Alex Jones’ Lawyer Violated Legal Ethics By Soliciting Porn Bribes. Just How Dirty Is Marc Randazza?

America’s foremost attorney for far-right extremists wanted “a little gravy,” then lied to cover it up. That’s just part of his twisted journey through a lax legal system.
HuffPost image

One morning this June, a group of lawyers filed into the office of the State Bar of Nevada and closed the door. It was summer in Las Vegas, the morning temperature already nearing 100 degrees, but inside the low-slung tan building, the lawyers had a chilly question to address: what to do about one of their own.

Marc Randazza had been a problem for years.

Randazza, who represents conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and many other far-right extremists, had long relied on lawyer buddies to pump his public image. By their telling and his own, Randazza was a First Amendment “badass.” But he was a combative badass, even vicious, and he’d left a trail of bad blood and trampled ethics behind him.

Randazza had made enemies. Plenty of them. But he was cunning. He’d sidestepped previous bar complaints and once avoided paying $600,000 in damages to his former employer by filing for bankruptcy and having his malpractice insurance kick in. Randazza was lucky, too. When an appeals court assigned a panel of judges to look into his misrepresentations in court under oath, the underlying case settled before the panel could meet. So off Randazza went, scuttling along through the Mojave as unaccountable as a scorpion.

His problems, though, now appeared to be gaining on him. For five years, the Nevada Bar had been aware of allegations that Randazza violated ethics rules in 2011 and 2012 while working for pornographers. By the time the lawyers met in Vegas to decide his fate, Randazza had attained a new level of notoriety.

Since Donald Trump’s election, he had become, as much as any attorney in America, a legal crowbar for far-right grifters and goons to leverage the protections of democracy in an effort to undermine them. And although Randazza had taken on legitimate free speech cases in the past, he’d grown curiously chummy with fascists and racists who use defamation, harassment and threats to silence others.

Aside from Jones, Randazza and his firm represented neo-Nazi publisher Andrew Anglin; white nationalist Republican congressional candidate Paul Nehlen; white supremacist patriarch Jared Taylor; Holocaust-denying slanderer Chuck Johnson; Pizzagate peddler Mike Cernovich; pro-rape misogynist Daryush “Roosh” Valizadeh; an alt-right member who helped organize the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia; the booking agent for white nationalist Richard Spencer; 8chan, an online message board teeming with neo-Nazis; and Gab, the alt-right social media platform where Robert Bowers, who allegedly killed 11 people at a synagogue in Pittsburgh in October, appears to have radicalized himself.

In Randazza, these extremists had found their own bush league Roy Cohn, the attorney who in a pre-internet era served as the “legal executioner” for right-wing thugs such as Trump and Joseph McCarthy and repped mafia bosses like Carmine “Lilo” Galante and “Fat Tony” Salerno. (Cohn was disbarred for “dishonesty, fraud, deceit and misrepresentation” shortly before he died in 1986.)

Like Cohn, Randazza was willing to go on the offensive for authoritarians. And like Cohn, Randazza’s legal license and bunco man’s talent for beguilement made him as problematic as some of the people he represented. This summer, a former federal judge who’d scrutinized Randazza’s unethical behavior in an arbitration proceeding described the attorney as nothing short of a danger to the public.

Certainly, Randazza’s misbehavior had happened in public — it was all there in the court records for anyone who cared to slog through them, a testament to how easily a bad actor with the right credentials can abuse a system that assumes candor from its professional class, not to mention an illustration of how white-collar privilege can abet white-collar wrongdoing in America. Like a Wall Street banker selling bad debt or a well-connected U.S. Supreme Court nominee fibbing under oath, Randazza had been given a pass. Until now.

The backstory to what he’d done was complicated, the details sordid. The short of it is this: While working as the in-house general counsel for gay pornographers a few years ago, he solicited bribes, embraced conflicts of interest, relied on ill-gotten privileged information to gain a legal advantage, made misrepresentations about his fees to various courts and despoiled evidence of his treachery, according to an arbitrator’s findings, sworn statements in legal proceedings, interviews with opposing counsel, Randazza’s own admissions and thousands of pages of court records.

But what was the Nevada Bar prepared to do about it?

A Troll Is Born

Randazza grew up in Gloucester, Massachusetts, where his Sicilian family immigrated, worked as fishermen and gained repute as champion traversers of greased poles during the town’s annual St. Peter’s Fiesta. Randazza chose a different path. In high school, he was voted “most likely to be dead or in jail” by 25. He claims to have failed out of the University of Massachusetts three times.

Twenty-year-old Randazza enlisted in the U.S. Army during one hiatus from college with the goal of becoming a psychological operations soldier, according to military records obtained by HuffPost. He lasted less than five months in the Army. Randazza completed boot camp and airborne “jump school” training but appears to have washed out of psy-ops training and was discharged for undisclosed reasons during the Gulf War.

He returned to the University of Massachusetts and plunged into controversy. A school administrator at the time remembers Randazza as “an oppositional personality” who was “just interested in burning stuff down.” Randazza lived in Butterfield Hall, a dorm known for its drug-fueled parties, and took to flying a Jolly Roger flag from an antenna on the building’s slate roof ― an early, if misguided, free speech stand. Randazza, the former administrator said, egged on other students to climb on the steep roof. The school removed the flag several times because of safety concerns, only to have someone put it back up, at one point by allegedly using explosives to blast off metal bars the school had installed over windows to prevent students from accessing the roof. Randazza claimed the bars “rusted and fell out.”

When one female student complained that the flag resembled the logo of White Aryan Resistance, a prominent neo-Nazi organization, Randazza mocked her concerns and covered a letter she’d written in crude sexual insults, according to the student newspaper. The insults, he said, were his “trademark.”

Randazza seemed to delight in antagonizing the UMass administration.
Randazza seemed to delight in antagonizing the UMass administration.
Massachusetts Daily Collegian

It took Randazza seven years to graduate from UMass with a journalism degree in 1994. After college, he drifted for a few years — a period he vaguely refers to as his time as a “former news reporter,” although scant evidence of his journalism career exists. Randazza filed at least two dispatches from Italy, where he now has dual citizenship, for the newsletter of the Order Sons of Italy in America, a national organization for people of Italian heritage.

In 1997, Randazza managed to get into Georgetown law school; he said he finished a “dead last” in his class. He caused a furor when he ran for the Student Bar Association using campaign posters that referenced penile implants. When the Women’s Legal Association tore down the posters, Randazza protested to the dean that his political speech was being censored. He got to put his posters back up. “And then,” Randazza gloated on one legal blog, “the WLA cow had to apologize to me.”

