In a motion this week, a lawyer representing photographers in copyright suits asked that Judge Kaplan recuse himself after a recent order observed that other judges in the District had referred to the lawyer as a “copyright troll.” The order described the over one thousand cases filed by this particular lawyer as “strike suits, designed to extort settlements.” According to the motion, the word “troll” was “meant to defame, degrade, and stereotype a person as a rotten miscreant or nefarious villian” and thus warranted recusal. The motion also noted that no settlement offer had been made, and that the plaintiff had only sought judgment on the merits against the defendant (a media company that had allegedly infringed on the plaintiff photographer’s copyright).

In a short response, the defendant provided an email to the court showing that the plaintiff had offered to settle the action shortly after it was filed.