Can you handle our case on this matter…

June 27, 2012

I got this gem a few minutes ago. Naturally suspicious, I searched the email address and got this (file under: Anti-Fraud International > Scammer Central > 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 sued Irina Chevaldina 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. Randazza 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.  Plaintiff’s side then filed a copyright infringement suit against my client and Google. (Freakin’ 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 even 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 against Chevldina, one against Google, and threat of suit directed at anyone who links to Chevldina’s blog, guess what? Katzs wants to sue MORE people!

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

Sue everybody! PUNITIVE DAMAGES!

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

This scorched 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 BlogNicole  L. Augenti pens a great piece about Hot Coffee 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. (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. The Delaware Supreme Court reprimanded 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.