Michael Sean Quinn*

The Prenda Law Firm was a mostly California establishment, with some lawyers elsewhere, whose business it was to obtain “‘intellectual’ property,” or stuff like that, and somehow get people to look at it or otherwise put it to use on the Net and then sue them, or threaten to sue them, for causes of action like, copyright violations. The material was often pornographic, and–of course–adult-porn downloading by adults can be a non-cardinal but compensable “lego-sin.” 

In any case, a number of down-loaders did not want to get dragged out into the public and have their visual proclivities displayed, so they would pay Prenda (or “Prenda People”) off.  Granted, we have only the vicious and avaricious against the weak and smutty, but this is a nation of laws, after all. 

In other words, the Prenda Law Firm was running a digital extortion racket in–or from–the new cyber world. I described this business in a little more detail in a blog/blawg entitled The Pricks of Prenda and dated 6/19/14. 

Now at least one of the principal Prenda pricks from outside California, a Minnesota lawyer, Paul Hansmeier (Paul) has himself been pricked, though in a different and more ordinary sense of the work. He has run up debts of approximately $2.5M and gone into bankruptcy, a legal institution with a name that might just as well describe his moral character, though the same is not true for all of its users.  

He applied for Chapter 13, but both the trustee and the creditors opposed his suggestion since his sworn statements–this time those about himself–could not be believed. The judge agreed. In other words, everyone involved agreed that Paul is now and has for some times been an inveterate lawyer as well as being a complete and total asshole. See Michael Sean Quinn, Lawyers as Assholes, 11/17/15. 

Chapter 13 and probably not his law license were not for him. He needed a new process for being declared really broke and, given his brokenness, he might need a new kind of job. The paralegal vocation is not to be recommended. 

Perhaps Paul believed that extortion based upon the extortee’s filth addictions was to be praised or at least permitted. Perhaps he believed that a cultured society would permit one to stamp out the other. Perhaps the Prick People though they were using a public forum to help wipe out a socially injurious practice of which most respectable people disapprove, as well as fear. 

Prick Paul missed the point that in a society like the USA, even smut and smut user have rights and that the rule of law applies not only to smut authors, creators, owners, and assignees, but to others as well, even if they are trying to hide their practices from their wives. (I am assuming that women are very light consumers of the product at issue.) 

Supplement for September 15, 2016. The Minnesota Supreme Court has ordered Paul’s indefinite suspension based on his many, many lawyer “sins,” including his “porn trolling” and consequent baseless litigation, some of it for Lightspeed Media Corp. He is also accused of shuffling funds around to avoid paying fines. “Indefinite” though there suspension be, he cannot apply for restoration for at least four years and until after he has based a professional responsibility exam administered by the State Board of Law Examiners. Any chance the Board has the opportunity to level and grade the examination appropriately. 

*Michael Sean Quinn
Law Office of Michael Sean Quinn
1300 West Lynn Suite 208
Austin, TX 78703
Office Phone: 512-296-2594
Fax: 512-344-9466