Eat At Randazzo’s. Beware Randazza

The City Attorney of Surfside, Florida is very angry at bloggers.   Lynn Dannheisser says the bloggers are evil, lying scum, and have tarnished her reputation.

The target of her vitriol is a blog called Save Surfside, local citizens who aren’t any more thrilled with Dannheisser than she is of them.  Of course, since Dannheisser is paid about $170,000 of public monies for her efforts (not including what’s paid to her boyfriend, who she hired as outside counsel to Surfside), the situations aren’t quite the same.  Another difference could have something to do with the threat by Surfside officials to call in the state’s attorney’s office to identify and prosecute the evil citizens who challenge important public officials.

Via the Miami New Times :

In July 2010, town commissioner Edward Kopelman threatened to have the State Attorney’s Office investigate “the true identities and true authors” behind the blog and its local counterpart, Who Controls Surfside?, both of which have been critical of town government.

So Save Surfside retained a law firm to write a letter to Kopelman, demanding that he cease his “bullying” tactics.

You have to give the locals some credit for not playing cut and run when threatened. You have to give them even more credit when you learn which law firm they turned to.

The name of the law firm is the Randazza Legal Group. Which apparently thoroughly confused Dannheisser.

Randazza . . . Randazza . . . the names sounds familiar to me too.  So Dannhaisser did the lawyerly thing and wrote a letter, which began:

[F]irst things first, This is the first I have heard about your firm. I was wondering if your law firm has any affiliation with the Randazzo’s Restaurant in Coral Gables, Florida.  It is an excellent restaurant and I wanted you to know what great food and what a great reputation the restaurant has in the community.

Clearly, there was a vowel issue at the end of the name Randazza/o, but that happens a lot with this swarthy Mediterranean-type names.  Not that anybody with the name Dannheisser is someone to ignore the proper spelling of a name, even if she has an affinity for Italian food and compulsion to seize the opportunity to express her foodie feelings.

Yet, spelling issues aside, as well as her lack of familiarity with such an ethnic sounding name, it still struck me as awfully familiar.

Could she be talking about Marc John Randazza, the Legal Satyricon?  The guy who took down Glen Beck?  My old pal Marco?

Why yes she is.

The Randazza law firm’s  Jason Fischer responded to Dannheisser’s letter:

As a final point, we are obviously not affiliated in any way with Randazzo’s Little Italy restaurant in Coral Gables. Though we are well acquainted with that establishment’s quality cuisine. We presume that you were simply trying to make some kind of joke – one which nobody found particularly amusing, but one which was quite illustrative of the clear failure on your part to appreciate the seriousness of the charges that are being leveled against your employer. We trust that, should you continue to advise Town Commission on matters of constitutional compliance, you will crack fewer jokes and more volumes of case law.

While I’ve no doubt that Lynn Dannheisser is a brilliant lawyer, which is how she secured the position as the very important attorney for Surfside, Florida, and can hold her own on any variety of issues that a practitioner of municipal law might face, she really might want to be a bit more circumspect of ridiculing one of the foremost lawyers on internet first amendment cases in the nation.  It’s possible he knows a bit more in his little niche, and probably prefers not to have whiny Dannheisser make fun of him for having a name similar to an Italian restaurant.

Lest anyone be unclear, my general rule of thumb on interent first amendment issues is whoever retains Randazza wins.  And if he’s lucky, gets an awfully fine meal out of the deal.

22 comments on “Eat At Randazzo’s. Beware Randazza

  1. Stephen

    It’s astounding to think that at least one person with the power to act on behalf of a town sat down and typed out the words “I was wondering if your law firm has any affiliation with the Randazzo’s Restaurant in Coral Gables, Florida” as the introduction to a letter. That’s something else.

  2. SHG

    Do you know Jason, ULS?  Has he given you his approval for such collegial informality?

  3. Keith Lee

    Alas, no.

    Forgive my informality. I should have included his surname but was typing on my itoy while waiting at the carwash so I was being brief. My bad.

    Also, I apologize for referring to Simple Justice earlier on my blog without your tacit approval. From one of your last couple posts, I gather people are requesting permission for such a thing now?

  4. SHG

    No need to apologize to me. Not like I’m a bigshot over at reddit (whatever that is), though it is courtesy in Canada to obtain permission.  Are you Canadian?  What are your views on curling, eh?

  5. SHG

    That explains a great deal. Thanks for sharing.  I believe they reserve curling only for real Canadians and serious expatriots.

  6. Floridian 62

    Never before in American history has a Town been so embarrassed by its Town Attorney. She defines ditz when she speaks and she plows fields in catering to special interests which a devouring the community while she attacks residents instead of protect them. Invest a few minutes to read about a civic, professional, and ethical disgrace:

    [Edit. Note: Links deleted as against rules.]

  7. blogster

    This town attorney needs to resign. She comes off like an idiot anyway, She can’t be worth the money they’re paying her. Who does she think she is hiring her boyfriend and then covering it up saying it’s a good thing because the town will save money? Huh?? The town would save money is she had done her job right from the beginning and there wouldn’t BE a lawsuit to begin with.

    She further proves she’s a kook with all the allegations against the blogs trying to destroy free speech.

    And her assumption that the letter from a law firm is a joke as she ties it in to a similarly named eatery, is just the straw that broke the camel’s back.

    Get rid of this idiot!

  8. Linda Lewis

    I have never seen a reply to a “cease and desist” start with mentioning food. If Dannheisser were in California I would have bet she had just filled her prescription for some medicinals.

  9. Rick Hess

    My question, what is a town of approximately 6000 doing with a full time lawyer, and at 170000? I’m the City Admin. for a town in MO of about the same pop and I would have no use of a lawyer full time. I might make use of legal information of 10-15 hours a month on a heavy month.

  10. swampthing

    Surfside is a microcosm of putrid politics. The next commission meeting should be an amusing riot… bring popcorn/pizza.

    [Edit. Note: Link deleted as against rules.]

  11. Jerri Lynn Ward

    I took that part of the letter as a veiled threat. Must be my suspicious nature.

  12. peter jasoner

    She spends her time colluding with developers on how to break the Town’s zoning code in order to over-build. She did the same in Sunny Isles, and destroyed the formerly charming town and turned it into a huge Trump-buildings-filled extravaganza. That’s why the people of family-oriented, low-density Surfside are fighting her so hard…She is an evil, pro-developer force that destroys any town that hires her, and chases away all families and middle-class residents in order to fill the place with Trump Towers that are purchased by people who seldom are in residence. The apt. lights are hardly ever on. She turns lively, family towns into dead mausoleums for money from who knows where….that’s Lynn Dannheisser…

  13. Sandra Asher

    Dannheisser spends her time figuring out how to bust zoning codes in towns developers want to rape. Surfside in on the ocean and filled with middle-class and mid-level professional families. Do the math. Those poor people in that town are literally fighting for their homes.

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