Within the same breath of learning that Copyright Enforcement Group’s (“CEG”) attorney Mike Meier will be taking over Terik Hashmi’s Northern District of Florida bittorrent cases, in a twist of comedic tragedy for plaintiff attorney Mike Meier, I learned that FIVE of his Southern District of New York cases have been joined together, and “additional cases [perhaps all of his other bittorrent cases] may also be “deemed related” and transferred [to this judge] in the near term.” (emphasis added).
In other words, riddle me this:
Question: “How do you kill many small bittorrent cases, when each case only has just a handful of defendants?”
Answer: You BUNCH THEM TOGETHER into one case and you kill them all at the same time.
The following cases (so far) have now been joined (and are now consolidated under Case No. 1:11-cv-09705 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York):
THIRD DEGREE FILMS, INC. v. DOES 1 – 217 (1:11-cv-07564-JGK, or “11 Civ. 7564″);
DIGITAL SIN, INC. v. DOES 1 – 179 (1:11-cv-08172, or “11 Civ. 8172″);
MEDIA PRODUCTIONS, INC. v. DOES 1-55 (1:11-cv-09550, or “11 Civ. 9550″);
THIRD DEGREE FILMS, INC. v. DOES 1 – 216 (1:11-cv-09618, or “11 Civ. 9618″);
ZERO TOLERANCE ENTERTAINMENT, INC. v. DOES 1 – 56 (1:11-cv-09703, or “11 Civ. 9703″)
In District Judge Katherine B. Forrest’s order, she states:
“it is hereby ORDERED that the parties shall cease all discovery-related activity in the above-captioned cases until otherwise ordered by this Court.”
In other words, if your ISP has not yet handed out your information, I strongly suggest that you send them a copy of this order and stop them from handing out your information. If you are a defendant in this case, I would hold off until their next status conference before doing anything, which is scheduled for March 12th, 2012, 3pm.
Once again, other plaintiff attorneys should sit up and take notice.
As for Mike Meier, well, if his New York cases go bust, at least he now has Terik Hashmi’s cases to fight in Florida. At least they are merged together under Case No. 4:11-cv-00570 (FLND) and are under an order to show cause by March 9, 2012 why they should not be dismissed. With Mike Meier taking over Terik’s cases and a letter to the court throwing Terik under the bus, perhaps those Florida cases may survive.
In the meantime, it looks like Lady Justice has a sense of humor. Perhaps Mike’s cases got “infected” as soon as he agreed to take over Terik’s FL cases. At the very least, it’s poetic justice.