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September 8, 2005
RIAA in Santangelo Case: Umm...Can We Do Over?
As my EFF colleague Danny O'Brien dryly observes, it looks like the RIAA isn't very happy with its performance in court in the Patricia Santangelo case. It's asking for another try up at bat. Specifically, it has requested a second oral argument and permission to serve a surreply.
What does this mean? Writes Ray Beckerman, Santangelo's lawyer:
The surreply request is unusual because the normal rule is that the party bearing the affirmative burden of persuasion (in this instance Ms. Santangelo) gets to have the last word. The party making the motion bears the burden of persuading the court, and serves its motion papers. The opposing party serves its opposition papers. And then the movant gets the last word -- its reply papers.
I would say that asking for a second oral argument is unusual, because (a) in almost 31 years of working in litigation I've never heard of anyone doing it, and (b) the very asking for it is an admission that the first oral argument was lost.
One can only guess as to why plaintiff's lawyers are doing it. Apparently something happened after August 15th to convince the plaintiff's lawyers that (a) they are losing, and/or (b) the case is more important than they initially thought it was. Or perhaps they are doing it because they are hired guns and their client just ordered them to do it.
What do you think?
Previous relevant Copyfight coverage: Do It Right or Not at All
(also be sure to check out Mike Godwin's commentary @ Runaround Suits
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