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iPod Lawsuit Lawyers Sue Their Own Plaintiff? 424

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the saving-face dept.
Guinnessy writes "Jason Tomczak, who is mentioned as the lead to the iPod Nano 'Scratch' Class Action law suit filed against Apple computers has published an open letter to the mac community. In it he claims that he never asked to be represented by David P. Meyer & Associates or Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, the lawyers in the case. He spoke to them once by phone about his scratched iPod case and asked that his name not be used. In fact, the two firms agree there is no signed document proving that Tomczak asked for representation. However, because Tomczak wants nothing to do with the case, David P. Meyer & Associates or Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro are currently suing him to try and stop him from pulling out. They also say Tomczak is legally liable for their fees if they lose the court case against Apple. Needless to say Tomczak isn't happy with the arrangement, and is likely to still lose thousands of dollars under the best scenario."
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iPod Lawsuit Lawyers Sue Their Own Plaintiff?

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  • next up (Score:4, Funny)

    by iocat (572367) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @05:34PM (#15397554) Homepage Journal
    a lawsuit for slashdotting his server. No posts and already dead.
    • Re:next up (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @05:35PM (#15397568)
      Open Letter to the Mac Community
      The Truth Behind the iPod Nano "Scratch" Class Action Suit

      May 22, 2006

      Dear Mac Community:

      Hello! My name is Jason Tomczak. Many people around the world rightly know me as a mild-mannered techie, photographer, writer, and nature-lover. I am an Apple fan and have been fortunate enough to use Mac computers and other Apple products since about 1985.

      On October 19, 2005, my life changed due to the unauthorized conduct of others. From that date forward, countless numbers of people around the world were driven to hate me and slander my name, sometimes using foul and threatening language.

      Since October 19, 2005, my name has been infamously tied to the iPod Nano "Scratch" Class Action law suit filed against Apple.

      What You Don't Know About The Nano Suit
      The truth is that I never sought out nor did I ever hire David P. Meyer & Associates or Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro to represent me in any case, much less the iPod Nano Class Action suit.

      The iPod Nano Class Action law suit was initiated by David P. Meyer & Associates Co. LPA of Columbus, Ohio and their representative firm, Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP of Seattle, Washington and filed on October 19, 2005.

      David P. Meyer & Associates contacted me, soliciting my opinions and comments about the scratching of my iPod Nano after finding Nano-related blog posts I'd written on my own website, on The Unofficial Apple Weblog and on The MacCast. They informed me that they had received an "overwhelming number of complaints" about the Nano and that they wanted my "insight into the problem". Yes, I answered their communication and told them that I had problems with my iPod Nano, however I clearly told them that they should do their own professional and technological study of the iPod Nano.

      I emphasized that I did not have any access to any specific data about the materials used in making the iPod Nano. David P. Meyer & Associates used my personal comments and opinions as the basis of the iPod Nano suit. To my knowledge, there was no actual technical study done on the iPod Nano before the Class Action suit was filed.

      Additionally, I told David P. Meyer & Associates that I wanted to remain private, and that my wish for privacy, among other considerations, would preclude me from getting involved in the case.

      No Documentation
      At no time did David P. Meyer & Associates or Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro ever receive any attorney-client agreement form from me. On their own time and based on their own schedules and plans, they prepared the paperwork and filed the iPod Nano Class Action suit in California using my name as Lead Plaintiff, however this was done without my knowledge or consent.

      The Filing and The Call
      The senior partner of David P. Meyer & Associates and one of his representatives called me during the afternoon of October 21, 2005 to urgently request my signature on an attorney-client agreement - two days after the Class Action suit was filed; two days after they began their action against Apple; two days after the press had begun running the story. They then warned me that my family, friends, clients and I should expect to hear from the media and others interested in the iPod Nano Class Action suit.

      During that phone call to me, David P. Meyer and his associate blamed the faulty Nano filing on Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro.

      Spin Cycle
      During that week and the following months, my name was posted in relation to the iPod Nano Class Action suit on websites all over the world, even in foreign publications like Russia's "Pravda" newspaper, the Enquirer, Stuff Magazine, Popular Mechanics, CNN, BusinessWeek, MTV, VH1, etc.

