Archive for the ‘First Amendment’ Category

More Motions to Dismiss Against Dr. Michael Katz

DrMicheaelKatz-Pinocchio

Justice Hart’s opinion of Dr. Katz.

Your familiarity with the defamation suit against me by Dr. Michael Katz will be presumed. Very briefly, he’s the guy that sued me because Justice Duane Hart called him a liar about 25 times and I reported it. He can’t sue the judge, so he figured he would sue me. I’ve moved to dismiss and have him sanctioned for his frivolous suit, frivolous conduct, and making an improper demand for $200 million.

My co-defendants have now also made motions to dismiss. Samson Freundlich did a “me too” motion (Affid – Freundlich) that includes this gem of a sentence that gave me a laugh:

I hereby reiterate, stress, pinpoint, underscore, focus, resonate, emphasize and magnify their same, similar and identical legal posture to myself, defendant SAMSON FREUNDLICH and incorporate into this affirmation all of their said motion papers-including, but not limited to, their memorandum of law with their annexed respective exhibits previously submitted to this honorable court and heretofore respectfully adopt, restate and recapitulate, without exception, all of their legal and factual arguments presented therein in their entirety.

And co-defendants Lester, Schwab, Katz & Dwyer and its partner Paul Kassirer, cross-moved with this filing today: Memo of Law. Theirs is a bit different than ours since we did an original publication of blog posts and theirs deals primarily with an email that Kassirer sent.

Additional documents in that filing are Kassirer’s Affidavit and this July 29 Order where the defendants in the underlying action tried to get a different doctor to do a new defense medical exam after Justice Hart made mincemeat out of Katz, out of concern that Katz would be shredded on cross-examination due to the judicial findings by Justice Hart that he had lied. That application for a new medical-legal exam was denied.

Motion to Dismiss/Sanction Against Dr. Michael Katz

DrMicheaelKatz-Pinocchio

This is what Justice Duane Hart thinks of Dr. Michael Katz

Remember how I reported that I’d been sued again for defamation? Justice Duane Hart in Queens had ripped Dr. Michael Katz a new one in open court for acting like Pinocchio. And the good doctor, not being able to sue the judge for calling him a “liar” about 25 times or so, figured he would sue me instead for reporting it. (Shooting the Messenger (I’ve Been Sued Again))

Both Scott Greenfield (Turkewitz Sued By “Liar” Doctor, Michael Katz) and Marc Randazza (Judge Admonishes Expert Witness – Expert Witness Sues Blogger Who Reported On It) mocked the lawsuit.

Well, the motion to dismiss was filed this morning. And with it, the motion for sanctions. Against both the doctor and the lawyers who drafted this misbegotten, ill-advised, mongrel of a suit destined for the trash heap of history.

Having sued me on five separate causes of action, the memo runs a bit long. But this is the lede from the Memo of Law:

Last year Justice Duane Hart in Queens made numerous acidic comments about well-known defense orthopedist Michael J. Katz, calling him a liar at least 25 times (among other things). Eric Turkewitz reported on these extraordinary court proceedings on his law blog. Since Katz can’t sue the judge, he sued Turkewitz instead for reporting on what the judge said, claiming defamation, as well as a kitchen sink of other claims based on the exact same protected conduct. Not only must the case be dismissed since such reportage is absolutely protected by the law, but sanctions should be imposed against the plaintiffs for each of the clearly frivolous claims.

Part of that kitchen sink of claims that were alleged, to act as a bastard surrogate for defamation, is prima facie tort. About this, the brief says:

Prima facie tort was designed to provide a remedy for intentional and malicious actions that cause harm and for which no traditional tort provides a remedy. It is not a catch-all alternative for every grievance, annoyance, gripe and squawk  that is not independently viable.  There is no cause of action for saying mean things about someone on the Internet. Not in this country.

