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More than 600 Oregonians opened thick envelopes in March to find they'd been accused of illegally downloading a Steven Seagal movie and that their only option out was to pay a $7,500 settlement.
But a federal judge drop-kicked the suit this week in a move metro-area lawyers say could help prevent more of the suits from being filed in Oregon.
Judge Ann Aiken of U.S. District Court of Oregon dismissed the file-sharing case against 615 defendants, ruling they were improperly lumped together in copyright infringement lawsuits filed by Salem lawyer Carl Crowell on behalf of Voltage Pictures in Los Angeles.
The judge determined that the defendants differed in too many ways -- from the dates the BitTorrent downloads allegedly occurred to where they lived -- to be joined.
For four hours, the defense circled and jabbed at Seagal. Many of Seagal's claims from the past came back to haunt him. He was asked at one point if he had once hired "someone to set up a man in a compromising homosexual situation."
Seagal exploded. "I'm not on trial here! ... This is crazy."
"He has the appearance of a history of attacking people or threatening people who he perceives as a threat," said Richard Levitt, lawyer for Primo Cassarino, a reputed wiseguy on trial for extortion with alleged capo Anthony "Sonny" Ciccone.
Block said he would allow cross-examination on a suit Seagal has filed against the "German mafia," thwarting prosecutors' attempts to stop defense lawyers from suggesting that Seagal likes to feign victimization.
But Levitt and Ciccone's lawyer, George Santangelo, will not likely be permitted to grill Seagal on his ties to a private eye in L.A. who has allegedly threatened journalists reporting on the New York case.
Actor Steven Seagal has been linked to threats directed at a Los Angeles Times reporter investigating the action star's relationship to a Mafia figure, according to federal court records.
The explosive allegation is contained in an October 17 FBI affidavit filed in support of a government bid to search the Los Angeles home of Alexander Proctor, a 59-year-old ex-con who has been charged with threatening Times writer Anita Busch.
The 21-page FBI affidavit--a key excerpt of which you'll find here--alleges that Proctor told a bureau informant (in tape-recorded conversations) that Seagal hired him through Anthony Pellicano, a noted L.A. private eye.
According to the informant's account, Proctor claimed that Pellicano farmed the strong-arm work out to him for $10,000. Prosecutors allege that Proctor, who is being held without bail, left a dead fish, a rose, and a note saying "Stop" on the windshield of Busch's car.
Yesterday (11/21) FBI agents raided Pellicano's Sunset Boulevard office and arrested the P.I. on an explosives charge. Click here to read the FBI affidavit filed in support of the Pellicano criminal charge.
The document describes how agents discovered fresh military-grade C-4 plastic explosives, anti-personnel grenades, and stacks of cash in an office safe (along with the C-4, investigators found a detonation cord and blasting cap). The amount of C-4 found, agents noted, could easily blow up a car and "was, in fact, strong enough to bring down an airplane." (8 pages)
On February 4, 2006, Pellicano was arrested for wiretapping and racketeering. On May 15, 2008, he and four others were found guilty of racketeering. In August, 2008, Pellicano was convicted of wiretapping and conspiracy to commit wiretapping in the District Federal Court in Los Angeles. In December, 2008, the court denied Pellicano's request for concurrent sentencing. Fifteen years were added to Pellicano's prison sentence and he was fined $2 million. On August 7, 2011, Pellicano gave a first interview to Newsweek. Then, on July 5, 2012, Pellicano's bail hearing was postponed due to poor health. However, the next day, Tom Cruise was accused of conspiring with Pellicano to create a wiretap during Cruise's divorce from Nicole Kidman.
teven Seagal is being threatened with a lawsuit over his part in a police raid that was taped for his A&E reality show, TMZ reported.
The actor, who has served as a reserve deputy sheriff since the mid-'80s, was part of a team that arrived at Jesus Sanchez Llovera's Arizona house in March with a tank and armed in full riot gear, Llovera alleges in his legal documents.
VIDEO: Steven Seagal Arrives for Police Bust in Tank
Llovera claims that the raid, carried out by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Department, was "unfounded" because they believed Llovera was raising roosters for illegal cockfighting. But he says the roosters are only "for show."
Llovera -- who served both Seagal and Sheriff Joe Arpaio with an official notice of claim, the first step toward a lawsuit -- says his 11-month-old puppy was shot and killed during the raid and that police also killed more than 100 of his roosters.
Jesse Ventura, former governor of minn., strikes me as someone with a bit more credibility than Seagal, particularly with his attempts at seeking the truth behind conspiracies and such matters.
They are helping the demonstration by falling down for their opponent.
This is a common theme in Aikido demonstrations.
You can clearly see some of them are taking a dive at the mat.
Those sort of things don't show how practical the art is in real combat