A flamboyant lawyer we’ve been writing about for a long time, best known for international reparations suits, seems to have reached the end of his professional road. (Noeleen G. Walder, “Lawyer Disbarred for Failing to Pay Sanctions, Fees in Holocaust Case”, New York Law Journal, Dec. 12). Earlier coverage: Feb. 1, 2008, Nov. 26, 2005, etc., etc.
This one threatened on behalf of villagers from Glod, Romania, (a stand-in for Kazakhstan in the movie) who say they weren’t paid or given releases for their participation in the film, an assertion denied by the studio. The Los Angeles Times gives a largely sympathetic platform to their lawyer, Ed Fagan, without managing to mention the disciplinary trouble he found himself in (Nov. 26; Aug. 27, 2005 and links therein). Fagan shamelessly admits that he will simultaneously file suits in California, Florida, and Germany; international judge-shopping at its finest. (Bojan Pancevski, “Villagers to sue `Borat'”, Los Angeles Times, Nov. 19).
Attorney Edward Fagan, much publicized for his role in Holocaust and other reparations controversies, “is facing a $3.2 million legal malpractice judgment for suing the wrong party in a personal injury case and failing to oppose its dismissal.” Former client Allen C. Tavel sued Fagan, saying he had neglected a product liability case against Honda Motor Corp. and the manufacturer of a seat belt that allegedly failed over an accident in which Tavel was seriously injured. “Fagan did not contest Tavel’s malpractice suit, which resulted in a default judgment. In May, Justice Shirley Kornreich of Manhattan Supreme Court awarded Tavel $1.2 million for his economic losses and $2 million for pain and suffering.” (Anthony Lin, “Personal Injury Client Wins Malpractice Award Against Holocaust Victims’ Lawyer”, New York Law Journal, Aug. 12). Fagan has been the subject of extensive coverage on this site, including Jun. 24-25, 2002; Apr. 2 of this year and links from there. More: Feb. 5, 2005.
Reparations watch: “The South African government has asked a U.S. court to dismiss a series of controversial multibillion dollar apartheid lawsuits against major multinational corporations, saying they could destabilize the economy. In a motion filed with the U.S. District Court in New York yesterday, Justice Minister Penuell Maduna argued the lawsuits undermine South Africa’s sovereignty and its efforts to redress nearly 50 years of white minority rule under apartheid.” (Wambui Chege, Reuters/Boston Globe, Jul. 30, no longer online; “Government Asks US to Dismiss Apartheid Cases”, SAPA/AllAfrica.com, Jul. 29). For more on the background of plaintiff’s attorney Ed Fagan, impresario of this group of suits, see Jun. 24-25, 2002, Jan. 17-19, 2003, and Nov. 17-19, 2000. Update Jan. 2, 2005: judge dismisses claims.