Worldnutdaily Appealing Esquire Suit


You may recall that the Worldnutdaily sued Esquire magazine earlier this year (for the Dr. Evil-like $250 million) for publishing a parody of Jerome Corsi’s birther bullshit that claimed his book had been recalled by the publisher for inaccuracies. That suit was quickly dismissed by the district court but the WND bravely soldiers on and the appeals court is about to hear the case. You might want to make note of their attorney:

A federal appeals court has set a briefing schedule in WND’s appeal of a district court judge’s decision to dismiss its $250 million lawsuit against Esquire magazine.

“We’re confident that the lower-court decision will be overturned – we’re extremely pleased that the court has set a briefing schedule, and we’re off to the races,” said WND’s attorney in the case, Larry Klayman.

I’m sure Klayman will do the same bang-up job he’s done for Bradlee Dean, who was ordered to pay the legal fees for the defendants (including my former employer, the American Independent News Network) in a similar case. And for the woman in Florida that he bilked out of $25,000. And in his custody case. And in all the cases where he’s been sanctioned and reprimanded by various courts. Some lawyers like to bill themselves as “the attorney for the stars.” Klayman is the attorney for the wingnuts (whenever Orly Taitz and Mat Staver are busy).

Comments

  1. martinc says

    Why do these people hire him? Sure, he may be one of the tiny number who agree with their philosophies, but surely his actual win/loss record would make them think twice? I mean, it’s like turning up to the court wearing a T-shirt that says “hey, Judge, please beat me soundly about the head and shoulders with a stick”.

  2. slc1 says

    Re martine @ #2

    Even more to the point, why hasn’t this asshole been disbarred? If this clown’s record of legal misbehavior isn’t sufficient to warrant disbarment, then of what use is the bar association?

  3. says

    If this clown’s record of legal misbehavior isn’t sufficient to warrant disbarment, then of what use is the bar association?

    It has more to do with monopolizing lawyering than quality control.

  4. says

    He’s suing over a parody? That shows both abysmal stupidity and the cellular-level intolerance and rigidity of thought that underlies every repressive fascist movement in human history. What does it say about our country when a licended lawyer even considers such a suit plausible?

  5. says

    My guess is that (1) he’s the only lawyer who would take a case like this, and (2) wingnuts have an uncanny ability to rationalize their losses into victories. In his mind (and those of his clients) he’s never lost a case. He’s only been victimized by the evil godless socialist mooslim homo conspiracy. All of his numerous humiliating defeats are actually (in his mind) proof that he’s a warrior for righteousness who’s destined for glory some day.

  6. matty1 says

    OT but there is a new site using the Michigan Messenger name? I’m guessing given the feed from Fox News and the fundraising for the Salvation Army that this is not the same outfit Ed was involved in, are there trademark issues here or was the name given up when the old MM closed?

  7. Ben P says

    Even more to the point, why hasn’t this asshole been disbarred? If this clown’s record of legal misbehavior isn’t sufficient to warrant disbarment, then of what use is the bar association?

    This is kind of a dumb question, although most non-lawyers don’t realize it, because its really hard to get disbarred.

    Most states have some sort of weekly or monthly legal industry publication that lists the discipline on attorneys issued by the conduct commission (or whatever the state equivalent is).

    I’ll pulled the most recent copy off my bookshelf and this is what’s there.

    Attorney 1 – Accepted $3500 to represent a party in a case, never filed suit, did not refund money, when contacted by investigator, denied ever having party as client. 3 Month suspension.

    Attorney 2 – Admitted committing insurance fraud by filling perscriptions in her own name which were used to provide drugs to a family member who used them for non-medical purposes. The insurer had already been paid in full for the perscriptions as part of a criminal plea agreement. 3 month suspension

    Attorney 3 – Failed to timely file a notice of appeal with the state supreme court in a capital case. (The court hears late criminal appeals anyway, because doing this is per-se ineffective assistance of counsel) – Official reprimand.

    Attorney 4 – Attorney accepted $3500 to administer an estate work, prepared initial pleadings but never followed up with the case. After client complained to ethics commission, attorney voluntarily refunded $2000 of fee. – Official Reprimand

    Attorney 4 (same attorney as 4 above) – Client paid $200 to attorney for consultation on defense of civil case. Attorney did not file answer and default judgment of $43,500 was entered against client, client returned to attorney who suggested she file bankruptcy. Client paid $800 to attorney to file bankruptcy, attorney then moved offices and claimed he lost the file. No bankruptcy petition was ever filed. After formal complaint was filed, attorney offered to pay $2300 to client to retain new bankruptcy counsel. – Official Reprimand

    Attorney 5 – After accepting representation of criminal defendant for appeal, Supreme Court found attorney’s briefing deficient and ordered him to prepare a new brief. After requesting 2 extensions of time he failed to file any brief. – Official reprimand.

