Lori Palmieri, The Stink of Pathetic (Update)

It was discovered purely by chance.  There was a note in the Rakofsky court file  rejecting his attempt to get an Order to Show Cause signed, with the lone remark, “papers are incomprehensible.”  Not exactly a good thing for a person fighting allegations of incompetence.

And then, quietly nestled in the file, was another paper, entitled stipulation, between Joseph Rakofsky and a defendant named Lori Palmieri from Tampa, Florida.  It had been in the file since last July, but no one noticed. No one knew who Lori Palmieri was, and her presence or absence didn’t make anyone’s radar.  But  there was the stip alerting all that she the action against her was discontinued pursuant to a “confidential agreement.”  She settled. 

What Lori Palmieri wrote about Joseph Rakofsky is lost to the ages.  No one seems to remember anything about it, or her, except Rakofsky, and now it’s gone. In its place is new post, clearly part of her settlement, in which she humiliates herself.  Worse still, as she exposed her shame to the public, no one noticed.  The post is dated July 1, 2011, and not until the stip was accidentally found in the file did anyone bother to look.  It’s like Lori Palmieri never existed.

The first inclination is to castigate Palmieri for her cowardice and ignorance.  She could have done nothing and won, since Rakofsky couldn’t get jurisdiction over her no matter what. But more importantly, there was no cause of action, no valid claim. She’s a lawyer, and there’s no excuse for her not knowing. And still she collapsed in a demonstration of spectacular cowardice and ignorance.

Last month, I posted about New Jersey lawyer, Joseph Rakofsky regarding his representation of a criminal client named Dontrell Deaner in a murder trial in Washington, DC after The Washington Post’s article. Mr. Rakofsky is unhappy about the content of the post and believed it defamed him. Thus, I am included in the Supreme Court of the State of New York civil action of Rakofsky v. The Washington Post Company, et al. As a fellow criminal defense practitioner, I regret this misfortune that has befallen Mr. Rakofsky. To the extent that I have in some way perpetuated others’ comments on his professionalism, I wish that had not occurred.

Palmieri “perpetuated” nothing, as no one knew she existed except Rakofsky. Until now, when the only thing known about her is that she is pathetic.

But after looking at Palmieri’s website, her disgrace begins to make sense.  It stinks of desperation, using every gimmick the marketers promote.  From the creepy video to the badges near her head.  She has a flawg attached to it, which includes insipid blurbs. She was no blawger. She couldn’t have cared less about free speech or, for that matter, what Joseph Rakofsky did to poor Dontrell Deaner.  She was the caboose, jumping on what she thought was a train that might gain her a fee after thinking people had done their work.  She tagged along, hoping someone would notice.  The only person who did was Rakofsky.

Standing up to Rakofsky wouldn’t get her a client or make her a dime, so why bother?  Cut your losses and run, get out of this. So the price was to humiliate herself publicly by writing such utter stupidity?  Who cares?  Not Lori Palmieri, who had no real horse in the race.

It is easy to pick up these articles and run with them because it makes for interesting posts. Nevertheless, we should all endeavor to look beyond the content that newspapers print to the people behind them. There is a great deal more to know about Mr. Rakofsky than what was written in my blog. No doubt, his course of conduct going forward will give better insight into the kind of man and lawyer he is. I, and perhaps many of the other bloggers who cited to the Washington Post’s article, did not have the benefit of the entire story. We should have done better.

Palmieri speaks for no one but herself.  Others knew exactly what they were writing and why.  Others were disinclined to disgrace themselves by saying whatever it took to beg out of the case.  Others did better. Palmieri did not.

There are a few messages here, but the one that stands out after the amazement at Palmieri’s cowardice and ignorance is the abject failure of the all the marketing gimmicks, scams and schemes, to make anyone notice Palmieri existed.  Here she was, humiliated in all her glory, and no one noticed. No one cared. She did everything the marketers said a lawyer should do to become a thought leader, a game changer, a player on the internet. And she was still a nobody.  The only thing her shamelessness brought her was a lawsuit, and subsequent humiliation.  It doesn’t get more pathetic.

