Today I write in praise of First Amendment attorney Marc Randazza.
Frequent readers of the blog know that he's a friend. Today, I'd just like to articulate a few reasons why I admire him.
- Marc wins cases. That may not sound surprising, at first. But you'd be amazed how, in this insipid media age, so many lawyers are famous without being particularly good at law. Many famous lawyers show up for the cameras. Marc Randazza shows up to win the fight.
- I fancy myself as having, occasionally, a knack for coining a turn of phrase. Readers, friends, relatives, and random passers-by will tell you this is just one of the areas where my judgment is clouded by questionable self-regard. However, if you took every drop of rhetorical prowess I ever possessed, and cloned it tenfold in a secret snark laboratory, it would still be utterly inadequate to convey the extent to which Marc Randazza has curb-stomped the loathsome copyright troll Righthaven and its backers.
- Marc made Glenn Beck cry like a little girl.
- Marc is going to make Joseph Rakofsky cry like a little girl. And I suspect he's doing it on the cheap, because it's right.
- Marc is adept at deterring censorious twits from filing suit in the first place, whether they are professors or car salesman.
- Marc doesn't just defend people he agrees with or likes. He defends the free speech rights of people he can't stand, and who would probably scorn him.
- In a profession choked with lousy writers — especially, in my experience, the famous lawyers — Marc Randaza a compelling and entertaining writer who is not afraid to write a brief to the Patent and Trademark office discussing the history of dicks instead of the dry and tedious jargon too many lawyers rely upon.
- Marc Randazza frequently offers pro bono help to people threatened with various forms of censorship. I've been co-counsel with him in a couple of such cases, and know that he offers top-notch work combined with frank advice. The real trick with seeking pro bono help from a famous lawyer is that some of them want to resolve the matter in a way that contributes to their fame, whether or not that's best for the client. I've seen, from personal experience, that Marc advises clients based on their own best interests, not based on what will increase Marc's First Amendment badass fame.
- Marc Randazza's blog, the Legal Satyricon, is an elbow-throwing masterpiece, and inspired me to blog more seriously and frequently.
- If you are a friend, Marc has your back. Last week I had a few bad days — I had reason to believe that my family could be in danger. When Marc heard even the vaguest reference to it, he was on the phone telling me that in three hours he could be on my driveway camping out with a shotgun and a thermos of espresso. Of course, that was also his response when I asked him an obscure question about trademark law, but my point is that he's there for you.
Now, Marc's not perfect. Not everyone agrees with some of his clients or his work for them. And he says "fuck" a bit much for someone who isn't, technically, a David Mamet character. And now and then when he goes on a rant about religion and indulges in the "Jewish space zombie" rhetoric it irks the living shit out of me (but I don't dive for the fainting couch, because I figure Jesus will be OK and I will too).
But in a culture cluttered with people who are famous for no good reason whatsoever, Marc Randazza is an outlier: someone who is becoming famous as a First Amendment badass whose First Amendment badassery actually exceeds his rep. If I ever get sued for defamation, he's my first call.
Edited to add: Some other people also think well of him:
The Time I Unleashed Marc Randazza On The ABA
Marc Randazza, Hero
Marc Randazza Would Support Me, Right?
Marc Randazza: The Mark of Excellence
Marc Randazza: 1st Amendment Lawyer Exemplar
Marc Randazza: Super Lawyer, Super Blogger?
Marc Randazza, First Amendment Lawyer, on the Rush Limbaugh Fiasco
Marc Randazza: A Sentinel For Free Speech
Marc Randazza — First Amendment Badass
Marc Randazza: Why I Went To Law School
Marc Randazza, The First Amendment's Finest Friend
Rick Santorum v. Marc Randazza: A Dichotomy of Zealotry
Praised Be Marc Randazza
Marc Randazza – lawyer, blogger, free speech advocate
Marc Randazza, Among Other Sources of Inspiration
Marc Randazza, and some thoughts about the First Amendment
Marc Randazza, Floridian But Not Weird, First Amendment Defender, Vietnam Hero
In Praise of Marc Randazza
Marc Randazza: Lawyer Role Model
Marc Randazza's Entertaining — And Effective — Legal Writing
Marc Randazza: Super Cool Attorney
Marc Randazza: "It's Un-American To Silence Limbaugh"
The Fight To Save Pornographers is Also The Fight to Save the Advertising Industry
Marc Randazza, Driving The White Caddy
The Practice: A Lawyer To Emulate — Marc Randazza
Marc Randazza Is A Great Person
"Seeing that Righthaven was getting its just desserts reminded me of Marc Randazza."
Marc Randazza . . .
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