‘Troll’ att’y fined $104G by fed judge
A notorious lawyer who lied about his grandfather’s death to justify missing a court date was slammed Monday as a dishonest “copyright troll.”
Judge Jesse Furman wrote that he and his fellow Manhattan Federal Court judges were fed up with the hijinks of the attorney, Richard Liebowitz.
“He has become one of the most frequently sanctioned lawyers, if not the most frequently sanctioned lawyer, in the district. Judges in this district and elsewhere have spent untold hours addressing Mr. Liebowitz’s misconduct, which includes repeated violations of court orders and outright dishonesty, sometimes under oath,” Furman wrote in a 54-page order.
“He has been called a ‘copyright troll,’ ‘a clear and present danger to the fair and efficient administration of justice,’ and an ‘example of the worst kind of lawyering.’ ”
Liebowitz, who prior to becoming a lawyer worked as a New York photojournalist, has filed 1,280 copyright claims in Manhattan Federal Court alone.
In the most egregious example, Liebowitz lied about the date his grandfather had died when seeking to justify failing to show for a hearing before Furman’s colleague, Judge Cathy Seibel. Liebowitz then ignored an order to provide documentation about his grandfather’s death.
Seibel said she was outraged by Liebowitz’s “failure to own up to the dishonesty and the doubling and quintupling and octupling down on the dishonesty.” The lawyer’s latest legal trouble came while representing a photographer claiming copyright infringement of a photo of musician Leon Redbone. Liebowitz blew deadlines and failed to show up for a courtordered mediation, Furman wrote.
There was also a fatal flaw in the case: Liebowitz didn’t register the copyright for the photo until a month and a half after he filed the suit. “It is hard to avoid the conclusion that Mr. Liebowitz hoped to settle the case before the truth came to light,” Furman wrote.
“Once again, this misconduct is not unique to this case, but fits a broader pattern.”
Furman slapped the lawyer with a $103,500 fine.