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Linden Lab has been served with a FEDERAL class-action lawsuit
Old 04-20-2010, 07:45 PM   #1
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Default Linden Lab has been served with a FEDERAL class-action lawsuit

http://elfclan.ning.com/profiles/blo...ource=activity

http://www.courthousenews.com/2010/04/20/26549.htm

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Old 04-20-2010, 07:51 PM   #2
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I should figure out a way for *ME* to sue Linden Lab too!!
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Old 04-20-2010, 08:03 PM   #3
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Linden Lab touched me in my naughty place.
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Old 04-20-2010, 08:16 PM   #4
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That article was interesting... the woman in the screencap looks a lot like Sansarya (in some of her av pics). Coincidence, I'm sure. Also, I noted their choice of representation:

"The plaintiffs are represented by Jason A. Archinaco of Pribanic, Pribanic & Archinaco in Pittsburgh. "

... which sounded like Shadrack, Meshach, & Abednego. But it's been a long day.
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Old 04-20-2010, 08:31 PM   #5
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Glad I'm working on a new footing in InWorldz, jic SL takes a crap. I know it's coming. I dunno when.... but it's coming.
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Old 04-20-2010, 08:31 PM   #6
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So... They're suing over "changes" in the TOS that were there all along but simply clarified now? (O.o)

They're going to have fun going broke over this. (^_^)y
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Old 04-20-2010, 08:35 PM   #7
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And... For reference if someone comes in with "Everything changed!!!" Without documented proof:

http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Lind..._29_April_2010

=^-^=
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Old 04-20-2010, 09:07 PM   #8
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Did I mention ? So tired of this sort of nonsense. It's no wonder some people want to turn that place into a sheet of glass. I can understand the frustration.
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Old 04-20-2010, 09:10 PM   #9
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Did you cross post that intentionally? If not, that's an awesome accident.
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Old 04-20-2010, 09:36 PM   #10
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... which sounded like Shadrack, Meshach, & Abednego. But it's been a long day.
/off topic... Thanks Envoy, I was trying to explain this to someone the other day and realized I couldn't remember the story, just the name. So I went to look it up only to realize I had no idea how to spell them!
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Old 04-20-2010, 09:47 PM   #11
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LL made promises they couldn't keep. Everything started unraveling when they had to start abiding by US laws--and tell residents they couldn't gamble.

That undermined everything.

I didn't gamble at all but that single act narrowed SL really alot to me. What I once thought would be a 3d wrapper around www started to look more like an IRC chat host with alot of pretty colors.
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Old 04-20-2010, 09:57 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Fatz View Post
LL made promises they couldn't keep. Everything started unraveling when they had to start abiding by US laws--and tell residents they couldn't gamble.

That undermined everything.

I didn't gamble at all but that single act narrowed SL really alot to me. What I once thought would be a 3d wrapper around www started to look more like an IRC chat host with alot of pretty colors.
The main problem with the gambling is that the Feds told credit card processors they would be the ones in trouble if they accepted funds from 'gambling' sites. Therefor, LL had to stop gambling, else they would not be able to have any credit card processor handle their account.

The Feds basically made the banks/credit card corporations enforce a non-law, and like any good corporation, they go to the extreme to protect themselves.
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Old 04-20-2010, 10:11 PM   #13
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The main problem with the gambling is that the Feds told credit card processors they would be the ones in trouble if they accepted funds from 'gambling' sites. Therefor, LL had to stop gambling, else they would not be able to have any credit card processor handle their account.

The Feds basically made the banks/credit card corporations enforce a non-law, and like any good corporation, they go to the extreme to protect themselves.
The larger conceptual problem is the the idea of virtual property ownership became subject to american law. That meant I couldn't go to a site owned by someone in Macau and gamble. Everything was narrowed to the context of the US.

That ruined it for me. I don't think the rest of the world is too hot on investing on something under those constraints either.
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Old 04-20-2010, 10:12 PM   #14
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anyone know who the plaintiffs are in world?
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Old 04-20-2010, 11:01 PM   #15
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Further proof that some people take Second Life WAY too seriously.

Come on people: It's AOL/Yahoo/IRC meets Internet Exploder/Firefox/Chrome meets WoW meets content hosting service.
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Old 04-20-2010, 11:06 PM   #16
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Ja all these comments are pretty much right what sucks is my boat is hitched to the SL dock.
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Old 04-20-2010, 11:07 PM   #17
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after the openspace bait and switch, it serves ll right.
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Old 04-20-2010, 11:33 PM   #18
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Quote:
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The larger conceptual problem is the the idea of virtual property ownership became subject to american law. That meant I couldn't go to a site owned by someone in Macau and gamble. Everything was narrowed to the context of the US.