For those that care about the sanctions part, and what it means in New York, the brief gets there at page 28 after deconstructing each of the causes of action, and includes this piece:

It is important to note that the CPLR sanctions are set at $10,000 per prevailing party and each individual claim.  For the purposes of this matter, there are two plaintiffs and two defendants and five frivolous claims, thus subjecting the plaintiffs to as much as $200,000 in costs under CPLR 8303-a.  A long analysis of this subject was done by Justice Lebedeff in In Re Entertainment Partners Group, Inc. v. Davis,.

The complaint he filed is here, where Katz confesses in exquisite and meticulous fashion about the judicial reaming he got. You’ll find it on pages 15-30. Yeah, you read that right, it took him 15 pages to describe all the times he was called a liar.

Having confessed, conceded, declared, attested and otherwise sung to the world that Justice Katz did, in fact, call him a liar, it is remarkable that any lawyer would take this matter and sue me for reporting on what happened in court. Any lawyer worth a damn knows the suit is empty, which means to me that the only logical reason it could have been taken is either because Katz offered the firm enough money to do so, or Katz is a friend/relative of someone at the firm. But friends don’t let friends file frivolous suits.

Which is why the most important word a lawyer needs to know is “no.” Placing your client, and yourself, in the line of fire for sanctions is, as we say in legalese, an ill-considered, imprudent, insane, misguided, half-baked, bird-brained, blockheaded, short-sighted and otherwise dumb-ass thing to do. I’ve said this before my friends, and I’ll say it again: I have a thesaurus and I’m not afraid to use it.

For those that care about such things, this is the transcript of the original testimony on April 12 2013.

The transcript of the July 1st proceeding is here.

The transcript of the July 8th proceeding is here.

A supporting affidavit from my counsel is here.

The video of the one minute and 56 second exam that Katz did was up on YouTube, but YouTube took it down, despite it being part of a legal proceeding.
——————

Update (7/31/14): My co-defendants have now also moved to dismiss.

Lawyering Under the Lights (And Thoughts on the Rakofsky Dismissal)

spotlight_r

OK, the Rakofsky v. Internet decision is in, and the motions to dismiss were all granted. The motion for sanctions was denied. (Your familiarity with the facts will be assumed.) You can read a variety of opinions on the subject here: Simple JusticeTechdirt, Popehat, Lawyernomics, Philly Law Blog, My Shingle.

But I’m not writing to rehash the opinion (Here, if you want to read it). I’m writing instead because of the bizarre scenario that occurred where I wore three different hats. And to give my thoughts on standing my ground in this fight.

First I was a blogger that mentioned Rakofsky in a post about attorney advertising.

Then I was a defamation defendant telling him to go shit in a hat after he sued me for stating my opinion, along with a gazillion others.

And then I was local counsel for 35 defendants (16 authors). Almost all of them were highly opinionated attorneys, had law blogs, and knew perfectly well how to stand on their own two feet in the well of the courtroom. (Client list) There wasn’t a flinching fawn anywhere in this group.

I took the gig as local counsel because I assumed it would be easy. The case clearly had no merit, would need a simple motion to dismiss, and  **poof** it would be gone. I figured six months, tops, and First Amendment guru Marc Randazza was going to do all the heavy lifting as our pro hac vice counsel while I worried about local procedure on my home court.

Now lawyers working either on contingency or for a flat fee make those kinds of calls all the time, balancing the time they think they will invest in a matter against the value gained. But this took two years, confounding all expectations, and required a lot of extra time with some pretty sharp minds looking on. While I’ve had high profile cases before — including one that hit 60 Minutes some years back — I didn’t have blogging lawyers as clients and a profusion of popcorn eating armchair pundits looking on and reading the filings.

Most readers only know me through this blog, not by watching the actual practice of law. I have a separate website for my law practice (which I still hate), and I do that on purpose.  The contents over here are opinion and news, and the contents over there are a digital brochure for lawyering. I rarely link to the website, or even mention it, and it’s seldom visited relative to this blog’s traffic. People here don’t watch me practice law.

But everything was now different as I became a crazy cocktail of blogger, defendant and lawyer — shaken (not stirred) together. And folks were watching.

