Friday, October 29, 2010

Nesson seeks to join Thomas-Rasset trial fray

The third trial of Jammie Thomas-Rasset may have just gotten a lot more interesting:
Nesson motion for pro hac vice

Trial is set to begin Tuesday, Nov. 2, and will concern only damages.

(Headline changed. Nesson sought to represent Harvard's Berkman Center, not to formally join Thomas-Rasset's defense.)


  1. Isn't the trial to begin Monday, as per doc 380?

  2. The trial was moved to Tuesday at the request of the parties.

  3. Ah, must've missed that one in there somewhere.

  4. This is also the first time I've seen a court filing with a cryptographic signature (the original non header stamped filing) even if the digital credential used to sign it was self-verified and created mere minutes before the document.

    As I write I recognize the audience of this blog aside from myself not is likely to be the cryptography geek who understands a word of what I've just written :).

  5. I wonder why anyone would want him on her defense team after his behavior in the Tenebaum case. He was admonished repeatedly by Judge Gertner, including in her orders of February 23, 2009, June 16, 2009, and December 7, 2009, for his litigation tactics, which included recording plaintiffs’ counsel and the judge and posting the recordings on his blog, posting emails from potential experts—who disagreed with his client’s position on fair use and were cited against his client in the record labels’ motion for summary judgment on Tenebaum’s fair use defense—and uploading the songs the copyrights of which his client had been accused of infringing and made them publicly available on his blog.

  6. Also, On further reading and subsequent case activity it appears that Nesson was admitted pro hac as attorney for an Amicus, not for the Thomas-Rasset team.

  7. @Marc:

    You are correct that Nesson actually sought to be admitted PHV for the Berkman Center as an amicus. This is strange, and probably improper, for at least 2 reasons:

    1) the sponsoring attorney on his application is Thomas-Rasset's attorney;

    2) Nesson has already been a member of Thomas-Rasset's team, at least informally, to provide "support and input"

    The court promptly (and unsurprisingly) struck Nesson's amicus brief as procedurally improper:

    On November 1, 2010, Professor Charles Nesson filed an unsolicited brief entitled “Amicus Curiae Brief on the Issue of Jury Instructions.” [Docket No. 413] Nesson is not a party in this action; nor does he represent any party in this action. Nesson has not asked for permission to intervene or to file an amicus brief. Moreover, he has filed a brief regarding a jury instruction issue that was already fully briefed, argued, and decided more than one week ago.
    Accordingly, based upon the files, records, and proceedings herein, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED:

    The unsolicited brief filed as Docket No. 413 is hereby STRICKEN from the record.

  8. The sponsoring attorney being Mr Blanchfield was the reason I initially missed the line about Amicus being in there in the first place.

  9. I'm pretty certain that Blanchfield can't sponsor an attorney for an amicus. The motion says that the sponsoring attorney "must participate in the preparation and presentation of the case" and must accept service of papers. But I highly doubt that under conflict rules that Blanchfield can represent both the defendant and an amicus.

  10. Perhaps Mr. Nesson should consider auditing a course on Civil Procedure...


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