That ruined it for me. I don't think the rest of the world is too hot on investing on something under those constraints either.
It didn't matter where the site was owned by, but where the company that you buy the lindens from, and cash them to, is a U.S. company, and could be held liable under the RICO act.

Quote:
Yet players are finding it more and more difficult to make a deposit, let alone an actual wager, on a gaming website using their credit cards. The largest banks, including Citibank, Bank of America and Wells Fargo, will not let their credit cards be used for online gaming.

The situation is not limited to the United States. HSBC, formerly the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, now headquartered in London, is one of the world's largest banks. In 2001, HSBC sent the following notice to its credit card holders:

The Card shall not be used for payment of any gambling transaction or other transaction which is illegal under applicable laws and the Bank reserves the right to decline processing or paying any Card Transaction which it suspects to be a gambling or illegal transaction.

...

Credit card executives have a real fear that what they are doing may be illegal. No one likes to be sued. But the suits brought against Visa and others, based on their involvement with online gaming operators, have not been for innocuous breach of contract. Instead, the complaints allege RICO -- Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations.
http://rose.casinocitytimes.com/arti...-gambling-5938

This is what caused LL to change their stance. They were told by their payment processors that since there was "gambling" in SL, and "gambling" could get the payment processors charged under the RICO act, it had to go away, or they would have no payment processor.

The only thing LL cares about is its profit. Unless it is going to cause them to lose profit, they care less what the residents do.
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Old 04-20-2010, 11:40 PM   #19
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Does it seem like all of these cases against LL are coming from Pennsylvania? I'm too much of an airhead to go look (can't remember all the cases or any names involved other than Stroker & Munch), but it seems like this is the fourth or fifth to come out of that state. What's that about?

Quote:
The class action, the plaintiffs say, will put corporate entities that own virtual worlds on notice that "where large amounts of real money flow, legal consequences must follow."
The plaintiffs are represented by Jason A. Archinaco of Pribanic, Pribanic & Archinaco in Pittsburgh.
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the woman in the screencap looks a lot like Sansarya (in some of her av pics). Coincidence, I'm sure.
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Old 04-20-2010, 11:58 PM   #20
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bragg was from pennsylvania, and i think may have set some sort of precedence in that state, being able to sidestep the binding arbitration aspect of the tos.
or something like that. or maybe its coincidence.
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Old 04-21-2010, 02:38 PM   #21
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bragg was from pennsylvania, and i think may have set some sort of precedence in that state, being able to sidestep the binding arbitration aspect of the tos.
or something like that. or maybe its coincidence.
This one from Fahy v. Linden Lab comes from Philadelphia, too:

http://www.massively.com/2010/04/14/...ase-to-answer/

Quote:
Last week, on Thursday 8 April, Corey Fahy in Philadelphia filed a lawsuit against Linden Lab and more than 25 others, in the Pennsylvania East District Court (case number 2:2010cv01561, assigned to judge Joel Harvey Slomsky). Fahy alleges that an algorithm in one of his Second Life products has been subjected to copyright infringement, accompanied by the usual requests for damages, statutory damages, ten times damages, attorney's fees and all that.

Where do we even begin? We'll spare you most of the cruft and go straight to the heart of the problems that we can see with this particular lawsuit.

Firstly, Fahy is claiming that his copyright has been infringed, as others are using an algorithm that... well, it isn't too clear, but we believe Fahy's claiming that others have made similar products.
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Old 04-21-2010, 04:26 PM   #22
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This one from Fahy v. Linden Lab comes from Philadelphia, too:

http://www.massively.com/2010/04/14/...ase-to-answer/
Can't trust those people from Philly.

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Old 04-21-2010, 04:47 PM   #23
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Is there any discussion being allowed on the blogorum concerning this yet?
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Old 04-21-2010, 05:53 PM   #24
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Doesn't the case hinge on the idea that the virtual property in question was worth something, to begin with?
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Re: Linden Lab has been served with a FEDERAL class-action lawsuit
Old 04-21-2010, 06:59 PM   #25
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Default Re: Linden Lab has been served with a FEDERAL class-action lawsuit

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Doesn't the case hinge on the idea that the virtual property in question was worth something, to begin with?
i think tax records on income people have made from it could show how much it is worth, however i could be wrong
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Old 04-21-2010, 07:13 PM   #26
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I will never consider what I create in Second Life to be mine until they offer the ability to take what I make out of world. I know there is Second Inventory but I feel you should not have to buy a third party program to do it. It should be built into the system.

I feel the current system akin to this. I am giving you this car, but you can't leave the driveway with it.
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Old 04-21-2010, 11:21 PM   #27
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I read both those articles, but I still don't understand what they are suing over.

