As a lawyer, you know it’s going to be bad when a federal judge summons you to his courtroom at nine in the morning to talk about your “ill-considered lawsuit” that has “abused the litigation system in more than one way.”
Federal judge Milton Shadur, who keeps a “Now, 3 for 10¢… Federal Judge!” sign beside him in his 23rd floor Chicago courtroom, summoned file-sharing lawyer John Steele to court this morning with those words. At issue was Steele’s representation of CP Productions, an Arizona porn producer suing 300 anonymous individuals for illegally sharing a film called (ahem) Cowgirl Creampie.
Shadur had already had enough of this particular litigation and had tossed the case not once but twice within the last few weeks. The first dismissal came because Steele had not actually served all defendants in the case within 120 days of filing it (Steele pleaded that he was still waiting on ISPs to turn over the names associated with the IP addresses he had provided).