Lindens Turn To Cheaper Lawyers in Class Action Complaint?

by Alphaville Herald on 14/10/09 at 7:43 am

Lab’s insurance won’t cover Michael Rhodes $800/hour fees

by Pixeleen Mistral, National Affairs desk

According to a story in LAW.COM, the Lindens can’t afford their first choice in legal representation – Michael Rhodes of San Diego law firm Cooley Godward Kronish. At issue is the Eros LLC/Nomine vs. Linden Research class-action trademark and copyright complaint which alleges the Second Life game gods have been less than diligent in protecting players’ copyrighted and trademarked creations – a potential nightmare for the Lab should the legal action end badly. Presumably the Lab would want the best help they can find – but can they afford it?

Michael Rhodes – out of Linden Lab's price range

LAW.COM says that last month he Linden’s staff lawyer Marty Roberts “had initially retained Rhodes to fend off a copyright suit by a maker of virtual sex toys. But Rhodes' rate, which is above $800 an hour, was too high for the insurers. Instead, Linden Lab will be using San Francisco's Durie Tangri”.

Cheaper by the dozen

The more affordable  Durie Tangri posse

The change in lawyers may explain the delay in the Linden’s response to Stroker and Munchflower’s complaint – presumably there will be some sort of action soon.

Although he is now out of their price range, Michael Rhodes previously represented the Lab in another player vs. game god case. The Bragg case was ultimately settled out of court – but not before some serious damage was done to the Second Life Terms of Service when the ToS was ruled to be an unenforceable contract of adhesion.

As for the the sort of lawyers the Lab hopes for, LAW.COM quotes Linden staffer Marty Roberts as saying, "Like most small companies, I'm not all that interested in making law; I'm not interested in taking cases to the Supreme Court, I'm interested in resolving things."

16 Responses to “Lindens Turn To Cheaper Lawyers in Class Action Complaint?”

  1. Urizenus Sklar

    Oct 14th, 2009

    Johanna Calabria (lawyer on far right) can handle *my* case any time she wants.

  2. icallbullshit

    Oct 14th, 2009

    “Johanna Calabria (lawyer on far right) can handle *my* case any time she wants.”

    aint happenin

    i heard she doesnt go for “basement” cases. ROFL

  3. Lili

    Oct 14th, 2009

    However this turns out, I hope LL gets out of the content selling business and stops cash-outs altogether. Maybe when the micro-payment entrepreneurs are gone, they will go back to charging everyone to be in SL and it can go back to being a fun pastime. Selling stuff is ok I guess, but the money should remain in game. There’s just too much opportunity for whiner wannabe designers to start lawsuit fests otherwise. I hate to offend anyone, but can you imagine standing in front of a court whining that someone stole your pixel sex pose-balls?

  4. Urizenus Sklar

    Oct 14th, 2009

    >i heard she doesnt go for “basement” cases. ROFL

    Her company took Linden Lab…

  5. this is the end... (my friend)

    Oct 14th, 2009

    Second Life is a giant pail of FAIL as are all the whiney little useless eaters that infest it. Shut it down. Shut it down now.

  6. (we)call(bull)sh!t

    Oct 14th, 2009

    >i heard she doesnt go for “basement” cases. ROFL

    “Her company took Linden Lab…”

    True, LL does provide the extension, the virtual venue, the petri dish, for the basement dwelling mentality…no argument there.

    Where the problem lies, is with the dwellers…and once recognized that they are in fact dwellers…well, there is just no counter rationale to that simple fact. It just is what it is.

  7. Ranma Tardis

    Oct 14th, 2009

    Guess now is not the time to buy a sim. The greedy are going to kill Second Life and the best part is they will receive little if any money! They will hurt a lot of people to make a few dollars. Nice work jerks! but you are going to screw yourself in the end.

  8. Pappy Enoch

    Oct 14th, 2009

    Them Lindens got themselfs 10 law-dogs for the price of one! And two of them gals am HOT!

    If that judge am like the ones in Enoch Holler, I reckon them gals (maybe both–hoo whee) can make a back-room deal in the cloak-room and Linden Lab will come out of this-here legal hullyballoo smellin’ like a rose.

  9. LittleLostLinden

    Oct 15th, 2009

    Holy Double Moly!

    I think that the other lawyer resembles Robert Redford a bit.

    The lawyers in the posse all look goofy, save the 1 that looks professional.

    You can really see the quality levels.

    Also, when are dynamic shadows going to work properly?

    I have to ask LL, what do your people think?

    “Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit amphetamines.”

    “There’s a sale at Pennies!”

    “Did I leave the iron on?”

    Stryker! Your coming in too low! Pull up god damn it! Pull Up!

  10. LittleLostLinden

    Oct 15th, 2009

    You know, that posse is just damn goofy lookin!

    They all remind me of door stoppers for some reason. You know those door stoppers you accidentally hit sometimes and they go…bbbbbbbbrrrrrrrrnnnnnnnnnnnnggggggGGGGGGg!!!!!!!!

    and they just don’t stop, you know, and it happens in the middle of the night. Well, the smiles that posse have on their faces, those smiles just don’t end. They travel through space and time.

    I can’t get those goofy smiles outta my head!



  11. Rho Borgin

    Oct 15th, 2009

    A group photo in this week’s Post Six, what a lovely idea! And such a happy family bunch they are, too. I can’t wait to hear the haters vent their petty jealousies.

    But, hey, why just the one shot? What happened to the semi-nude and nude?

  12. Debi Dastardly

    Oct 15th, 2009

    Quit filling lawsuits quit whining and go back to be PLUMBERS idiots.

  13. Ajax

    Oct 15th, 2009

    They are more interesting in settling cases — looks like lets make a deal. This one is going to be settled for an undisclosed sum and no one will ever know what the terms were. And speakers of whiners — LL has no shortage of people willing to whine on their behalf here

  14. Pete the Plumber

    Oct 15th, 2009

    “Quit filling lawsuits quit whining and go back to be PLUMBERS idiots.”

    I make 100 dollars, minimum, for each visit to fix some asshat’s pipes.

  15. LittleLostLinden

    Oct 15th, 2009

    Call me Mr. Clean but 100 dollars for having to touch the schmitt in other asshat’s pipes doesn’t sound like much fun to me.

    Holy pipes filled with turds.


    Double Ick!

    Holy Mammy Wammy Triple Ick!

    Hopefully those pipes filled with schmitt don’t explode and make the schmitt go up the nose.

    That has to be a sometimes smelly job.

  16. Lawyer, but not one of these lawyers

    Oct 19th, 2009

    Contrary to the impression Pixeleen gives in this article, Durie Tangri are not some cut-rate ambulance chasers. It is a new firm bringing together some highly experienced and successful lawyers, including Stanford Law Professor Mark Lemley, possibly the top IP & cyberlaw expert in the country. And no, I don’t work for them, or even know any of them personally. But if I ever had a high-stakes case, I’d hire them in a second, regardless of the price.

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