When this first became known, announced by  Eric Turkewitz after he obtained the judge’s terse reaction to Rakofsky’s latest papers, rejected as “incomprehensible,” it was astounding that someone who claimed to be a criminal defense lawyer would be so weak, so ignorant, such a coward.  But after reflection, the anger and amazement wore off.  Lori Palmieri may be all those things, but what she mostly reflects is a sad, pathetic lawyer who was so desperate for a case that public humiliation meant nothing to her.

And if Turk hadn’t accidentally stumbled across the stipulation, the monument to Palmieri’s disgrace, no one would have ever known she existed.  No string of marketers’ adjectives can cover the stench of this massive failure.  It’s not just the odor of cowardice and ignorance, but the stink of pathetic humiliation.

Update:  After writing this post, I happened upon a comment left by “Lori D. Palmieri, Tampa Criminal Attorney,” dated May 25th, left at a post by  Jeff Gamso on Rakofsky.

It just goes to show you how important it is to do your research when hiring a criminal defense attorney! In light of being sued by Rakofsky for an earlier blog post on this same topic, I decided to follow up with another addressing the lessons learned – mainly focusing on asking questions about experience, certifications, reputation etc. Rakofsky shouldn’t have accepted this case, but to eliminate this from ever happening to you – we should all do our homework!

The funny thing about irony is how often it bites one in the butt.


39 thoughts on “Lori Palmieri, The Stink of Pathetic (Update)

  1. Mark Bennett

    “On April 6, 2011, Palmieri Law, through Palmieri … published in their article entitled, -Attorney’s Astonishing Procedure Results in Mistrial,l that – A D.C Superior Court judge declared a mistrial in a murder case allowing the defendant. Dontrell Deaner, to fire his current criminal defense lawyer because of his lack ofknowledge ofthe proper trial procedure.…
    In addition, on April6, 2011, Palmieri Law, through Palmieri, … published,- Why someone who admittedly has never tried a case before would take on a murder case was astonishing to not only the judge but the jury and defendant as well.I…
    414. Further, on April 6, 2011, Palmieri Law, through Palmieri … published – To top it off, an investigator who had been hired by Rakofsky came forward about a request that Rakofsky had given him to -trickl a witness.

    Palmieri wrote her blog post on 6 April 2011; oddly, her disgraceful apologia, written in July, refers to it as “last month.”

  2. Nathans

    The original post is archived here: http://web.archive.org/web/20110613100104/http://tampacriminaldefenselawyer.com/blog/2011/04

    The full text is:

    Attorney’s Atonishing Procedure Results in Mistrial
    April 6th, 2011

    A D.C Superior Court judge declared a mistrial in a murder case allowing the defendant, Dontrell Deaner, to fire his current criminal defense lawyer because of his lack of knowledge of the proper trial procedure.

    Joseph Rakofsky, a recent law graduate from Touro College, was Deaner’s defending lawyer. Rakofsky included in his opening statements that he had never tried a case before. Why someone who admittedly has never tried a case before would take on a murder case was astonishing to not only the judge but the jury and defendant as well.

    To top it off, an investigator who had been hired by Rakofsky came forward about a request that Rakofsky had given him to “trick” a witness. According to a Washington Post [link] article, the e-mail read:

    “Thank you for your help. Please trick the old lady to say that she did not see the shooting or provide information to the lawyers about the shooting.”

    Rakofsky’s next move was to post the outcome of his trial as his facebook status. He was praised with “likes” and comments.

    It seems that neither Rakofsky’s law degree nor common sense played a part in his preparation and delivery for this case. This is a perfect example of why choosing an experienced and legitimate Tampa criminal defense attorney [link to her main site] is very important (one that is Board Certified is even better).

