I was not home at the time someone hacked into my wifi and downloaded a movie illegally. Can I find an attorney that will counter sue on contingency?I was in a different state and I have a hotel receipt proving it. Also, no one was at my house at the time of the incident. Someone must of hacked into my wifi, because it was password protected. The computer that I had during the incident was thrown out prior to me receiving any information about this incident, so I don't have that computer.
A counterclaim would be brought against the Plaintiff. Unless you think the company who owned the video was the hacker (very unlikely), you cannot sue them.
If you can learn the actual identify of the hacker, then you can certainly bring a cross claim against that person. You might even find an attorney to handle it on contingency if it appears that your evidence is strong and the Defendant has money to pay a judgment. However, no lawyer is going to sign on to do the investigation for you.
In the meantime, the fact that you were out of town may provide you with a defense to the lawsuit. Defense lawyers do not work on contingency as it is very hard to figure out how to collect 30% of money that you don't end up having to pay out in a lawsuit.
You can reach Harkess & Salter LLC at (303) 531-5380 or [email protected] Stephen Harkess is an attorney licensed in the state and federal courts of Colorado. This answer is for general information only and does not create an attorney client relationship between Stephen Harkess or Harkess & Salter LLC and any person. You should schedule a consultation with an attorney to discuss the specifics of your legal issues.
Why would you countersue? And why on earth would you think a lawyer would take a case like this on a contingency?
You should take this threat of suit seriously, and it is, most respectfully, ridiculous to contemplate a countersuit. Your computer address was associated with an illegal download of a movie. You say you were not home, but the copyright owner----and a court---will not know this. It is certainly appropriate for the copyright owner to threaten you with suit and demand a settlement in this situation---you will not be able disprove that your IP address was used in connection with an illegal download. Further, the burden is on you, not the copyright owner, to prove that someone else is responsible. Even if you were not home, you still might be responsible if someone who was authorized to use your computer or wifi downloaded the movie. Further, if your WIFI was not password and encryption protected, you can be deemed to have been reckless in allowing others to hack into your WIFI network.
If you want to defend yourself, then you should gather evidence supporting your defense. First, you need proof that you were not home---witnesses or documentary evidence showing that you were not home at the time of the download. Second, you need to have a forensic computer expert review your computer's hard drive and other data on your computer to show that the movie was not downloaded on your computer and that you did not delete it (or attempt to delete it) after you received the infringement letter. Third, you need to show that your WIFI was properly protected with passwords and encryption. Fourth, you need to show---if you can--that someone hacked into your computer---your modem or computer may actually have the capability of showing when someone else using a different device jointed your network.
The fact remains, however, that your IP address was associated with an illegal download. There is nothing wrong with the accusations made against you by the copyright owner. And you have absolutely no legitimate basis for filing a countersuit.
No one will represent you on a contingency basis. You would not have any basis for a countersuit. If they reasonably believe that there was copyright infringement, the company is totally within their rights to sue you. You can file a defense that you were not the person who committed the copyright infringement. However, I see no basis for a countersuit.
As the other attorneys have indicated, if the plaintiff has evidence showing the movie was downloaded via your IP address, it is unlikely that you have cause to countersue.
That being said, if you can find out who downloaded the movie in question using your IP address, and can supply supporting evidence (which seems to be highly unlikely given the facts), you could try to "implead" the guilty party into the current law suit. But, without very strong evidence against this "third party" and proof that the third party has resources to cover any and all awards against him/her/it, I think it is doubtful that an attorney would take your case on contingency.
However, rather than relying on this post, you might want to check to see if you can find an Avvo or other qualified copyright litigation attorney in your area who provides free consultations, and set up a time to discuss any further details that you can provide with his/her in a privileged setting.
Any answer or other information posted above is general in nature and is not intended, nor should it be construed, as legal advice. This posting does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and the posting attorney, and you are urged to engage a qualified attorney who is licensed to practice in the relevant jurisdiction.
You really need to contact an attorney to determine the status of this lawsuit. Did your ISP inform you of a subpoena from a lawsuit or did you actually get served with a copy of the complaint and a summons. If you have been served, there is a limited amount of time for you to respond. You could be risking a default judgment.
I am not sure what would be the basis of your counterclaim, but attorneys do not defend lawsuits on a contingency basis. I have assisted several clients in your position and strongly recommend timely attention to the status of the case.
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