This is an update on the Joseph Rakofsky defamation case in which I was sued along with many, many others, and for which I am now local counsel for 35 of the defendants (with Marc Randazza as pro hac vice defense).
Two bits of information today. First is an order from the court regarding a proposed Order to Show Cause for some type of relief. This was apparently brought by Mr. Rakofsky. This was not our submission, nor that of any other defendant that I know of. I have not seen the underlying papers, as such proposed orders are brought to the court without notice to adversaries. Copy here: Rakfosky Order-1.3.12 – OTSC. The order reads:
Decline to sign
Papers are incomprehensible
In the other bit of news, criminal defense lawyer Lori Palmieri of Florida has apparently settled with the plaintiff for undisclosed terms last July. Copy is here: Rakofsky-Palmieri-Settlement. Her original post on Mr. Rakofsky, for which she was sued, is gone, and her apology to Mr. Rakofsky is here.
Update, 1/12/12 – The papers that Justice Goodman deemed “incomprehensible” have now been procured, requesting a smorgasbord of relief: RakofskyOrderToShowCause. On a fast read, the following appears to be new:
The following have settled: Martha Sperry and Martha Sperry Daily, Advantage Advocates, Heslep & Associates.
Mr. Rakofsky seeks to add new defendants. One of them is Google, which he wants to add as a defendant because “because it has refused to preserve certain information in the absence of a formal Court order…” (pp. 8-9). Previously he had sought to add Yahoo! and Techdirt, among others, and they are in this request also. The prior attempt was rejected because a stay was in place.
Update #2, 1/13/12 – Mr. Rakofsky has moved in the Appellate Division for a partial lifting of the stay: Rakofsky AppDiv Motion
Update #3, 1/27/12 – Our response to Mr. Rakofsky’s request for a partial lifting of the stay:Memo Of Law and Turkewitz Affidavit
Update #4, 1/31/12 – Rakofsky’s Reply to other defense opposition to the motion in the Appellate Division to lift the stay for him only. No response to our papers (which were served 1/26/12, one day before they were due to be served): RakofskyReply. The opposing papers to which he refers are here: Teschner (Yampolsky) Opp and Weissman (Reuters) Opp
Update #5, 2/24/12: The emergency application to the Appellate Division has been denied.
My God, what an ignominious, cringing, pathetic apology for things that were not wrong.
@Ken – Have you considered the possibility that the confidential settlement agreement did not require payment of $5000 in United States currency, but rather in kind?
If you want to cringe, consider the possibilities.
I would desperately love to know what those incomprehensible papers said.
Is it common for lawyers to sign pages that have no other text as in page 2 of the Rakofsky-Palmieri Settlement?
Believe it or not, Rakofsky is concurrently a plaintiff in another unrelated case in NY State Supreme Court.
RAKOFSKY, JOSEPH vs. [xxxx], DEREK 108833/2011
The defendant is, of course, another lawyer.
Read the complaint on that one. You can access it on SCROLL.
It’s a remarkable piece of legal writing.
Just a guess, but when trying to sue for defamation over being called incompetent, it is not in your favor to have a judge write “Papers are incomprehensible” on something you filed…
Wow. If Judge Goodman had any doubt about Rakofsky’s lack of legal competence, it has surely been resolved now that’s she’s read his OSC filing.
@Josh King – “I’ve seen your work product – they have the defense of the truth…”
His Order to Show Cause is like a choose your own adventure book.
@TouroGrad – Thanks. I now have read it. I doubt I shall be able to blithely walk down Park Row ever again knowing the sheer horror and squalor that inhabits the uppermost reaches of the residences above.
The amount he is suing for is $385,000 in unpaid fees. A mere 1100 billable hours @ $350 ph. He claims to have gotten nothing, other than to be removed as counsel 🙁
@Nick Braak- It would be interesting to see how Rakofsky attempts to prove 1100 billable hours of work. He also was hired on a contingent fee according to those papers.
Assuming that Rakofsky took weekends off and no vacations or weekday holidays there are 261 week days in the year. If he worked 8 (billable) hours per day on that case for a full year, he would have clocked in 2,088 hours of work on that case.
Since the retainer was signed in September 2010, and he was relieved as counsel in June of 2011. By my rough estimate that’s about 215 or so working days. The Rakofsky complaint would assume that he produced just over five billable hours of work per day, every week day for that entire time period.
It also assumes that his legal services are worth $350/hr and that the court has no idea how much work product an attorney should be able to produce in an hour.
Any news on the Appellate Division motion?
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Thanks for the updates re the App. Div. motion. Incredible that he claims never to have received your papers.