It was a simple question: Is this going to be his life?
One of my co-defendants in Rakofsky v. Internet came to the realization that the Rakofsky Effect was playing out, meaning that Bennett’s first rule might apply. When a second amended complaint with 1248 paragraphs covering more than 300 pages arrives, it’s a pretty good indication that the synapses aren’t shooting the same way they do in other people’s lobes.
My co-defendant went on:
I can see him sitting alone in his room in the middle of the night, laughing maniacally, tapping away at his keyboard, muttering “this will get ’em,” as he wipes drool from the corner of the mouth hole in his Guy Fawkes mask.
I saw the image too.
He’s adding in the new evil-doers who’ve maligned him, one by one they will feel his wrath and pay for their insolence. He’s attacked his one-time pal, confidant, co-conspirator, for his disloyalty and abandonment. He’s seized upon the lunacy of internet mobbing, that all but the teacup fringe realize is a joke.
My co-defendant’s question was a simple one, easily understood by any lawyer who has dealt with the insane. Will this be the obsession to which one deeply trouble young man will dedicate his life, never to let go, never to give up, never to stop as long as there are dark nights and power surging in his computer?
In the beginning, this was a matter of a young lawyer who did what so many others would have done, reached beyond himself for the dollar at the expense of a murder defendant, Dontrell Deaner. At this point, most have forgotten that this was about saving the Dontrell Deaners, the defendants entitled to competent counsel because their lives depended on it. Instead, they got puffery.
But it now appears that Joseph Rakofsky isn’t like the other young lawyers who want to be something they’re not. Most of them would have learned something from the universal condemnation. Most would have grasped their horrible mistake quickly. A few would have taken longer, but eventually come to the harsh realization that they blew any chance at redemption.
This one, however, has enjoyed no epiphany. This one will fight to the death. He will add, and redo, and redouble, and fight. This isn’t tenacity, an excellent trait in a lawyer. This isn’t mere stupidity. This is pathologic obsession.
If he was just a lonely, isolated kid whose mind failed to connect that which others did naturally, we might feel badly for him, speak to him in dulcet tones and comfort him, that with the right help, everything will eventually be okay.
But he’s not a sympathetic figure. He’s on the attack. And he will continue to attack, and when he loses, as he must, he will attack some more. Whether it’s other jurisdictions or appeals, or new causes of action or bizarre theories, it will never be over in his head.
There’s been comfort along the way, some encouraging words by lawyers with their own psychological issues and deficits, and a cash infusion by a law school’s insurer that couldn’t be bothered. Perhaps he wraps himself up in these small comforts, believing that he must be right and righteous or they wouldn’t be behind him. Sick minds take comfort wherever they can find it. Sick minds tend to find each other.
The expectation when Joseph Rakofsky first began this quest for vindication was that it would be buried under a deluge of motions to dismiss, with the imposition of costs as a much needed lesson that the legal system won’t be used to shut down the sound of criticism. And then a young lawyer, likely to quickly be a former young lawyer, would slink away into obscurity, his life only serving the purpose of being an example to others of how not to behave.
It now seems unlikely that this will be the future. My answer to the co-defendant’s question is yes, based upon what I see in this new complaint, I expect this will be his life. He has crossed the bridge into that strange and dark place the sane people can’t go, and late at night, he will sit there and think of new ways to get back at the people he thinks have ruined his life, his plans of greatness, his future.
Only a disturbed person does what Joseph Rakofsky has done. Given the nature of the internet, I expect others wearing tin foil hats to come to his defense, raging against whatever demons live inside their heads. And he will be emboldened to stay awake another night dreaming up his revenge.
Yes, this is going to be Joseph Rakofsky’s life, his vendetta. It started with Dontrell Deaner, but it will be Joseph Rakofsky who serves a life sentence of his own making in the prison of his own mind.