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Re: Dismissal with prejudice is normal

From: Linonut
Subject: Re: Dismissal with prejudice is normal
Date: Thu, 19 Jun 2008 11:48:48 -0400
User-agent: slrn/ (Linux)

* Tim Smith peremptorily fired off this memo:

> Someone (I forget who) recently pointed out in one or both of these 
> newsgroups that when SFLC and Verizon settled their recent lawsuit, the 
> suit was dismissed with prejudice.  What that means is that the matter 
> is completely over.  Plaintiff cannot file that suit again.  At first 
> glance, it would seem that plaintiff, upon settlement, would file for 
> dismissal WITHOUT prejudice, so that plaintiff could re-file the suit if 
> the settlement was breached, or if new copyright violations occurred.
> I have checked with lawyers, and found out that dismissal WITH prejudice 
> is normal in these cases.  When plaintiff sues for copyright 
> infringement, that suit is over *specific* acts of infringement.  When 
> the parties settle, and the suit is dismissed with prejudice, no more 
> legal action can be taken against *those* *specific* *acts* of 
> infringement.
> If defendant violates the settlement agreement over those specific acts 
> (e.g., if the settlement called for a payment to be made, and it is not 
> made), the remedy for plaintiff is a new suit over the breach of the 
> settlement.  The settlement is a contract, and it is enforced in 
> contract law--even if the original copyright suit was a pure copyright 
> infringement suit, with nothing to do with with contracts.
> If defendant commits *new* acts of infringement, those lead to new 
> causes of action, which plaintiff can sue for.
> Net result: nothing useful can be deduced from the fact that after the 
> parties reach a settlement in a copyright infringement case, the lawsuit 
> is dismissed with prejudice.

Thanks, Tim, for doing the legwork needed to put rjack/Terekhov's
jeering into proper perspective.

You're a better man than I am for following up on stuff like this!

It's a business I don't know anything about, but I admire Bill Gates
enormously. I know him individually, and I think he's incredible in business.
   -- Warren Buffett, in lecture at Kenan-Flagler Business School, University
of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. (1994)

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