‘Troll’ att’y fined $104G by fed judge

New York Daily News - - NEWS - BY STEPHEN REX BROWN

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.