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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: 4, Interesting) by bzipitidoo on Saturday February 10 2018, @02:22PM (1 child)

    by bzipitidoo (4388) on Saturday February 10 2018, @02:22PM (#636003) Journal

    Lawyers are too expensive, for a variety of reasons, and a big one is that the high fees put a real, punitive bite in the losers of civil law suits, which of course makes SLAPP so effective.

    10 years ago I was in an injury auto-accident that was totally the other driver's fault (he ran the red light), and got to see how it worked firsthand. The lawyers delicately egged the doctors on to perform every procedure even remotely related to recovering from the injuries, and to charge sky high fees for it all. They didn't need to say anything-- the medics already know what the lawyers want, and hardly need additional motivation to line their own pockets. But just in case the doctors aren't greedy, there's also the implied threat of legal action against the doctors hanging over their heads if they don't do everything under the sun. Test, CYA, and charge, baby, charge! The lawyers then take those inflated numbers, jack it up another 50% to 100%, just in case, justifying that by extrapolating further medical costs as it takes time to heal up, then add 33% more for themselves, and demand the insurers of the other party pay that amount. The insurers meantime will have worked up their own too low numbers and offer that lowball amount. The lawyers and insurers haggle and come to an agreement somewhere in the middle, and present that to the injured parties. If they accept the first, second, or possibly third offer, and usually the amount is large enough that accepting is a good idea, then it gets settled out of court and that's that. Sometimes though, it does go on to court. For instance, if the insurer doesn't believe the numbers, if there was some miscommunication, if the insurer is desperate to reduce payouts for claims.... Another nasty factor is they will be calculating how it will play to a jury. If the injured people come across as privileged assholes, and their car was a high end luxury vehicle, they will be more likely to fight than if the injured people were driving a cheap, old, used economy box car and seem to be nice, reasonable, regular folks that the big bad insurance company is trying to bully and cheat.

    So yeah, the legal system has all kinds of motivations and opportunities to charge scary high prices. They seem to be unofficial partners with the medical community. I have lots of sympathy for somehow reducing these outrageous prices, stopping the bill padding and cleaning up the corruption, though I don't think the idea of damage caps is the way to go. Anti-SLAPP is really a finger-sized bandage on a body that needs a tourniquet to stop the bleeding. Perhaps it wouldn't be necessary if legal costs weren't so insanely high.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 12 2018, @08:52AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 12 2018, @08:52AM (#636615)

    Why shouldn't lawyers be expensive?

    You normies banned every natural pleasure (marrying cute virgin young girls etc etc) to please "muh white wuman":
    The only pleasure left undisturbed is consumption. This requires money.

    So your betters extract more of that from you; since you have extracted all pleasure from the life.

    "Extra dumb, normie scum, Moo"