Randazza completed his third year of law school at the University of Florida because, as he put it, he never fit in at Georgetown: “I found it to be too conformist and oppressive. I’m a hardcore left-wing guy, but at Georgetown, there was no room to dissent.” (Georgetown is a large law school that graduates students from all walks of life and political backgrounds. Among them: Atlantic Media owner David Bradley, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, House Majority Leader-elect Steny Hoyer, criminal Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff, and criminal Republican lobbyist and former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort.)

In almost every interview, Randazza describes himself as a “leftist” or a “libtard” or “so liberal” that he’s “practically a communist,” which might have been accurate in 1996, when he listed his party affiliation as the Socialist Workers Party, according to Florida voter registration records. But it wasn’t in 2000, when Randazza volunteered for John McCain’s presidential campaign. Since at least 2002, Randazza has been a registered and active Republican voter, according to both Florida and Nevada records.

“He went out of his way to take advantage of us. With him, there’s always an end game that occurs at the expense of somebody else. And he has no remorse.”

- Brian Dunlap, vice president of Liberty’s sister company, Excelsior

He began his legal practice in earnest around that time and, with his bad grades, struggled at first to find a job. He claimed to shun the idea of working at a big firm because “it’s all about being a billing machine and ethics aren’t important.” Instead, his moral compass pointed to pornography, which he called “one of the most ethical industries I have ever dealt with.”

In 2004, he landed a junior position at a small firm that specialized in First Amendment and intellectual property cases. His career received an immediate and major boost when Fox News made him a talking head after an academic paper he wrote about online vote swapping garnered national attention. From the start, though, smut was Randazza’s primary focus. In Florida, the porn lawyer tooled around in a yellow Porsche with U.S. paratrooper plates.

In 2009, he took a nearly $250,000-a-year job in San Diego as in-house general counsel for Excelsior Media, a gay porn company, and Excelsior’s production and distribution arms Liberty Media Holdings and Corbin Fisher. (Because all of the cases Randazza worked on involve Liberty as a party, we will refer to his employer as Liberty throughout this article.) Liberty later relocated to Las Vegas, and Randazza moved with the company.

On his first attempt at passing the Nevada Bar exam, Randazza failed the ethics portion of the test.

The Porn Lawyer Ascendant

Randazza staggered naked down the stairs, clutching a bottle of red wine. It was January 2010, and the attorney was boozing it up at the villa Liberty had rented for a location-scouting trip to Costa Rica. Around 9 a.m. that day, according to court records, Randazza stopped studying for the California Bar exam and started guzzling vodka and peach soda. He kept drinking over lunch at a nearby hillside restaurant, tossing back so many cocktails that he had to be helped outside to vomit in the parking lot. Brian Dunlap, vice president of Liberty’s sister company, Excelsior, drove Randazza back to the villa in a rental Jeep, the vehicle bouncing over small cobblestone roads as Randazza puked violently out the window, his heaving taking on a staccato rhythm with the bumps.

Back at the villa, Dunlap got the attorney into his bedroom and went to hose down the Jeep. But Randazza was soon back on his feet and making for the pool with a wine bottle. Now, he was naked. The Liberty executives looked on, laughing. One of them filmed the glassy-eyed Randazza wobbling into the pool.

“As your attorney,” Randazza said, turning full-frontal to the camera as he held his wine bottle aloft, “I advise you to drink this.”

Marc Randazza getting drunk and naked on a trip to scout porn shoot locations in Costa Rica.
Marc Randazza getting drunk and naked on a trip to scout porn shoot locations in Costa Rica.
HuffPost image

Initially, Randazza’s antics seemed harmlessly incorrigible. And his raffish demeanor was hardly out of place in the freewheeling porn industry. Randazza didn’t just party with his bosses. He procured concealed carry permits for them, helped them with legal name changes and sorted out their messy personal affairs. On one occasion, he acted as a cooler after a Liberty performer who was in a sexual relationship with the company’s CEO allegedly attacked the executive. Randazza bundled the porn actor into a cab bound for the airport and a flight out of Las Vegas.

“[Your] 702 area code privileges have been revoked,” he told the man.

Above all, though, Randazza served as Liberty’s attack dog. His main duty was to go after copyright infringers, earning a 25 percent bonus on any settlement funds he brought in. Some of the infringers were companies, but Randazza also shook down gay kids and small-time pirates, even unemployed ones.

But Randazza was two-timing Liberty. He was secretly doing work for Liberty competitors such as Bang Bros, Titan Media and, sometimes billing his outside clients almost 100 hours a month. He also worked for companies accused of infringing Liberty’s copyrights, including XVideos. Most attorneys would shun these conflicts of interest. Randazza barreled into them. He played clients off each other and cited “fair use” to dissuade Liberty from suing infringers.

“The big targets that we kept asking him to go after for months were his clients,” Dunlap said. “We kept saying, ‘What about XVideos? What about XVideos? They’re the worst.’”

Only years later did Liberty executives realize that when they sent takedown notices to XVideos, the lawyer handling them sat down the hall. Randazza invoiced XVideos for over $44,000 while employed by Liberty.

“He went out of his way to take advantage of us,” Dunlap said. “With him, there’s always an end game that occurs at the expense of somebody else. And he has no remorse.”

Randazza misled people on multiple fronts. When he started his Liberty job, he accurately described himself in court as the “in-house counsel for Liberty Media Holdings.” But a year later, he was giving judges, journalists and potential clients the impression that he was an outside attorney, rather than a Liberty employee. He swapped out his Liberty email address and letterhead for a personal email address and the letterhead of the “Randazza Legal Group,” a firm he’d set up in Florida. He handed out personal business cards that made no reference to his Liberty job.

In court filings, Randazza referred to himself as “counsel for Plaintiff” or “an attorney for the Plaintiff.” He told courts that Liberty had “incurred” his fees or that he’d “charged” the company at billing rates of $425 to $500 per hour. To support those rates, he sometimes filed affidavits from a paralegal who stated under oath that he was Liberty’s “Vice President for Intellectual Property Management,” a position Dunlap said the paralegal never held. Randazza also submitted affidavits from lawyer friends of his, along with time sheets showing his rates, even though he was a salaried employee.

It’s not clear why he did this. He may have thought it would make it easier for him to recover fees, which juiced his 25 percent bonus on settlement money and allowed him to hike up his rate ceiling. (He now charges some clients $700 per hour.)

