Sanctions affirmed for “John Doe” ISP subpoenas

The plaintiff’s counsel in Mick Haig Productions v. Does 1-670 served subpoenas on Internet service providers (ISPs) about the alleged wrongful download of pornographic material.  No. 11-10977 (July 12, 2012).   The district court found that the subpoenas violated orders that it had made to manage discovery, and imposed significant monetary and other sanctions on the lawyer.  Op. at 4-5.  The Fifth Circuit found that all of the lawyer’s appellate challenges were waived — either because they were not raised below, or were raised only in an untimely motion to stay filed after the notice of appeal, and thus were waived.  Id. at 5.  The Court declined to apply a “miscarriage of justice” exception to the standard waiver rules, stating that the lawyer’s actions were “an attempt to repeat his strategy of . . . shaming or intimidating [the Does] into settling . . . .”  Id. at 6.

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