It’s been almost a year since US District Judge Otis Wright issued a sanction order repudiating the lawyers behind the “copyright trolling” organization known as Prenda Law. Since then, several other judges have pounded Prenda with expensive sanction orders. Just last week, Paul Hansmeier, Paul Duffy, and John Steele—the three lawyers commonly linked to Prenda—were found to be in contempt of a devastating sanction order won by AT&T and Comcast.
Today, a Minnesota federal judge has issued an order (PDF) going in the opposite direction. US District Judge Joan Ericksen has overturned sanctions that were issued in November by a US Magistrate Judge in her district, Franklin Noel.
Like Wright, Noel asked his local US Attorney to take a look into Prenda. He also ordered Prenda to pay back the four defendants who settled cases in his court for amounts ranging from $3,500 to $6,000 in addition to their legal fees. That order was stayed while Ericksen could consider Prenda’s objections. Now she has considered their objections and found them convincing.
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