In the U.S. legal system, each party typically pays its own legal bills. There are, however, provisions in some types of litigation — federal copyright cases, for example — that allow for the winning party to collect its fees from the losing party. Judges would probably scrutinize an in-house counsel’s request to recover fees more closely, according to several ethics experts and law professors. But an in-house counsel has just as good a chance at recovering fees, the experts added — a fact Randazza might not have been aware of at the time.

“All the stuff that is misleading is tailored for him to win that fee award,” said Adam Springel, a Las Vegas attorney and expert in commercial and business law who examined a number of Randazza’s fee filings at HuffPost’s request. “He was clearly trying to get the judge to rubber-stamp his fee requests.”

By creating the impression that he was an outside hired gun, Randazza may have also been trying to build name recognition and drum up business for the Randazza Legal Group, whose growth Liberty was subsidizing. Randazza didn’t tell his employer about some of the fee awards he won — “the substantial ones, in particular,” Dunlap said — and later refused to let Liberty audit the account where he deposited litigation payouts. He said it would look better in court to use the Randazza Legal Group on filings, as “insulation” for his employers.

“We took it as legal advice, and didn’t think much of it at the time,” Dunlap said. “We had no idea to what extent he was trying to double dip. ... But when we discovered he was trying to say he was an outside firm charging us hourly and running up huge legal bills, that’s when it became apparent he was trying to pull a fast one with the court.”

Greedhead & Fleecer, LLP

Randazza’s dirty pool went beyond duping his employer and the courts. He was also soliciting illicit payoffs from parties that Liberty wanted him to sue. Records that surfaced during the arbitration proceeding and that were later made public in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Nevada reveal the grimy particulars. In December 2010, while negotiating a settlement for Liberty with the website TNAFlix, Randazza went after his first bribe. He wanted TNA to pay to “conflict [him] out” of being able to sue the website again. A $5,000 “contract” figure came up. Randazza’s opposing counsel, Val Gurvits, had no idea that Randazza was working in-house for Liberty at the time.

“Not a single communication from him ever came on Liberty letterhead,” Gurvits told HuffPost.

Randazza concealed his job while hunting for money from other companies. But he didn’t hide his avarice.

“There needs to be a little gravy for me,” he emailed Gurvits. “And it has to be more than the $5K you were talking about before. I’m looking at the cost of at least a new Carrera in retainer deposits after circulating around the adult entertainment expo this week. I’m gonna want at least used BMW money.”

Randazza asked for $30,000 and raised the possibility of teaming up with Gurvits to broker a sale of TNA to one of Randazza’s outside clients, which could have earned him a $375,000 commission. He pushed hard to secure both deals. When Gurvits hesitated, Randazza claimed another company wanted to hire him to sue TNA.

“I can’t hold these guys back any longer,” he warned.

Marc Randazza worked long hours chasing porn money, some of it illicit.
Marc Randazza worked long hours chasing porn money, some of it illicit.
Owen Freeman for Huffpost

Randazza’s first known solicitation of a bribe was an apparent violation of the Nevada Rules of Professional Conduct, which forbid lawyers from “offering or making” agreements like these that could restrict them from practicing law. (The Nevada rules mirror the model rules of the American Bar Association, a baseline version of which has been adopted in every jurisdiction except California.) Randazza later tried to wring a bribe out of Megaupload, a file-sharing site that had allegedly infringed Liberty’s copyright, according to arbitration records.

“Once you take a financial stake in the outcome of your client’s case, then you have a conflict of interest. It compromises the independent professional judgment of the lawyer. It’s not even a close call,” said Russell McClain, an associate professor at the University of Maryland School of Law and an expert in professional responsibility.

The extent of Randazza’s web of deception became apparent in Liberty’s 2012 federal lawsuit against Oron, a file-sharing site. When Randazza tried to recover fees in the case, he not only failed to identify himself as Liberty’s in-house counsel but also bundled his own “charged” fees with the fees of outside attorneys he’d brought on at his firm. He claimed the Randazza Legal Group had billed Liberty almost 366 hours, causing the porn company to “incur” $214,964 in attorneys’ fees and costs. Of that total, Randazza told the court, $90,833.98 resulted from his nearly 182 hours of work at $500 per hour.

He also reported that his employees billed Liberty at their “standard hourly rates.” For his partner, Ronald Green, that meant $400 per hour. For paralegals, it was $125 per hour. In reality, the Randazza Legal Group gave Liberty a massive discount, sometimes 75 percent off market rates, on work done by its lawyers — a fact that Randazza withheld from the court.

These were material misrepresentations, according to multiple fee experts interviewed by HuffPost. And Randazza got away with them: U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro eventually ordered Oron to pay an extra $131,797.50 to cover Randazza’s claimed fees.

Randazza had crossed the line in other ways, too. While negotiating a $550,000 settlement agreement with Oron, he’d chased another bribe. If the file-sharing company paid him $75,000, Randazza would “never be able to sue [Oron and its sister companies] forever and ever,” he promised Oron’s counsel. For that price, Randazza said he’d “provide some really great value” — including a “plan that you’ll drool over” to make it harder for other companies like Liberty to sue Oron.

Randazza had an unfair advantage. He’d acquired information about Oron’s privileged legal communications and its Hong Kong bank account from a softcore porn photographer named James Grady who also wanted to take down the file-sharing company. Grady had paid “a guy — call him a forensic investigator — to dig past Domains by Proxy and things like that,” the photographer told Randazza in an email, making it clear that his source “didn’t get the info at Walmart in the course of normal commerce.”

According to Val Gurvits, whom Oron brought in to help with its case because of his experience dealing with Randazza, the only way to know about Oron’s overseas bank account would be if someone “broke into Oron’s gmail.”

It certainly looked that way. Grady sent Randazza a receipt showing that Oron had released money from its PayPal account to its Hong Kong bank account. He sent information about the personal email account of Oron’s owner.

He sent the owner’s Skype call logs, which Grady said came from one of Oron’s email accounts. He supplied Randazza with detailed descriptions of internal emails sent by Oron’s lawyer. The intel helped Randazza get a temporary restraining order in Nevada federal court and freeze Oron’s assets.

Randazza invited Grady to Las Vegas to be a “star witness” in the case, urging the photographer to be careful about what he might tell the judge about the Oron material. “You [need] to consider what happens if the judge wants to know where you got your information,” Randazza wrote. “As far as I know, it was lawfully obtained. You certainly got it lawfully. If the source is a disgruntled Oron employee, great. Jilted lover, great. Hacker, problematic.”

