Troll Lawyer Shows Up In Court To Explain His 'Dead Grandfather' Excuse, Gets His 'Fitness To Practice' Questioned By The Judge
from the putting-the-'lie'-back-in-'Liebowitz' dept
Just a few days ago, copyright troll lawyer Richard Liebowitz was being threatened with jail time for refusing to provide a judge with some evidence his grandfather had died. If that doesn’t seem like something most judges would demand, you’re right. It takes a special kind of lawyer to drive a federal court judge to start demanding proof of death from an attorney.
Liebowitz had blown off a discovery conference. When called on it, he claimed his grandfather had died on April 12th, forcing him to miss the scheduled conference. The judge had other reasons to doubt Liebowitz’s claim — like other screwing around he had performed during this litigation, as well as his short, but colorful (read: sanction-heavy) litigation career.
This information was demanded again and again by the judge. Liebowitz again and again refused to provide documentation of his grandfather’s death. Sanctions were handed down, rising from $100/day to $500/day as Liebowitz continued to refuse to respond to the judge’s order. The judge gave Liebowitz one more chance to turn up in court with the proper paperwork. If he failed to do so, he was to be arrested.
Since then, there have been a couple of developments. William Bastone of The Smoking Gun managed to find evidence of Liebowitz’s grandfather’s demise.
A TSG investigation has determined that Liebowitz’s maternal grandfather did, in fact, die in April. But not on April 12, the Friday morning he failed to appear before Seibel.
Jaime Radusky, 93, died on April 9 at Weill Cornell Medical Center on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Radusky, a Cuban émigré, lived in a penthouse apartment about 10 blocks from the hospital where he died. In the above Facebook photo, Radusky is seen poolside at the Miami Beach condominium complex where he owned a unit.
Details of Radusky’s death are contained in a probate petition filed in Surrogate’s Court in Manhattan by the two executors of Radusky’s estate, his son Henry Radusky and daughter Sara Liebowitz (Richard Liebowitz’s mother). Additionally, an affidavit sworn by an attorney representing Radusky’s heirs reported that, “The decedent died on April 9, 2019.”
So, the excuse wasn’t complete bullshit. But it was still mostly bullshit. Liebowitz swore repeatedly in multiple declarations that his grandfather died on April 12th. That was his excuse for missing the April 12th discovery conference. Liebowitz had a legitimate reason for missing this conference — the recent death of his grandfather — but for some insane reason, chose to give the judge the wrong date and spend the next six months adamantly swearing this falsehood was the truth.
Liebowitz’s last-ditch excuse — a filing that included some rather audacious assertions about the judge’s alleged inability to do her job — said the death of his grandfather was “too private” to be discussed in court. There’s not much that’s private about death. His grandfather’s death certificate is handed out to a number of government agencies to end benefits payments, cancel voter registrations, and — in this case — allow the state court to appoint a legal guardian for his grandfather’s surviving wife.
There’s more to this story. The Smoking Gun showed up in court for Liebowitz’s “tell me why I shouldn’t throw your ass in jail” hearing. This time, Richard Liebowitz showed up as well. Liebowitz showed up with representation. Good call. Not only was he facing possible jail time, but he had proven in this case (and multiple others) he probably shouldn’t ever represent himself, much less clients. It did not go well for the copyright troll lawyer.
[Judge Cathy] Seibel stated that Liebowitz knew he was lying about the date of his grandfather’s death, but “chose to repeat that lie six, eight, ten times” in court filings that the jurist said were part of a “long-term campaign of deception.” Liebowitz, Seibel remarked, “double-downed, triple-downed, quadrupled-downed, octupled-down, I don’t know what would come after that.”
“I question Mr. Liebowitz’s fitness to practice,” Seibel said at one point during the hearing.
There are many, many good reasons to question Liebowitz’s fitness to practice. This debacle is just the latest reason. Liebowitz has only been practicing for five years, but he’s been sanctioned multiple times and his shady litigation strategies have resulted in several orders to post high-dollar bonds before his clients’ cases can proceed.
His short history is catching up to him. It’s going to be a bit more difficult for Liebowitz to flood courts with speculative invoices.
Noting the significance of a lawyer who “intentionally lies to the court,” Seibel said she has referred the Liebowitz matter to the Grievance Committee for review and possible disciplinary sanctions. Seibel added that her contempt rulings against Liebowitz will require him to disclose the sanctions to other courts and prospective clients.
Good. This kind of litigation — threatening people with statutory damages and long, expensive litigation to extract quick settlements — is garbage. So are the people who practice it and profit from it. Liebowitz hasn’t been around long, but he seems determined to make the Prendas of the world look just a tiny bit better by comparison. If he’s forced to disclose his checkered courtroom past before approaching judges or clients, there will be fewer of each willing to entertain his bullshit.