by Paul Alan Levy
I blogged earlier this year about the sudden end of a mass downloading lawsuit that was brought by Texas lawyer Evan Stone against hundreds of individuals who allegedly downloaded his client's "adult" movie. I pointed out then that, after the trial judge appointed me and two EFF lawyers as counsel ad litem for the Doe defendants, and we caught Stone red-handed in a serious violation of the discovery rules, Stone dismissed the lawsuit with prejudice (without getting his client's permission, I have been told) in an apparent effort to avoid judicial scrutiny of his conduct.
Judge David Godbey has now found that Stone "grossly abused his subpoena power" and imposed severe sanctions on Stone, requiring to make him to disclose additional information to the Court, to send Judge Godbey's order to other judges (and we understand that Stone has continued to file mass downloading actions before other judges), to pay a $10,000 fine to the court, and finally to pay our reasonable attorney fees. Rather than elaborating on the content of the order, I suggest reading it here.