    The worst thing I’ve heard about Klayman was that a client had paid him a substantial sum of money for representation and then claimed he didn’t do anything. Depending on the facts, that could merit a suspension, or possibly nothing if he actually had done something, but client was just unhappy with result.

  8. slc1 says

    Re Ben P @ #8

    How about filing frivolous law suits that waste court time? Klayman and Taitz are guilty of this multiple times.

  9. Ben P says

    How about filing frivolous law suits that waste court time? Klayman and Taitz are guilty of this multiple times.

    That’s sort of a different matter.

    Any court of law has the inherent power to sanction lawyers appearing before it. Typically the sanctions involve monetary fines for wasting the courts time or pissing off the judge.. This is somewhat rare, but it happens. IIRC both Klayman and Taitz have had this happen multiple times. More common is being ordered to pay the other side’s attorneys fees, which is allowed in some kinds of cases generally, but may be ordered in any case as a sanction if the party is engaging in some sort of BS.

    Attorney discipline on the other hand is usually in the hands of the state agency responsible for licensing lawyers and determing whether they are violating the ethics rules for attorneys. A court can refer attorneys to that board, but aside from a few small exceptions, doesn’t have the power to disbar attorneys itself.

  10. says

    “I mean, it’s like turning up to the court wearing a T-shirt that says “hey, Judge, please beat me soundly about the head and shoulders with a stick”.”

    I’d say it’s a bit more like getting pulled over while driving shit-faced and sporting a t-shirt that says, “Fucking cops fucking suck, the fucking fuckers!”. It will not result in just losing one’s license, trust me on that much.

  11. ajb47 says

    slc1 @3

    There has to be a complaint filed for breaking one of the Bar’s ethical rules. Jack Thompson did a lot of stuff before he was finally disbarred. And one of the problems with filing the complaint is that you then have to deal with the accused’s bullshit during the lead up to the hearing.

  12. MikeMa says

    The appeal lacks merit, as did the original suit to be sure. I can hear Klayman using a line similar to the one used in Animal House when they were reviewing new pledges for acceptance, “We need the dues”. Klayman needs the fees.

    Win or lose, martyrdom is the goal. Farah can make additional, desperate appeals for money on a loss. Fools and their money and all that.

  13. says

  14. bobaho says

    This is kind of a dumb question, although most non-lawyers don’t realize it, because its really hard to get disbarred.

    I am not sure that is as dumb as you make it out to be. To this observer it indicates the depths of depravity that the legal profession has sank. It does not appear that the bar association is as interested in maintaining professionals in the ranks as it is interested in, as others point out, creating an artificial environment where its members are free to fleece an unsuspecting populace.

  15. slc1 says

    Re Ban P @ #11

    Is Mr. Ben P telling us that filing frivolous law suits is not unethical behavior? I have to agree with Mr. boboho @ #17, this doesn’t say much for the legal profession.

  16. Ben P says

    Re Ban P @ #11

    Is Mr. Ben P telling us that filing frivolous law suits is not unethical behavior? I have to agree with Mr. boboho @ #17, this doesn’t say much for the legal profession.

    I challenge you to define Frivolous in a way that either does not

    (a) Punish people with real injuries who have only tenuous theories that would allow them recovery

    (b) Determine frivolousness on a subjective standard which is what it currently is.

    You effectively want to impose your definition of Frivolous on people and punish them for filing lawsuits. That just doesn’t work becasue every thinks everyone else’s lawsuits are frivolous, but when they’ve been injured, their claims are completely meritorious.

    That’s why the current standard is that something is frivolous only if it is false or not filed in good faith and/or filed for an improper purpose such as harassment or delay.

    SLAPP statutes specifically speak to defamation actions like this one and impose a higher bar, but as to a general lawsuits that turns out to be a ridiculous choice to make.

  17. baal says

    Each State runs a separate bar. Some States are more stringent than Ben’s. OTOH, State bars rarely do anything on their own. They are more like the courts than the police. The people hiring Klayman etal would need to bring the ethics violations. One problem there is that they more or less need to be innocent and harmed parties for their complaints to be treated on the merits by the Lawyer’s Boards of Ethics. Most of the plaintiffs are similarly ideological and just as screwed up as these problem attorneys. Since there is an overwhelming bias towards letting people have their day in court, ideological attorneys like Klayman get to keep showing up.

  18. slc1 says

    Re Ben P @ #19

    All of these birther law suits are frivolous for a simple reason. The courts have no jurisdiction in this matter. There is no remedy that the courts can provide because they have no power to remove the president from office, which is the supposed purpose of the lawsuits. That is clearly defined by Article II, Section 2 as the purview of the Congress.

