Alex Rodriguez may be ready to accept his suspension and move forward with his life after voluntarily dropping his lawsuits against Major League Baseball, the player's union and Commissioner Bud Selig, but his lawyer, the infamous Joseph Tacopina, is ready to pick up the ball and proceed with his own legal battles stemming from A-Rod's troubles.
According to the Associated Press, Tacopina has filed a defamation lawsuit against two reporters for the New York Daily News and former New York Police Department commissioner Bernard Kerik, claiming they conspired together to "engineer" a frivolous complaint. The complaint was then used as a reference in a negative article published about Tacopina back in December.
"This case presents a unique and outrageous set of facts: a conspiracy between two unethical newspaper reporters, Nathanial Vinton ('Vinton') and Michael O'Keeffe ('O'Keeffe'), and a convicted felon and liar, Bernard Kerik ('Kerik') to defame an attorney, Plaintiff Tacopina, by filing a fraudulent disciplinary complaint against Tacopina so tat the New York Daily News ('Daily News') could publish an article describing the allegations," the suit, which also lists the Daily News Corporation as defendants, reads. "The article contains numerous factually inaccurate statements and falsely implies that Tacopina engaged in unethical conduct and is an unethical attorney."
The interesting sidebar here is Tacopina actually represented Kerik when he pled guilty on two misdemeanor charges in 2006. Kerik recently sued Tacopina and one of his associates for malpractice, claiming that Tacopina promised him there would be no repercussions for his guilty plea. Kerik also says Tacopina went behind his back to share "privileged information and/or false information" with federal prosecutors that ultimately contributed to his conviction on eight felonies in 2009. Kerik served three years in federal prison.
To put it bluntly, there's bad blood between lawyer and former client. Whether or not that would serve as motivation for Kerik to help create a frivolous complaint and risk further legal trouble is unclear, but that's Tacopina's story.
Daily News Assistant General Counsel Matthew Leish said in a statement sent to The Associated Press on Friday that ''the claims are completely without merit and the allegation that the Daily News' reporters were involved in some sort of conspiracy is simply absurd. We will file our response in due course.''
If you're searching for legal chaos to fill the void after A-Rod dropped his lawsuits, this might be a good place to start. It's too soon to tell how far it will go, of course, but Tacopina seems to be itching for some action.
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