      Google results for my name skyrocketed. I began getting hate mail from people upset about the iPod Nano suit. I had to take my website down and remove legitimate references to my name on numerous web services. My fiancee and I were afraid to go outside in our own home town for fear of recognition a
      • Odd choice ... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by kitzilla (266382) <paperfrog@gmail.cRASPom minus berry> on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @08:58PM (#15398531) Homepage Journal
        ... filing suit against the first law firm. He could have cleared his name by going to the state bar. To collect legal fees from this guy, the lawyers would have need to prove a contractual relationship existed. No paper? Good luck with that. THEN it would be time to petition the Court to remedy a rather glaring abuse of process. Judges hate that sort of thing.
      • Re:next up (Score:3, Funny)

        by imdx80 (842737)
        ...and its using a old typewriter style font, that makes it appear much more official and serious...
  • Just go away. (Score:2, Insightful)

    Never talk to them again; if you get a phone call from them, hang up immediately; if you get a letter, leave it in the mailbox and tell the postman you are refusing mail from them. If they cannot demonstrate proof that the guy asked for representation, no bounty hunter is going to go after him to get court fees.
    • if you get a letter, leave it in the mailbox and tell the postman you are refusing mail from them.

            *gasp* Refuse a friendly fellow citizen his rightful job? You should be sued for that.
  • That's insanity. They're suing HIM for their court fees? I hope he wins this. I hope those lawyers are disbarred. Morso, I wish this was all a joke. What are these people doing???
    • Re:wow (Score:2, Insightful)

      by ShibaInu (694434)
      Bottom line, when you call a lawyer, be very careful what you say. If you mention a public company and potential for class action, they will run with it.
      • You say when you call a lawyer but he didn't. Here is what he says:

        The truth is that I never sought out nor did I ever hire David P. Meyer & Associates or Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro to represent me in any case, much less the iPod Nano Class Action suit.

        The iPod Nano Class Action law suit was initiated by David P. Meyer & Associates Co. LPA of Columbus, Ohio and their representative firm, Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP of Seattle, Washington and filed on October 19, 2005.

        David P. Meyer & Assoc
    • Re:wow (Score:5, Insightful)

      by loraksus (171574) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @06:13PM (#15397800) Homepage
      What are these people doing???
      Making hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars in "legal fees" from a case that will eventually get all the people in the class 5 free songs off iTunes.

      Typical class action stuff. The lawyers win, we get screwed.
  • ... is to disbar the lawyers from ever practising again, *and* to make them liable for his fees. That's assuming he's telling the truth, but it sounds like he is.

    Not only are they giving their profession an even worse name (who'da thought it possible!) but they are in effect forcing him to pay for their lawyers fees when he didn't want anything to do with it. It beggars belief!

    Lawyers ought to have a hippocratic oath, just like doctors... "Do no harm". Not sure how that fits with defending a murder suspect,
    • I can think of several sensible solutions.
      But they involve things that might require one to seek legal council.
      It's a vicious cycle.
    • I would think disbarment is quite possible here. The fact that their lawyers started asking him unrelated personal questions in a deposition, blatantly fishing for dirt, is quite possibly a criminal offense (harassment and abuse of process).

      Too bad that the Mac community is so full of mindless toadies that they joined in the harassment from their own side. I don't think *they* deserve an apology from this guy, who did nothing wrong.

      "I began getting hate mail from people upset about the iPod Nano suit. I had
    • by cpt kangarooski (3773) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @05:57PM (#15397711) Homepage
      Oh, we have an oath. They vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, of course. I practice in Massachusetts, so the oath I took is as follows:

      I (repeat the name) solemnly swear that I will do no falsehood, nor consent to the doing of any in court; I will not wittingly or willingly promote or sue any false, groundless, or unlawful suit, or give aid or consent to the same; I will delay no man for lucre or malice; but I will conduct myself in the office of an attorney within the courts according to the best of my knowledge and discretion, and with all good fidelity as well to the courts as my clients. So help me God.