Randazza was forbidden from collecting evidence this way. He also wasn’t allowed to engage in “conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation,” according to multiple ethics experts. In fact, state bars across the country have determined that it is wrong for a lawyer to fail to inform opposing counsel about inadvertently received privileged material. The mere act of reading such material is unethical.

“We would file a brief, and they would have a response the next day,” said Stevan Lieberman, one of Oron’s lawyers. “It’s very clear that [Randazza] used the privileged attorney-client communications to his advantage.”

Randazza also shared his “entire Oron file” with one of his porn attorney friends, telling a paralegal to let the attorney “lift anything he wants,” according to internal Randazza Legal Group emails. That attorney, who’d later become a partner at Randazza’s firm, and a different company would soon file a copycat suit in California that ratcheted up pressure on Oron and kept the company’s assets frozen.

In a bind, Gurvits agreed to pay Randazza the $75,000 but insisted that the payment be part of the settlement agreement between Liberty and Oron. “If it wasn’t for me insisting, we would have had a separate agreement,” Gurvits told HuffPost. “But I felt that was improper. That’s how Randazza offered to do it. I said, ‘I’m not going to do an end-run around your client.’”

And that’s how Randazza got caught.

An Unhappy Ending

When his boss at Liberty, Jason Gibson, thumbed through a draft of the proposed settlement with Oron, he spotted a curious one-line item for $75,000: Randazza’s gravy.

“My stomach is churning after reading the proposed agreement,” he emailed Randazza.

Their relationship quickly unraveled. Within days, Randazza left his job. He and a paralegal covered their tracks by repeatedly running data-wiping software on their company computers that prevented Liberty from recovering evidence, according to court documents and forensic investigator testimony. He refused to release the $550,000 Oron settlement award to Liberty from his trust account.

Randazza laid siege to the company.

“Murum aries attigit” is a war doctrine attributed to Julius Caesar that translates to “the [battering] ram has touched the wall.” The phrase has a baleful meaning: If your enemies refuse to surrender before hostilities commence, destroy them without mercy. This is Randazza’s motto as a lawyer.

“Once the ram touches the wall, you have to commit to ending the other party as a going concern,” he explained on his blog. “You must leave the other party with nothing left with which to fight. Because, if a party is fool enough to refuse the favorable terms, that party is fool enough (and poorly advised enough) to keep being a pain in your ass until you finally put them down like a diseased animal.”

Randazza filed a complaint with the Nevada Equal Rights Commission, alleging that he’d been sexually harassed at work as a straight man because Liberty, which mainly makes gay porn, once filmed a sex scene ― a straight scene, it turned out ― in his office. It was a peculiar claim. In the Liberty workplace, Randazza had been exuberantly lewd. He’d talked about wanting to “snap a nasty metal bar across [a man’s] wiener” and purchased a couch used for porn shoots for his home, then emailed around a picture of his scantily clad wife posing on it. But the free speech crusader who called political correctness a “disease” and casually, if jokingly, threw around words like “nigger” and “cunt” now was saying he’d suffered ethnic harassment as an Italian-American because Liberty executives had sarcastically called him a “guinea” and a “wop,” usually in response to his own off-color instigations.

Randazza’s harassment complaint was an obvious farce, and it went nowhere.

Randazza would bring all his legal firepower to bear in trying to destroy his former client.
Randazza would bring all his legal firepower to bear in trying to destroy his former client.
HuffPost image

In December 2012, he sued Liberty’s parent company in Nevada state court on allegations of fraud, breach of contract and unjust enrichment. Four months later, Liberty filed a complaint against Randazza with the Nevada Bar, reporting his solicitation of bribes, conflicts of interest, misleading fee motions and warning that Randazza had on multiple occasions threatened to “drown anyone who attempts to challenge him in legal bills and debt.” But the bar dismissed the complaint, citing the ongoing state lawsuit.

“The bar’s approach was like, ‘Hey, we can’t really do anything because there’s a civil matter going on now,’” Dunlap said. “But that policy is what allows people to get away with this because private citizens have to assume the burden and the expense of having to prove all this themselves. That means Randazza can drown us in legal fees, which is what he tried to do. It’s a process that can be manipulated because if you have a grievance with an attorney, all the attorney has to do is sue you.”

Even when Liberty found a way to hold Randazza accountable, the attorney wriggled away. Not long after Randazza sued Liberty, the porn company reported his self-dealing in his fee recovery efforts to an appeals court where the dispute between Oron and Liberty was still playing out. The appeals court asked a panel of judges to look into Randazza’s fees, but Liberty and Oron settled their differences and the case was dismissed before the panel could meet. Unfortunately for Oron, the copycat suit that Randazza helped his friend bring against the file-sharing firm kept Oron’s assets on ice. Unable to pay its hosting provider, Oron went out of business, according to the company’s statements in court filings.

Randazza, on the other hand, stayed in business. And he wasn’t done with Liberty. Not long after he left the company, he crossed paths with Dunlap at a porn conference in Arizona and invited his former co-worker to step outside and fight.

“I wonder how much it would cost me to punch you in the face right now,” Randazza said, according to sworn testimony by Dunlap in a subsequent legal dispute.

Randazza’s next move was to file an arbitration claim against the porn company in which he claimed wrongful termination, breach of contract, back pay and damages from the sexual and ethnic harassment Randazza said he’d suffered. He demanded over $4 million in damages.

The arbitration dragged on for three years and cost Liberty over $1 million. But it backfired spectacularly on Randazza. Liberty brought counterclaims for, among other things, legal malpractice and unjust enrichment. The evidence quickly piled up against Randazza. Billing records proved he’d been getting paid by XVideos every month. Many of the damning emails he thought he’d destroyed were produced and showed him soliciting bribes. Under oath, one of his own expert witnesses was forced to concede that Randazza had likely misled him and violated ethical rules.

Randazza tried to explain away the bribes as a ruse to squeeze extra money for Liberty out of infringers. He’d described his dishonesty in one court filing as “mere puffery.”

In emails to opposing counsel that later surfaced during arbitration, Randazza brazenly pursued bribes to conflict himself out of future litigation.
In emails to opposing counsel that later surfaced during arbitration, Randazza brazenly pursued bribes to conflict himself out of future litigation.
HuffPost image/arbitration records

His battering ram had splintered. During arbitration hearings, the normally cocksure Randazza wouldn’t even look at Liberty’s attorney, Wendy Krincek. He turned his seat away from the arbitration table and put his back to his own attorney, Ken White, a longtime Randazza confederate who runs the Popehat legal blog. Randazza also refused to look at the arbitrator, a former federal judge and assistant Watergate special prosecutor. Instead, the attorney stared at the floor, his body hunched over, hand pressed to the side of his face as he answered Krincek’s questions.

