“If someone’s willing to pay a lawyer rather than pay to make it go away, that says a lot,” he said. Thomas is at risk for a judgment of more than $1.2 million. The recording association is seeking damages set under federal law of $750 to $30,000 for each copyright violation. “We repeatedly offer out-of-court settlements far less than what the law allows,” Lamy said. The lawsuits aim to “communicate that there are consequences for breaking the law and encourage fans to turn to legal online services.” Jury selection starts today in Duluth, Minn., and opening statements are expected the same day. Virgin, Capitol and Warner Bros. are among the record companies suing Thomas. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The Brainerd, Minn., resident is accused of illegally sharing 1,702 songs for free on a file-sharing network. Her trial offers the first chance for both sides in the debate over online music sharing to show a jury its version of the facts. Thomas is accused of violating the song owners’ copyrights. Her lawyer says the record companies haven’t even proved she shared the songs. Most of the 26,000 people the record industry group has sued have settled by paying a few thousand dollars. “We think that speaks to the clarity of the law here,” said Jonathan Lamy, a spokesman for the Recording Industry Association of America. But lawyers for the defendants say they’ve settled because trials cost tens of thousands of dollars. Thomas’ lawyer, Brian Toder, said she was determined to fight. He declined to make her available for an interview. By Joshua Freed THE ASSOCIATED PRESS MINNEAPOLIS – A group of record companies says Jammie Thomas illegally shared music as varied as Enya and Swedish death metal online. Today, she will become the first of 26,000 people sued by the recording industry to take the case to trial.