      I certainly don't see how there'd be conflict with defending a murder suspect. It's important to force the state to prove their case, lest innocent people be wrongly accused and punished for things they didn't do.
      • The "do no harm" thing w.r.t a murder suspect would be "a bad thing" if the suspect was indeed the murderer, but the lawyer successfully argued his case and got him off, at least IMHO.

        I think it'd be hard to argue that a lawyer oughtn't do his/her utmost to protect the client (in *any* circumstance), but if justice does not prevail, I'd consider that "harm" to society as a whole - it's not about having baby-eaters wandering the streets, after all. If you commit the crime, the idea is that you get caught. Th
      • lest innocent people be wrongly accused and punished for things they didn't do.

        But innocent people ARE still wrongly accused and convicted. The lucky ones are released a few years later. Some are pardoned after they are executed.

        What about those criminals who everyone knows are guilty as hell, yet are let off because of a technicality?

        The system is by no means perfect. Unscrupulous lawyers only tilt it out of balance even further.
    • Not only are they giving their profession an even worse name (who'da thought it possible!) but they are in effect forcing him to pay for their lawyers fees when he didn't want anything to do with it. It beggars belief!

      This is in USA, and this happens all the time: Justice for those with deep pockets. Why do you think that so many cave in for RIAA at the mere threat of a law suit? Note that these tactics don't work in Europe.

  • Sing Sing? (Score:3, Funny)

    by dotslashdot (694478) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @05:37PM (#15397579)
    If they lose, do they go Sing Sing?
  • Steve Berman... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Starxxon (889509) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @05:39PM (#15397597)
    Steve Berman from Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro was one of the lawyers handling the nano suit. He's one of Microsoft's favorite lawyer, having defending MS in more than 50 class-action suits made by the states and consumers.

    Let's say that the following is completely speculative and happens in fantasy-land. (I don't wan't to get sued!)

    One day in autumn 2005, Bill Gates is playing golf with his lawyer friend Steve Berman.

    -Steve: Did you see the new iPod nano?

    -Bill: Yeah yeah I did...nice little player but you know my position about iPods... We had big plans with the RIAA to impose WMA as the audio standard, by this year we were supposed to drop Red-Book audio from all CD sold in the US, replacing the content with DRMed WMA. You can imagine how the iPod and iTMS screws up our plans badly.

    -Steve: I guess many big-players are pissed-off by the iPod success.

    -Bill: Yes they are, but the iPod seems unstoppable... Even with dozens of our ghost-writers publishing negative articles about the iPod, it keeps dominating the market.

    -Steve: I've read that the iPod nano scratches very easily, and that some of the early batches had screens that spontaneously break.

    -Bill: I know about it, our ghost-writers are already trying to spread the word... but we need something bigger, we don't have a choice.

    -Steve: There's a guy that built a website to complain about his iPod nano screen problems and he's very vocal about it.

    -Bill: What if your law firm gave him a hand to help him build a class-action suit against Apple?

    -Steve: Yeah we could do that, but what if he doesn't want to be part of the lawsuit?

    -Bill: I'm %100 sure your great firm will be able to "convince" him... And by the way, you owe me that, remember that "thing" I sent you last month?

    -Steve: Oh right, that "thing" was very enjoyable... I guess I owe you that one...Let me see what I can do!
  • by Paladin144 (676391) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @05:39PM (#15397601) Homepage
    Clusterfuck.

    This poor guy. I hope things turn out okay for him. Conversely, I hope the lawyers are eaten alive by a cauldron full of insane, demonic, snow-weasels. Or another group of lawyers. Whichever is more painful.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @05:49PM (#15397652)
      Dear Paladin144, I have recently received notice of your threatening other lawyers. I quote, "I hope the lawyers are eaten alive by a cauldron full of insane, demonic, snow-weasels. Or another group of lawyers. Whichever is more painful.". I warn you, under Section 37B of the attacks and counterattacks act of 1957, it states that "all threats against lawyers is a crime against the state, and..." oh hello, little weasel. You do seem cold today. What's that you want? You want sdffj gdfgjdfg AAAAH my face aaah it's trying to eat my face aaaah actuallythatwasquitenice AAAAAAHHH

      • " oh hello, little weasel. You do seem cold today. What's that you want? You want sdffj gdfgjdfg AAAAH my face aaah it's trying to eat my face aaaah actuallythatwasquitenice AAAAAAHHH
        LOL
    • by kfg (145172) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @06:13PM (#15397801)
      I hope the lawyers are eaten alive by a cauldron full of insane, demonic, snow-weasels.

