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Akin Gump Faced with Libel Lawsuit

On Tuesday, an attorney from the state of California alleged that Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP along with one of its partners from the securities practice had defamed him. The attorney from California says that the people involved called him the attorney a crook and a liar and has asked a court in Los Angeles to reward him with $100 million in damages because of the libel.

The complaint is five pages long and was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court. The complaint does not discuss or even mention details about the letter that was sent. No comments or statement were issued by any of the attorneys for Kirkland this week.

“Defendants made the statements with malice and ill will,” the complaint said. “Defendant’s purpose in writing the letter was to disrupt Mr. Kirkland’s attorney-client relationship, and to blackmail Mr. Kirkland and his clients into acceding to illegal demands of defendants’ secret clients.”

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The plaintiff in the case is John Kirkland. Kirkland said that Douglas A. Rappaport, a partner at Akin Gump, sent a letter to an uninvolved third party that claimed he lied, that he also broke the California Rules of Professional Conduct and fiduciary duties, committed an unmentioned crime and committed legal malpractice.

The letter was allegedly sent by Akin Gump and Rappaport to a third party by the name of James Worsham. The relationship between Worsham, Akin Gump, and Rappaport is not outlined in the complaint. The complaint said that “he was under strong pressure to communicate defendants’ statements to additional people, and he did so.”

According to the complaint, the letter damaged the reputation of Kirkland while also causing him mortification and shame. Kirkland, through the complaint, also said that the defendants had acted with using fraud, ill-will and oppression. Kirkland believes these are justification for damages to be awarded by the court.

Mark A. Vega and Mona Mahdara Alcala from the Libertas Law Group are the representatives for Kirkland. The title of the case is John Kirkland v. Douglas A. Rappaport et al. The lawsuit was filed in the Superior Court of the State of California in the County of Los Angeles.  The lawsuit is for $100 million and is for libel as alleged by Kirkland in the five-page complaint filed in court.

Kirkland is looking for a large sum of money from this lawsuit along with a jury trial. Kirkland is seeking presumed damaged totaling close to $10 million; actual damages totaling close to $10 million; and punitive and exemplary damages totaling close to $100 million. Kirkland is also looking for money to cover attorney fees, expenses and other costs.

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