I hated it when they took gambling out of the game, too, because along with it they took Bingo and Slingo and all the games played by people who WILLINGLY contributed to a pot. And you didn't HAVE to give any money!

That I never considered gambling. That was, to me, like a bunch of friends playing poker or something. Only poor people wouldn't even have to ante.

Anyway, that's when all the fun went out of stuff. I fought it a bit with Robin (the bingo/voluntary pot theory), but didn't get anywhere.

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Old 04-22-2010, 12:22 AM   #28
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All the fun went out of SL a long time ago. Remember when LL supported and encouraged events? Remember the blue box announcements from the Lab. Meh, 2005-2006 really was the beginning of the suck.
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Old 04-22-2010, 12:33 AM   #29
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I read both those articles, but I still don't understand what they are suing over.

I hated it when they took gambling out of the game, too, because along with it they took Bingo and Slingo and all the games played by people who WILLINGLY contributed to a pot. And you didn't HAVE to give any money!

That I never considered gambling. That was, to me, like a bunch of friends playing poker or something. Only poor people wouldn't even have to ante.

Anyway, that's when all the fun went out of stuff. I fought it a bit with Robin (the bingo/voluntary pot theory), but didn't get anywhere.

prize, chance, consideration
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Old 04-22-2010, 01:25 AM   #30
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lol
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Old 04-22-2010, 05:24 PM   #31
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prize, chance, consideration
Shaddap! You sound like Robin!
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Old 04-23-2010, 12:06 PM   #32
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I find it particularly "telling" that our IP suit could be critiqued ad nauseum on the blogorums with RL references to myself and business..yet not a peep about "Evans v LL".

Go figure.

Also, Frank Taney, who represented us against Volkov Catteneo and Rase Kenzo was from Philly. I think there is a definitive animousity between the East Coast and the "California Business Model", which was defined as:

"Under the aegis of self-promoting misinterpretations of federal statutes," the lawyers wrote in their complaint, "the West Coast technology industry has produced a number of start-up firms premised on the notion that commercial copyright infringement is not illegal, unless and until the injured party discovers and complains of the infringing activity, and (the) infringer fails to respond to such complaints."

Camara & Sibley added to the complaint, "Apparently (the West Coast start-ups) believe any business may misappropriate and then publish intellectual property, as long as it ceases to use a stolen work when an author complains...Many millions of dollars have been invested in this business plan."

I know the Evans suit is primarily focused on claims of "ownership" by Rosedale and others, however it all comes down to who REALLY makes the money from "owning" virtual property.

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Old 04-23-2010, 01:20 PM   #33
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Does it seem like all of these cases against LL are coming from Pennsylvania? I'm too much of an airhead to go look (can't remember all the cases or any names involved other than Stroker & Munch), but it seems like this is the fourth or fifth to come out of that state. What's that about?
I don't know but I'm kinda peeved I wasn't invited to we are suing LL tea parties.

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Old 04-23-2010, 04:36 PM   #34
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It's easy to sue. Winning can be more of a challenge.

It's an interesting point they're hitting on, though; virtual worlds in general have talked alot about "owning" this and that, including land, and "buying" and "selling" virtual stuff. But if it's really ownership and buying and selling in the same legal sense as when you own and buy and sell a car, or even a CD, then various parts of lots of ToSs are maybe not quite exactly true.

I think the actual case is that owning and buying and selling in these worlds really isn't owning and buying and selling in the usual sense; it's more of a metaphor. But did the virtual worlds make this sufficiently obvious to the poor innocent users? I don't think there's any fact of the matter there (I certainly don't feel deceived myself, but I am unusually smart an' perceptive an' devilishly attractive), so it will be v interesting to see what sorts of things the courts have to say on the matter, in the (rather unlikely I kinda think) event that a court decision actually comes out of this...
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Old 04-23-2010, 08:18 PM   #35
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I forsee a disclaimer similar to..

"Warning this coffee can parboil you 'nads if you're stupid enough to put it between your legs"
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Old 04-24-2010, 03:31 AM   #36
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Shaddap! You sound like Robin!
no, that is WHAT I SAID you ninny

look it up
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Old 04-24-2010, 10:11 AM   #37
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I forsee a disclaimer similar to..

"Warning this coffee can parboil you 'nads if you're stupid enough to put it between your legs"
Interesting reference that. I believe you are referring to the case where a woman got a judgement for McDonald's coffee being so hot it gave her 3rd degree burns when it spilled.

