The Rakofsky Defamation Case (And Why I Won’t Be Posting Much)

Two weeks ago I ripped into Joseph Rakofsky, the newbie lawyer who took on a murder defense shortly after being sworn in as an attorney, and who was written about, up, down and sideways regarding his competence, ethics and marketing.

I wrote at the end of my post, “Yeah, I got more,” and I do. I could easily put up 5-6 new posts on the subject with material others have not yet addressed. This case is, after all, right in my blog’s wheelhouse.  The combination of local access to information along with strong opinions has the potential for potent blog posts. I’ve also defended a defamation case in the past, where my attitude was no different than here: GSIAH (Latin:  vade et caca in pilleum).

But I’ve elected not to write those posts. And this is why. I’m going to be local counsel for 30 of the 81 defendants. Marc Randazza will be petitioning the court for admission pro hac vice and I’ll be the local guy on the scene while he does the heavy lifting.

In writing this blog, I like to steer away from cases where I’m counsel, and I’ve written about that before. Shooting my mouth of as a defendant is one thing, but being an attorney of record is different. I’ve only written twice before about my cases on this blog. One was a day in the life series regarding a trial, and that was only posted after the trial was over, and I did it without names.  And the other was a response to a Newsday editorial on one of my cases that involves public officials.

This is one reason I don’t usually write about pending cases: Because regardless of the merits of an action, I still must speak with opposing counsel regarding routine administrative stuff. If a brief is due, or a conference scheduled, while my adversary is going to be in Disney World with her kids, she should feel comfortable calling me and telling me she needs extra time or a new court date. And that should be possible even if we are bonking heads on the merits. Because I would want the same in response. So long as each side extends those routine professional courtesies, things generally work smoothly without detriment to anyone’s rights. When one side refuses professional courtesies, things can quickly go off the rails. The client must come first. As it always has been around these parts.

So while I may share information about what is going on in the case, it likely won’t be accompanied by too much in the way of opinions. For me, writing about my adversary on this blog while I am counsel simply wouldn’t pass the smell test. That decision is my own. The mileage of other law bloggers may vary.

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