Can you handle our case on this matterโ€ฆ

June 27, 2012

I got this gem a few minutes ago. Naturally suspicious, I searched the email address and got thisย (file under:ย Anti-Fraud Internationalย >ย Scammer Centralย >ย Legal counsel (collection) fake check scams). Gee, how surprising.

So I responded.

I’ll let you know how this relationship works out.

Ranaan Katz and Alan Kluger: “Sue Everybody! Punitive Damages!”

June 26, 2012

With so many Censorious Asshats to follow this month (Brett Kimberlin, Joseph Rakofsky), the Ranaan Katz thing kind of slipped under my radar.

In short, Raanan Katz is a part owner of the Miami Heat. He suedย Irina Chevaldinaย in state court due to stuff she posted on a blog called RK Associates USA. With that lawsuit moving slowly, Katz filed another lawsuit against her and Google, this time in federal for copyright infringement, due to an unflattering picture of Katz on the blog.

I don’t know what Katz alleges Chevldina did that is defamatory or whether or not the lawsuit has merit. I haven’t looked into it. I don’t really care all that much. All I know is that a rich guy who owns part of the Miami Heat is suing a blogger. Chevldina is represented by Marc Randazza.ย Randazzaย sums the suit up like this:

I am representing a SLAPP defendant. The case has gone viral, since the plaintiff is a part-owner of the Miami Heat. The short version is that the Defendant writes about a rich guy. Rich guy sues, and not too many people pick up the story. Rich guy tries to get an injunction against speech. We opposed the case vigorously, including this opposition to the motion for a preliminary injunction. ย Plaintiffโ€™s side then filed a copyright infringement suit against my client and Google. (Freakinโ€™ Google!) Rich guy happens to be part owner of the Miami Heat. On the day the Heat celebrated their World Championship, the whole world points at Plaintiff and starts laughing.

Katz’s lawyer has evenย threatened to sue people who report the story:

In the meantime, Levine has strong words for anyone who would consider writing about Katz’s lawsuit. “I’d ask you not to publish anything about this,” he says. “Even pointing people toward that blog could constitute further defamation.”

With two lawsuits againstย Chevldina, one against Google, and threat of suit directed at anyone who links toย Chevldina’s blog, guess what? Katzs wants to sue MORE people!

Katz’s attorney, Alan Klugerย ofย Kluger, Kaplan, Silverman, Katzen & Levine, P.L., is now threatening to sue Marc Randazza and his local counsel Robert Kain for defendingย Chevldina.

Sue everybody! PUNITIVE DAMAGES!

As you might imagine, this type of tacticย isn’t permitted in litigation. Accordingly, Randazza has moved for a protective order.

This scorchedย earth tactic is a pretty dumb idea, in my opinion. An attorney in Philadelphia was disbarred for, among other things, filing frivolous lawsuits against opposing counsel.

But hey, when you’ve got a lot of money to spend, just sue everybody until they shut up!

Aaron Worthing files federal lawsuit against convicted terrorist Brett Kimberlin for Kimberlin’s use of lawfare

June 23, 2012

Brett Kimberlin, convicted of bombing, attempted murder, perjury, drug trafficking, illegal use of Department of Defense insignia and the Seal of the President of the United States, and impersonation of a federal officer, uses the legal system to harass and silence his critics, including Aaron Worthing.

The tides have turned!

Blogger Aaron Worthing, through his counsel Bruce Godfrey and Dan Backer, have filed a federal lawsuit against Brett Kimberlin. Popehat has a copy of the Complaint here. Worthing has also moved for a temporary restraining order.

If you want to know about the Brett Kimberling / Aaron Worthing saga, check out Popehat.

Should I Start a Law Practice?

June 23, 2012

These are my musings on starting your own law practice. Take them for what they’re worth…

I’m going to preface this post with a quote from a friend of mine, who will remain anonymous: “I went into solo practice after getting laid off from biglaw. I worked in biglaw for over 10 years… this was such a change. My first year in solo practice, I made about $7,000. I went from making over $150,000 a year to $7,000. I lost everything that year – my savings, my IRA, I even had to sell my car and my motorcycle… at one point, I actually went on food stamps. I felt bad, being a lawyer and getting food stamps, but I qualified for them. Things are finally starting to turn around, but man, I lost everything…”

A stark contrast from what you hear over at Solo Practice University, where all solos are happy, making lots of money, and spending their time just generally being awesome. (well, the solos who sign up and pay money, of course!)

As you might imagine, I get a lot of calls and emails that go like this:

“Hey Jordan, I hate working for this law firm. I’m thinking about starting a solo practice. What are your thoughts?”, or “Hey man, I just graduated law school and I can’t find a job. What are your thoughts on opening up a solo practice? Is it realistic for me? How much will it cost? I don’t have anything in the bank right now except $70, but that’s already spent…”

I wish the answer was “Hanging a shingle is a license to print money! Everything is so awesome. When I’m not counting my money, I’m out driving my new BMW and spending my summers down the Jersey Shore! Every lawyer should be a solo! You don’t need money, a plan, experience, a network, or anything to get started – just a desire to be awesome. Hell, a new client just made me a trophy for badassery!

Too bad I’m not here to pat you on the head, rub your belly, and give you a balloon. More importantly, I’m not here to sell you anything. Honestly, I don’t really care whether you start your own practice one way or another.

So, as a young guy with a law firm, I will try and answer those questions and explain… but like all things in lawyer life, “it depends.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Big Business’ Attack on “Hot Coffee”.

June 20, 2012

Big Business’ Attack on “Hot Coffee”.

