Today, Judge Darrah in the Northern District of Illinois granted yet another sanctions award against copyright troll Prenda Law. Paul Godfread and Alan Cooper have been awarded $11,758.20 as reimbursement for a portion of the fees they have spent on attorneys in defending themselves against Prenda’s defamation lawsuit.
The Court awarded the sanctions under both Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11 as well as its inherent power to sanction provided in 28 U.S.C. § 1927. In the Court’s own words, the sanctions award was “[b]ased on Prenda’s misrepresentations in this Court” and the Defendants’ incurred fees were “occasioned by the misconduct of Prenda Law and Paul A. Duffy in this Court.”
In the Memorandum Opinion and Order, the Court made quick work of Prenda’s arguments in support of their opposition to the sanctions order. Prenda argued that the Defendants’ attorneys had failed to mitigate their fees, but the Court noted that they had acted swiftly and expeditiously to defend their clients’ interests. Prenda also attempted to argue that the Defendants’ attorneys charged “exorbitant” rates, but the Court determined that the $400 and $409 per hour rates billed were “in line” with the commonly charged rates found in a recent survey.
The only aspect of the opinion that didn’t turn completely in the Defendants’ favor was that the Court reduced the requested fee amount by more than half, indicating that he only had the power to grant a sanction to cover the costs of dealing with Prenda’s misconduct and misrepresentations in the Northern District of Illinois. In a footnote, Judge Darrah noted that Prenda’s antics in the Southern District of Illinois lie in the purview of that court’s power to sanction and not his.
We have also posted the original sanctions order.
Stephanie M. Solera contributed to this post.