Tuesday, February 02, 2010

UMG v Lindor dismissed without prejudice. No sanctions, no attorneys fees.

In UMG Recordings v. Lindor, the District Judge has adopted the report and recommendations of the Magistrate Judge, which
-denied the RIAA's motion for discovery sanctions; and
-granted the RIAA's motion for voluntary dismissal without prejudice, without costs or attorneys fees.
Although the Court did not expressly refer to the defendant's motion for Rule 11 sanctions, it closed the case, and it is inferable from the decision that the motion was intended to be denied.

Memorandum and Order Dismissing Case, Denying Sanctions Motion

[Ed. note I can't really comment fully on the decision just yet, since the case is not yet final, but the Judge's decision is glaringly erroneous as a matter of law, and would be reversed on an appeal. If you read my Declaration in Opposition to the RIAA's motion carefully, Judge Trager's error will leap out at you. -R.B.]

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Anonymous said...

How exactly does being "unduly contentious" in and of itself warrant denial of a motion for attorney's fees? I guess I should look at the magistrate's reasoning, but wouldn't it be more appropriate to cite reasoning based on, say, the facts of the case?

- Andrew

Anonymous said...

Sorry to read that ruling, Ray.

Interesting how the judge decided it was a dismissal without prejudice, despite it being the second time. I hope that leaves you some legal room to work with!

Even now, it's odd how the judge wanted to punish Defendant for actions of Defendant's associates.

And it seems to me, but that's just me, that if plaintiff's attorneys show fighting spirit but defendant's attorneys don't, that puts defendant at a huge disadvantage. Anyway, this "unduly contentious" bit from the judge sounds very vague, so I don't know how to interpret it.


Anonymous said...

Also, why is the judge trying to help the RIAA fix the fact that it should have done proper depositions long ago? When last checked, the deposition that they overlooked seemed like a careless miss on the RIAA's part.


derivative said...

Sad but predictable.

The RIAA was directing all its SDNY traffic to Trager for years, so they developed a good working relationship.

From Trager's perspective, every time the RIAA said somebody was bad, that person capitulated, so, without any introspection, Trager wound up with a cozy relationship with the RIAA's lawyers. He saw them on a regular basis, they didn't have to say unlawyerly things in front of him because all those threats were issued outside of the purview of the court, and everybody prospered.

Along comes Beckerman to upset the apple cart. He accuses the RIAA lawyers of a lack of due diligence (for a start, lots more things later), but the judge knows this can't be right. Why, every time they've hauled somebody into court before, that defendant just rolled over. And with lots of bad actors out there, why would the RIAA bother going after somebody not "guilty"?

So, it was with great relief that his honor found something in the briefs somewhere that could be construed, if he squinted just right, as indicating that his RIAA pals weren't really being bad; they were just misled by the defendant.

My question, Ray, is if you're going to let them get away with it. I know you have other fish to fry and this isn't particularly remunerative. I'm a little stretched myself at the moment, but if you forge ahead, I'll kick in another $1000 to the Marie Lindor defense fund, although I'll probably do it in 4 $250 chunks.

Any other readers up for the appeal?

-- derivative

Dante said...

Judge concedes that the plaintiffs were overly contentious too. Wouldn't it be hard for the defendant to fight contentious plaintiffs if she weren't contentious too?

Anonymous said...

I thought the copyright laws made attorney's fee awards mandatory?

Win this one. It's absolutely crucial to establish the precedent that totally innocent people sued for the purposes of harassment and intimidation get their attorney's fees paid. Otherwise the courts become a venue for, well, harassment and intimidation.