Check out this post on Main Street Law Blog.ย Nicole ย L. Augenti pens a great piece aboutย Hot Coffeeย and the “tort reform” myth. Read: “big business wants to close courthouse doors for YOU, while retaining all rights for THEMSELVES”.

Note: the Chamber of Commerce (which is not a government institution, but a big business lobbying group) is now running paid ads on Facebook for their idiotic website “Hot Coffee Truth”. Go find it on Facebook and click it a few hundred times to run up their ad bill, but don’t waste your time watching their tripe. It’s also the top paid Google Adwords result when one searches “hot coffee movie” on Google.

Read more about the hypocracy of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce here.ย (note: that’s a link to the American Association for Justice, a national plaintiff attorneys’ association. They have an angle, but it’s a good one, and I think you’ll be sickened once you read about the Chamber’s dirty tricks).

Any Lawyer Will Do

June 19, 2012

“Yeah, uh, sure. We do marimate, err, maritime law. Boats and stuff, right? Those things are pretty cool.”

Normally when a potential client comes in with a case we don’t handle, or we don’t have time for, we refer them to competent counsel.The last thing we want to do is take on a matter and not do a good job with it. That is why we’re selective about who we represent.

This concept is even built into the Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct:

Obviously, a lawyer is permitted and encouraged to refer cases to other lawyers where that lawyer does not have the skill or expertise to properly represent a client.

Comment 15 to Pa.R.P.C. 7.2

Shouldn’t pro bono litigants be afforded the same courtesy and professional judgment?

Apparently not.ย The Delaware Supreme Courtย reprimandedย an attorney for turning down mandatory pro bono work he felt he was not qualified to handle.

Read the rest of this entry »

Check out my PhiLAWdelphia guest post on professional menswear.

June 18, 2012




This is the first of a few guest posts I’ll be writing for the Philadelphia Bar Association Young Lawyers’ Division blog, PhilLAWdelphia. Feel free to leave feedback, criticism, snark, etc. in the comments here or there.

Breaking Bad Star Stopped and Frisked by LAPD at Gunpoint.

June 15, 2012

Breaking Bad Star Stopped and Frisked by LAPD at Gunpoint.

Reasonable suspicion that he was smuggling meth in his buckets of batter?ย Le sigh.ย 

Fun Friday Reading: Marc Randazza and Eric Turkewitz’s Latest Papers Absolutely Decimate Joseph Rakofsky

June 15, 2012

Margarita Monday anyone…?

Finally got around to reading the new papers filed in the Joseph Rakofsky v. the Internet case. Here they are:

A couple of weeks ago I did my best to try and breakdown Rakofsky’s set of papers. This week Marc Randazza and Eric Turkewitz did a much better job.

The opposition to Rakofsky’s Motion to Amend discusses Rakofsky’s endless amount of paper he has made everyone sift through, including opposing a pro hac motion, requesting a stay and then violating it by trying to file motions that were deemed “incomprehensible”, and then appealing the denial of those motions. Rakofsky also sought $5000 settlements from many of the defendants, which some actually paid. As the Defendants point out:

Once the Court granted Marc Randazzaโ€™s pro hac vice admission on Septemberย 15, 2011, Rakofsky requested and received a stay of proceedings so that he could retain newย counsel. On October 24, 2011, however, Rakofsky attempted to file documents with the courtย in violation of this very stay that he had just requested.

Rakofsky again tried to receive ex parte relief from the Court on December 23,ย 2011, bringing an order to show cause that sought a wide range of relief ranging from a secondย amendment of the complaint, to court orders that involved at least one non-party, Google, Inc.ย On the face of these papers, it was hard to understand what, exactly, Rakofsky wanted the courtย to do. The filing was so awful that Justice Goodman, who handled this matter prior to herย retirement, denied it on January 3, 2012 as โ€œincomprehensible.โ€

Read the rest of this entry »

Occupy Philly Wells Fargo 14 – Guilty of Defiant Trespass & Conspiracy

June 14, 2012

I am beyond disappointed with the verdict in Commonwealth v. Wells Fargo 14, where the defendants were found guilty of Defiant Trespass and Conspiracy to Commit Defiant Trespass.

For those of you who were lucky enough to sit on and see the trial, you understand when I say that the testimony in the case was some of the most moving words I’ve heard in a long time. These guys have passion, fire, and a resolve to fight injustice that I see rarely these days. I am honored to have helped represent them alongside some ofย theย finest civil rights and defenseย attorneysย in the city.

I’m glad that this case was soย integralย and important to protect the safety of the citizens of Philadelphia that the DA took the time to get the charges right in their press release.

In case it gets corrected in the meantime, here’s the full text below:

Guilty Verdicts for โ€œOccupy Wells Fargoโ€ย defendants


June 13, 2012, ย Commonwealth v. โ€œOccupy Wells Fargoโ€ defendants:ย Gina Apuzzo, Michael Blas, Anthony Abata, Larry Swetman, Alan Sable, Keil Troisi, Aaron Troisi, Dustin Slaughter, Willard Johnson, Justin Audia, Justin Murphy and Adam Hill were all found guilty of Disorderly Conduct and Conspiracy charges today. On November 18, 2011, a large group of protesters gathered at the 17th and Market Street branch of Wells Fargo Bank. These 12 protesters entered the bank lobby, sat down, linked arms, chanted and kept customers from accessing the bank. Despite being allowed to protest for over an hour, these individuals refused to leave, requiring multiple police officers to separate and detain them, all as the crowd chanted โ€œshameโ€ at the officers. The Honorable Marsha Niefieldย fined all twelve defendants each $500. This case was successfully prosecuted by Stacy Hughes of the Central Division Bureau.

I understand the appeal was filed this morning. I can’t wait.