p2pnet news view RIAA | P2P:- “Only days after Brian Toder, her previous legal representative, had decided discretion was the better part of valour, leaving her to fend for herself against the RIAA, Jammie Thomas says another lawyer has come forward with an offer of pro bono help. He’s K.A.D. Camara [left] from Camara & Sibley in Houston, Texas, says Jammie. And, ‘He’s the youngest person in history to graduate from Harvard Law school with honors,’ she points out. Nor will her retrial be delayed, as was expected. It’ll now go forward in June 15, as slated. ‘I’m so happy!’ Jammie said.”
That’s Slashdot on the latest development in the Jammie Thomas versus Vivendi Universal (France), Sony (Japan), EMI (Britain), and Warner Music (US) case.
“Jammie is the Minnesota mother of two who, on June 15, will for the second time take on the Big 4 record labels, Vivendi Universal, EMI, Warner Music and Sony Music, and their RIAA,” said p2pnet following the news of Toder’s departure.
“First time around, she was ordered to pay Big Music almost a quarter of a million dollars in ‘damages’,” we said, going on »»»
But judge Michael Michael Davis, who heard the case, declared a mistrial after admitting he`d committed a, manifest error of law when he told the jury the, act of making copyrighted sound recordings available for electronic distribution on a peer-to-peer network, without licensefrom the copyright owners, violates the copyright owners` exclusive right of distribution, regardless of whether actual distribution has been shown.
Now, on June 15, after the two sides failed to reach a settlement agreement, unless a lawyer with a social conscience steps forward to represent her pro bono, she`ll be standing against them alone.
Enter K.A.D. Camara.
“That’s not actually entirely good news,” says a Reader’s Write to the original p2pnet story, going on:
“Can he really prepare for the trial sufficiently by June 15th? It’ll probably take a week or two just to read all the previous casework, much less come up with a defense position.”
But, “hey, as the youngest person in history to graduate from Harvard Law school with honors, I`d say he has already earned a reputation for accomplishing alot in a small amount of time,” says a response.
“Go KAD Go!”
I have a feeling he will.
“Yes, he’s just 25 and perhaps could have more experience,” says by mangu (126918) on Slashdot, “But anyhow he seems a pretty smart guy. And note that he is the senior partner in his own law firm.”
Mangu also quotes from KAD’s Wikipedia post, which states »»»
A gifted child, he wrote a medical paper on alternative treatments for rheumatoid arthritis at age eleven, which was published in the Hawai’i Journal of Medicine. At sixteen, having skipped high school, Camara earned a Bachelor of Science in computer science from Hawaii Pacific University. He completed the program in two years and was singularly recognized by the university for outstanding academic performance.
And as Jammie told me yesterday, “He’s the youngest person in history to graduate from Harvard Law school with honors.”
It might seem KAD is taking on a lot, giving himself less than a month to prepare for the trial.
But maybe it isn’t.
He’s already prepared a lot of the groundwork via another of his cases. And there’s even a connection with Harvard professor Charles Nesson who’s leading a team of law students in the RIAA vs Joel Tenenbaum case.
“With Professor Charles Nesson of the Harvard Law School, we are defending Brittany English, a junior and cheerleader at Case Western Reserve University in a prosecution brought by the recording industry under the Copyright Act for allegedly illegal music downloading and sharing,” he says on the site he runs with his partner, Joe Sibley, an ex-US Army Ranger, and another Harvard graduate.
Brittany is counter-suing the RIAA, its members, and the individuals who organized its litigation campaign, KAD says, continuing »»»
Armed with the threat of $150,000 in statutory damages per illegal download (a $1.5M judgment in a small, 10-song case, where the actual damages are about $10, the price of 10 songs on iTunes), the recording industry has obtained more than $100M in settlements from individuals like Brittany.
We are asking the courts to declare that statutory damages like these — 150,000:1 – are unconstitutional and that the RIAA`s campaign to extract settlements from individuals by the threat of such unconstitutional damages is itself unlawful, enjoin the RIAA`s unlawful campaign, and order the RIAA to return the $100M+ that it obtained as a result of its unlawful campaign.
It may be the RIAA has been wrongfooted by KAD’s sudden and, more to the point, totally unexpected appearance.
Definitely stay tuned.
Jon Newton – p2pnet
We prosecute commercial class actions and mass actions against large companies. Customers or competitors of these companies come to us with complaints about unlawful business practices or competition; we investigate these complaints and see if a pattern of unlawful conduct exists; if so, we seek redress through class actions (where a small group of named plaintiffs sues on behalf of everyone affected), mass actions (where everyone sues in a large number of separate cases), or on behalf of individuals or groups with large claims.