      Why bring Canadian lawyers into it?

      KFG
  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @05:41PM (#15397611)
    If he is listed as the lead plantif, why can he not simply ask for the case to be dropped OR dismiss the law firm handling it? People persuing lawsuits seek other legal counsil all the time.

    If indeed he did not file the case that would seem the best revenge, but them out of the loop (and the winnings).

    I would say the lack of any signed document stating the case is truly in his behalf almost certainly indicates his story is the correct one, for what lawyer would even pick up a pad of paper without a full and binding contract signed in triplicate?
    • I would assume that if he took any action regarding the case it would show his intent to be involved in the case and would give the law firm grounds to demand payment from him.

      -Rick
      • I am not a lawyer (but I play one on Slashdot), however there is difference between being involved with a case and being represented by a law firm. If he writes to the court where the case is due to be tried and states that the suit is being brought without his consent and that he wishes it to be dropped, then they should do so.

        If the lawyers then wanted him to pay their fees then they could sue him. In this case, I would expect him to turn up on the first day with a motion to dismiss unless they can p

      • I would assume that if he took any action regarding the case it would show his intent to be involved in the case and would give the law firm grounds to demand payment from him.

        If he writes a note to the judge saying that he did not authorize the case and wants it dismissed I don't see how that's any indication he owes them anything.

        It would be more the case if he dropped them as legal council and used someone else. But perhaps that new law firm would take the case on contingency and also as payback for the
    • by abelenky17 (548645) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @07:17PM (#15398134)
      Sadly, the slashdot article is misleading, if not wrong.

      Jason Tomczak is NOT the lead plantiff. He was listed as lead-plantiff when the complaint was originally filed on October 19th, 2005. ( documentation here: http://www.ifoapplestore.com/blog/nano_lawsuit.pdf [ifoapplestore.com] )

      But the lawyers amended their lawsuit 6 days later (October 25th, 2005) naming James M. Wimmer as the lead-plantiff ( documentation: http://www.hbsslaw.com/files/1ST_Amd_Complaint%20( v2)1130368932535.pdf [hbsslaw.com] )

      But by the time Jason was dropped, the damage was done. He is referenced all over the 'net as a sue-happy whiner.

      The lawyers are NOT suing Jason to stop him from dropping out. In fact, as best I can tell from Jason's letter, he is suing them for all the problems they caused him.

      BTW: Its significant to note that this is the same law firm suing Apple over hearing-loss issues related to iPods.

  • Lawyer: Hand over the iPods or I'll blow the sucker-plaintiff brains all over this place!
    Plaintiff: Do what he says! Do what he says!
    Citizen (Male): Do it folks! He's not messing around!
    Citizen (Female): Isn't anyone going to help the poor man?!
    Plaintiff: Help! Help!
    Lawyer: Shud up!
  • Presuming we can believe Jason's letter, these guys are mondo scumbags. The "anti-SLAPP [wikipedia.org]" suit they filed is normally intended to protect "little guys" who are being legally harrassed by big companies. In filing one against him, they're implying that he's harrassing them. Lovely.
  • this is why... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Yahweh Doesn't Exist (906833) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @05:44PM (#15397630)
    >...is likely to still loses thousands of dollars under the best scenario ...a loser-pays court system is the only reasonable way, like in the UK.

    no wonder the USA legal system is so fucked if you can do no wrong, tell the truth, and still by charged money that is a significant part of your wages. whereas companies can provably break laws, be found guilty, and still be charged a meaningless fraction of their profit.
    • by doublem (118724)
      It's not about who's right and who's wrong.

