Notice of Filing of Liebowitz Sanctions Order

Copies of this 54 page sanctions order against copyright attorney Richard Liebowitz hit the dockets of dozens of Texas federal courts this week.

SDNY Judge Jesse Furman required that his order be filed in all Liebowitz’ cases. It details Liebowitz’ filing history and attaches as an appendix a listing of 40 prior sanctions orders involving him, which it concedes is not likely exhaustive.

It requires him to pay sanctions of over $103,000, and serve the following with a copy of the order:

  • his client in the case;
  • every other client he has;
  • the court in every case he has pending;
  • the court in every case he files in the next year;

The Court will send a copy of the order to the chair of the Court’s grievance committee for its review in deciding whether to disbar Liebowitz from practicing in the SDNY.

The Court also required Liebowitz to file in every future case for a year as an exhibit to the complaint a copy of the deposit files maintained by the Copyright Office reflecting prior registration of the work.

The recent Order is certainly the most significant in the growing body of Liebowitz sanctions case law. But there’s always next week.

Another juicy contentions amendment/sanctions order

So shoot me if I’m off topic. My engineering student (who is still looking for an internship in electrical and computer engineering this summer, if you know anyone) comes home from Baylor Thursday night for Easter and cooks a prototype of his new “folded steak” recipe (he cut an 8 oz. filet partway multiple times, unfolds it to cook, then folds it again over some kind of herbed butter because no one needs to live forever). It worked so well he made eight more for the whole family Saturday night.

You know what ALSO worked well recently? The plaintiff’s motion to amend its infringement contentions which not only worked – the defendant’s related motion for sanctions was denied as well. (The cross motion for sanctions for filing a motion for sanctions was also denied because of course).

Public reprimand for “inexcusable” lack of diligence in connection with venue declaration

Fourteen years ago now, two residents of the Eastern District of Texas drove the few miles that separated their homes from LBJ Freeway in Dallas, where they were rear-ended by a truck driver from Tyler, resulting in the death of their daughter/granddaughter in the back seat. Several months later the survivors of that collision, who had since moved out of the Eastern District, filed a product liability case in the Eastern District.

In its rulings (there were three) on the petition for mandamus of the district court’s order denying the defendant’s motion to transfer venue the Fifth Circuit held that it was the plaintiffs’ current residence, i.e. the residence at the time the suit was filed, that was relevant, not their residence at the time the cause of action arose. The consequences of that ruling have affected the actions of parties, district courts and the Federal Circuit ever since, including in a recent order publicly reprimanding an attorney for inaccurate factual contentions contained in his client’s declaration opposing a motion to transfer.

Emergency motion practice

An issue that sometimes comes up in the at times frenetic world of complex civil litigation is when it is appropriate to caption a motion as “emergency”.  A complete discussion of the topic is beyond the scope of this post, but there is a data point that’s worth mentioning.

… but her emails

You know those cases where an employee leaves the company and after being sued by the employee the company discovers that some things happened to documents relating to the claim?  This is one of those cases, and the aspect we’re looking at is the motion for sanctions arising out of the alleged destruction of documents alleged by be relevant to the claims by the former employee.