Righthaven LLC -- a bottom feeding legal outfit -- has teamed up with the Las Vegas Review-Journal and Denver Post to sue mom and pop websites, advocacy and public interest groups and forum board operators for copyright infringement. The strategy of Righthaven is to sue thousands of these website owners, who are primarily unfunded and will be forced to settle out of court.
Righthaven lawsuitsTo date Righthaven has been ordered to pay $323,138 in legal fees and sanctions.Righthaven lawsuits

Friday, February 11, 2011

One-For-One V. Nelson; Judge Hicks Refuses Dismissal Against Second Nelson

Judge Refuses to Dismiss Copyright Lawsuit Against California Real Estate Agent
The Las Vegas Sun reports that Judge Hicks refused to dismiss a copyright lawsuit against real estate agent Jeffery L. Nelson of San Clemente -- not to be confused with Michael Nelson, also a real estate agent, whose case was dismissed. In June, J. Nelson was sued after posting an entire 17-paragraph story from the Las Vegas Review-Journal without authorization.
Hicks noted in his ruling that to establish jurisdiction over the nonresident defendant, Righthaven had to show that Nelson had at least minimal contacts with Nevada “such that the maintenance of the suit does not offend traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice.”
Righthaven further had to show Nelson purposefully directed his activities at Nevada and that “the exercise of jurisdiction must comport with fair play and substantial justice — i.e., it must be reasonable.”
Righthaven showed these things, Hicks wrote, since it produced evidence that the defendant allegedly willfully infringed a copyright owned by a Nevada company.
See: Article in full


  1. “A champertous agreement is one in which a person without interest in another's litigation undertakes to carry on the litigation at his own expense, in whole or in part, in consideration of receiving, in the event of success, a part of the proceeds of the litigation.” Martin v. Morgan Drive Away, Inc., 665 F.2d 598, 603 (5th Cir.1982), cert. dismissed, 458 U.S. 1122, 103 S.Ct. 5, 73 L.Ed.2d 1394 (1982). “To maintain the suit of another is now, and always has been, held to be unlawful, unless the person maintaining has some interest in the subject of the suit.” Lum v. Stinnett, 87 Nev. 402, 408, 488 P.2d 347, 350 (1971) (citing Gruber v. Baker, 20 Nev. 453, 23 P. 858, 862 (1890)). “Where a person promoting the suit of another has any interest whatever, legal or equitable, in the thing *590 demanded, ... he is in effect also a suitor according to the nature and extent of his interest.” McIntosh v. Harbour Club Villas Condominium, 421 So.2d 10, 11 (Fla.Dist.Ct.App.1982).

    Schwartz v. Eliades 113 Nev. 586, 589-590, 939 P.2d 1034, 1036 (Nev.,1997)

  2. ‘Champerty’ is unethical behavior that occurs when a person or company obtains an interest (like an assignment of copyright) in something by merely taking part in a lawsuit in which the person or company otherwise has no independent right to join.
    ‘Maintenance’ is officious intermeddling in a lawsuit that in no way belongs to the intermeddler by maintaining or assisting some party to the case, with money or otherwise, to prosecute the case. Maintenance occurs when one supporting, promotes, or maintains, the court litigation of some other person. To maintain the other person’s lawsuit is unlawful unless the person maintaining has a legitimate interest or right in the object of the suit.
    Champerty is a subcategory of maintenance whereby the intermeddler strikes a deal with one of the parties to the lawsuit to be paid out of any proceeds of the case. Champerty is a bargain to share the proceeds of a lawsuit between the rightful owner of the claim and the intermeddler supporting or enforcing the claim in a lawsuit.
    Champerty is repugnant to public policy against profiteering and speculating in litigation or lawsuits; and Champerty provides grounds for denying any relief from the court. At common law, a victim of champerty or maintenance had a cause of action for champerty, and, the doctrines of champerty and maintenance can still be used to undo the assignment of contracts or transactions.
    Courts developed the laws of champerty and maintenance to prevent officious intermeddlers from stirring up trouble and conflict by vexatious and speculative litigation that would otherwise disturb the serenity of society, lead to corrupt practices, and prevent the remedial function of law by clogging up the courts’ dockets. However, the doctrines of common-law champerty and maintenance are no longer recognized in may jurisdictions.
    Claims for maintenance or champerty have been substituted with causes of action for malicious prosecution, abuse of process, frivolous litigation, and the rules of professional conduct for attorneys.

    The writing above is original work by this author and may be reprinted and republished without permission.


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