January 10th, 2012

Rakofsky Update (A court order and a settlement) – Updated x5

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.


December 15th, 2011

Rakofsky Motion #11: Our motion to dismiss (Updated x3)

This motion is on behalf of the 35 defendants (me included) that Marc Randazza and I represent.

I won’t bother re-hashing the Rakfosky history, you can Google it if you want.

Selected Documents:

Memo of Law

DeVoy Affidavit

Turkewitz Affidavit

Wells Affidavit

Exh G – Financial Crime

Exh H WhiteCollarCT

Exh I – Yellow Bot

Exh J – Lawyer search

Update 3/9/12: Our motion to dismiss was served December 15th, but the court clerk declined to take it at the time because the date of service was so far in front of the motion’s return date in March. While we waited, a stay in the case was reinstated. It expired today, March 9th. So the motion was re-filed today.

Update 5/21/12 Rakofsky has served the following documents in opposition to our motion to dismiss:

Affidavit of Forensic Expert

Goldsmith Affirmation

Rakofsky Affidavit

Memo of Law

Update 6/8/12 – Our Reply papers:

My Reply Affidavit: ET-ReplyAffid-Final

Our Memo of Law: RakofskyReplyMemo FINAL


October 25th, 2011

Rakofsky Moves to Add Yahoo!, TechDirt and Others to Defamation Action; Asks Sanctions Against Former Lawyer (Updated x2)

Joseph Rakofsky, as seen on a copy of his former website

[This post was substantially updated on October 26th, with new documents added and more informaton on the new claims)

Joseph Rakofsky has not, quite apparently, put away his shovel. He is still digging. (Synopsis of case and my opinions before becoming local counsel, here.)

He has now filed a motion to amend the complaint a second time, with a 300-page whopper including 1,248 paragraphs. He has 78 causes of action and demands, and, if my calculations are correct, he demands $145,000,000 in damages.

In addition to the extraordinary damage claims, Rakfosky seeks to add Yahoo! and TechDirt into the lawsuit, among 15 new parties.

And he seeks to create a new cause of action for Cyber-bullying, or Internet Mobbing, due to the things people wrote about him after his ill-fated trial before Judge William Jackson down in Washington DC.

He has also asked for sanctions against his former lawyer, Richard Borzouye, who had asked to be relieved as counsel, with the consent of Rakofsky.

And he still has the St. Thomas School of Law listed in the Complaint, even though it capitulated with a settlement.

And he still sues on behalf of his professional corporation, even though he may not do so without counsel.

He also wants to start engaging in discovery, seeking subpoenas to get information from Google and other places about anonymous defendants.

He also has engaged a self-professed expert in forensic computer work in an attempt to gain access to the computers of some of his critics, Osvaldo Alayon, though Alayon doesn’t bother in the affidavit to lay out the basis of her expertise. A Google search of  — “Osvaldo Alayon” forensic computer — turns up zero hits. The claim is that one of the defendant websites has evidence of child pornography on its site. In viewing the Affidavit and Exhibits for that claim, I feel compelled to give this legal warning: The comments and pictures are infused with sophomoric  humor and badly photo-shopped photographs, internet memes, and inside jokes that will be seen as witless to some and irreverant to others. There is no actual child porn, so if you are into that kind of thing, well, do me a favor and go away and never come back. The affidavit is here and the exhibits are here.

And he is asking for a default judgment for those that have not appeared.

Yeah, that’s a lot of stuff. Here is a very quick guide to some of the new claims, though this isn’t by any means comprehensive, and is put together based on a quick skim of the materials:

You can find the Notice of Motion and supporting Affidavit at this link.

Part 1 of the proposed Second Amended Complaint is here and Part 2 is here. The scanned images are large files as Rakofsky refused to serve anyone with digital files.

A few notes on the Complaint, as it is so large, in order to help you find things:

Pages 1-29 – identify parties

Pages 29-55 Rehash of trial and claims against Washington Post

Paragraph 140 he writes that Judge Jackson made “denigrating” remarks about him on the record, writing that the judge “for reasons that can only be speculated, gratuitously published on the record that he was ‘astonished’ at Rakofsky’s willingness to represent a person charged with murder and at his (Rakofsky’s) ‘not having a good grasp of legal procedures’.”

Paragraph 144 he gives his explanation for the “trick” email that he sent.

On page 140, the action against St. Thomas School of Law and Deborah Hackerson is continued even though he settled with them.

New action against The Atlantic Monthly and Yahoo! are on page 161

New action against TechDirt and its writer Mike Masnick is on page 164

New action against Canadian Lawyer Magazine and Reuters Canada on page 167

Total demands for defamation he makes are $46M ($1M for each of 38 causes of action except for Greenfield and me for $5M each)

Page 170 is the end of the defamation claims, and the ones for Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress starts here — demand for damages is $10M

Page 178 is the claim for interference of contract. $10M demanded

Page 181 is a claim for violation of Civil Rights Law for use of his image in the news stories, claiming it was used for advertising purposes – total demand is $10M

Page 184 is a claim for “Intentional Interference with Prospective Economic Advantage” and a demand for $10M

Page 186 is a claim against Washington Post for “Injurious Falsehood” and a demand for $1M. This is the 43rd Cause of Action, and similar claims continue until page 294 at the 77th Cause of Action, at $1M demanded for each, for a total of $34M

On page 294 is a claim for “Violation of Prima Facie Tort” which he defines as “mobbing” or “cyber-bullying” and a demand for $25M

Update #2 – 11/18/11 – Motion is withdrawn, as per the Court, as it was filed while a stay was in place


August 4th, 2011

Rakofsky Settles with St. Thomas School of Law and Deborah Hackerson

University of St. Thomas School of Law

Joseph Rakofsky, who sued 81 people and entities for defamation (including me), has settled his suit against two of them. The University of St. Thomas School of Law and one of its staffers, Deborah Hackerson, have paid Rakofsky $5,000.

A copy of the stipulation and release, obtained from the County Clerk’s office, is here:St.ThomasLawSettlement

The allegation against Ms. Hackerson comes from paragraph 186 of the Amended Complaint:

186. On April 6,2011, ST. TIIOMAS through HACKERSON, with malice and hate, in a grossly irresponsible manner without due consideration for the standards of information gathering and dissemination ordinarily followed by responsible parties, in reckless disregard for the truth, published that “Recent Law Grad’s Incompetence Leads to Mstrial.” However, there was no mistrial, either in whole or in part for incompetence on the part of RAKOFSKY, the “recent law grad” referred to in their publication.

As previously noted, since I am local counsel to many of the defendants, I am publishing documents from the public record, but doing so without comment.

Interesting note about this matter, though, is that I am wearing three different hats: Defendant, counsel, and journalist.


July 21st, 2011

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.


Rend Smith Affidavit

Amy Austin Affidavit

Talmadge Bailey Affidavit

Memo of Law