Update (November 7, 2012): Not surprisingly, this case, described below, has settled on confidential terms. It is not surprising because the liability case seems very strong; the wherewithal of the defendants to pay a significant judgment on the other hand, maybe not so strong.
Update (March 27, 2012): Bernard Berrian has been unable to serve complaints on two of his targeted defendants and a third has gotten off the hook, for the time being at least, on a motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. (Here is the Second Amended Complaint.) So the botched extortion claim has been the subject of civil litigation for 15 months or so and one has to wonder whether the on-going prosecution of plaintiff’s claim could possibly end up with a recovery making the effort worthwhile.
Original post (January 31, 2011): Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Bernard Berrian went to the one device in Vegas fairly certain to yield a pay-out for cash, an ATM machine, but walked away from the ATM leaving his Blackberry™ smartphone behind.
Apparently Ronald R. Jones, AKA Ronald R. Sullivan or “Rod” decided that gambling $30,000 on extortion based on stumbling on Berrian’s blackberry was better odds than going against the house but it might not turn out that way for him. Chris Madel and Denise Rahne of Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi, representing Berrian, have had success before U.S. District Court Joan N. Ericksen in changing Mr. Jones’ likely payout dramatically. (Here is the Star Tribune coverage. Here is the original complaint.)