The lawyer for Joseph Rakofsky — who sued me and 80 other people/companies and other entities for defamation — has asked the Court for permission to withdraw as counsel. Richard Borzouye, counsel for Rakofsky, asserts in his moving papers that he had been threatened by Marc Randazza (seeking pro hac vice admission on my behalf and that of 34 other named defendants) with a wiretapping criminal complaint. This is a copy of the motion papers:Borzouye Motion to Withdraw
A copy of Mr. Randazza’s affidavit in reply to another motion gives a fuller recitation of the conversation(s) at issue. My own affidavit in another motion also discusses the problematic issue of Mr. Rakofsky’s corporation as a party to this suit, and the difficulties Mr. Rakofsky will have trying to act as its counsel.
For the out of town readers, under New York law an attorney can withdraw by asking the court to be relieved as counsel or with a stipulation substituting new counsel. But one cannot simply walk away from a case.
I will leave the commentary to others.
Update – 6/27/11: We have submitted an Affidavit in partial opposition to Borzouye’s motion to be relieved as counsel. The opposition is limited to making sure that the corporate plaintiff (Joseph Rakofsky, P.C.) has proper counsel before the court since a corporation can only proceed with a lawyer:Turkewitz-PartialOpp; also ExhibitB-PartialOpp
Update – 7/1/11: Mr. Borzouye has put in a Reply that is substantially identical to his moving affirmation. But the moving affirmation was apparently pulled from this motion and submitted in the pro hac vice motion. The details of how that occured can be read here.
Update – 7/23/11: The court grants Borzouye’s motion to be relieved with this language (though it disregards the Borzouye’s Reply Affirmation for this reason:”Not accepted as it was not filed”):Decison-RelievedAsCounsel
Upon the foregoing papers, the motion for an order permitting Richard D. Borzouye, of the law firm of Borzouye Law Firm, P.C., to withdraw as attorney of record for Plaintiffs, to which Plaintiffs do not object (and to which movant represents Plaintiffs consent), but to which some of the Defendants object, is granted in accordance with the following. Although Defendants objection to movant’s withdrawal is limited to their concern that new counsel should be substituted because a corporate defendant must appear by counsel, that is Plaintiffs concern, not theirs. It is hereby
ORDERED that the motion to withdraw is granted to the extent that Richard D. Borzouye, of the law firm of Borzouye Law Firm, P.C., is relieved as counsel for Plaintiffs, upon service of a copy of this Decision and Order, upon Plaintiffs by August 3, 2011, and service upon all appearing parties, with proof of service faxed to the court at 212-401-9045, and it is furtherORDERED that this action is stayed until September 14, 2011 for Plaintiffs to locate new counsel. Argument will be heard on the motion to admit pro hac vice on September 15, 2011 at 3PM.
This constitutes the Decision and Order of the Court.