  3. Joshua B

    This is such a mean-spirited and, frankly, valueless post. It educates no one, serves no purpose but to rub salt in this person’s wounds. I think that perhaps this is the final straw for me, a long time reader – I’m sick of the vitriolic “bitter old man” posts. This is just another in a long line of many, but they truly eclipse the actual substantive, valuable posts I occasionally still see from you. I’m dropping your feed from my rss, and you’re off my blog roll.

  4. AP

    For of all sad words of tongue or pen,
    The saddest are these: “I’m dropping your feed from my rss, and you’re off my blog roll”

    Do get some rest today Mr. Greenfield for you have suffered a mighty blow.

  5. Jordan

    Palmieri is a criminal defense attorney. It’s her job to zealously defend her clients. Don’t you think it’s a bit ironic that she’s not willing to defend herself in a lawsuit where (a) she didn’t do anything wrong; and (b) the plaintiff can’t even get jurisdiction over her anyway?

    It suggests that her blog was simply a promotional tool and added no value to the legal community.

    It’s also, in my opinion, disgraceful to see a seasoned veteran like Palmieri roll over to Rakofsky of all people. The lawsuit is utterly frivolous, and his latest papers were rejected as “incomprehensible.” If you can’t beat that suit in court, or you aren’t willing to, what type of lawyer are you?

  6. SHG

    The type of lawyer whose internet persona exists only to market. When asked to stand up, runs the other way.

  7. Mark Bennett

    Palmieri’s original Rakofsky post was a blatant marketing effort. If it had been only a mediocre flawg post, I probably wouldn’t have included it in my Compendium. But my recollection is that it was dreadful.

    Here’s how I referred to it at the time:

    (For lulz, and against my better judgment but nofollowed) Attorney’s Procedure Results in Mistrial | Palmieri Law – Attorney …

  8. Jack B.

    I’m sure some kind soul will come along and let you know how informative this article was and that they’re bookmarking this page for future reference. That should counter the harsh sting of Joshua B. removing you from his RSS feed.

  9. SHG

    This is how it begins, with some worthless flawgery, laughable at the outset and intended neither to educate nor illuminate, but only to market.  And now we know how it ends, with self-humiliation and denigration of those whose lives and worlds aren’t constrained by self-promotion and self-aggrandizement.

    It really doesn’t seem that the lesson here is all that hard to grasp.

  10. Carolyn Elefant

    Of course the blog was promotional. Did you catch the last line in the original post “Call if you need a Tampa Criminal Defense Attorney.” Pure advertising – and in my opinion, most likely non-compliant with bar rules. Probably didn’t want to draw any more attention to it. That apology made me sick.

  11. Jordan

    What gets me is that one of her big flawging points is you should hire an experienced, aggressive attorney:

    “Palmieri Law is a Tampa Bay area criminal defense law firm focused on aggressively and meticulously defending all Florida State and US Federal criminal matters you may be facing.”

    Makes sense. I have to admit, Palmieri’s experience in Florida criminal defense law is impressive.

    However, then she turns around and seemingly gets intimidated by Rakofsky. A guy fresh out of law school. A guy who accused Marc Randazza of violating the ABA model rules (rules that don’t even apply in New York), whose most recent papers were rejected as “incomprehensible.” A guy that a DC judge said provided representation below what any reasonable person could expect in a murder trial under the Sixth Amendment. In a lawsuit involving incompetence. I’m not exactly shaking in my boots.

    Isn’t part of your job as a lawyer, especially a criminal defense lawyer, to not get intimidated or back down? How are you going to get intimidated by a recent law school graduate, making wild accusations, when you have 20 years of practice under your belt?

    More fundamentally, Rakofsky’s lawsuit is an abuse of the court system. By not fighting it, and admitting defeat so easily, Palmieri is complicit in letting this recent graduate fumble around using big, incomprehensible pleadings to try and intimidate real lawyers into settling frivolous claims.

    The profession as a whole is obligated to squelch this sort of thing. Not to tuck tail and run.