- We represent passengers on Southwest Airlines who traveled while Southwest Airlines was in violation of federal air-safety regulations.
- We represent distributors and shareholders of Herbalife who allege that Herbalife is operating a pyramid scheme in violation of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act and the Texas Securities Act.
We are experts in corporate law, partnership law, and the law of joint ventures. We represent shareholders or partners in disputes with their colleagues. For example, we handle cases where corporate managers or general partners breach their fiduciary duties and harm the business; partners disagree and want to dissolve the partnership or be bought out; or a partner or joint venturer backs out or is pushed out.
We handle cases like this under both Texas law and Delaware law and are one of the only litigation boutiques with trial (not transactional) lawyers who specialize in the law of business organizations.
- We represented an importer who sought to have his former partners buy his interest out. The case settled before filing suit after we marshaled evidence showing illegal operations practices, tax fraud, and secreting of assets in foreign companies in the Middle East by our client`s former partners.
- We represent a technology startup that had a joint venture with two Fortune 100 companies to build a business-to-business sales portal for office supplies. After years of negotiations and substantial work on the portal, the two Fortune 100 companies decided to cut our client out, in breach of the joint-venture agreement.
We represent companies in the oil, gas, and power industries in disputes with their competitors or contractors or litigation involving FERC or PUC approvals, rates, or regulations. We also represent energy companies in other business cases, including under the environmental laws and Sarbanes-Oxley.
- We represented a West Coast real-estate developer in a dispute with Transwestern over the placement of a natural-gas pipeline through a master-planned development in Buckeye, Arizona, a suburb of Phoenix. The dispute involved the effect of prior proceedings in front of the FERC.
- We represented a pipeline company in a case in which the company alleged that one of its contractors over-invoiced for work on a pipeline in Utah and illegally encumbered our client`s property with liens.
We have handled environmental matters under the Clean Water Act, CERCLA, and comparable state laws. We have also handled disputes between property owners over responsibility for cleanup costs and the defense of claims related to past discharges.
- We represented a pipeline company in a case against Exxon and Kinder Morgan over responsibility for alleged discharges at a site in Paulsboro, New Jersey. The case involved both federal law and the New Jersey Spill Act.
- We were brought in to advise a pipeline company with respect to possible settlement of an EPA enforcement action in California. We advised our client concerning the potential enhancements of penalties, under the EPA`s regulations and guidance memoranda, for future violations of environmental statutes on account of an adverse settlement or verdict.
We represent relators in qui tam actions under the False Claims Act: private citizens who sue on behalf of the United States to recover payments obtained from the United States by fraud. We also advise institutional clients about their potential False Claims Act liability and can represent defendants in False Claims Act cases brought by private relators or the United States Attorney`s office.
- We represent a former vice president at a private hospital chain in a False Claims Act case against the hospital chain alleging widespread Medicare fraud and violations of the anti-kickback Stark Laws.
We represent businesses, including a variety of technology startups, in disputes with their competitors or business partners over the ownership of intellectual property. Often these are bet-the-company cases for the plaintiff: lose, and the company has nothing of value; win, and the company gets a big cut of the industry, either directly or in royalties. As with all our work, we handle many of these cases for contingent fees so that even cash-strapped companies can retain excellent lawyers.
We also maintain relationships with several venture capitalists and angel investors so we can be ready to advise or represent their portfolio companies in litigation.
- We represented a software company in a bet-the-company case against a former business partner over ownership of a critical piece of technology. Within a year, we won a settlement giving our client a seven-figure cash payment and sole ownership of the critical technology. The client paid a 40% contingent fee with no reduction for expenses.
- We defended a marketing company against a $10M claim for copyright and trademark infringement in connection with home-mortgage marketing materials in federal court in Ohio. We obtained a walk-away settlement, with the plaintiff dismissing all claims.
We represent individual and institutional investors and traders in hedge funds, investment companies, investment banks, and elsewhere in the financial sector.
- We tried to a jury a $50M claim on behalf of limited partners in an investment company against the former general partner in which the limited partners alleged self-dealing and other breaches of fiduciary duty in a series of transactions spanning 10 years.
- We represented a successful former trader in an action against the hedge fund for which he formerly worked seeking roughly $8M in unpaid deferred compensation and $23M in an unpaid cash bonus.
We represent executives and institutional clients in connection with whistleblower investigations and lawsuits under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. We also advise institutional clients about SOX compliance.
- We conducted a SOX internal investigation for a Canadian pipeline company when the company`s chief compliance counsel blew the whistle with respect to alleged violations of FERC regulations and claimed retaliation by management for her whistleblowing.