Given that blogger/defendant/lawyer brew , it puts me in a good position to shed some light on why this took two years, as some have criticized New York’s judiciary system for the delay. This is the short version of the procedural morass — including plaintiffs’ counsel quitting and our first judge retiring:

I know that this seems like a lot, but it really is the short version.  It should have been simple, but it wasn’t. That sucks for those involved, but really, what were the odds that the plaintiffs’ lawyer would quit and then the judge would retire? Those were both biggies.

Is it possible the case could go on further with an appeal? I suppose it is, but as pointed out elsewhere, the judge was quite charitable toward Rakofsky by not sanctioning him, perhaps believing he’d been punished enough with the scathing online commentary, albeit much of it brought on by his own conduct.

But appellate judges might not be as dismissive as the trial court was of his having held himself out as a New York lawyer and putting a New York law office on his letterhead when he’s not admitted here. Leaving aside the cost of an appeal, there is much to lose by having appellate judges look at the conduct that many were already criticizing.

I gave up long ago trying to make predictions about this case, so I won’t make any here about whether it’s truly over. In fact, I try not to make predictions on any of my cases since the vagaries of life and litigation tend to upset the prediction applecart.

But assuming it is over, since that is what logic tells me, we move to the ultimate question: Was it worth being part of the defense team?

first-amendment-719591The answer has to be yes. The clients I have are like-minded individuals that cherish the First Amendment and are willing to fight for it. They could have easily ponied up the $5,000 that Rakofsky wanted early on to make the case go away, but they elected to fight. These are the types of people you want in your foxhole.

The message should go out loud and clear to all that consider bringing a frivolous suit against us. We make our living within the justice system, many of us by battling in the courtroom well. We have a pretty good grasp of how the courts work and the bounds of our freedom to speak and to write that are immortalized in the Bill of Rights.

We think it’s important to shine a light on ethical issues that we see with respect to attorney conduct that we believe crosses red lines, in the grand hope that such light becomes a disinfectant for the legal community. We do not want to see the cops’ Blue Code of Silence or the medical community’s White Coat of Silence darken our profession.

We will not cower or wilt under fear of empty threats or vacuous suits. Those that attempt such intimidation will find hardened and opinionated citizens who don’t care to relinquish our rights to speak freely. We know how to stand on the ramparts to fight for those rights, and we know how to win.  Representing such resolute individuals, despite the procedural shambles that ensued, has been my honor.

Was it worth doing? You’re damn right it was.

Holding My Tongue

Last weekend a story lit up around the legal blogosphere about a troublemaker named Carlos Miller.

Miller, it seems, wanted to take pictures and video on the Miami-Dade Metrorail. The security guards — a private company called 50 State Security — told him to stop, because it was illegal. He said no, because he knew it was perfectly legal. He got roughed up and arrested for his efforts.

He could have said no, of course, and gone on his merry way. That is, in fact, what 99% of the population would do. It seems like such a small thing to do; just turn off the camera.

But Miller isn’t part of the 99%. He’s part of the 1%. He has a website called Photography Is Not A Crime, where he documented his altercation. You can see the video of what happened. With a website by that name, it doesn’t take a genius to quickly figure out that Miller has an agenda. He risked being beaten up — or worse if things escalated as such things tend to do — for his agenda.

The story buzzed quickly around the blogosphere, so I won’t rehash all the details. You can read them from , GreenfieldPhilly Law Blog and many more.

But I held my tongue, or in the case, backed slowly away from the keyboard. The story broke January 21st, and I was picking a jury in a medical malpractice case the next day in an upstate (read: conservative) county.

While it wouldn’t take me long to type up a post on the subject, what would happen if a juror (impermissibly) Googled me and saw the post? What if I had a different opinion about troublemaker Carlos Miller than the juror?

I have the burden of proof at trial and need five out of six jurors to agree with my presentation to return a favorable verdict. And that post would be the very first thing that a juror would see.

