The “Boom Shakalaka” Defense.

Don’t have time to read the entire post? Here are the key takeaways:

  1. The failure to cooperate with a disciplinary investigation is a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct.
  2. If you don’t respond to disciplinary counsel, arguing that “my answer was provided in a form of SILENCE (BOOM SHAKALAKA)” might not work.

Now, the rest of the story.

As the blogger, I have access to the blog’s statistics.  Last week’s most-viewed post was one from December 4, 2018: That Time You Filed A Complaint In The Form of a Screenplay. Wait, What?  It recounts the story of Ilya Liviz, the lawyer who sued the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts in federal court.  The fact that he sued the court isn’t what inspired my blog post. It’s that he drafted the complaint in the form of a screenplay.

Noting that “a complaint in the form of a movie script” violates the rules of procedure, a federal judge ordered Liviz to show cause as to why it should not be dismissed.  Liviz responded by moving to recuse the judge, citing the “Liviz recusal doctrine.”  Yes, a doctrine he named after himself.

While entertaining, the post’s newfound popularity struck me as odd.  No longer.

Attorney Liviz was trending again last week.  As reported by Bloomberg Law, Liviz’s law license was suspended.  The procedural history is a bit complicated, but here’s what happened.

In early 2019, Liviz did not respond to bar counsel’s requests for information during an investigation into his conduct.  As a result, his law license was suspended.  Later, Liviz was held in contempt for failing to comply with the suspension order.  He appealed the suspension order and the contempt finding.

With respect to the failure to cooperate, and per last week’s opinion from the Bay State’s highest court, Liviz argued that he “DID COMPLY, and DID PROVIDE AN ANSWER, and my answer was provided in a form of SILENCE. (BOOM SHAKALAKA).”

Wait What

The Court disagreed.  Concluding that silence is not a response, the Court affirmed the suspension.

I wonder if the summer’s blockbusters will include the release of a script to the sequel.






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