This appeal concerns the question of whether it is proper for a court to enter,
as a sanction for litigation non-compliance, a default judgment and a seven-figure
statutory damages award against a penurious individual who facing related (but
ultimately abandoned) criminal charges arising from the same claims; who is
unrepresented by civil counsel during the pendency of the default motion but has
been advised by assigned criminal counsel not to do more than assert his Fifth
Amendment right against self-incrimination in the civil case; and who is accused
of the “crime” of “wrongfully” using his own family name by the institutional
holder of a registered trademark historically based on that same family name –
conduct which, even upon the default entered against him, the district court
acknowledged made him no money and regarding which there was no proof that it
ever harmed the plaintiffs.
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