“You wouldn’t lie to opposing counsel, would you?” Krincek asked Randazza during one hearing while confronting him over a misrepresentation about his fees.

“Yes, I would,” Randazza replied.

“I’ve never seen anything like it before,” Krincek said. “He’s a litigator. He knows how to present as a witness. He was physically incapable of doing that. … It was a tell that he was uncomfortable answering the questions. He’s a smart guy and he’s pretty charismatic. I think he can generally talk his way out of anything, but he was getting nowhere.”

Randazza was so rattled after the hearing that he appeared to stick a large wad of used chewing gum on the rear window of Krincek’s Saab station wagon in the parking lot, according to Dunlap. (Randazza denied being the gum-sticker.)

In June 2015, the arbitrator ruled against Randazza on every point, finding that the attorney had “been involved in and successfully concluded negotiations for a bribe,” among a litany of other wrongdoing. The arbitrator ordered Randazza to pay Liberty more than $600,000 in damages.

But Randazza had one more card to play. Claiming to be almost $14 million in debt, he filed for bankruptcy and froze the arbitration award. A few months earlier, he’d taken steps to shield many of his assets by moving them into college funds for his children, transferring his BMW and his 80 percent share of his legal practice into a “self-settled spendthrift” trust and lending $300,000 to his in-laws for them to buy a property in Las Vegas, according to Clark County public records. Oddly, the loan came at a time when Randazza’s marriage was falling apart. About two weeks after the arbitration ruling, his wife filed for divorce.

“Conceptually, it’s not OK to do all sorts of pre-bankruptcy planning and move your assets around,” said Bob Keach, one of the country’s top bankruptcy lawyers. “This is clearly a guy who has spent some time playing the system.”

But the U.S. trustee overseeing Randazza’s bankruptcy “didn’t seem to care” when the issue was raised at a creditors’ meeting, according to Dunlap.

Now, it was Liberty’s turn to go on the offensive. With the arbitration decision in hand and binders of evidence proving its case, Liberty filed a second complaint against Randazza with the Nevada Bar. This time, the bar moved forward.

Publicly, Randazza blasted the arbitration as a “miscarriage of justice,” but the arbitrator’s determinations became the bedrock of the disciplinary proceeding against him. In private, Randazza worried. Liberty had also filed bar complaints against him in Florida, California, Arizona and Massachusetts — every other jurisdiction that licenses him ― and Randazza quietly made the porn company an unusual offer: He’d pay Liberty $20,000 for each of his bar licenses that wasn’t suspended or revoked. He was, in other words, proposing a bribe.

“He offered us a bounty on his bar licenses ― we’d get more of the award if we did not cooperate with bar investigators or send follow-up complaints,” Dunlap said. “We refused this offer because it was insulting [and] unethical.”

Only in Florida did Randazza fail to offer a bounty — he felt he’d be suspended or disbarred there anyway, according to an email his legal team sent Liberty. Randazza had already made misrepresentations in a letter to The Florida Bar about the Oron bribe and his work for XVideos. When he was busted for them during arbitration, he blamed one of his lawyers for making an “inaccurate” statement in the letter. (The Florida Bar declined to pursue its own investigation.)

And Liberty wasn’t the only party upset with Randazza in Florida. In federal court there, Paul Berger, Randazza’s opposing counsel in an unrelated case, submitted a copy of a bar complaint he said he’d filed against Randazza over a 2015 episode in which Randazza screamed curses at Berger and his client after a mediation session. Randazza threatened to assault them both and send the client, who happened to be Jewish, to the Gaza Strip, according to Berger’s complaint.

“It appears that Mr. Randazza knows no ethical boundaries,” Berger told The Florida Bar, which apparently either declined to pursue an investigation or found nothing in Berger’s complaint that merited disciplinary action. Pursuant to its policy, the bar then deleted all records of the complaint and, when contacted by HuffPost, was unable to acknowledge the document’s prior existence.

In June 2016, Randazza settled his state lawsuit in Nevada against Liberty. He’d been the one to sue, but now his malpractice insurer was the one to pay, shelling out $205,000 to make a counterclaim Liberty filed against Randazza for malpractice go away.

In February of this year, Randazza settled in bankruptcy court with Liberty, where the porn company had also filed a claim. This time, Randazza paid only $40,000. After nearly six years of grueling lawfare, he’d managed to dodge almost all the damages from the arbitration award, which the parties agreed to vacate as part of the bankruptcy settlement.

Vacating the award did not sit well with the arbitrator, who warned in a court filing this July that an “attempted erasure” of his findings might conceal Randazza’s “proven serious ethical violations” and weaken protections for “future victims and the public.”

The former judge was right to worry.

Nazi Punks, Jump In

Randazza has scrubbed his Liberty job from his resume. The attorney-to-the-trolls now spends most of his days wringing his hands over the “marketplace of ideas” as he tries to game the system for racists and fascists ― as if Nazism deserves another spin through the public square.

He openly lauds the “alt-right” movement:

His reputation as a First Amendment attorney has frayed. Even his capstone free speech victory in 2011 over Righthaven, a copyright troll, carries a hoggish taint in hindsight. At the time, Randazza was employed by Liberty, which permitted him, pending the company’s approval, to take on pro bono free speech cases to offset any bad press from Liberty’s own copyright enforcement lawsuits. But Randazza concealed his work on Righthaven from his employer and kept a $60,000 payout — money Liberty only found out about during arbitration.

“Mr. Randazza was unjustly enriched,” wrote the arbitrator, who ruled that the payout should have gone to Liberty.

“If you want to represent detestable clients, fine. But when you go out into the media and don’t just defend them but actually adopt their logic and moral arguments, that’s different. Then, it looks like you agree with them.”

- Elie Mystal, executive editor of the Above the Law blog

Some of Randazza’s troubles are behind him — in June, he settled another malpractice claim brought by a former client for $50,000 — but others lie ahead. He remains in Chapter 11 bankruptcy and had only $15,652 in two bank accounts at the end of October, according to court records. In the sloppy monthly reports he is required to file with the bankruptcy court, he lists a sad series of expenses that include his daily coffee at Caffe Sicilia in Gloucester, shopping sprees at Men’s Wearhouse and over $4,000 per month in payments to cover alimony to his ex-wife and and child support for their two children.

