Marc Randazza: First Amendment Badass

Today I write in praise of First Amendment attorney Marc Randazza.

Frequent readers of the blog know that he's a friend. Today, I'd just like to articulate a few reasons why I admire Marc Randazza.

  • Marc wins cases. That may not sound surprising, at first.  But you'd be amazed how, in this insipid media age, so many lawyers are famous without being particularly good at law.  Many famous lawyers show up for the cameras.  Marc Randazza shows up to win the fight.
  • I fancy myself as having, occasionally, a knack for coining a turn of phrase.  Readers, friends, relatives, and random passers-by will tell you this is just one of the areas where my judgment is clouded by questionable self-regard.  However, if you took every drop of rhetorical prowess I ever possessed, and cloned it tenfold in a secret snark laboratory, it would still be utterly inadequate to convey the extent to which Marc Randazza has curb-stomped the loathsome copyright troll Righthaven and its backers.
  • Marc made Glenn Beck cry like a little girl.
  • Marc is going to make Joseph Rakofsky cry like a little girl.  And I suspect he's doing it on the cheap, because it's right.
  • Marc is adept at deterring censorious twits from filing suit in the first place, whether they are professors or car salesman.
  • Marc doesn't just defend people he agrees with or likes. He defends the free speech rights of people he can't stand, and who would probably scorn him.
  • In a profession choked with lousy writers — especially, in my experience, the famous lawyers — Marc Randaza a compelling and entertaining writer who is not afraid to write a brief to the Patent and Trademark office discussing the history of dicks instead of the dry and tedious jargon too many lawyers rely upon.
  • Marc Randazza frequently offers pro bono help to people threatened with various forms of censorship.  I've been co-counsel with him in a couple of such cases, and know that he offers top-notch work combined with frank advice.  The real trick with seeking pro bono help from a famous lawyer is that some of them want to resolve the matter in a way that contributes to their fame, whether or not that's best for the client.  I've seen, from personal experience, that Marc advises clients based on their own best interests, not based on what will increase Marc's First Amendment badass fame.
  • Marc Randazza's blog, the Legal Satyricon, is an elbow-throwing masterpiece, and inspired me to blog more seriously and frequently.
  • If you are a friend, Marc has your back. Last week I had a few bad days — I had reason to believe that my family could be in danger. When Marc heard even the vaguest reference to it, he was on the phone telling me that in three hours he could be on my driveway camping out with a shotgun and a thermos of espresso.  Of course, that was also his response when I asked him an obscure question about trademark law, but my point is that he's there for you.

Now, Marc's not perfect. Not everyone agrees with some of his clients or his work for them. And he says "fuck" a bit much for someone who isn't, technically, a David Mamet character. And now and then when he goes on a rant about religion and indulges in the "Jewish space zombie" rhetoric it irks the living shit out of me (but I don't dive for the fainting couch, because I figure Jesus will be OK and I will too).

But in a culture cluttered with people who are famous for no good reason whatsoever, Marc Randazza is an outlier: someone who is becoming famous as a First Amendment badass whose First Amendment badassery actually exceeds his rep.  If I ever get sued for defamation, he's my first call.

Edited to add: Some other people also think well of him:

The Time I Unleashed Marc Randazza On The ABA
Marc Randazza, Hero
Marc Randazza Would Support Me, Right?
Righthaven, Liquified
Marc Randazza: The Mark of Excellence
Marc Randazza: 1st Amendment Lawyer Exemplar
Marc Randazza: Super Lawyer, Super Blogger?
Marc Randazza, First Amendment Lawyer, on the Rush Limbaugh Fiasco
Marc Randazza: A Sentinel For Free Speech
Marc Randazza — First Amendment Badass
Marc Randazza: Why I Went To Law School
Marc Randazza
Marc Randazza, The First Amendment's Finest Friend
Rick Santorum v. Marc Randazza: A Dichotomy of Zealotry
Praised Be Marc Randazza
Marc Randazza – lawyer, blogger, free speech advocate
Marc Randazza, Among Other Sources of Inspiration
Marc Randazza, and some thoughts about the First Amendment
Marc Randazza, Floridian But Not Weird, First Amendment Defender, Vietnam Hero
In Praise of Marc Randazza
Marc Randazza: Lawyer Role Model
Marc Randazza's Entertaining — And Effective — Legal Writing
Marc Randazza: Super Cool Attorney
Marc Randazza
Marc Randazza: "It's Un-American To Silence Limbaugh"
The Fight To Save Pornographers is Also The Fight to Save the Advertising Industry
Marc Randazza, Driving The White Caddy
The Practice: A Lawyer To Emulate — Marc Randazza
Marc Randazza Is A Great Person
"Seeing that Righthaven was getting its just desserts reminded me of Marc Randazza."
Marc Randazza . . .

