…and then there were 79
Joseph Rakofsky, who sued 81 people and entities for defamation (including me), has settled his suit against two of them. The University of St. Thomas School of Law and one of its staffers, Deborah Hackerson, have paid Rakofsky $5,000.
A copy of the stipulation and release, obtained from the County Clerk’s office, is here: St.ThomasLawSettlement
Scott Greenfield noted:
Rakofsky graciously offered to settle the case with all of the defendants for the “nominal” amount of $5,000. One would have thought that all the defendants laughed. Obviously, not all.
It was silly, an extortion attempt by a child. And they seized it.
What student could possibly go to a school that would pay off Rakofsky rather than tell him to go shit in his hat? A chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and nothing could be weaker than to succumb to paying off Joseph Rakofsky.
At some point, someone at this school is going to be charged with teaching ethics. How does a school so utterly lacking in principle do this? It can’t, but I guess no one thought of that when it approved of its insurance carrier buying its way out.
Mark Bennett wrote:
By settling with Rakofsky, the law school and Hackerson have painted a great big target on themselves for anyone else who wants to file a frivolous lawsuit. (Hear that, disgruntled unemployed St. Thomas grads? File that lawsuit; they’ll settle for nuisance value!)
Most of the defendants are fighting Rakofsky. They’ve joined together in several groups to share resources and hire counsel—not just because they can win the suit, but also because fighting is a matter of principle: they are fighting for free expression, and for the First Amendment. Because if you give one schmuck like Rakofsky money instead of utter humiliation in court, every schmuck whose feelings you hurt is going to file a lawsuit against you, and you’re going to have to either a) join the happysphere and stop speaking the truth; or b) spend your life settling vacuous defamation suits.
I can’t really add anything to that. I hadn’t been expecting any news about this case for a while. The plaintiff’s attorney has withdrawn and the next hearing isn’t until September 15, when the court will hear Marc Randazza’s motion for admission pro hac vice. I also had not planned on commenting much on the case. It’s just not any fun anymore. Still, this news is disappointing.