2nd Circuit Refuses To Stop Sanctions Order On Troll Richard Liebowitz, So He Files Required Notices With Petulant Note Attached

from the how's-that-going dept

Infamous copyright troll Richard Liebowitz didn’t have a very good Monday. Facing massive sanctions and quite an incredibly detailed order exposing his long trail of disobeyed orders and lies to courts across the country, with just a week before he had to comply, Liebowitz (1) appealed to the 2nd Circuit to put a stay on the original order, and (2) asked the original judge to lift the non-monetary sanctions as being unfair. The district court judge, Jesse Furman, wasted almost no time at all in rejecting that request highlighting (among many other things) that Liebowitz and the actual lawyers he hired to represent him waited until about the last possible minute to make that request.

If Liebowitz was hoping the 2nd Circuit would bail him out as well, that didn’t work either. As first pointed out by Mike Dunford, the 2nd Circuit has denied the request for a stay, and has said the larger appeal will be heard the week of August 10th. That’s a pretty quick turnaround. But, worse for Liebowitz, this denial of the stay comes on the deadline by which Liebowitz was required to file a copy of the original opinion and order from Judge Furman in every docket of any currently pending case brought by Liebowitz.

For much of the day yesterday, we wondered if Liebowitz would actually obey the order, and late last night, he finally got around to it, trying to squeeze it in just as the deadline ran out. It would be nearly impossible to check every single one of his remaining cases, but it does appear that he filed the order in some of his ongoing cases, though he included a petulant note on the cover page:

On June 26, 2020, in another action, the Honorable Jesse M. Furman of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York entered an Opinion and Order directing that Mr. Liebowitz and LLF file a copy of that Opinion and Order in all currently pending cases. A copy of Judge Furman?s order is attached hereto.

Mr. Liebowitz and LLF strongly contest Judge Furman?s factual findings and legal conclusions, and have appealed the Opinion and Order to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

To be fair, in rejecting Liebowitz’s request last week to remove this requirement, Judge Furman did include a footnote saying: “Notably, the Court?s Opinion and Order does not preclude Mr. Liebowitz from doing so in a manner that notes his disagreement with the Court?s findings and sanctions or the fact that he plans to challenge them on appeal.” Though, it still feels like the manner in which he did this is fairly jerky. But, really, at this point, what does he have to lose.

Tracking every single Liebowitz case is next to impossible (indeed, even he seems unable to do so, which is why he has admitted in court that he recently had to set up a new case management system to try to avoid continuing to fuck up every case). It does appear that he magically decided that yesterday would be a good day to “settle” a few of his cases as well. I do wonder if he informed the opposing party of all this prior to reaching a settlement?

I did check the infamous Craig v. PopMatters cases (both of them) and don’t see the filing included in either one. In the Southern District of Illinois last week there was a disastrous and painful telephonic hearing in which Glen Craig had to answer questions from a judge about his letter that he was unaware of the case (Liebowitz insists he was informed, and in the hearing, Craig, effectively unrepresented, made an even bigger mess of things, and gave confusing and conflicting statements). Liebowitz appears to have chosen not to file the Judge Furman ruling in that case.

My guess is that Liebowitz would argue those cases are no longer “pending” because they’ve already been dismissed — but the fight for attorneys’ fees is still ongoing. If I were in Liebowitz’s shoes, I probably would have filed them in those cases as well, out of an abundance of caution, but I’m not in Liebowitz’s shoes, because if I was, I’d never have let things get this fucked up. Either way, we’ll see how Judge Furman feels about all this and, eventually, what the 2nd Circuit has to say.

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Comments on “2nd Circuit Refuses To Stop Sanctions Order On Troll Richard Liebowitz, So He Files Required Notices With Petulant Note Attached”

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Anon E. Mous (profile) says:

Liebowitz chances on appeal are about as good as my chance of winning the Powerball, sure I get a shot but the odds are pretty long I win and so are Liebowtiz’s

Richard can disagree and stamp,p his feet all day long it wont change any of the facts that he is following a long troll tradition of sue first and hope no one delves into the facts later.. Liebowitz’s mass filings and litigation by quantity in hope of extracting quick settlements is of his own downfall. The trolls whole game is based on playing the odds that people will settle rather than fight.

I believe we will start to see more people fight than settle i hopes they will win and Liebowitz will cut and run rather than get caught having to litigate the case and risk getting sanctioned.

who knew the odds could turn into the defendants favour due to some inadequate layering on Richards part

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
DB (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I think that his chances of reducing the penalty on appeal are modest, but not zero. The justice system is generally unforgiving, until it comes to one of its own.

Note that he hasn’t even been temporarily suspended from the bar. How bad must your behavior be in order to be disbarred in a timely manner?

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Tanner Andrews (profile) says:

Liebowitz appears to have chosen not to file the Judge Furman ruling in that case

That is probably a calculated guess that opposing counsel will not find out about the order and either

  1. file it in Illinois
  2. give notice to the court in NY

thereby creating further problems for Mr. Liebowitz.

With that said, I cannot really object to the cover saying that he strongly contests the order. I might have used slightly blander and more standard language, but that is a matter of taste. His “strongly contests” is certainly well within the reach of the court’s footnote suggesting that he was free to include such.

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