The criminal defense bar gets the opportunity to be, well, a bit more colorful if they want. They only need one juror on their side, giving them more leeway.

Two short points: First, clients come first. They always have, they always will. Any practicing lawyer who blogs, and has the burden of proof at trial, has to pick stories very carefully.

Second, about Miller. While it might sound trite for me to quote a commercial when discussing him, I couldn’t get it out of my mind on the long drive back home. Nor could I dismiss the images used in that commercial, of Einstein, King, Ali, Earhart and so many more. The commercial is iconic:

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. But the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. While some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.

You can read Marc Randazza’s take on the case for the reason’s why Carlos Miller is a troublemaker to celebrate.

Blogging and Guns Drawn and Memorial Day

A terrifying story over at Patterico’s Pontifications, written by conservative blogger and Los Angeles prosecutor Patrick Frey. This is a very short snippet:

At 12:35 a.m. on July 1, 2011, sheriff’s deputies pounded on my front door and rang my doorbell. They shouted for me to open the door and come out with my hands up.

When I opened the door, deputies pointed guns at me and ordered me to put my hands in the air. I had a cell phone in my hand. Fortunately, they did not mistake it for a gun.

They ordered me to turn around and put my hands behind my back. They handcuffed me. They shouted questions at me: IS THERE ANYONE ELSE IN THE HOUSE? and WHERE ARE THEY? and ARE THEY ALIVE?

Considering that the issue of free speech is how the cops arrived at his door, the story is extraordinary. Why they arrived at his door is the subject of his piece.

On the same subject, Popehat has a piece on why free speech is important, not just for those you agree with, but for those you don’t.

And Scott Greenfield has more on why it’s so important to pass the word around regarding these issues.

This is Memorial Day weekend. People fought and died for this country based upon its core principles. One of those principles is free speech. It’s something to think about when you see those flags in your neighborhood.

Banning Anonymous Speech: Reality Mimics April Fool’s Gag

Really, who’d a thunk it? On April 1st I went live with a gag about Joe Lieberman proposing to ban anonymous speech on the Internet. I used a new blog: McIntyre v. Ohio to run it anonymously. Lots of fun was had, and I did a deconstruction of the hoax the day after, but no journalists were actually taken in.

But were real life politicians actually suckered into it? Or did they come up with this idea on his own?

Two bills  now pending in the New York State Senate and Assembly propose to ban anonymous speech. Yes, this would be in flagrant disregard of prior constitutional case law on the First Amendment. And that primary case is McIntyre v. Ohio for which my “other blog” is named.

The legislation — conjured due to concerns over cyber-bullying — would require anyone with a website:

“upon request remove any comments posted on his or her web site by an anonymous poster unless such anonymous poster agrees to attach his or her name to the post and confirms that his or her IP address, legal name, and home address are accurate.” By “web site,” the bill means just what it seems to: Any New York-based website, including “social networks, blogs forums, message boards or any other discussion site where people can hold conversations in the form of posted messages.”

The bills will go nowhere, of course, because the First Amendment allows anonymous speech. For a good read on the long and deep history of such speech in the United States, read the concurring opinion of Justice Clarence Thomas in McIntyre.

For more on the subject:

New York to Publius: You’re Done Bully Boy (Simple Justice)

The New York Bill that Would Ban Anonymous Online Speech (Time)

Laughable Online Censorship Attempt Won’t Last a New York Minute (Huffington Post)

As for those that were in on my April Fool’s gag, they deserve once again their due credit for assisting:

Joe Lieberman v. the Internet: It’s not over. (Adam B. @ Daily Kos)

End of Section 230 Protection for Bloggers? (PattericoPatterico’s Pontifications)

Thanks To Senator Lieberman, You Guys Are Going To Get Me Sued (KenPopehat)

Dear Commenters: We Can’t Protect You Anymore (MystalAbove the Law)

Anti-terrorism law threatens First amendment? (Frank Point of Law)

Section 230 Amendment strips websites of immunity from anonymous commenters(RandazzaLegal Satyricon)