“I suspect that after the Liberty fiasco, his clients disappeared,” Gurvits said. “He was riding high, he was really well-known, and then all of a sudden — disgrace. So who’s going to hire him now?”

The answer is the disgraced. Lawyers trying to make their bones as free speech attorneys often take on one extremist client. Maybe two. Randazza has assembled a panzer squad of them, a career choice that is generating new problems for him. When he signed on this year to represent the Satanic Temple in a complaint against Twitter, dozens of members of the organization revolted, describing Randazza as an “agent of the alt-right” and an “ally to Nazis.

They aren’t wrong. In January, he partied with rape apologist Mike Cernovich and Gavin McInnes, the founder of the Proud Boys, a fascist gang that commits political violence throughout the country. Other pro-Trump racists and “free speech advocates” were there, yukking it up about “brown people” and “faggots” and the genitalia of transgender women. Randazza also appears routinely on Infowars to lend a legal imprimatur to the lies of hate-spewing, violence-stoking propagandist Alex Jones. In an August appearance, Randazza likened Jones, a key gateway to white nationalism, to black civil rights leaders in the South during the 1960s.

Randazza advocates for far-right extremists outside the courtroom as well as inside.
Randazza advocates for far-right extremists outside the courtroom as well as inside.
HuffPost image

“If you want to represent detestable clients, fine,” Elie Mystal, the executive editor of the Above the Law blog, wrote in a recent column about Randazza. “But when you go out into the media and don’t just defend them but actually adopt their logic and moral arguments, that’s different. Then, it looks like you agree with them. And if you agree with them, you can no longer avail yourself of the lawyerly presumption that you are just doing your job. Instead of being a mere part of the process, you become part of the problem.”

Randazza has gone into business with at least one of his extremist clients, having co-produced both of Cernovich’s films. The most recent one, “Hoaxed,” is a propaganda reel that appears to demonize the free press and relies on figures such as Jones and Stefan Molyneux, another important conduit to white nationalism.

In a Daily Beast profile, Randazza described the Vladimir Putin-loving, Pizzagate-pushing Cernovich as “an A-plus level friend, and the kind of rare soul now where you can really trust his word as his bond.”

And Randazza doesn’t just play defense for Cernovich and his other far-right pals. Unlike most First Amendment lawyers, he’s willing to brandish the plaintiff’s knives for them and carve out space in the legal system for their political agenda.

Since 2016, for example, Randazza and the Holocaust-denying MAGA troll Chuck Johnson have been trying to scavenge coins off the corpse of Gawker after libertarian billionaire Peter Thiel sued the publication into bankruptcy — a legal outcome widely celebrated by fascists that has had a chilling effect on press freedom. Of Gawker and its former CEO, Nick Denton, Johnson said, “In a just world, I’d have them killed. But we are not there yet.”

From 2016 to 2017, Randazza represented professional misogynist and rape advocate Daryush Valizadeh in an attempt to sue one of Valizadeh’s alleged victims. She lives in Iceland and told her story of sexual assault to Jane Gari, a book author and blogger. Gari gave the alleged victim a pseudonym and published her account of Valizadeh following the woman home, talking his way into her apartment with the pretext of using the bathroom — a ruse another woman who has accused Valizadeh of sexual assault told HuffPost he has used for at least a decade — then raping her. Valizadeh had written a guidebook to having sex with women years before in which he described a similar encounter:

While walking to my place, I realized how drunk she was. In America, having sex with her would have been rape, since she couldn’t legally give her consent. … I can’t say I cared or even hesitated.

Randazza apparently didn’t care either. He sent a letter to Gari, who has written a book about being sexually abused as a child, and accused her of fabricating the rape account and “causing harm” to “real victims” of sexual assault. He demanded she take down the post and confess on her blog.

“Simply admit that you lied, and all can be forgiven,” Randazza wrote.

When Gari refused, Randazza subpoenaed her in South Carolina federal court in an effort to get the alleged victim’s name for Valizadeh, whose followers were already menacing Gari.

“Listen you dumb cunt, you hideous skank,” one Valizadeh fan emailed her, “making false rape accusations is a great disservice against real victims of sex assaults, you attention seeking lowly cunt.”

The case was an about-face from Randazza’s earlier work defending small bloggers. Now he was looking to pierce South Carolina’s shield law for reporters and muscle a sex abuse survivor on behalf of his pro-rape client. But Gari managed to fend off Valizadeh and Randazza in court and protect her source. When the judge granted her the right to depose Valizadeh and examine his claim that he’d been defamed, Randazza moved to dismiss the case. His own case.

“I don’t think a true First Amendment advocate would have taken this case,” said Wallace Lightsey, Gari’s attorney. “We saw it as an attempt to find the source so the source could be harassed.”

Randazza has been equally unscrupulous in his lawyering for Paul Nehlen, Alex Jones and others. When Chuck Johnson was sued for defamation earlier this year after smearing the wrong man as the driver of the car that killed Heather Heyer in Charlottesville last summer, Randazza told a Michigan court that Johnson had simply repurposed information from 4chan ― a website Randazza described as a “wire service” and a “reliable source.” But 4chan’s /pol/ forum, where the libel circulated, is neither a wire service nor a reliable source. It is a place where neo-Nazis congregate to spread hate and disinformation.

But nothing compares to Randazza’s advocacy for neo-Nazi Daily Stormer publisher Andrew Anglin, who is being sued in Montana by Tanya Gersh, a Jewish woman Anglin targeted in a vicious anti-Semitic harassment campaign he launched from his site.

“Fuck Nazis, but fuck Tanya Gersh too,” Randazza tweeted while neo-Nazis were threatening Gersh’s life. Anglin soon hired Randazza, paying him out of a more than $155,000 legal defense fund raised by Johnson, who took a 15 percent cut, the scum forming a closed loop.

In court, Randazza has played childish games about Anglin’s location and sinister ones by advancing Holocaust denial as a legal defense. While trying to reduce the case to a debate in the “marketplace of ideas,” Randazza essentially has argued that a neo-Nazi’s call to action to terrorize a Jewish woman and her family is protected speech, a position one local paper called a “desperate attempt by a lawyer who should have a better understanding of the First Amendment.”

In November, a judge shot down Randazza’s argument and allowed the case to move forward, finding that Anglin “drew heavily on his readers’ hatred and fear of ethnic Jews to incite them to harass Gersh.

