Richard Leibowitz, who has been infamously dubbed as a "copyright troll" for filing numerous low-value copyright infringement complaints on behalf of photographers, has been suspended from practicing law in New York State.
As my colleagues have reported here, here, and here, Liebowitz has already been sanctioned by several courts for misconduct, including the Southern District of New York (SDNY). Indeed, the SDNY, where Leibowitz has filed more than 1,000 copyright infringement complaints, suspended him from practicing on an interim basis last year. (Read more here.) That suspension came after the attorney was sanctioned by several judges for failure to comply with court orders and false statements to the court (including about the date of Leibowitz’s grandfather's death as an excuse for missing a court conference).
Yesterday’s decision from the Appellate Division, Second Department suspended Liebowitz "until further order of the Court" as "reciprocal discipline" for the SDNY’s suspension. The court reasoned that, irrespective of Liebowitz's "recent attempts at introspection and contrition," he "nonetheless minimizes frequent behavior that made a mockery of orderly litigation processes by attributing it to 'sloppiness' and 'administrative failures.” Thus, in a unanimous opinion, the court held that Leibowitz “has engaged in conduct immediately threatening the public interest and his immediate suspension from the practice of law is warranted." (Read more on attorney suspension due to a public interest threat from the perspective of the Giuliani disciplinary proceeding here, here, and here).
Leibowitz "has engaged in conduct immediately threatening the public interest and his immediate suspension from the practice of law is warranted."