A Free Speech Disaster — The End of Anonymous Commenting? (CubanThe Cuban Revolution)

Lieberman to Internet: You’re Fungus (Greenfield Simple Justice)

Anonymous Commenting Legislation By Joe Lieberman? (TannebaumMy Law License)

Blind-Squirrel Lieberman Finds Acorn (BennettDefending People)

A One-Two-Punch Against Free Speech (DraughnWindy Pundit)

The Community You Create (Zubon Kill Ten Rats)

First Amendment Malpractice (Barovick at NY Medical Malpractice Law)

Will Free Speech in America Meet Its Match In Lieberman? (WiseWise Law Blog)

 

Rakofsky Moves to Amend His Defamation Case (Updated x2)

Joseph Rakofsky, as seen on a copy of his website, which has since been taken down.

Joseph Rakofsky, who last year sued the Internet for defamation and then amended his suit to add more parties, is now asking the court for permission to amend his suit again.

The proposed Second Amended Complaint weighs in at a staggering 268 pages, with 1,223  separately numbered paragraphs. No, I haven’t read it, but I see that it does contain a brand new tort he calls Internet mobbing, which I understand is a claim that prohibits use of the Internet for criticism and revokes the First Amendment. Feel free to wander amidst the legalese and let me know what these papers actually claim.

I will get to it, of course, since I am one of the defendants and also local counsel to 35 defendants. Marc Randazza is lead counsel for our group.

The motion to amend is made because, in New York, you only get to amend a complaint once as of right, which right he already used up just days after starting the suit. After that judicial permission is needed, or else a plaintiff could be constantly moving the goal posts making the case impossible to defend to conclusion.

Mr. Rakofsky also asks for additional relief in the form of amending the caption to correct the name of the lead defendant, the Washington Post, which had originally reported the story of Mr. Rakofsky’s troubles defending a murder trial in Washington D.C. and the judge’s highly uncharitable comments about his representation. The same judge added more just weeks ago when Rakofsky’s former client was sentenced to 10 years after a plea, and called the defense “clueless” and “motivated by self-interest,” according to Jamison Koehler who practices in that neck of the woods.

Other requested relief is to delete eight defendants from the caption because they settled with Rakofsky, including St. Thomas School of Law. And he seeks a default judgment against seven defendants who didn’t bother to answer the complaint at all, presumably because they are out of state and not subject to jurisdiction in New York.

Previously he had moved to add Yahoo! Google and Tech Dirt, but that relief is not mentioned in the Notice of Motion. The current attempt to amend the amended complaint is actually shorter this time than last.

There are numerous motions pending to dismiss. These papers do not address any of those motions.

Documents:

Cross-Motion and Affidavits (total, three pages)

2nd Amend Complaint pt 1 (part 1, 118 pages)

2nd Amend Complaint pt 2 (part 2, 151 pages)

Update (6/8/12):

My Affidavit in Opposition: ET-OppAffFinal

Our Memo of Law in Opposition: Rakofsky Opp to SAC -Final

Update (6/26/12):

Rakofsky’s Reply Memo of Law:ReplyOnMotionToAmend

 

Section 230 April Fool’s Hoax – A Deconstruction

Is it April 2nd already?

Welcome to April 2nd, and that means deconstructing yesterday’s web hoax that dealt with a phony bill by Senator Joe Lieberman that would effectively ban anonymous commentary on the Internet. The bill does this by stripping away the immunity that content providers currently enjoy from Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. That would expose bloggers, forum owners and a panoply of others to potential liability. It played out on a dozen blogs that were all in on the joke.

How do I know it was just a joke? Do you really have to ask? If you’re just checking in to this blog for the first time you will find out by looking at this posting of mine from yesterday that this is the fifth year in a row I’ve done one of these. But since I’m now known (in the legal blogosphere) for running an annual gag, I created a new blog in February just for this purpose, to mask my identity: McIntyre v. Ohio. Prior to yesterday, the readership of that blog had been six Bulgarian spam bots and that guy Ken from Popehat. Thanks, Ken.

