Tor Ekeland, P.C. is committed to taking on pro bono, low bono and “pay as you can” clients for computer law cases we consider important, particularly those involving the notorious Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Over the last four years we’ve taken on five major criminal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act cases across the country and have invested heavily in them with our time and money.
We relied on angel donors and our own money to get us to the unanimous appellate win in U.S. v. Andrew “weev” Auernheimer, with the Third Circuit Court of Appeals vacating our client’s conviction and freeing him from jail. We spent our own money to rent the car and pick him up hours outside of New York City the same day his conviction was vacated. In Texas we represented Fidel Salinas pro bono in U.S. v. Fidel Salinas, wrestling down a 44 Felony Count CFAA and Cyberstalking indictment to a single misdemeanor plea. Also in Texas we represented on a “low bono” basis Michael Thomas in U.S. v. Michael Thomas, a case we consider to be important as to the scope of the definition of damage without authorization under the CFAA. After securing a time served awaiting trial sentence for our client we are currently appealing the verdict to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. In California we represent Matthew Keys pro bono in U.S. v. Matthew Keys, a case we are appealing to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In Tennessee, we represented Matthew DeHart pro bono, ultimately negotiating a plea deal down resulting in his release in 2 ½ years, rather than potentially decades, once time served was applied, ending his nightmarish ordeal.
We worked alongside the Courage Foundation on Matthew DeHart, and also work with them in our role as U.S. lawyers for alleged U.K. hacker Lauri Love who is currently battling extradition to the U.S. And there are others who remain anonymous.
We are constantly called by hackers in need on cases we’d like to take but can’t because of our limited resources. We are still paying off the debts incurred on some of these cases.
This puts us at a disadvantage when up against the considerable resources of the federal government, as we are a small law firm that constantly has to balance our need to stay afloat by taking on paying clients with our commitment to battling the draconian nature of the United States’ computer crime laws. The more time we have to spend with paying clients the less time we have to spend on our equally deserving clients who lack resources to pay us. Practicing law is expensive, particularly since we take on clients from all over the country and world. This means we can only afford to take on so many of these matters and keep our lights on.
Donations help us ensure we can afford to cover the many expenses necessary to litigate these matters.
Common expenses include, but are not limited to:
Data Storage; printing; transcription costs; filing fees; shipping; research, electronic discovery and discovery review platforms; expert witnesses; travel expenses for ourselves and experts; process servers; trial graphics; late night transportation; overtime for our support staff; prison e-mail and phone accounts; and general overhead: office rent, software, internet and phone bills, legal research subscriptions, and payroll as needed to keep us open.
We would also love to be able to afford things that would improve our services to these clients, like purchasing Encase 7 forensics software, and the ability to bring our whole team with us to out of state trials.
Donations toward our General Legal Defense Fund (LDF) are applied toward our pro bono and “pay as you can” invoices and expenses based on urgency and age at our discretion.