  12. SHG

    The apology reflects the future of the blawgosphere, maybe even the profession, as lawyers are seduced into flawging or purported death. Gotta eat, and standing up for principles and integrity doesn’t put food on the table.

  13. Jack B.

    I wonder if Mr. Rakofsky printed her apology and has it framed on his wall, right next to the copy of the settlement check he got from St. Thomas School of Law.

  14. AP

    In light of her apology, Laura Palmieri should consider some new catchy slogans for her web site. I suggest the following:

    1. I’ll cower for you!
    2. When only an apology will do
    3. I’ll fight for you … maybe!
    4. Just watch me … tell you why you must plead guilty
    5. Just watch me back down!
    6 When only a guilty plea will do!
    7. Fighting at trial is what some other lawyers do. At the Law Offices of Laura Palmieri we believe that’s too darn confrontational.
    8. Folding your tent is not just something campers do!
    9. Saying sorry doesn’t have to be hard!
    10. Have you been charged? Have you considered apologizing?

  15. mark z

    While I take no issue with your public flogging of her decision to settle with Rakofsky, your undignified, unprofessional and utterly mean spirited attacks on her are a huge letdown.

    You write: after looking at Palmieri’s website, “her disgrace begins to make sense. It stinks of desperation, using every gimmick the marketers promote. From the creepy video to the badges near her head. “

    Compare your site to hers, and I have to tell you, you have a face for radio.

    Then, you take another whack: ” the abject failure of the all the marketing gimmicks, scams and schemes, to make anyone notice Palmieri existed … “

    You made deeply personal attacks on HER and her livelihood, her business.

    For that, you lost me, you lost most of the message. Her site, her marketing – about which you know nothing unless you see what she does in the real world – or her trial work, about which you now 0 – merits such a vicious and needless diatribe?

    You lost me too. It’s ok to be wrong, or to write things in anger, revisit them and then soften it up just a tad. I’m guessing you won’t, which brings to mind my great grandfather’s advice: ‘Sometimes the best way to get out of a hole is to stop digging.’

  16. stephen orel

    Ms. Palmieri did make a subsequent post, in May. thanks to the wayback machine:


    This was the text:

    Lessons Learned from the Joseph Rakofsky Case
    May 20th, 2011 As I was catching up on my mail, faxes and email the other day, I discovered that I am being sued! Yes, it’s true. Even I, as a Tampa criminal defense attorney, am not immune to such situations. By whom, for what … you know the drill. Then I saw it! I am one of 74 parties being sued by Joseph Rakofsky for defamation as a result of my blog post “Attorney’s Astonishing Procedure Results in Mistrial”, in a case that has been dubbed “Rakofsky vs. Internet” by Scott H. Greenfield. I am in good company, it seems, with the likes of The Washington Post, The ABA Journal, American Bar Association and a vast number of my colleagues from around the country!

    As you might imagine, there has been a huge response from the law blogging community to Rakofsky’s continued foolish actions! Rather than to focus on those (although you should definitely spend a few minutes to read a few of them, like the posts on Avvo blog, Restoring Dignity to the Law and Simple Justice), I’d like to look at the Rakofsky situation as a case study from which to pull two valuable lessons.

    1.If you ever find yourself in need of a criminal attorney, be sure to do your homework. Ask about their experience, how many cases they have tried of a similar magnitude, evidence of their license to practice law, evidence of their continuing education work, etc. Use the internet, as you already have, to get a sense of the attorney’s reputation in the community for professionalism and ethics. Ask around, former clients and colleagues alike can refer you to a great lawyer.

    2.Ask about their credentials beyond their degree. Are they Board Certified? What other experience do they have beyond their practice (e.g., serving as a prosecutor, holding any chair or vice chair positions on state legal boards, etc.).

