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posted by janrinok on Saturday February 10 2018, @01:08AM   Printer-friendly
from the slapp-me-again,-I-like-it dept.

Having defeated a defamation claim for speculating that using Grsecurity's Linux kernel hardening code may expose you to legal risk under the terms of the GPLv2 license, Bruce Perens is back in court.

This time, he's demanding Bradley Spengler – who runs Open Source Security Inc and develops Grsecurity – foots his hefty legal bills, after Spengler failed to successfully sue Perens for libel.

Perens, a noted figure in the open source community, and his legal team from O'Melveny & Myers LLP – as they previously told The Register – want to be awarded attorneys' fees under California's anti-SLAPP statute, a law designed to deter litigation that aims to suppress lawful speech.

That deterrence takes the form of presenting unsuccessful litigants with the bill for the cost of defending against meritless claims.

"Plaintiffs Open Source Security, Inc. and Bradley Spengler sued Defendant Bruce Perens to bully him from expressing his opinions that Plaintiffs' business practices violate Open Source licensing conditions and to discourage others from expressing the same opinions," Perens' latest filing, submitted to a US district court in San Francisco today, declared.

"Rather than allowing the public to judge Plaintiffs' contrary opinions through public debate, Plaintiffs tried to 'win' the argument on this unsettled legal issue by suing him."


Perens is asking for $667,665.25 in fees, which covers 833.9 hours expended on the litigation by numerous attorneys and a $188,687.75 success fee agreed upon to allow Perens to retain representation he might not otherwise have been able to afford.

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  • (Score: 2) by mrpg on Saturday February 10 2018, @01:24AM (5 children)

    by mrpg (5708) Subscriber Badge <{mrpg} {at} {}> on Saturday February 10 2018, @01:24AM (#635827) Homepage

    $667,665.25 in fees, which covers 833.9 hours

    $800 per hour?

    Starting Score:    1  point
    Karma-Bonus Modifier   +1  

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  • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Saturday February 10 2018, @01:49AM (2 children)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Saturday February 10 2018, @01:49AM (#635836) Homepage Journal

    They probably worked at a discount rate, for that money.

    #warmonger #Biden #impeach_Mayorkas
    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 10 2018, @02:04AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 10 2018, @02:04AM (#635840)

      The highest paid attorney I know in town is paid $2,500 an hour for certain specialized things that he doesn't actually like doing. Of course, most things aren't at that rate and most clients get a "discount" anyway. Last time I asked him about it, he said he only got 3 hours billed at that rate the entire year; most things were between $1,250 and $1,500. And even that stuff is so high because it has to cover all the overhead, including renting three floors of prime real estate in the city center. Plus, lots of hours are "billed" with no actual expectation of collecting them for various reasons. Suffice it to say that if Perens loses, he would not be on the hook for that amount.

      Plus, seems like a bit of a stretch for Spengler to say that, I'm about 80% sure his council is working on contingency and 99% sure at least partial contingency. At the standard contingency rate of 1/3rd, Spengler is asking for around $1,000,000 in fees himself.

      • (Score: -1, Troll) by Ethanol-fueled on Saturday February 10 2018, @08:01AM

        by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Saturday February 10 2018, @08:01AM (#635931) Homepage

        I learned all about this from living in Los Angeles and battling Google in a court of law --

        Jewish Lawyers.

  • (Score: 2) by Snotnose on Saturday February 10 2018, @03:51AM

    by Snotnose (1623) on Saturday February 10 2018, @03:51AM (#635859)

    Never had to hire a lawyer in the good ol U S of A, have you? Minor stuff starts at $300/hr, get to looking at prison and the sky's the limit.

    Forget the past, you can't change it. Forget the future, you cant predict it. Forget the present, I didn't get you one
  • (Score: 2) by frojack on Saturday February 10 2018, @08:14PM

    by frojack (1554) on Saturday February 10 2018, @08:14PM (#636114) Journal

    Courts are notoriously reluctant to give the asking price.

    In fact judges have to be dragged kicking and screaming to awarding fees.

    a) because they see it as double dipping, b) it hurts their business (their business is trials), and c) fees make it dangerous and stupid expensive for the little guy to go up against the big guy and lose, (which most of them do).

    Had Perens won any money at trial, you could bet there would be no fees.

    But since he was merely defending, he might get some fees.

    But judges know that attorneys pad the living snot out of their bills, and are still reluctant to award the whole amount. In the end, there's nothing mandatory about this award.

    No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.