Tenenbaum file-swapping case gets seriously funky

27 02 2009

While the bizarre antics and odd courtroom proceedings of The Pirate Bay trial in Sweden have dominated news recently, another high-profile file-sharing case on this side of the Atlantic has generated plenty of recent craziness, too. And this is craziness of a special breed—how many federal trials involve a defense attorney who previously represented the judge, appeals to the Department of Justice to intervene, a lengthy hearing about whether a trial can be webcast to the world, and a judicial admonition to lawyers about taping each other’s conversations?

Graduate student Joel Tenenbaum faces nearly a million dollars in possible fines after being sued by the RIAA. After first defending himself, federal judge Nancy Gertner hooked Tenenbaum up with Professor Charles Nesson of Harvard Law School. Nesson then deputized his law students to do most of the work in the case (see our in-depth profile of them). This was all atypical enough, but the case quickly got much weirder.

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