McDonalds had greatly reduced the quality of their coffee back then. They bought beans that would have otherwise been tossed and even if the roasting batch would have been tossed normally (i.e. burned) they bought the batch at an nth of the price. Well people noticed that their coffee sucked and bitched about it so to remedy this THEY MADE IT HOTTER. Hot enough to cause 3rd degree burns. And whats more they knew this and the warning stems not from coffee being hot but coffee being so hot it can cause 3rd degree burns. The coffee was 185 degrees. Comparatively, most coffee served at home is around the 140 degree mark.

Also the woman who brought the case was not the only person who had brought lawsuits against MickeyD's for coffee so hot it could do this kind of damage. Just the most publicized by McDonalds itself. Also not widely known is that the award was reduced to 480K on appeal.
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Old 04-24-2010, 11:37 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by Vivianne Draper View Post
Interesting reference that. I believe you are referring to the case where a woman got a judgement for McDonald's coffee being so hot it gave her 3rd degree burns when it spilled.

McDonalds had greatly reduced the quality of their coffee back then. They bought beans that would have otherwise been tossed and even if the roasting batch would have been tossed normally (i.e. burned) they bought the batch at an nth of the price. Well people noticed that their coffee sucked and bitched about it so to remedy this THEY MADE IT HOTTER. Hot enough to cause 3rd degree burns. And whats more they knew this and the warning stems not from coffee being hot but coffee being so hot it can cause 3rd degree burns. The coffee was 185 degrees. Comparatively, most coffee served at home is around the 140 degree mark.

Also the woman who brought the case was not the only person who had brought lawsuits against MickeyD's for coffee so hot it could do this kind of damage. Just the most publicized by McDonalds itself. Also not widely known is that the award was reduced to 480K on appeal.
That'd be the one

Instead of LL stamping their cups with "Caution, you could get burned", they started quietly changing the name to "tea".

Amirite?
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Old 04-29-2010, 02:35 PM   #39
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I posted on this topic on SLU but will take a stab at here too.

This is very interesting but like everyone else, I am totally in the dark as to what actually happened here.

Other posters have correctly noticed that the lawyers representing these plaintiffs are the same ones who represented plaintiff in the Bragg case. Same judge too, which makes it interesting. He hammered LL over the arbitration clause of their TOS back then. I do not recall him saying the entire TOS was unconciencable or unenforceable, but he may have. I just don't remember. In any event he seems familiar with virtual world issues. It is likely the TOS is going to be one of the key issues here.

The class action thing is interesting. It appears that they want this to be a class of plaintiffs, all of whom buying SL property during a certain time period. I'm no expert but I don't see that happening. The class members basically have to have experienced common injuries. I don't see that. The judge has to approve certification of the class [he has to say "OK" to it being a class action]. I do not see that happening. Even if the plaintiffs were asking for a class made up of people who believe their accounts were unfairly confiscated and/or terminated during that time period, the circumstances surrounding each confiscation or termination would vary widely. Of course, I know very few of the actual facts, but I really don't see this becoming a class action. LL will fight this class action issue fiercly. By the way, that's the reason for the statement that damages are in excess of $5,000,000. Five million is the threshold for a Federal Class action suit.

The TOS now has a more reasonable Arbitration clause, but it is only for cases under $10,000. They also have a venue clause saying the venue [where you file and try the case] has to be San Francisco, CA. The plaintiffs will have to get around that one, but I suspect they probably will.

The whole thing about a Public Offering makes no sense to me and I think it is sheer nonsense, designed to get the class certified.

Now, I am just as curious as everyone else is as to what exactly did these folks do to get their accounts terminated. We don't know and if they are smart, they will not be talking about it publicly. The complaint itself is very vague, as most are. If this were in State Court, where I practice, [CA] it be "demurrable." A demurrer is a legal pleading that is essentially "So what?" in legalese. For example they can say the complaint contains facts insufficient to sustain a cause of action. In a CA court this complaint would likley have the demurrer sustained with leave to amend. In plain English - in CA the judge would say "This is pretty weak counsel, defendant don't know what they did wrong, if anything. Take another stab at it, throw some FACTS into this thing in 20 days or less." The rules of pleading are different in Federal Court, which I avoid like the bubonic plague. They have something similar to a demurrer but they don't call it that, but its the same thing. I think they call it a Rule 12b motion or something. I could be wrong on the number.

Anyway, I will follow this with interest and will, when I am able, try to share my thoughts, when and if they make sense. Does thing have the legs to go all the way? Who knows, we need the facts.

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Old 04-29-2010, 02:41 PM   #40
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Well, if it's the same judge and there is anything at all to the case, LL could be in trouble. He wasn't happy with them or the TOS at all and is now very familiar with the particulars and such. Who knows.
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