|Paul Alan Levy|
Public Defender is a "reputation management" company that claims it can have unflattering posts about CEOs and the like removed from the Web -- even if the posts are 100 percent accurate and never have been found in court to be false or defamatory. On its Web site, Public Defender cited Legal Schnauzer as a big, bad blog against whom it could protect helpless elites. I wrote a post about Public Defender, including evidence that suggests the company is a sham.
That apparently is something upon which Paul Alan Levy and I can agree. At 4 p.m. on October 11, 2016, Levy sent a comment to Legal Schnauzer, touting his work against Public Defender. One day earlier, I had heard from Eugene Volokh, a UCLA law professor who had co-authored a Washington Post article with Levy about their work related to Public Defender. Volokh is author of The Volokh Conspiracy, which once was one of the nations' most widely read legal blogs before moving to a new platform at The Washington Post in 2014.
Volokh was touting his recent article with Levy, apparently welcoming any coverage I might provide at Legal Schnauzer. Best I can tell, Volokh is a highly regarded scholar and probably a dandy fellow; I don't mean to diss him by putting him in the same boat with Paul Alan Levy. I think Levy is in a boat all his own when it comes to being a prick and a jackass. And did I mention he's a liar?
Here's how I responded to Levy regarding his blatant effort to use my blog to feather his own nest -- after treating me with utter disdain. This is from an e-mail I sent on October 11, 2016:
I have heard from both you and Mr. Volokh, in various forms, over the past two days re: Profile Defenders (PD) and Richart Ruddie. I gather you are responding to my recent report about Public Defenders essentially using my blog, Legal Schnauzer, to help advertise their "services."
While I share your concerns about Profile Defenders, a previous encounter with you gives me pause. Alabama deputies beat me up inside my own home (with no apparent warrant), doused me with pepper spray, and threw me in jail for five months over the very issue present in the PD story -- the use of unlawful preliminary injunctions to silence free speech and a free press.
Here is what I wrote to you on 3/27/14, the day after I was released from jail: For some reason, I was under the impression that Public Citizen actually cared about the sort of abuse I had suffered.
I am a journalist/blogger in Alabama, and I was released from jail yesterday after being incarcerated for five months because of a preliminary injunction in a defamation case. It's all very similar to Dietz v. Perez, and I thought it might be of interest to you. I need legal representation and wanted to see if we could talk. My case has been widely covered in the NY Times, Al Jazeera, Huffington Post and many other news outlets, and even right-wing commenters seem to acknowledge that the injunction without a trial (in fact, without any discovery at all) is wildly unconstitutional. I would appreciate any insights or guidance you can offer.
Don't know how I could have been any more courteous to you, but this is the response I received later that day:
"From what you say, you must be the guy who was enjoined and simply refused to comply with the injunction, and, from what I have heard from others, you were also too pigheaded to accept sound advice. Not a very attractive client for pro bono work!"
At the time, I was amazed that someone in your position could be so rude and thoughtless to someone who had just been released from a wrongful incarceration over First Amendment issues that you claim to champion. In fact, it made me wonder what Public Citizen really is all about -- if it is mostly for show, not attacking injustice.
Imagine my surprise to discover today that you had left a comment at my blog to more or less promote the recent article Mr. Volokh and you wrote on the PD case at The Washington Post.
That takes some audacity on your part, given the way you've treated me in the past, showing that you don't really give a flip about victims of injustice related to the First Amendment -- especially if they have been victimized by members of America's "legal tribe." I guess if I had gotten blow back from a review at Yelp, you would have jumped right on it. But a journalist beaten and incarcerated, on behalf of corrupt lawyers, because of an unlawful injunction in a defamation case? Nah, we don't care about that.
In your communication to me in 2014, you came across as one of the biggest jerks I've ever encountered, almost making light or sport of what had been done to me.
You are welcome to respond or explain yourself in any way that you care to, but I'm having a hard time figuring why I should want to have anything to do with you or your organization.
In a case of "a tiger does not change his stripes," here is how Levy responded:
I stand by what I said to you two and a half years ago.
