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10-22-2010, 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by DrinkFightFlyers View Post
You are missing the point of what I said.

1) You don't know that they are not being sued or charged with blackmail, extortion or anything of that nature. That is a news article talking about a brief that the ACLU wrote.
That is an article about a law firm that made money off of the Hurt Locker, and now has a plan to make a * load of money off of other films by threatening suits. There are a great deal of issues with that case in particular -- for example, they're going after John Doe IP addresses.

2) They may not be getting sued or charged with anything, but that does not mean what they are doing is not illegal. Illegal/actionable things happen all the time and people aren't sued or charged, even when it is right in front of everyone's faces.
You think the ACLU wouldn't bring up extortion/blackmail as an issue there? Really? You also think the 5,000 people wouldn't have found one lawyer to make that case for 'em and get it to work for 'em?

5,000 is a lot of scott-free extortion.

3) People may sue people with the intent of settling, but you can't threaten to sue unless you get paid off. Think about this for a minute. You are an attorney and you get a call from the PLAINTIFF saying they want to settle. This is not a position of power for the plaintiff. If the PLAINTIFF in a suit wants to settle before the trial even starts, it is very unlikely that they have a case and that the defendant would not want to settle, seeing the weak position that the plaintiff is in. The defendant would be the one who would say, ok crap we can't win this thing, lets settle and get it over with. But as a Plaintiff you wouldn't, shouldn't and couldn't call someone up and say pay me $XXX or I'm suing you. "A demand for a settlement in a civil action. . . .if made with the intent to extort constitutes the crime alleged in the indictment." 31A Am.Jur. Extortion 26. So that settles that whole thing.
Actually, based on some further reading... threatening to bring a lawsuit that has a legal basis cannot be considered extortion (in most states). It's when you're making threats based on groundless claims that it can, potentially, be considered "extortion."

Which makes perfect sense...

It would be *ing absurd if a lawyer could not make the other party aware that a lawsuit was in the offing in negotiations concerning a matter.

As to your whole strategic view of it... it makes perfect sense to attempt to avoid the court system if all you're talking about is a modest sum... cuz why rack up legal fees?

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