According to a complaint, which was only five pages long, the defendants named tried to disrupt the business relationships of Arnold and then blackmail him until he agreed to the demands, which were illegal, of the defendant’s secret clients. The contents of the letter are not discussed in detail within the complaint.
A second defamation lawsuit has been filed against Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP within one week. As with the previous lawsuit, this one was filed against the firm and one of the firm’s partners from the securities practice. Both lawsuits were filed in Los Angeles. The plaintiff in the case is Charles Arnold. Arnold claims that Douglas A. Rappaport, a partner for Akin Gump, mailed a letter to another party. The letter to the third party said that Arnold lied, broke his fiduciary duties as an adviser, and alleged that Arnold committed an unidentified crime.
“The law presumes that Mr. Arnold has suffered harm to his reputation, as well as shame, mortification and hurt feelings, as a result of defendants’ libel per se,” Arnold said. “Without presenting evidence of damage, Mr. Arnold is entitled to receive compensation for his assumed harm in whatever sum the jury believes to be reasonable.”
The letter was allegedly sent to someone named James Worsham, who is not described in the complaint. Worsham’s relationship to the people involved in the complaint is not described either. The complaint did say the following about Worsham, “Worsham was under strong pressure to communicate defendants’ statements to additional people, and he did so.”
Last Tuesday, the law firm had an almost identical lawsuit filed against it by an attorney in California named John Kirkland. Kirkland claimed that Rappaport mailed a letter to Worsham, one that called Kirkland a thief and a liar. According to Kirkland and his lawsuit, the libelous letter sent out to a third party hurt his reputation as an attorney. He also says that the defendants used fraud, oppression, and malice. From the Kirkland lawsuit, he is look for damages that are worth more than $120 million.
In the lawsuit, Arnold is asking for close to $10 million in damages in the presumed category, $10 million in damages in the actual category and $100 million in damages in the punitive category. He also has claimed claiming libel. An Akin Gump spokeswoman refused to comment about the lawsuit when questioned while attorneys for Arnold were not reached for comment.
Mark A. Vega and Mona Mahdara Alcala from Libertas Law Group are representing Arnold in the lawsuit. The title of the case is Arnold v. Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP et al., with the case number of BC477723. The case was filed in the State of California’s Superior Court in the county of Los Angeles.