The new blog is dedicated to anonymous free speech, and named for the leading Supreme Court case on the subject. The idea for it popped into my brain late last year when Senator Lieberman asked Twitter to kill the Taliban feed. Obviously, the government can’t just shoot down someone’s speech rights, no matter how vile, because of that whole First Amendment thingie. This country was built on the marketplace of ideas prevailing, so the answer to political speech with which we disagree has always been “more speech.”

So the April Fool’s idea was that Lieberman would circumvent the First Amendment issue by simply stripping away the immunity that web hosts enjoy, thereby scaring the bejesus out of everyone in the private sector that is in any way involved with a web forum, and forcing people to kill controversial speech out of fear of litigation. It was called the Accountability for Free Discussion Act, or AFD, which is also the acronym for yesterday’s fun fest.

This was the premise: If a whole bunch of bloggers started talking about a major bill that would completely alter the Internet in this country, would any major media company publish the story despite it being unconfirmed and it being revealed on April Fool’s Day?  The great problem, news-wise, of the digital age is the need to get to a story first, or at least fast.  All too often that means taking shortcuts when first is defined in hours, or minutes. The old journalism adage is, if your mother tells  you she loves you, check it out. But that sometimes falls by the wayside.

Lieberman was a perfect (unwitting) straight man for this because, as a pragmatic centrist, he is disliked by passionate ideologues on both sides of the political aisle. That means that there are a lot people who want a negative story about him to be true. People like seeing stories that confirm their own feelings and they are often willing to accept such stories without additional confirmation. (Political commercials feed on this to energize political bases.) One sample comment from someone suspending belief in the hope it was true came out of Daily Kos:

You know, if it was anyone else I’d think it was an April Fool’s joke.
But Lieberman is such a weasel, it has to be true.

There were other reasons for Lieberman as well. The Senator is retiring, making him a good target since there is no political fallout if constituents should actually believe it but don’t realize it was a prank. He is also the chairman of the committee on Homeland Security and can voice such a bill in an anti-terrorism context, with accountability being used as a means to disrupt anonymous communications in various forums. But perhaps the best reason to use Lieberman is that he wore a baseball cap to President Obama’s inauguration. Really Senator, what the hell were you thinking?

The major complicating factor in all this was that April Fool’s Day  fell on a Sunday. Sunday sucks for news and blogs but  we can’t change the calendar.

We tried to use that ugly fact to our best advantage. I figured that if we struck at dinnertime, under the assumption that all of the other April Fool’s gags had played themselves out by that point, we might have a better shot. Also, it would be far less likely for anyone from Lieberman’s office to quickly put out a denial. (If he did put out a denial, we were going to claim victory in that the bill had been withdrawn.) Essentially, the only people still involved with April Fool’s by this time were two groups: kids those telling the same joke for the 30th time because their parents laughed the first time to humor the child, and other kids trying to pawn off the last of the bug-flavored jelly beans.

So we slipped the story out at dinnertime on that  little, bitty blog where the plan was for it to be promptly “found” by a “real” blog, Daily Kos, and then quickly spread. Most of the co-conspirator bloggers that you see below had actually written their bits a few days in advance. We only had a couple hours to create a viral political story from whole cloth. Did we get major media? No. And kudos to those that saw it but didn’t bite.

But were other folks taken in? You bet. And  not just anyone, but the super cynical types that read political blogs and don’t generally believe much of anything — unless it confirms their worst perceptions about others.  Just read the comments at Patterico (politically right) and Daily Kos (politically left) if you don’t believe me.

One big source of inbound traffic was a popular forum called Hacker News. I felt bad about that because, well, those folks are a lot smarter than us and know how to break our digital windows. (Please. Don’t. Keep reading.)