      It's about who has the better lawyers.
    • by spun (1352) <loverevolutionaryNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @06:07PM (#15397768) Journal
      What, don't you believe in the free market? We have the best justice system money can buy! I bet you just want to drag everyone down to the same level. Hah! If I have tons of money, that proves I am a better person and more deserving of justice. Damn commies with your "justice should be blind" crap. If I wanted justice to be blind, I would have hired someone to poke her eyes out.
    • Let's say that I am done some wrong by a big evil company. I sue them but their team of evil, overpaid lawyers wins the case by trickery (let's say they overwhelm my lawyer with paperwork and filings beyond my ability to pay). Assuming a loser-pays system, am I now faced with millions in fees? That potential outcome would prevent most people from even considering a lawsuit to address grievences.
    • Re:this is why... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by EvanED (569694)
      "a loser-pays court system is the only reasonable way"

      No!

      I firmly believe that a guranteed loser-pays system is worse than what we have now. What we have now encourages frivilous, unfounded, and stupid lawsuits, but having a loser-pays system makes it nearly impossible to file well-founded but risky lawsuits against big companies. You think that the story in Erin Brokovitch could have happened with a loser-pays system? No way in hell. You wouldn't find someone willing to take that risk.
      • Re:this is why... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by jazman (9111) on Thursday May 25, 2006 @07:02AM (#15400267)
        Why do people always seem to assume that "loser pays" is implemented in the most retarded way possible: loser pays all costs incurred by winner regardless of personal ability and winner's invention? In the UK the loser pays, but the judge decides what the loser pays. If you sue Microsoft and lose, and they claim their lawyer cost them a googolplex pounds and you've got a sub-poverty income, the judge will order you to pay a minimal amount, court costs perhaps; the amount will be appropriately punitive. You will *NOT* be reduced to permanent debt to the winner.

        Yes, that does mean the winner can lose out overall. That is what keeps the system relatively sane and provides a good incentive to BOTH sides to settle out of court.

        Not fair on winners, who haven't done anything wrong and therefore shouldn't lose anything? Maybe. Is it as retarded as US "justice"? No way. Can you buy a favourable outcome if you stump up enough cash, even if you're in the wrong? Definitely not. Personally I prefer our system; it's not flawless by any means but overall I think it does a reasonable job.
  • What is this law firm going to do next? Sue the poor guy for using his own name for things, since the law firm will want to trademark his name?

    Since the only real winners of a class action lawsuit are the lawyers, you have to wonder why anyone tries to be a part of one.
  • by Tx (96709) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @05:48PM (#15397651) Journal
    My fiancee and I were afraid to go outside in our own home town for fear of recognition and reprisal.

    I'm scared of many things, but raging hordes of Nano fanboys fanatics? I think not.

    Seriously though, this guy played it all wrong. It sounds like if he pulls out, the case is sunk, so he should've been like "What's my cut?". If the case is won, those lawyers would made a stack, I'm pretty certain a deal could have been struck.
    • The problem is, as things stand now, if they lose the lawsuit, which is likely, this poor guy would be on the hook for all the legal fees concocted by the lawyers.

      In other words, he'd end up selling everything he owns and spending the rest of his life in debt if Apple wins the lawsuit.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @05:50PM (#15397663)
    I read his letter yesterday and thought t might be worth writing about. I emailed every contact address I could find on the sites of both law companies, unfortunately I haven't gotten a reply.

    info@dmlaws.com
    rcarey@hbsslaw.com
    steve@hbsslaw.com
    info@hbsslaw.com
    mark@firmani.com

    Unfortunately none of them has responded so I can't clarify the truth of the allegations. Perhaps some other people should email them asking for clarification as well.

    • by Hootenanny (966459) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @11:29PM (#15399060)
      To those who are posting home contact information of the attorneys involved in their case, and to those who are interested in contacting those attorneys:

      You have every reason to want your voice heard, regarding this case. I am outraged at what appears to be happening. However - go through the proper channels to have your say. Contacting these attorneys *at home* is not appropriate.

