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Law Firm of

Greenberg Traurig seems to appear more and more often in complaints that we receive about cyber cops and assorted trademark abuses. It appears that the cyber cop of choice for Greenberg Traurig is Strategic Intellectual Property Information, or "SIPI", an India-based firm which we are sure has a rock-solid understanding of American intellectual property law. Right.

Two related clients of Greenberg Traurig and SIPI are Farouk Chi, the makers of hair irons that are over-priced, and Diane von Furstenberg, the tight-assed fashion designer who does not think her shit stinks. Matches made in heaven it would appear.

On February 9, 2009, Julie Bookbinder, Esq emailed a seller of Chi Irons, "We are intellectual property counsel to Farouk Systems, Inc. Thank you for your emails to our colleagues, below. Please provide photos of your remaining irons so we can fully re-evaluate your listings." The question that inquiring minds want to know is why were the listings terminated only to be restored a short time later? If Julie and friends can tell if the irons are legitimate from the pictures then why did SIPI, the hired gun of Greenberg Traurig, take action? Could it be because they are stupid? An what idiot at Greenberg Traurig thought it would be a good idea to out-source policing trademarks? And does their clients know this task is being assigned to a third world cyber cop who is probably charging 25 cents an hour instead of the $250 an hour that Greenberg Traurig bills? Perhaps your clients should take a close look at their billing from Greenberg Traurig? Does ethical misconduct sound familiar?

Hothead Harley?
Harley Lewin is rapidly becoming one of our favorites. In 2008, his over-bearing antics and probably illegal tactics resulted in a lawsuit against Greenberg Traurig, Harley Lewin and Larissa MacFarquhar of New Yorker magazine, for a variety of offenses characterized as a "home invasion" in the complaint. Since it appears that the lawsuits has been settled, confidentially of course, we can only speculate on how much it cost Greenberg Traurig and Harley Lewin to make it go away. And since our dear boy Harley is no longer with the firm we can only speculate as to why but we are guessing he was told to pack it in and leave.

You see, there was also the January 17, 2007 lawsuit filed by Yasmin Marinaro against Greenberg Traurig, Harley Lewin, Karen Morita and Stacey Dougan. The complaint alleged violations of NY City Human Rights Law including but not limited to a hostile work environment, unequal treatment, harassment and retaliation. Harley specifically:

¶20. Lewin actively perpetuated unlawful employment practices and discriminatory treatment complained of herein by, among other things, verbally denigrating Ms. Marinaro, both in private and in the presence of Ms. Marinaro's colleagues, on the basis of her gender and her actual and/or perceived ethniticity.

So, according to the complaint filed in County of Bronx, NY Supreme Court, #6590/07, Harley
  • described her to two male clients, within her earshot, as a "hot tomato";
  • told these two clients that they should "check her out," then called her into his office, "whereupon Lewin and his male guests ogled her";
  • referred to her by the nickname "Chiquita Banana";
  • ordered her into his office, "whereupon he would instruct her to view sexually explicit and inappropriate emails";
  • "encourag[ed] her to gain weight so that she would be more sexually attractive";
  • attempted to intimidate her into not coming forward with her allegations by sending her an email entitled "Be Careful," in which he urged her to "keep [her] own counsel"; and
  • played a role in her allegedly retailatory firing from Greenberg Traurig.
Harley, you dog! Arf, arf. Stay away from Michael Vick.

Also according to the lawsuit filed by Yasmin Marinaro:

¶13 Greenberg Traurig's principal attorneys have garnered international publicity for serial acts of etical misconduct including, inter alia, taking multi-million dollar kickbacks on tax shelters and orchestrating scandals that have affected the highest levels of the United States Government

Greenberg Traurig cannot say these are alleged because they have been shown to be true. On November 16, 2006, the New York Times carried an article titled, "Lawyer Tied to Kickbacks Quits the Bar".

A former senior partner at the law firm of Greenberg Traurig has formally resigned from the New York bar after admitting that he took $1.3 million in kickbacks for steering wealthy clients, including the current head of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, to questionable tax shelters.

Who was this person? Jay Gordon, the former chair of Greenberg Traurig's Tax Department who resigned from the New York bar after receiving over $1.2 million in kickbacks in tax shelter case. Gordon pled guilty to charges of obstructing the IRS and conspiracy to commit tax fraud. And Michael Smith and John Van Horne, attorneys for Greenberg Traurig in 2002, were involved in the Abramoff campaign money scams. They were let go in 2005. Attorneys Kevin Ring and Stephanie Leger were also under suspicion. Greenberg Traurig was attempting to become a major lobbying firm in Washington when it landed Abramoff, one of Washington's top rainmakers, and his team, in 2001. Abramoff was especially skilled at signing up Indian tribes and brought four of them onboard with Greenberg. With Abramoff and his team's help, the law firm became one of the must lucrative Washington lobbying shops between 2001 and 2004. Greedy law firm comes to mind here. Mired in ethical misconduct.

So why are we not surprised that Steven Wadyka, "upon introducing himself to officers of the Herndon Police Department and for the purpose of inducing those officers to accompany Law Defendants to Plaintiffs' house during the execution of the warrant, flashed a badge and indicated that he was a U.S. law enforcement official"? It fits right in with the rest of the ethical misconduct of Greenberg Traurig. We just wonder why he still has a job at Greenberg Traurig or is it that he has not been as bad a boy as Harley was? Keep trying, Steve. One day you also can be as big a shit ball as Harley Lewin. Something for which Steve Wadyka to aspire.
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