Judge berates P2P lawyer for abuse of legal system, tosses cases

Another mass porn file-sharing lawsuit bites the dust, as prosecuting lawyer John Steele is berated by Illinois Federal judge Milton Shadur with a tongue-lashing that included an accusation that the attorney had “abused the litigation system in more than one way.”

“I don’t see any justification at all for this action,” Judge Shadur told Steele as he tossed out the case that accused 300 John Doe defendants of illegally sharing the CP Productions porn flick Cowgirl Creampie.


Steele apparently thought that Illinois seemed like a good place to file his mass P2P lawsuit because he had “used geolocation technology to trace the IP addresses of multiple Defendants to a point of origin within Champaign, Illinois.” Judge Shadur, however, was rather irked when he began getting motions to quash the case from defendants in several other states, “people that had nothing at all to do with the state of Illinois,” as the judge put it.

“I accepted you at your word,” Judge Shadur chided, advising that CP Productions would have to pursue the trial in their home state of Arizona.

“Plainly stated, the court is concerned that the expedited ex parte discovery is a fishing expedition by means of a perversion of the purpose and intent of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23,” Judge Shadur continued.

Oddly enough, Steele didn’t seem very rattled over the dismissal of his case.

“Our client, CP Productions, is happy that Judge Shadur dismissed the case without prejudice and has allowed us to file against the few remaining John Does individually,” Steele told reporters. “We will certainly continue to fight on behalf of CP Productions in its war on piracy.”

“The judges in our other cases have, for the most part, sided with our clients and dismissed anonymous motions filed by non-parties,” Steele continued. “We expect to continue to have a majority of the courts find in our favor and allow us to find out who is stealing our client’s content.

Hundreds of these types of mass file-sharing lawsuits have been dismissed in the United States so far this year, with a Texas judge berating another P2P attorney in a similar fashion just last month.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean that defendants can breathe a sigh of relief. Also in February, the U.S. Copyright Group (USCG) began the pricey and tedious task of re-filing several thousand P2P cases in their respective jurisdictions by paying a network of other firms around the US to do the filing for them.

It’s good to see more judges stepping up and enforcing the rights of defendants in these cases. This is progress toward restoring the balance of the legal process and making it a fair fight for the accused. There is still a long way to go, but every little bit helps.