      Complaining to the attorneys through professional channels is okay, and filing a complaint with the proper legal governing bodies is even better. But if these attorneys receive harassing messages at home, this may be interpreted as a threatining action. Because of the pending lawsuit, this may come up in court and make the "little guy" look bad.

      I am not taking the lawyers' side by any means. But think before you speak, so you don't add to the fella's pile of trouble.
  • Whoever heard of such a thing?

    -jcr
  • Profit (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @05:52PM (#15397675)
    1. File class action lawsuit without plaintiff's permission.
    2. Sue plaintiff.
    3. Profit
  • I think I've found the definitive answer to fill the answer marks of the second item :

    1. Sue
    2. SUE AGAIN !
    3. Profit !!!
  • ...petition of the law firms to against this man to ough up the proof this man agreed to their blathering claims.

    and when they fail to do so, to reemburse this man all legal expenses he has incurred as well as punitive damages.

    If this fails then there sould be a class action suit against these law firms for contributing to the distrustfullness of the legal profession.

    either they have proof or that don't anbd if a judge can't simply request that info and see that then the judge needs to be disbarred for abus
  • Contact the ABA (Score:5, Informative)

    by ChefAndCoder (902506) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @05:55PM (#15397702)
    IANAL, but what you're describing seems to be a serious breach of ethics on the part of the lawfirms involved. Yes, some lawyers actually take their ethical obligations to society and the courts seriously. I think you or your lawyers would be well advised to immeadiately contact the ABA (American Bar Association) and talk to them about your situation. The simple fact they cannot produce a client-attorney agreement when a lawsuit has been filed in your name is pretty damning. More then that, their behaviour after the fact is plain out wrong and the ABA may be able to help redress that.
    • That assumes the ABA will do anything about this or even care.

      It sounds like the law firm in question is using the various loopholes in the system to keep their scam running. If they win the suit with Apple, the guy won't get anything because the entire settlement would be declared eaten up in court costs.

      If Apple wins, they'll bankrupt the guy with lawsuits if he doesn't cough up about 20 years of his potential income to pay off their fees.

      Either way, they're going to screw him over any way they can.
    • I think you or your lawyers would be well advised to immeadiately contact the ABA (American Bar Association) and talk to them about your situation. The simple fact they cannot produce a client-attorney agreement when a lawsuit has been filed in your name is pretty damning. More then that, their behaviour after the fact is plain out wrong and the ABA may be able to help redress that.
      Not a terrible idea but.. the American Bar Association is largely a legal-profession advocacy group and doesn't have much of anything to do with licensing or with punishing unethical behavior. For that you'd want to contact the appropriate department of the state bar association for the state in which the case was filed.
  • Either Or ... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dbretton (242493) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @05:57PM (#15397708) Homepage
    Either he is not telling the entire truth here, or these attorneys are out of their minds. I don't see any middle ground here.

    If this fella *is* telling the truth, he simply needs to report this incident, along with all evidence of correspondence and communication, to the Bar Assn. An egregious misuse of the law such as this could get the attorneys disbarred.
    • Yeah. Good luck with that. I'm sure the ABA will clear this all up right quick.
      • Re:Either Or ... (Score:5, Informative)

        by Peyna (14792) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @06:38PM (#15397921) Homepage
        Actually, it would be the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline of the Supreme Court of Ohio that would handle such a complaint. The ABA is a voluntary professional organization that has no such power over attorneys. (Although they are involved in drafting the Model Code of Professional Responsibility).

        OSBA article [ohiobar.org] explaining how to file a complaint against an Ohio attorney.
    • There are millions of dollars that the lawyers for the plantiffs stand to gain if they are successful in this class action suit. Apple settles to pay the damages for millions of iPod users, which is millions of dollars. Divided out, every nano owner gets some three dollars and fourty-three cents, and the lawyers get 30% of the settlement, which is 3 million dollars.

      This figures are totally bogus, but they're in the ballpark. That's why this law firm is so interested in pursuing this case -- millions of d
  • They also say Tomczak is legally liable for their fees if they lose the court case against Apple.

    If Tomczak has no prior arrangement with those law firms, how can he be involved at all? Let's say those law firms lose their case against Apple (likely) and file a suit to recover their fees... Wouldn't any judge just throw it out with prejudice?

