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November 16, 2009 2:49 PM

Law Firm Disputes are Uglier in Jersey

Posted by Zach Lowe

An ex-associate who started a Web site called Levinson Axelrod Really Sucks is not backing down in a federal lawsuit the firm filed in an effort to get the unflattering site taken down, according to the New Jersey Law Journal, an Am Law Daily sibling publication. 

And regardless of what you might think of the case itself, you have to hand it to Edward Heyburn, the spurned Levinson Axelrod associate who started the site: For better or worse, Heyburn, now a solo practitioner in New Jersey, goes for haymakers in his anti-Levinson rhetoric. Aside from the ultra-literal title of his site, Heyburn calls one Levinson partner "a used cars salesman with a law degree" and opines that another "looks like death." 

The case itself has the potential to be an interesting battle between online criticism and federal trademark and anti-cybersquatting laws, but it needs a federal judge to hear it first. That's because the original judge stepped down just before Heyburn filed papers asking her to recuse herself because of her husband's connections to Levinson, the New Jersey Law Journal reports. (The judge's husband, a lawyer, has done some mediation work for Levinson, the story says.)

Levinson has not yet filed a defamation claim against Heyburn (the claims so far concern trademark law, unfair competition and other issues) but may do so in the future, the story says.

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