- We represented the former general counsel for the Middle East region of a Swiss oilfield-services company in connection with an internal SOX investigation and investigations by the U.S. Attorney`s Office for the Southern District of Texas, the Department of Justice in Washington, and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
We represent investors in claims against issuers, underwriters, and auditors under the federal securities laws and the Texas Securities Act and for common-law breach of contract, fraud, and negligence.
- We represented a hedge fund that sold its shares in a secondary public offering as part of a recapitalization in a claim against the issuer and lead underwriters for hiding information about market demand and underpricing the offering in order to ensure that our client sold all its shares.
We handle appeals in commercial cases. Our appeals include both appeals in our own cases and appeals referred to us by other trial lawyers.
- We were brought in at the rehearing stage in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in an ERISA case involving the important issue whether money damages are appropriate equitable relief where the plaintiff proves that the defendant defrauded her into failing to comply with the plan`s terms.We filed a petition for certiorari in the Supreme Court of the United States and obtained an order requesting that the Solicitor General file a brief stating the position of the United States. Mr. Camara then met with the Solicitor General`s Office in Washington, D.C., and the Solicitor General filed a brief endorsing our client`s position in full.
- We briefed and orally argued the appeals in two billion-dollar class actions in the Fifth Circuit. A recording of Mr. Camara`s oral argument is available from the Fifth Circuit.
- We consulted on the briefing and presented oral argument in an appeal in the First Court of Appeals of Texas on whether the standard of review in the trial court for an employee discharged for cause is none at all, good faith, or de novo where the employee`s contract provided that the Fortune 100 company`s board of directors would determine whether cause existed.
Any general counsel should consider hiring plaintiffs` trial lawyers instead of, or in addition to, big-firm litigators.
Efficient, Aggressive Defense
Our rates are high, but our bills are low. Our contingency work makes us efficient. In contingency cases, we make money based on the value we add, not the time we bill. And, because contingency work represents most of our time and even more of our profits, we are used to making litigation decisions with our own money on the line.
We apply the same approach to our hourly work for institutional clients. We handle defense cases hourly or for flat fees. And we bring all the credentials to the table that you (or your non-lawyer CEO or board of directors) could want:
- Mr. Camara, Mr. Sibley, and Mr. Nyberg are all Harvard Law School graduates.
- Mr. Camara taught law at Northwestern and has published law-review articles on conflicts of law, jurisdiction, and corporate law, including in the Yale Law Journal.
- Mr. Sibley worked at national litigation boutiques Bickel & Brewer and Ahmad, Zavitsanos & Anaipakos before founding Camara & Sibley.
- Mr. Nyberg was President of Pacific West Land, LLC, a real-estate investment and development company, where, among other things, he hired and supervised outside litigation counsel.
If you`re in doubt, give us a try. We will handle any case at half our regular hourly rates or for half what you would pay your existing counsel â and you tell us what that number is. We think you will be impressed by our work and will bring us other cases in the future. And, just as in our contingency work, we`re willing to put money behind that claim.
Almost any legal department can be a profit center with the right plaintiffs` lawyers. Let us do a litigation audit: show us problematic contracts; have us talk to your employees doing business with a recalcitrant customer or partner; tell us about situations where a competitor seems to be taking an unfair advantage or an investment has turned south.
We will investigate these complaints and bring you a list of potential cases to bring as a plaintiff. We will do the audit for free and, if you like, bring the cases for a contingent fee. If we win, we get paid and you`ve made money where the board usually sees pure cost; if we lose, you haven`t spent anything more than expenses.
There`s no reason you always have to be on the defensive in court â and lots of reason to think people will play nicer when they believe you and your lawyers are ready to take them there.
With Professor Charles Nesson of the Harvard Law School, we are defending Brittany English, a junior and cheerleader at Case Western Reserve University in a prosecution brought by the recording industry under the Copyright Act for allegedly illegal music downloading and sharing. Brittany is counter-suing the Recording Industry Association of America, its members, and the individuals who organized its litigation campaign.
Armed with the threat of $150,000 in statutory damages per illegal download (a $1.5M judgment in a small, 10-song case, where the actual damages are about $10, the price of 10 songs on iTunes), the recording industry has obtained more than $100M in settlements from individuals like Brittany. We are asking the courts to declare that statutory damages like these â 150,000:1 â are unconstitutional and that the RIAA`s campaign to extract settlements from individuals by the threat of such unconstitutional damages is itself unlawful, enjoin the RIAA`s unlawful campaign, and order the RIAA to return the $100M+ that it obtained as a result of its unlawful campaign.
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