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Attorney Trying To Stop Led Zeppelin Reissue

05/26/2014
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(Radio.com) Attorney Francis Alexander Malofiy likes to go after big adversaries in the courtroom. He recently made headlines when he announced that he was representing the trust of the late Spirit frontman Randy California and founding Spirit bassist Mark Andes in a copyright infringement suit against Led Zeppelin because of similarities between Zep's "Stairway to Heaven" and Spirit's "Taurus." They are also filing an injunction that would block the upcoming reissue of Led Zeppelin IV, which contains the song.

But Malofiy just had a rather large setback in another case against a high-profile artist: Usher. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Malofiy was representing Dan Marino (not the legendary football player), who was suing Usher over the song "Bad Girl," which he originally co-wrote with his former songwriting partners William Guice and Dante Barton.

During the trial, however, Judge Diamond spoke against Malofiy in particular; filing a 22-page Sanctions Memorandum against him, saying that the "Defendants have shown clearly and convincingly that Attorney Francis Malofiy has acted disgracefully: lying to an unsophisticated, impoverished, unrepresented Defendant, thus convincing that Defendant to expose himself (probably baselessly) to substantial liability."

That "unrepresented Defendant" was William Guice, whom he reportedly duped, telling him, "Don't worry about it. [Marino] is not coming after you, it's everyone else," and then convinced Guice to sign an affidavit admitting he failed to give his client credit for writing and producing the song; he also recorded a conversation with him without his knowledge.

The Judge's memorandum also said, "Malofiy also needlessly increased discovery costs. Denying Plaintiff the 'fruits' of Malofiy's misconduct and requiring Malofiy to pay these increased costs are the least sanctions I can impose." He concluded, "Whether Malofiy should be removed from practice is a question properly answered in another forum."

Whether or not he will be removed before officially filing the Led Zeppelin lawsuit remains to be seen. Malofiy is also representing Spirit's Mark Andes in a separate lawsuit against the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Andes is also a former member of Heart, and along with the band's ex-drummer Dennis Carmassi, is suing the Rock Hall for using their likenesses in the band's induction at the 2013 ceremony, despite the fact that they weren't included in the induction. more on this story

Radio.com is an official news provider for antiMusic.com.
Copyright Radio.com/CBS Local - Excerpted here with permission.

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