    You don’t want to find yourself in a situation of having to worry about the competence of your Tampa criminal defense lawyer while dealing with very serious criminal charges. In the Rakofsky case, his incompetence was overt and obvious. What if it hadn’t been? What if Rakofsky was “quietly incompetent”? How would the outcome of Dontrell Deaner’s murder trial be affected? Thankfully, we’ll never know. Deaner’s life was on the line and the judge saved him. He’ll ultimately get his fair trial represented by one of Washington D.C.’s best…but you can bet that having a well-rounded, qualified, experienced and Board Certified attorney can only be a good thing when in that situation.

  17. Jack B.

    We know plenty about what Ms. Palmieri does in the real world: she gets bogus legal threats and caves in.

    But I’m sure she caves in with passion, and that’s all that matters.


    She settled with a guy who filed a lawsuit against her where there was no jurisdiction. What does that say?

    As for the first name last initial whiners here who think the post is mean, why don’t they just write a nice post on their own blog?

  19. Jordan

    I don’t think anyone cares about her website or marketing.

    It’s the fact that she settled and apologized in a lawsuit where:

    – There is no jurisdiction over her
    – The judge’s comments on the records vindicate her post
    – The guy who filed it was only recently licensed, and his conduct and the pleadings suggest he has no idea what he’s doing
    – The suit is indisputably frivolous, and filed to try and intimidate people who criticize him.

    Palmieri has legitimate credentials. That’s why it’s stunning that she would roll over and apologize without any sort of a fight under the circumstances.

  20. stephen orel

    Ms. Palmieri also posted a comment on the Washington Post’s website to the its original article about Mr. Rakofsky. It’s still there: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-superior-court-judge-declares-mistrial-over-attorneys-competence-in-murder-case/2011/04/01/AFlymrJC_allComments.html?ctab=all_&#comments

    It reads:

    LoriDPalmieri-TampaCriminalAttorney wrote:
    5/25/2011 4:05 PM EDT I was so astonished by the Rakofsky situation, I took the opportunity in early April to blog about it! And after being notified a few days ago that I am one of the 74 parties that is being sued by him for defamation, I am even more amazed. Rakofsky’s bad judgment, inexperience and incompetence are a testament to the world that choosing a criminal defense attorney is very serious business; the decision should not be made lightly and only after extensive due diligence.

    * * *

    Ms. Palmieri’s apology says that b/c the Wapo story didn’t mention “five full days” of trial, or that it was Rakofsky who petitioned to be relieved, the story is misleading. Five full days? Presumably that counts jury selection. It is true that the Wapo story didn’t mention that Rakofsky asked to be relieved, instead the story noted that it was his client, Mr. Deaner, who wanted a change of lawyer. I don’t think Rakofsky has challenged the accuracy of that part of the story, and the transcript of the judge’s comments speaks for itself.

  21. d-day

    Compare your site to hers, and I have to tell you, you have a face for radio.
    . . .
    You made deeply personal attacks on HER

    Talk about missing the point. If you’re going to aggressively promote your work as an attorney, it shouldn’t ever be about your face (or your slick website’s “face”), it should be about your ideas and your integrity — something Ms. Palmieri seems to lack.

    It says something about a lawyer if she sees herself as primarily a businesswoman finding customers, rather than a member of the profession serving clients. If all we are is businesspeople, then we don’t deserve the power entrusted to us by the courts.

  22. SHG

    I have no problem with anyone who wants to disagree with me. Comes with the territory. But if the disagreement is “you’re too harsh,” then there’s nothing to discuss. I’m as harsh (or not) as I think appropriate, and have no expectation it will meet with universal approval.  You can’t please everyone, and if I don’t please somebody, that’s how it goes.

  23. SHG

    I suspect that Mark is operating under some misconceptions. For example, I think he sees my reference to the creepy video as a reference to Palmieri’s appearance (attractiveness?) rather than a reference to the use of this marketing device. Or the relationship between her carefully crafted internet marketing personna and the motivations for her initial Rakofsky post and her subsequent collapse, and the inter-relationship between them. 

