You would think it bad enough for a young lawyer to become the poster boy for incompetence and deception. Not for Joseph Rakofsky, whose hubris similarly exceeds his grasp. After getting slammed by, well, everyone, he’s thought long and hard. Very long and hard. And came up with a plan. Rakofsky v. Internet.
The rote expectation of insipid lawyers is that by bringing suit, something will come of it if for no other reason than to avoid whatever minor annoyance even the most frivolous action brings. Sometimes it works. Not this time, however. Rakofsky has sued 74 defendants, ranging from the Washington Post to the American Bar Association to a who’s who of the blawgosphere. Plans are in the works for the biggest blawger party ever, to be held in New York as the venue of choice.
Blawgers who weren’t sued are now scrambling, feeling embarrassed for not having made the cut. Not only do they not care about being named as defendants, but they don’t want to be left off the list.
Sadly, many of the named defendants will never get a chance to play. The substance of the action is not merely frivolous, but the action was brought in New York Supreme Court, and had Rakofsky’s lawyer done some homework, he would learn that New York’s long arm statute expressly excludes defamation. The out-of-state defendants are not amenable to suit in New York. Perhaps they will traverse the nation, even the continent since they’ve named Canadians as well, to vigorously pursue this action. Perhaps not.
The first question that spread around the room was whether Rakofsky was pro se, as it was hard to imagine that any lawyer would take such a frivolous case. The answer is that Rakofsky was represented by a lawyer named Richard Borzouye, who gives the same 14 Wall Street office address used by Rakofsky and operated by Regus.
Far too much is known about Rakofsky already, his claims of having “founded his firm on a commitment to set the standard for criminal defense in New York City,” which would have flown better had he been admitted to practice law in New York, or his “extensive and intricate understanding of legal procedures and loopholes, as well as federal and state trial experience,” which would have made more sense if he had any trial experience.
So eyes turned to Borzouye, wondering who would have taken on such a frivolous case and drafted such a ridiculous (and procedurally defective) complaint? He appears to be licensed to practice law in New York, though the “bar code,” a phrase not typically used in New York (outside of a supermarket setting), doesn’t reflect his New York attorney registration number.
Borzouye doesn’t have quite the extensive web presence that Rakofsky had, before he deleted as much as he could following his self-immolation, but his advertising on CraigsList and in the Pennysaver provides some insight.
I practice criminal law in New York and Federal Court (SDNY & EDNY), covering all 5 boroughs: Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and Long Island & Westchester as well. I am a young, clever, head strong, courageous, hard-nosed warrior, bulldog, passionate, champion, no-nonsense, maverick Litigator who will never stop fighting for you and who knows how the system works. I am a Former 18-B Panel Attorney and I can handle all felonies & misdemeanors with the level of excellence that you deserve in State & Federal Court ranging from violent & capital crimes to White Collar, RICO (civil also), DWI, Fraud (mail, wire, bank), Theft (grand larceny, embezzlement, etc), Drugs/Narcotics, Gangs, Domestic Violence, Sex Crimes, Battery, Robbery, Burglary, Firearms & Weapons, Computer Crimes, Appeals, Probation Violations & Early Termination of Probation. If you or a loved one have been arrested, awaiting arraignment or currently being investigated, Call the Law Offices of RICHARD D. BORZOUYE`, ESQ., 24/7 at (212) 618-1469 at our Wall Street Headquarters during business hours (8:30 am-5:30 pm) or (917) 399-4949 afterwards. We’re right across the street from the New York Stock Exchange. All calls are held strictly confidential. I offer flexible payment plans at a fair hourly rate and I will ferociously defend you at all times. Hire an elite Wall Street Trial Attorney who will not be intimidated by overzealous prosecutors or tough judges, and nor should you. I’M ON YOUR SIDE!!! Representation for federal cases nationwide!
I’ve added some emphasis for fun, Does a Regus office, the lawyer equivalent of a hot-bed motel, make one an “elite Wall Street Trial Attorney?” I suppose it does when one is young, clever, head strong, etc., but my guess is that Borzouye won’t live up to his hype.
The complaint alleges that Rakofsky has suffered such severe mental anguish that he will require psychological treatment for the rest of his life. That may well be true, given the insanity of his decision to take on the internet and his assumption that someone, everyone, will acquiesce to his demands. Maybe an elite Wall Street lawyer would have counseled his client differently, but not the ferocious Borzouye, who demands that the court “[p]ermanently restrain defendants from publishing the name, portrait or picture of plaintiff without her consent.”
Astoundingly poor judgment has a way of compounding itself. A few years back, I might have offered Rakofsky a dime so that he could call his mother and let her know that his career as a lawyer has come to a crashing halt as result of his bad choices. Borzouye might have gotten a dime as well, now that his puffery comes to light as a result of his decision to be the ferocious lawyer championing Rakofsky’s cause.
But I suspect they both have cell phones. They can make the calls on their own dime.
And yet the utility of Joseph Rakofsky as a role model for young lawyers continues. Don’t let this happen to you. It won’t end well. It never does. The internet is not a truth-free zone.
As for the case, it will be a minor annoyance like so many others that comprise an ordinary lawyer’s day for the defendants. Whether other defendants will post about it is up to them. I see no reason to let a teaching opportunity pass, and the initiation of a frivolous action in a bizarre attempt to recapture lost reputation is hardly a reason for concern.
For the plaintiff, and perhaps his lawyer, this poor decision will likely compound his problems. Never underestimate a person’s ability to dig the hole deeper.
* Lest anyone wonder, yes, I coined the caption Rakofsky v. Internet.