You came to me on March 27, 2014, seeking free legal representation after having defied an injunction because you thought it was wrongfully issued, which you are simply not entitled to do. As it happened, I had previously been in touch with another First Amendment litigator who thought you difficult to work with and impervious to sound legal advice. Wholly apart from the fact that the legal representation you were seeking fell outside the normal limits of what sort of case we take on (as I explained to you in a part of my email that you have omitted here) I also concluded that it would not be a sound use of Public Citizen’s very scarce resources to represent you. I gave you a direct response that was not sugar coated. Perhaps you are not used to that.
Well, by golly, we learn that in LevyWorld, being an asshole is just another form of "being direct." What a convenient excuse that is. And notice in the highlighted section that Levy provides more evidence that he and some other lawyer (David Gespass, of Birmingham?) had trampled my right to attorney-client confidentiality.
Realizing that Levy was an even larger steaming pile of feces than I thought possible, I responded thusly:
No, I'm fine with directness. My problem is with jerks and phonies like you. I am, however, used to liars, which you seem to be since I have seen cases where you and Public Citizen represented individuals prior to appellate stage. Your Web site says, "Our attorneys litigate cases at all levels of the federal and state court systems." Is that a lie? That doesn't apply to cases of alleged defamation?
For sure, you are lying about me. I didn't "defy" an injunction, I challenged service on it and was waiting on a ruling when brown shirts entered our home and hauled me to jail. (I suppose you think it's fine for a cop to serve court papers during a bogus traffic stop, and such chicanery should not be challenged?) An Alabama lawyer who reviewed the file said we never were summoned to court in the first place, and that a preliminary injunction was issued before we even were served. (See letter at link below.)
Here's the truth: You jump on easy cases involving Yelp and such, but if lawyers are behind abuse of free speech, you have no interest in the case and essentially engage in a cover up. Corrupt lawyers like Rob Riley and Christina Crow caused me to be incarcerated, and you are their protector -- screw the First Amendment. You and Public Citizen are dishonest to the core -- and I see you still are a rude, thoughtless twit.
Here are a few questions for you:
(1) Who was the First Amendment litigator who told you I was difficult to work with? What specific examples did he give? Did he tell you this via phone, email? If by email, would you please send me a copy of the communication? Did you make any effort to get my side of the story, or you just take one lawyer's word for it.
(2) To what sound legal advice was I supposedly impervious? Please share some examples?
David Gespass letter (Also embedded at end of post)
No wonder so many people despise lawyers.
First, I corrected Levy on a few key points, noting that a lawyer who reviewed the file (Gespass) acknowledged we never had been summoned to court or lawfully served. I then challenged Levy to identify the "First Amendment litigator" who had trashed me and to describe the supposedly sound advice to which I was "impervious." Boxed into a corner, Levy apparently decided he didn't want to sass me anymore. His reply:
I have no interest in engaging in further dialogue with you about this.
I saw that as an opportunity to have the last word, so I let him have it again:
No, I'm sure you don't. But you want to use my blog to help promote your worthless activities at Public Citizen, and you strongly suggest that a First Amendment lawyer defamed me. If I were in your shoes, I wouldn't want to "further the dialogue" either. But you and PC may be hearing from me again real soon. Insulting victims of injustice and helping corrupt lawyers cover up their crimes, that's what Public Citizen is all about. Ralph Nader must be very proud. Should be fun to pull the mask off his bogus "advocacy group."
By the way, I thought of another lie from you. I never asked you for "free legal representation." I had no idea how PC conducted its fee arrangements.
This should be your motto: "Public Citizen: We might advocate for you if your case is easy and doesn't involve much effort on our part. But if your First Amendment rights have been abused by a pack of thieving lawyers and a hideously corrupt judge . . . well you are on your own, Bub. Our No. 1 goal is to protect the legal tribe at all costs. If they caused your problems, we will lie about you, insult you, help defame you, and blame you Our strategy in such cases is to 'blame the victim.' That's what Naderism has come to mean."
Did I mention that Levy is a lying sack of shit? Well, we have more evidence of that in an upcoming post.
(To be continued)