Even a free speech absolutist might struggle to defend some of Anglin’s rhetoric. The neo-Nazi has said he “would absolutely and unequivocally endorse” violence to achieve his goals, and Daily Stormer fans — including Dylann Roof, a white supremacist who killed nine black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina — have committed at least a dozen racist or politically motivated murders since 2015. In October, Anglin cheered the stabbing of a reporter in Germany by neo-Nazi youths, writing:

Journalists deserve to fucking die. Every last one of them deserves to be rounded up, lined up and shot execution style and tossed in a mass grave. ... It makes me warm and fuzzy inside to know that journalists are seeing this story and wondering if they’ll be next.

Randazza has increasingly shown himself susceptible to fledgling far-right views. He openly agrees, for example, with Trump’s description of the press as Americans’ “enemy.” Earlier this year, Randazza tried to intimidate a reporter and his publication over a harmless tweet that vexed Cernovich. On Twitter, Randazza proclaimed his willingness to support the white nationalist Faith Goldy in her Toronto mayoral campaign. He promoted a white nationalist lie about the Democratic Party deploying anti-fascists as its foot soldiers. (Antifa almost universally despise the Democratic Party.)

He also tweeted this:

The difference between patriotism (love of country) and nationalism (blind devotion to country, usually with a chauvinistic assertion of superiority) should be obvious to a lawyer who represents nationalists. And as someone who represents white nationalists, Randazza would know that in the U.S. the word “nationalism” is linked to a violent and racist anti-democratic ideology.

He just doesn’t care.

Throne Of Lies

The rise of Trump has brought a common arc of radicalization on the political right into sharper relief ― that of the contrarian troll who gets lost in his provocations and mutates into something dangerous. Just as some snarky libertarians turned into neo-Nazis and Tucker Carlson was a conservative snot before morphing into a megaphone for white nationalist talking points, Randazza, too, appears to have transformed on his trollish journey through the legal system.

And like Carlson, who gets to spout hate on Fox News because he’s a millionaire who once wore a bowtie on CNN, Randazza benefits from the trappings of privilege. His Georgetown law degree and admission to five state bars offer him what people targeted by his clients rarely receive: the benefit of the doubt. Consider a recent front-page Wall Street Journal story that focused on Gab and quoted Randazza as a First Amendment expert. Incredibly, the story failed to mention that Randazza has served as Gab’s attorney. Consider, too, that Fox News, CNN, Vice News and others have credulously given Randazza a platform to polish his brand.

But his own profession has shown the least skepticism. Less than a week after the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, the journal of the American Bar Association ran a short column by Randazza lamenting how easy it is for “vindictive lying women” to ruin the lives of innocent men. Randazza neglected to tell his ABA editors he’d already run the column on a right-wing legal blog. He also failed to offer any proof for his claim in the column that he currently represents (“at a deep discount”) multiple women who have survived sexual assault.

He did, however, have a message for sexual assault victims.

“I believe in their right to tell their story without being sued for it,” he wrote.

Last year, Randazza was suing a woman for telling her story about being raped.

Randazza gets away with those sorts of moves because many people assume basic honesty from lawyers. The legal system does too.

“It would take too much time and energy to second-guess and check up on everybody all the time,” said Bernie Burk, a legal ethics expert and former professor at the University of North Carolina School of Law. “Generally speaking, if you’re reasonably clever and selective about your dishonesty, you can get away with a great deal before the system catches you.”

Randazza’s duplicity, whether clever or selective, has been constant. Even in recent cases that do not involve porn or Nazis, he has made a mockery of the truth. In Utah federal court, he was — until a few weeks ago — defending a man named Ryan Monahan who ran a website called Honest Mattress Reviews and had been sued by Purple, a mattress manufacturer, after Monahan allegedly lied on his site about Purple’s products being covered with a cancer-causing white powder. Purple declared that Monahan had a business relationship with one of its main competitors, GhostBed.

In court, Randazza adamantly argued that Monahan was “an independent journalist” entitled to full protection under the First Amendment. He dismissed the GhostBed connection as a “conspiracy” that “even Alexander Dumas could not have imagined when he wrote the Count of Monte Cristo.”

The conspiracy turned out to be real. A witness came forward with evidence proving that Monahan “effectively acted as [GhostBed’s] head of marketing” and was being paid $10,000 a month by GhostBed. Randazza and Monahan had misled both the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit and, repeatedly, the Utah federal court.

“Interference with the judicial process here was substantial,” U.S. District Judge Dee Benson wrote, adding that Monahan’s violations were “sufficiently egregious that perjury prosecutions would, and perhaps should be, an appropriate consideration.”

In February, Benson ordered sanctions be imposed on Monahan and his business, Honest Reviews LLC. A few weeks later, Monahan sold his website to Brooklyn Bedding, another mattress company, and had it wire the money directly to Randazza to pay Monahan’s “legal debt.” In July, Benson awarded Purple approximately $92,000 in sanctions from Monahan. When Purple’s lawyers contacted Randazza to collect, he told them Monahan didn’t have the money. Randazza had drained his client dry.

“So do what you gotta do,” he told Purple’s lawyers.

A desperate Monahan sent a letter to the judge saying he wanted to settle with Purple. Randazza then filed a motion to withdraw from the case “as a matter of professional ethics,” leaving Monahan to scramble to find replacement counsel.

“Everything that has exploded in this thing has been because of what [Randazza] has done,” Monahan told HuffPost.

Yet Monahan, who said he has a limited grasp of the law, is the one on the hook for sanctions. He is the only one whom the judge suggested should face perjury charges, despite the judge’s ruling that Randazza had also “vigorously asserted” misrepresentations in court.

“You know what I like about my life?” Randazza once told a legal blog. “There’s not a motherfucker in this world who ever says, ‘I’m ambivalent about Marc Randazza.’ That is what scares me … people being ambivalent about me.”

Where Randazza winds up next on his journey through the sewers of the legal system is anyone’s guess. “I did not get where I am by having a reputation for being someone who would stab others in the back,” he once said.
Where Randazza winds up next on his journey through the sewers of the legal system is anyone’s guess. “I did not get where I am by having a reputation for being someone who would stab others in the back,” he once said.
Owen Freeman for Huffpost

Lowering The Bar

Randazza had escaped sanctions in Utah. But in Nevada, his long disciplinary proceeding was nearing its end. It had been half a decade since Liberty alerted the Nevada Bar to Randazza’s misbehavior. The porn company had given the bar thousands of pages of evidence about its former in-house counsel’s conflicts of interest and solicitation of bribes, his misrepresentations about fees and use of privileged and confidential material.

