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Spamhaus Victory in Final Appeal in E360 Case

2011-09-05 13:25:00 UTC, by Quentin Jenkins
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On the 2nd September 2011 Spamhaus was successful in its final appeal which reduced a baseless $11.7 million default judgment down to $3 (three dollars). Twice the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit vacated judgments against UK-based Spamhaus made by U.S. Federal Judge Charles Kocoras who had twice awarded fabricated 'lost profits' to a Chicago-based spam sender.

In 2006 the spam sender, David Linhardt of (now-defunct) email marketing company E360 Insight LLC, had filed a lawsuit in the U.S. State of Illinois against UK-based Spamhaus Project, after Spamhaus repeatedly listed IP addresses associated with E360 on the Spamhaus Block List (SBL) for sending vast volumes of spam to Spamhaus users. E360 had set up an array of shell companies to hide its identity while sending millions of spam emails to promote counterfeit products sold on an E360-owned website, "bargaindepot.com". E360 spam was notorious not only for its volume and the ever-changing shell companies used to hide E360 as the source, but also for much of it being sent illegally via hijacked PCs around the world.

Spamhaus engaged a U.S. law firm to have the case dismissed for obvious lack of jurisdiction. Unfortunately the law firm it hired made a procedural blunder which, under U.S. Federal Court rules they were inexperienced with, offered U.S. Federal Judge Charles Kocoras a way to sidestep the glaring issue of lack of jurisdiction and skip directly to issuing a default judgment against UK-based Spamhaus - over which in reality the U.S. Federal Court had no jurisdiction at all.

Enter Jenner & Block LLP, the formidable Chicago-based law firm. On hearing of the case, Jenner & Block offered to represent Spamhaus pro-bono to appeal the $11.7 million default judgment. Jenner & Block lawyers embarked on an appeals case from a position many legal experts said was impossible and with remarkable skill and logic succeeded first in vacating the baseless $11.7 million award and then, when U.S. Federal Judge Charles Kocoras issued a new and again baseless $27,000 award, appealed for a second time reducing the new award to the minimum possible token value of $3 (three dollars).

The Final Judgment by the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit for the second time vacated Judge Charles Kocoras's ruling and remanded the case to the District Court with instructions to reduce the judgment to the token amount of just three dollars. In addition, the legal costs of the appeal were granted in favor of the Spamhaus Project.

The spam company, E360 Insight, went out of business in 2008/2009, after it had filed a series of 'SLAPP' lawsuits against internet users who had complained of receiving spam and called the company a "spammer" and lawsuit against US national internet service provider Comcast for blocking spam E360 was sending to Comcast customer email addresses. Losing all of the cases, E360 was then formally called a "spammer" by Illinois Federal Judge Zagel in his order finding for the defendant Comcast.

The US Court of Appeals Final Judgment is here:
http://www.spamhaus.org/archive/legal/e360-v-Spamhaus_7thCir_Judgment. pdf

A history of the E360 v. Spamhaus Project lawsuit is available at:
Case Answer: e360Insight vs. The Spamhaus Project

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Permanent link to this news article:
Spamhaus Victory in Final Appeal in E360 Case
http://www.spamhaus.org/news/article/670/spamhaus-victory-in-final-appeal-in-e360-case

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