“Look, when we get out of law school we’ll be up to our ears in debt and it’ll take years to pay that off, even if we get on with good firms – which doesn’t seem likely. So, what we need is a game plan to hit the ground running when we graduate, a business model we can put into play right away and start making some big bucks. Any suggestions?”
“What about that idea you had the other night? Remember, we were talking about how many of our classmates download porn from the internet illegally? There must be tens of thousands of guys doing this around the country. We could sue them all on behalf of the internet sites they’re stealing from.”
“Better yet, one of us could sue them and the other could defend them. They’re bound to settle. They won’t want to go to court and tell the whole world about their fetishes.”
“But how do we identify these dirty young men?”
“No problem. Make the ISPs turn over the names that go with the IP addresses. We’ll go fishing with subpoenas.”
“Hey, why not set up our own porn sites? You know, cut out the middle man.”
“Now you’re talking. We’ll play it from both sides and make a fortune. All we need now is a name for our firm.”
“How about ‘Prenda’? It means ‘girlfriend’ in Spanish. Perfect for a bunch of guys so horny and hopeless that they have to steal internet porn. Plus, it’s an anagram for ‘pander.’ “
According to a 2012 article in Forbes magazine, Chicago attorney John Steele “claims to have come up with the idea of pursuing people for illegal downloads while in law school at the University of Minnesota” with future partner Paul Hansmeier. Like-minded lawyer Paul Duffy got in on the action later.
Lawsuits brought by them and against them clog court dockets in a number of states. Several judges have called for further investigation. Maybe there should be an ethics component to the LSAT?