The bar treats multiple offenses and a “pattern of misconduct” as aggravating circumstances that can justify harsher discipline, so Dunlap, the Excelsior vice president who wrote the company’s bar complaints, made a deliberate point of including that phrase. “We felt that would be the kicker, that once they had seen that that pattern had been demonstrated that it would leave no room for being wishy-washy or letting him off easy,” Dunlap said.

Randazza, in an effort to hang on to his law license, conceded as little as possible. He submitted a conditional guilty plea to the bar confessing to two of the nine ethical violations the bar alleged that he’d committed. The first forbids certain conflicts of interest and concerned a shady loan Randazza made Liberty; the second prohibits a lawyer from restricting his right to practice and was related to the Oron bribe.

In exchange for this plea, Randazza asked the bar for a stayed suspension and probation — a slap on the wrist. But the bar was under no obligation to give it to him. The baseline sanction for the violations Randazza admitted is suspension.

On Oct. 10, the order came down in Nevada Supreme Court.

“We hereby suspend Marc J. Randazza for 12 months, stayed for 18 months,” it read.

That was Randazza’s punishment: a stayed suspension and probation, plus a small fine and 20 hours of education in legal ethics. He will avoid actual suspension if he “stays out of trouble” during his probation, according to the order.

The system had finally caught him. And the system didn’t seem to much care. The bar didn’t pursue Randazza’s solicitation of other bribes or his other conflicts of interest. Nor did it investigate whether Randazza despoiled evidence, lied to courts in fee motions or used privileged information that might have been obtained illegally.

What the bar did find were “mitigating circumstances” to allow for lighter punishment. Randazza, for instance, had no prior discipline in Nevada. Another factor was the “time delay” between his ethical violations and the disciplinary hearing — a delay the bar helped cause by dismissing Liberty’s initial complaint.

“We had … to essentially lay out everything for the [Nevada] Bar and then once we handed it to them on a silver platter, they weren’t willing to go the distance,” Dunlap said.

Here was Randazza’s privileged white-collar tribe, policing itself, barely, behind closed doors. The bar refused multiple requests to discuss the Randazza matter or its own arcane rules. For two months, the bar also rebuffed HuffPost’s attempts to view records of Randazza’s disciplinary proceeding, despite their high public-interest value. At one point, a lawyer for the bar insisted the records were confidential and could only be obtained through a subpoena or a court order — a stance that clashed with that of the Nevada Supreme Court. When asked for the bar’s policy on sealing disciplinary records, the lawyer insisted it was an “internal” and unpublished policy. The next day, he said the bar was “implementing a new policy” and handed over the records.

Among them is a transcript of the June hearing when the bar accepted Randazza’s guilty plea. During the hearing, Matthew Carlyon, another bar lawyer, applauded Randazza for reforming his conduct and cited as evidence of the metamorphosis several phone calls Randazza had placed to the bar’s ethics hotline seeking advice.

“He is showing that he’s willing to change and not be out there endangering the public,” Carlyon said. “That’s important because … ultimately our job here is to provide protection to the public. We’re not here to discipline attorneys. That’s not why we exist. We want to protect the public.”

Since then, Randazza has stayed true to form. In Montana federal court, he disobeyed rules requiring him to keep the court informed about his disciplinary proceedings. The judge, clearly upset, ordered Randazza in November to update the court. When Randazza did, he mentioned his stayed suspension but said nothing about his probation, despite describing it in detail to several other federal courts.

Randazza may soon face “reciprocal discipline” in other states where he is licensed. Following his discipline in Nevada, the bars in Arizona, California and Florida have opened or will open their own reviews of his ethical violations. But other bars tend to follow the example of the lead organization, and it is unclear if these states will probe more deeply.

In a disciplinary proceeding against Randazza in Massachusetts federal court, he has shown no remorse for his sleazy behavior and has already distorted reality in an attempt to avoid a suspension. In one filing, he blamed Oron for his solicitation of a bribe. He also audaciously told the court he didn’t “cause his clients to suffer any actual harm or financial losses.”

“At every step of the way, that has proven to be untrue,” Dunlap countered.

Randazza pilfered the $60,000 Righthaven settlement from Liberty, according to the arbitrator’s ruling. He caused Liberty to possibly miss out on another settlement by not pursuing XVideos, one of his secret clients, for copyright infringement. Randazza also violated the terms of the $550,000 settlement he’d negotiated with Oron — most significantly by helping his friend file a copycat suit — causing Liberty to pay back $275,000 of the award.

This week, however, the Massachusetts court let Randazza off the hook. The court declined to put the rogue attorney on probation and deferred a decision about further reciprocal discipline until his Nevada probation ends in April 2020. At that point, it’s unclear what further discipline the court could even impose, especially if Randazza stays out of new trouble. And, so, the lawyer of choice for far-right extremists will continue to lawyer, at least for now ― an example not so much of what America prohibits these days but rather what it permits, provided you belong to the right caste.

When reached by email, Randazza refused to comment for this story. He referred HuffPost to his attorney, who also did not comment. Randazza’s attorney, it turned out, was his expert witness from the Liberty arbitration — the one forced under oath to essentially acknowledge Randazza’s dishonesty. Last year, the same attorney submitted an affidavit supporting a Randazza fee motion and, on an attached resume, listed his expert witness experience. The records of the Liberty arbitration were by then public, but the man referred to the matter only as Confidential v. Confidential. His online biography revealed more: Randazza’s attorney is a former chair and current member of the ethics committee of the Nevada Bar.

Somewhere in Gloucester, looking out at his hometown and dreaming of zealotry, the troll began to laugh.

Top illustration: Owen Freeman.

A few of the documents referenced in this story:

1.) Nevada Supreme Court order approving Randazza’s conditional guilty plea:

2.) Nevada Bar amended complaint against Randazza:

3.) Emails between Randazza and TNA counsel:

4.) Emails between Randazza and Oron counsel:

5.) Emails between Randazza and James Grady about Oron:

6.) Example of Randazza’s fee misrepresentations:

7.) Randazza’s sham discrimination claim that was dismissed:

8.) Arbitration ruling against Randazza:

9.) Randazza’s disclosure of liabilities and assets in Chapter 11 bankruptcy:

10.) Complaint about Randazza to The Florida Bar:

11.) Arbitrator’s opposition to vacating arbitration award:

12.) Randazza’s military records:

13.) Randazza’s letter to Jane Gari on behalf of Roosh Valizadeh:

14.) Utah federal court order addressing Randazza’s dishonesty:

15.) Randazza’s response in Massachusetts disciplinary action:

16.) Massachusetts court order deferring reciprocal discipline:

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