  19. Ben P says

    All of these birther law suits are frivolous for a simple reason. The courts have no jurisdiction in this matter. There is no remedy that the courts can provide because they have no power to remove the president from office, which is the supposed purpose of the lawsuits. That is clearly defined by Article II, Section 2 as the purview of the Congress.

    True, but also not on point. I’ve certainly not looked at every Birther suit, but the ones I have seen all had specific procedural goals. They were suing a State Secretary of State seeking to enjoin the Secretary of State from certifying election returns until Obama had proven his eligibility for candidacy, or suing the Social Security Administration under FOIA to get them to produce records of OBama’s SSN, or other similar things.

    Most I’m aware of didn’t simply sue the government alleging Obama was foreign born, nor, to my knowledge were any denied on the basis that no remedy could be afforded.

  20. says

    matty1 wrote:

    OT but there is a new site using the Michigan Messenger name? I’m guessing given the feed from Fox News and the fundraising for the Salvation Army that this is not the same outfit Ed was involved in, are there trademark issues here or was the name given up when the old MM closed?

    No, definitely not the same group. I assume they let it lapse and some other group grabbed it. Makes me sad.

  21. slc1 says

    Re Ben P @ #22

    I’m not a lawyer but, IMHO, lawsuits to prevent certification of a state election, based on the alleged ineligibility of a candidate, is also frivolous. That’s because nobody voted for Obama (or Romney or Stein for that matter). They voted for a slate of electors who were pledged to vote for Obama, Romney, Stein, etc. in the electoral college. I don’t know about other states but that information was explicitly printed on the ballot in Virginia. I don’t see that the various secretaries of state have any say in the matter as to the eligibility of presidential candidates as their names are only on the ballot to refer to a slate of electors. There is nothing in the Constitution relative requirements for electors, other then the fact that they cannot be federal office holders. As I understand it, the only thing that the certifying authorities are doing is certifying that a given slate of electors won the popular vote.

    The only viable legal approach as I see it would be to get an injunction from a federal judge preventing electors from voting for an ineligible candidate, provided that it can be proven that the candidate is ineligible.

    Thus, all lawsuits that were filed after Obama was inaugurated in 2009 during his first term in office were frivolous because the time for the viable approach I cited has expired.

  22. Ben P says

    RE: SLC1 #24

    The electors really don’t matter. You’re partially correct on the hypothetical, but it can go deeper.

    I’ll give you an example from my state. We had five ballot referendums this year. Ballot Referendums 3 and 4 were proposals to allow specific entities to operate casinos within the state.

    About 3-4 weeks before the election, the state supreme court declared the Ballot Referendums were unpopular, however the ballots had already been prepared and certified, so the casino proposals remained on the ballots, it was simply the case that no “yes” votes for those referendums would be counted.

    Depending on the timing of the suit the exact same thing could happen with a candidate. To set aside the utter silliness of the Obama challenges for the moment I’ll make up a different hypothetical.

    State x has a statutory requirement that any candidate for governor must have been a resident of the state for two years prior to the election.

    Candidate A declares his candidacy for governor. His political opponents say he is legally unqualified to run for governor because he hasn’t lived inside the state for two years. Candidate A says “nonsense, I’ve owned a house inside this state for 10 years and stay their regularly, I also pay taxes in this state.”

    The proper method to challenge this would likely be for some citizen to sue the State Secretary of State (and Candidate A) arguing that the Court should rule Candidate A is ineligible to run for governor, and that the Court should prohibit the secretary of state from certifying Candidate A as a candidate.

    if it’s done in time and successful, maybe Candidate A gets struck from the ballot altogether. But suppose the decision comes down 2 weeks before the election. Then you have exactly the situation, where a court Rules Candidate A is ineligible, and votes for him simply won’t count.

    If this were a presidential election, the onyl way electors change it is how the electors are directed to vote. A little mroe than half of states have laws directing how electors should vote. If all the votes for one candidate didn’t count, state law would direct electors to vote for a different candidate.

  23. Ichthyic says

    then of what use is the bar association?

    This is kind of a dumb question, although most non-lawyers don’t realize it, because its really hard to get disbarred.

    *looks at list of egregious and borderline(?) criminal activity of lawyers that at worst got a 3 month suspension*

    my conclusion is that you’re wrong, based on your own list there, Ben.

    it wasn’t a dumb question at all.

  24. slc1 says

    Re Ben @ #25

    Again, I can’t address what the ballots in other states say but in Virginia, they explicitly state that one is voting for a slate of electors pledged to candidate A. One is not voting for candidate A. Thus, the argument relative to other offices or referendum seems to me to not be on point, as in these cases, one is directly voting for the candidate or referendum.

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