So… remember that story we just had about Raanan Katz, a real estate developer and a minority owner of the Miami Heat suing a blogger for defamation (and seeking to have her entire blog shut down and stop her from future posting) and then for copyright infringement over a hotlink to an “unflattering” photo of Katz? We’d mentioned that the blogger was defended by lawyer Marc Randazza, who has now revealed that Katz’s lawyers are now threatening to sue him directly if he doesn’t give up confidential attorney-client communications.
Katz’s lawyers sent Randazza a “draft complaint” they say they are prepared to file against him, claiming that he “acted in concert” with the blogger, and “substantially assisted or encouraged her in unlawful activities or have given substantial assistance to her in accomplishing a tortious result, and your own conduct, separately considered, constitutes a breach of duty.”
Randazza has responded, in court as part of the ongoing lawsuit, asking for a protective order against this “threatened litigation,” which Randazza suggests is really intended to get access to communications between him and his client, breaking lawyer-client confidentiality.
This letter seeks discovery of facts and circumstances outside of the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure…. This letter seeks exculpatory data from a Defendant’s attorney which is clearly attorney-client communications. In order to avoid being sued by RKA, defense counsel must tell RKA’s lawyers how and why defense counsel did not assist or promote Defendant’s critical blogging about the RKA Plaintiffs.
Given the activity in this case already, this certainly feels like an attempt to bury the case in more paperwork. We’ve seen this kind of thing before, with wealthy individuals who file a bunch of lawsuits, including against the lawyers who defend those they sue. It certainly seems like an attempt to create a nuisance, rather than to address any actual legal conflict (and, yes, to Katz’s lawyers: that’s an opinion).