    On the other hand, maybe Mark is a lawyer who thinks we should never hurt another lawyer’s business, no matter what they do. While it would be acceptable to attack the specific issue, it was wrong of me to put it into the larger context and use what’s clear and obvious (at least to us, though maybe not Mark) to explain why Palmieri’s actions are pathetic.

    He’s simply not sufficiently sophisticated to grasp the meaning of the content of the post, which skews his understanding.  Remember, Jordan, anyone can read blawgs, and each reader comes with his own limitations and understanding. Nothing to be done about it.  No matter what you write, some people aren’t going to get it.

  24. Ken

    It’s worth noting that her blog post is not only objectionable because it shows a level of cowardice inconsistent with being a criminal defense attorney.

    It’s also objectionable because it takes a dump on the First Amendment. It suggests that people have legal obligations before commenting that they do not, in fact, have.

  25. SHG

    It strikes me that the 1st Amendment piece is too obvious for discussion.  It seems more significant (at least to me) that there’s some “propriety” issue at stake, that it’s somehow wrong to speak against impropriety.  That’s precisely what lawyers need to do, and the argument that we should somehow conceal, ignore, “be reasonable,” say nothing, is precisely how and why bad lawyers get away with it.

  26. Mark z

    d-day and SG:

    Taking a break from readying for trial. I read the brief filed by Randazza, posted blog posts on the Rakofsky case on my blog, engaged in Twitter give and take.

    From a perspective of why this person settled, the manner and method, the resulting blog post by her, IMHO there is much to discuss about how wrong it was and how pathetic the decision is to settle.

    Several who have posted here are defendants in the case right? No one addresses the fact that the settlement amount should be discoverable so as to offset any claim for special or other damages? Just making the settlement confidential does not make it so. If there are recitations of fact, aren’t those discoverable?

    Now, on to the personal attacks, you are right. I live in the south so my intellect is probably not where a person of you ilk may be found.

    The ad hominem attacks (I looked it up) regarding her site are senseless and gutter bullying. It took away from your comment. Look, I could be right on a legal argument, but adding “you numbnuts motherfucker” to the end of it wastes the points made earlier don’t you think?

    After my trial next week I’ll spend some time in a blog post about it. Now if I can just find the correct dirt road to turn down on my way home …

  27. SHG

    The ad hominem attacks (I looked it up) regarding her site are senseless and gutter bullying.

    There are no ad hominem attacks, suggesting that you neither looked it up nor have a clue.  Sorry, Mark, but aside from your narcissism of thinking that your sensibilities should provide the bar for others to abide, your point is that you think it was mean.  You’re allowed to think whatever you want. I’m allowed not to care. This is why I don’t ask what you think before I do anything, ever.

  28. d-day

    I read the brief filed by Randazza, posted blog posts on the Rakofsky case on my blog, engaged in Twitter give and take.

    Me too.

    how wrong it was and how pathetic the decision is to settle


    the settlement amount should be discoverable so as to offset any claim for special or other damages?

    Have you ever once worked on a case involving comparative fault or contribution? Have you actually tried getting confidential settlement releases disclosed in a tort case? WTF are you talking about?


    Just because you disagree doesn’t mean the attacks don’t make logical sense. The bloggers who’ve been on this (not me) are trying to promote freedom and justice by taking a stand against bullying attorneys, like Rakofsky, who would exploit the legal system to work injustice. If you don’t stand up to the bully, you empower him for next time. That seems a more important concern than protecting the feelings of someone enabling one to do harm. The remaining defendants are perfectly justified in their anger at the settling defendants who’ve now FUNDED Rakowsky’s continuing farce of a lawsuit.

    And seriously, if a lawyer can’t even stand up to an idiot like Rakofsky, what the hell good are they anyway? Why shouldn’t people talk about it?

  29. Kathleen Casey

    Who knows about mark whoever? He can take a hike. Your face is wonderful. And what charisma. Much more than Robert whatshisname boy next door.

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