order granting motion to substitute attorneys
Amended notice of trial

Commentary & discussion:
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Anonymous said...

Thanks for all of your hard work Brian!

Anonymous said...

Mr. Toder may have spent lots of time and tried hard here. But would the second trial have even been necessary and might Jammie have even won outright if Mr.Toder had done the most basic case law research in the first trial? Did he even look at Nimmer's treatise? As Judge Davis had to point out himself on May 15, 2008:

The Court is concerned that Jury Instruction No. 15 may have been
contrary to binding Eighth Circuit precedent. In National Car Rental System, Inc. v. Computer ssociates Int’l, Inc., the Eighth Circuit stated that “‘[i]nfringement of [the distribution right] requires an actual dissemination of either copies or
phonorecords.’ 2 Nimmer on Copyright § 8.11[A], at 8‐124.1.” 991 F.2d 426, 434
(8th Cir. 1993). This statement appears to require that actual dissemination occur
in order to infringe the distribution right under the Copyright Act. Neither party
presented this Eighth Circuit case to the Court.

Scott said...

I think that Anonymous #2 should be a little more charitable. We all do the best we can with what we've got. Mr. Toder's pro bono contribution should not be denigrated in any way.

Anonymous said...

Toder was probably never fully equipped to handle this case, but he stepped in where most people would not and did not. In fact, if not for Toder and the attention that Act I got, then Thomas would probably still be un(der)represented and MUCH worse off. It's only thanks to the efforts of Toder and people like Ray (thank you, Ray!) that she now has a real shot in court. Judge Davis is now keenly aware of the RIAA's tactics, and so too is Judge Gertner. It'll be an interesting summer!

lost in thought

raybeckerman said...

I agree with Scott and Anonymous Lost in Thought. Brian made an important contribution. He was man enough to stand up for a defenseless woman, and spend countless hours on her behalf. Being a trial lawyer, and knowing how many decisions have to be made, I know that it is an impossible task to second guess a trial lawyer. Are there things he could have done that he didn't do? Undoubtedly. Were they things he should have done? We'll never know, because we do not have as much knowledge of the case, or of what was going on in the case, as he did.

He never signed on to handle the case without getting paid, so he was perfectly within his rights to withdraw from the representation. And Jammie never challenged that.

The RIAA smelled blood in the water here, and swooped in on him in a way they have never before done in any other case. They probably spent more than half a million dollars on this case.

All they ever got out of their ludicrous verdict was a lot of bad publicity.

So as far as I am concerned, all respect to Brian Toder.

And all respect to his valiant client Jammie Thomas.

And all respect to the firebrands who have taken up the cudgel against the prince of darkness Matthew Oppenheim, and his running dogs.

Anonymous said...

This man hopes that Brian Toder receives 100% compensation for every penny spent in this case on behalf of Ms. Thomas from the Plaintiffs under the provisions of the Copyright Act at the end of all of this -- with interest!

He also wishes the same for her current lawyers, and hopes in that case that the RIAA's well known and nearly paranoid avoidance of Harvard University over these last couple of years proves to be the only piece of wisdom that they have every shown.

{The Common Man Speaking}