    Someone please explain!
    • I think the /. post got that part wrong. I think they're trying to hold him responsible for their fees in his little suit against them telling them to take his name off the big suit, or perhaps for their fees in their own suit against him for failing to participate, but not for their fees in the big suit against Apple. (That'd be completely insane!)
    • Since lawyers are involved, I must first state that the following is my opinion, and is not to be considered authoritative in any way shape or form.

      They'll either make it less expensive to pay them off than to fight them in court, or they'll drive him into bankruptcy.

      It's about getting paid, and failing that, getting vengeance on someone, regardless of if it's that person's fault.
  • Can there be any better proof that lawyers are running rampant than the fact they can sue somebody for not hiring them? For not wanting to have anything to do with them? If these lawyers aren't reprimanded, soon, severly and publicly, the precedent this sets could be disasterous.
  • This can't happen... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP works hard to prevent this kind of fraud. Look:
    http://www.hbsslaw.com/report_a_fraud.jsp [hbsslaw.com]
  • While, if true, it's a terrible injustice (although it seems so blatantly unfair that I'd think the courts would throw out such crap). (Personally, I'd bet there's more gray than the open letter admits to after the whole topic seemed to steamroll out of control).

    However, it does make one wonder how accountable folks are for the rants they make as bloggers....

    While I probably don't want to be named as a plantiff, if I complained on a blog that my Viagra didn't work (or, rather, if my girlfriend complained -
  • Defending in court would seem rather foolish considering these guys know how to play the system extremely well. However, surely it should be possible to make a complaint to the bar organisation or something. these guys have clearly acted in a somewhat unscrupulous way. The professional body should be told.

  • Much like scorpions, lawyers will act according to their nature.
  • Maybe Apple should move to strike the class-action lawsuit, since it seems to *only* benefit the lawyers. I think they were hoping he would jump onboard and sign anything they threw at him saying he would get a lot of money back from the class action suit (like $0.01 for every dollar they got in reality). But when he didn't go with it, they are going after him since it leaves them out there with their pants down.

    I think Apple should help this guy beat the lawyers, and get the C. A. suit dismissed. Probably
  • by loraksus (171574) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @06:20PM (#15397833) Homepage
    http://www.dmlaws.com [dmlaws.com]

    Phone numbers
    866.827.6537 Toll Free
    614.224.6000 Local
    614.224.6066 Fax

    Address
    The Arena District
    401 North Front Street
    Suite 350
    Columbus, Ohio 43215

    If you wait outside their offices, you might even be able to say "Hi" to them and have a conversation about the case.
    What's that? You don't know what they look like? Sure you do.
    David P. Meyer, principal [dmlaws.com]
    Marnie C. Lambert, Associate Attorney [dmlaws.com] Possible home address [google.ca] Possible home phone: (614) 469-1400
    Patrick G. Warner, Associate Attorney [dmlaws.com]
    Shelly J. Coffman, consumer claims investigator [dmlaws.com]
  • by Anonymous Coward
    David P. Meyer & Associates and Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro have also announced their intention to represent defendant Jason Tomczak in the case of David P. Meyer & Associates and Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro v. Tomczak. In the case the defendant declines this unilateral offer, the offices of David P. Meyer & Associates and Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro intend to double sue Mr. Tomczak for declining to accept their offer of defense against their suit.
  • Here [ohiobar.org] is the contact page for the State Bar of Ohio and here [wsba.org] is the same for the State Bar of Washington.

    You may want to drop them an email or make a phone call and see if they are looking into this.

  • by Tweekster (949766) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @10:35PM (#15398816)
    He can represent himself and ask for the signed agreement for representation. When they cant produce, he asks the judge for a dismissal.

    Honestly, not everything requires a lawyer, particularly a trivially idiotic matter like this. They cannot prove he agreed to be represented by him, the matter will barely win the laugh test of the judge.

    Hell, my traffic lawyer had me sign a piece of paper and cut him a nominal fee saying he was representing me, that was in regards to a minor traffic accident (his fee was all of $150).

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