(If you posted, and I missed it, please email me a link.)

Last 5 posts by Ken White


  1. says

    > Of course, that was also his response when I asked him an obscure question about trademark law


    Awesomest bit in an awesome post.

  2. says

    The real trick with seeking pro bono help from a famous lawyer is that some of them want to resolve the matter in a way that contributes to their fame, whether or not that's best for the client.

    This may or may not be known as the "Goldman Sachs / Fifth Avenue Gambit."

    …in three hours he could be on my driveway camping out with a shotgun and a thermos of espresso

    Strictly speaking, he offered to be there with a Shogun, etc., but your point stands.

  3. says

    Marc is particularly awesome — I don't agree with everything he says, but I have nothing but the highest respect for him. His submissions are highly entertaining.

    I sincerely wish that both you and Marc were practicing law here in the UK. Free speech, trademarks (plain cigarette packs, particularly) and civil liberties are going to hell in a hand basket, and we need smart, outspoken defenders like you guys. If there are any genius, superstar solicitors / lawyers here in England, I'm not aware of them — and I had been working in the legal profession for years until last summer.

  4. says

    What I like about Marc is that he's just enough of an ass to make me feel like I could someday be redeemed too.

  5. says

    I would pay money to read Marc's briefs.

    And I'll add to the list of awesome things he has done. When Lawyerist was threatened with trademark infringement, he came to our rescue. We will be forever grateful.

  6. says

    Randazza wrote a wonderful op-ed responding to the call for the FCC to crack down on Rush Limbaugh. I didn't remember I'd linked it until just now.

  7. picklefactory says

    A little too much MRA, Alpha-Male horseshit for me not to be pissed off, a little too much civil liberties awesomeness for me to drop his blog off my RSS reader.

  8. VPJ says

    Looks like half the blawgsphere is writing nice things about Marc Randazza. Now given that most of them are currently his client in the Rakofsky case, I'm (not at all cynically) wondering if the first invoice has come in. But given that Popehat is not part of the suit, I'm wondering what your slant is on…

    Not part of the suit…yet, maybe?

    Okay, never mind. A retainer, then. I figured it out.

  9. says

    You and Marc were the guns I brought to the knife fight Maloney wanted to start with me. I couldn't have been happier with the two of you. Even if you apparently have some sort of weird hetero-man-love thing going on.

  10. says

    A warrior goes to battle anticipating the win, regardless of the perceived odds. That Mr. Randazzo does quite well. TU, Erbo, for the jaw displacement. I am refusing to explain its origins to my oral-max. fac. surgeon. I need him to remain comprehensible when I demand an explanation for the DR villa on my bill.

  11. Kevin Foster says

    I just read this article about corporate lawyers bullying an entrepreneur with a bogus copyright beef at the Economist and immediately thought of popehat (for great justice!):

    (I know this doesn't comment really doesn't add anything to this post, but it seemed like the most appropriate recent post to which to attach it.)

  12. says

    I was wondering if the contributors here are aware that an attorney in the Randazza Legal Group by the name of DeVoy has consistently assisted in the harassment and threats of physical violence against an anti-porn activist who's mother of 3 children (who has done nothing but attempt to exercise her right to Free Speech) – there's an article outlining the situation here

  13. Jess says

    PNT – Seriously? You’re going to troll that garbage here of all places?

    The key section of this absurd travesty that purports to be an “article” is as follows “Marc Randazza in fact does employ and work closely with a man by the name of James (Jay) Malcolm DeVoy who appears to regularly communicate with and assist (and who may have been hired or retained by) stalkers and cyber bullies within and attached to the Los Angeles porn industry.”

    Note MAY HAVE BEEN. Not big on facts are you PNT. Your post and this “thing” that masquerades as an “article” is ridiculous, preposterous, ludicrous, outlandish, and just plain silly. That you expect me or anyone else here to take it seriously demonstrates you have the intellect of a gnat.

    When the law is on your side, pound the law. When the facts are on your side, pound the facts. And when you have no law and no facts as a last resort, pound sand. I invite you to go pound sand.

    If I were Ken I would invite you to snort my taint.

  14. says

    Jess, don't let that idiot get you too worked up. She's a porn actress who washed out of the industry because nobody wants to work with her anymore. So, when someone has nothing to lose, nobody gives a shit about them, their only way to create any value for themselves is to create drama through lies.

    What are we gonna do? Sue her for defamation? And what if we win? We take her piece of shit 1993 Geo Tracker?


  1. […] Randazza is a prominent First Amendment lawyer who has been a friend to this site and many others. Popehat, Eric Turkewitz, Amy Alkon and back-in-commission Scott Greenfield are all posting well-merited […]

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