But before any of you get angry at me or my co-conspirators listed below, remember this: Each of the authors participated because we feel strongly about protecting the First Amendment. (I’ve twice defended defamation claims, one in the past and one currently.) So while you may have been fooled for a few hours, or even angered, you should know that those who did the fooling are your teammates in vigilance against those that wish to encroach on our rights to speak freely.  Most of the jokesters are lawyers. We get it.

There are civil libertarians on both sides of the aisle:

Joe Lieberman v. the Internet: It’s not over. (Adam B. @ Daily Kos)

End of Section 230 Protection for Bloggers? (Patterico @ Patterico’s Pontifications)

Thanks To Senator Lieberman, You Guys Are Going To Get Me Sued (KenPopehat)

Dear Commenters: We Can’t Protect You Anymore (MystalAbove the Law)

Anti-terrorism law threatens First amendment? (Frank Point of Law)

Section 230 Amendment strips websites of immunity from anonymous commenters (Randazza @ Legal Satyricon)

A Free Speech Disaster — The End of Anonymous Commenting? (Cuban @ The Cuban Revolution)

Lieberman to Internet: You’re Fungus (Greenfield @ Simple Justice)

Anonymous Commenting Legislation By Joe Lieberman? (Tannebaum @ My Law License)

Blind-Squirrel Lieberman Finds Acorn (Bennett @ Defending People)

A One-Two-Punch Against Free Speech (Draughn @ Windy Pundit)

The Community You Create (Zubon @ Kill Ten Rats)

First Amendment Malpractice (Barovick at NY Medical Malpractice Law)

Will Free Speech in America Meet Its Match In Lieberman? (Wise @ Wise Law Blog)

There are some who may wonder why I go to all the bother of doing this each year. You will find the answer to that question in the same place where I explained why I not only  dressed up in a turkey suit at Thanksgiving time, but actually published the pictures.

Finally, I’ve now run gags regarding the Supreme Court, the White House, and now Congress. I’m officially retired from the April Fool’s dodge. For real. My wife told me if I do this again she will kill me. Then divorce me.

Besides, when you think about it, what else is there? I mean, I know the U.N. is just down the street from my office, but how could that possibly be any fun?

No clients were injured in the creation, publication and execution of this hoax.

Rakofsky Motion #10: Washington City Paper Moves to Dismiss

The Washington City Paper, a freebie delivered around the streets of our nation’s capitol, is also a defendant in the Joseph Rakofsky defamation case. They published this article on April 4th about the mistrial, written by Rend Smith.

The paper is represented by the same attorneys as Jeanne O’Halleran, that being James Rosenfeld and Samuel Bayard of Davis Wright Tremaine.

Note that I do not publish all documents, since so many are redundant. There is no need to publish, for example, an attorney’s affirmation that merely attaches a copy of the Amended Complaint and other previously published documents in every one of these posts. Readers can use the Joseph Rakofsky category link to find documents that they might not see here.

Also, please note that since I became local counsel to many of the defendants, I’ve elected not to add substantive commentary. But the papers are made available here due to the widespread interest in the case.

Documents:

Rend Smith Affidavit

Amy Austin Affidavit

Talmadge Bailey Affidavit

Memo of Law

Rakofsky Motion #9: O’Halleran Motion to Dismiss (Updated)

Yesterday we saw motion #8, the Washington Post‘s motion to dismiss the Joseph Rakofsky defamation case. Now today we see #9, regarding defendant Jeanne O’Halleran, a Georgia attorney, who was swept into this mess because she posted about this story on a local Georgia forum. She is represented by James Rosenfeld and Samuel Bayard of Davis Wright Tremaine.

Also, note that there are two new exhibits that have not been filed before:  Exhibit B is the court proceedings from the day before the mistrial when defendant Deaner asks for a new lawyer. And Exhibit D, which is the motion of investigator Adrian Bean that includes commentary the “trick” email that the Washington Post subsequently published.

Documents:

O’Halleran Affidavit

Memo of Law

Exh B – March 31 Proceedings

Exh D – InvesigatorMotion

Update 6/25/12: O’Halleran Reply Memo: O’Halleran Reply Memo

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