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(ArsTechnica)Prenda Law, the ethically challenged law firm whose antics have faced growing scrutiny in recent months, just keeps digging its hole deeper. The firm is facing charges that it named a Minnesota man as the CEO of two litigious shell companies without the man’s knowledge or permission. A California judge, Otis Wright, demanded more information about these allegations, and Prenda responded by seeking to boot him from the courtroom. Prenda claims Wright is too biased against copyright trolls to give the firm a fair hearing.
The identity theft allegations were brought to the judge’s attention by Morgan Pietz, who represents one of the “John Doe” defendants Prenda is currently suing. Or at least Pietz allegedly represents a John Doe. In a Monday court filing first spotted by the “Fight Copyright Trolls” blog, Prenda suggested Pietz shouldn’t be allowed to file a brief opposing the dismissal of Judge Wright because Pietz hasn’t proved that he actually represents a John Doe in the case.
“Mr. Pietz could very well be intervening in all of these cases for his own ends, with no real client that he is defending,” writes Prenda’s Brett Gibbs. “Mr. Pietz should have to submit evidence that he is, in fact, representing the actual individual he claims to represent, and not merely inserting himself into cases on the pretense of representing that individual.”
Gibbs continues: “Mr. Pietz has demonstrated repeated hostility toward Plaintiff and toward the undersigned, and, as such, would have sufficient motive to interfere with Plaintiff’s cases without the formality of actually having a client involved in the instant litigation.”
Of course, as the defense attorney, it’s Pietz’s job to be “hostile” to the plaintiffs. And it’s pretty rich for Prenda to demand that the defense attorney first prove that he is representing a real defendant. The firm, after all, is facing accusations that it is suing on behalf of imaginary plaintiffs.