“As you get older it is harder to have heroes, but it is sort of necessary.”
This is an ode to someone I consider a mentor, a role model, and a friend. I’ve been criticized by my friends and family for being a little, shall we say, uncouth at times. Well, Marc Randazza, who is also known for being a little uncouth himself, is the lawyer I want to be. And I have no shame about admitting it.
Like Scott Greenfield put it:
It’s not always easy hanging out with Marc Randazza. He doesn’t mince words, and most of the ones he uses begin with “f” and end with “uck.” When compelled to use phrases, they tend to include such vivid images, like “circle jerk.” Surprisingly, not everyone feels as kindly toward such colorful language as Marc does. But that’s a large part of Marc’s point, that we get all hung up on concealing thoughts behind “nice” or inoffensive language.
I guess we have something in common. Yeah, I say “fuck” a lot. I have a pottymouth. I’m not going to sugarcoat stuff for you. Sorry.
I’ve written about this before, but I used to work in a corporate / commercial practice doing high end legal work. It was very boring. At one point, I was beginning to think of getting out of law entirely. Living life by billing in .1 increments and arguing motions to compel discovery requests in cases that were never going to trial wasn’t exactly exciting. There were many days when I said to myself “why did I go to law school?” You can rest assured that any letter telling opposing counsel that his client would be left in a “ thick and sticky coating of humiliation” would have probably gotten me fired.
Well, why did I go to law school? I like to think it was because I wanted to help people with their problems, and hopefully in a way that reflected my personality.
Then last year something sort of life-changing happened to me. And because of it, I had the pleasure of meeting Marc Randazza. Randazza helped me remember why I went to law school. When I read about Marc’s practice, I thought “Holy shit! THAT is awesome!” There is no one else who litigates with such awesome style and just plain badassness. Take this letter Marc wrote in an internet defamation case:
Rather than finding ourselves locked in an unpleasant dispute, from which Route 60 Hyundai will emerge covered in a thick and sticky coating of humiliation, I might suggest that we try to find a way that Route 60 Hyundai can emerge from this with its reputation somewhat rehabilitated. Naturally, asking you to send your demand letter was an ill-advised maneuver, and I am willing to wager that you told them so.
Then there is Marc’s work on the Joseph Rakofsky case case:
Rakofsky was not without comment, either: At about the same time that Judge Jackson dressed down Rakofsky’s performance as “not up to par under any reasonable standard of competence” (Exh. E at 5:18-19), Rakofsky triumphantly updated the status of his Facebook profile with “1st-Degree Murder… MISTRIAL!” A true and correct copy of this update as it appeared on March 31, 2011, is attached as Exhibit F. (DeVoy Aff. ¶ 11) At least seven of Rakofsky’s friends “liked” the update, while others congratulated him on what was presented as a resounding victory. (Exh. F) Plaintiff thanked his well-wishers for their support – propping up the notion that what happened in the Deaner case was a personal victory, rather than a professional embarrassment. (Id.) Mr. Deaner, who would now spend months extra in pretrialdetention due to Rakofsky’s incompetence, did not update his Facebook status.
Glenn Beck is the butt of a viral joke. He may not get the joke, but this does not make the joke likely to confuse or subject the domain name to transfer under the UDRP. Glenn Beck’s failure to understand these basic principles of law does not make the joke any less humorous, and does not make him any less of the butt. The First Amendment protects Respondent’s right to make Glenn Beck the butt, and his hypocritical attempts to squelch legitimate free speech criticism do nothing to portray himself in a more flattering light. Because his arguments do not satisfy Section 4(a) of the Policy, his request should be denied. Because he has attempted to silence a critic by circumventing (and thereby devaluing) the First Amendment — which he publically [sic] (and in this proceeding) claims to love — he should be deeply ashamed.
Randazza also coined the term “murum aries attigit — that is, “the ram has touched the wall,” a reference to the Roman practice of slaughtering everyone in a city without mercy if they do not surrender before the siege begins. I’ve often thought about using this myself in litigation.
I despise Rush Limbaugh. I despise almost everything I have ever heard him say. I wish that he were no longer on the air. That is why I write today to defend him against those who call for him to be silenced.
Free speech means tolerating views that you despise. Otherwise, one day, it will be your views that someone doesn’t like. If you don’t stand up for Limbaugh’s liberty today, someone may come for yours tomorrow. Discredit him, but don’t silence him.
But Marc isn’t just a badass because he’s funny or litigates interesting cases. No, Marc Randazza also knows more about First Amendment law, copyright law, and internet law than just about anyone I know. Marc Randazza is one of the most knowledgeable lawyers I’ve ever met.
If you are a friend, Marc has your back. Last week I had a few bad days — I had reason to believe that my family could be in danger. When Marc heard even the vaguest reference to it, he was on the phone telling me that in three hours he could be on my driveway camping out with a shotgun and a thermos of espresso. Of course, that was also his response when I asked him an obscure question about trademark law, but my point is that he’s there for you.
…any lawyer that so much as lifts his fucking head out of the mud to whisper a threat against my Fishtown brothers will be destroyed forever under my boot.
This might shock you, because I’m a D-List blogger, but Marc J. Randazza has taken all of my calls and returned all of my emails. I remember the first time we had a telephone conversation. After we got off the phone, I was like “Holy shit, I just had like an hour long conversation with Marc Randazza. How does that happen…?”
As a young lawyer, we all need mentors and role models. Well, Marc Randazza is my role model. I’m sure many of you reading this can tell.
Part of the reason I started my own practice was so that I could do stuff awesomely. Like Marc Randazza.
Edit: I’m not the only one who feels strongly about the awesome that is Marc Randazza:
The Time I Unleashed Marc Randazza On The ABA
Marc Randazza, Hero
Marc Randazza Would Support Me, Right?
Marc Randazza: The Mark of Excellence
Marc Randazza: 1st Amendment Lawyer Exemplar
Marc Randazza: Super Lawyer, Super Blogger?
Marc Randazza, First Amendment Lawyer, on the Rush Limbaugh Fiasco
Marc Randazza: A Sentinel For Free Speech
Marc Randazza — First Amendment Badass
Marc Randazza – the First Amendment’s Finest Friend
Marc Randazza – Driving the White Caddy
The Practice: A Lawyer to Emulate – Marc Randazza