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James B. Hicks files civil legal action against Fulltilt Poker
What appears to be a civil legal action out of left field will have the Full Tilt Poker legal team working on a response this week. A Los Angeles attorney, James B. Hicks of the firm Hicks Park LLC, appears to be trying to sue Tiltware LLC, Fulltiltpoker.com, Tilt Proof Inc., poker player Chris Ferguson, and “[John] Does 1 through 100” for non-specific violations of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) and various statutes from the California Business and Professions Code.
Hicks filed the action this week in the United States District Court’s Central District of California, Western Division, according to a report on the information site Pokerati. The action seeks injunctive relief and an unspecified payment for attorney’s fees, perhaps revealing the motive behind the filing.
Hicks claims to be a member of the Full Tilt poker site in an attempt to establish standing to bring his claim, although he did not specifically claim in the suit that he had actually played poker for money on the site. Pokerati reports that the crux of his case is that Full Tilt is liable under California law simply for being accessible via the Internet to California residents.
The Pokerarti report appears to suggest that Hicks may have been previously cited for ethical violations while pursuing other cases against companies. One such episode in 2002, as archived on the legal site altlaw.org, detailed a lawsuit by Hicks on behalf of a fledgling dollmaker against industry giant Mattel alleging copyright infringement, an adventure that was dismissed as a “frivolous lawsuit” when an examination of the Barbie dolls in question showed a copyright date that predated by years the launching of the plaintiff's line.
It is also claimed that Hicks had his law license suspended for 30 days earlier this year and remains o`n a two-year probation period for his actions in another case. The California state bar papers in that matter originate from a 2006 medical case where Hicks alleged but could not provide proof of proper legal summons, resulting in the temporary issuance of a default judgment.
The papers regarding Hicks’ subsequent ethical hearing include notations such as “Respondent’s misconduct harmed the administration of justice.” In that matter, Hicks was fined over $10 000, referred to legal ethics school, and required to pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination to return to active law practice.
Full Tilt Poker has yet to comment on the filing.
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