Various sites are now reporting that lawyer Cyrus Sanai is taking credit for the recent controversy involving Chief Judge Alex Kozinski. Sanai has a long-standing dispute with both the Ninth Circuit and Kozinski over a rather arcane doctrine called the Rooker-Feldman doctrine — holding that district courts may not entertain lawsuits challenging the validity of state court judgments.
Sanai has been filing endless cases and motions over a state action involving his family. Sanai wrote an attack on the court over the handling of the question, click here.
Kozinski wrote a long response to the matter and Mr. Sanai, click here. It was a bruising rebuke over Sanai treatment of a state judge and failure to disclose his personal interest in a state case. One highlight from the publication by Kozinski:
Mr. Sanai’s byline modestly lists him as “an attorney with Buchalter Nemer in Los Angeles.” The firm’s Web site identifies him as “a Senior Counsel and English solicitor … [whose] practice focuses on project finance, corporate finance and business transactions, with a particular expertise in international finance transactions.” The careful reader would therefore have no cause to doubt that Mr. Sanai is a disinterested observer of this court’s Rooker-Feldman jurisprudence. Nothing alerts the reader to the fact that Mr. Sanai has been trying for years to get the federal courts to intervene in his family’s state-court dispute, an effort referred to by a highly respected district judge as “an indescribable abuse of the legal process, … the most abusive and obstructive litigation tactics this court has ever encountered. …” Nor would the reader — unless he happened to enter Mr. Sanai’s name in the Westlaw CTA9-ALL database — realize that, as part of the same imbroglio, he and certain members of his family have hounded a state trial judge off their case (read the PDF); been held in contempt and sanctioned under 28 U.S.C. §1927 and had their ninth sortie to our court in the same case designated as “frivolous” and “an improper dilatory tactic” by the district court. A detached observer, Mr. Sanai is not.
By failing to disclose his long-standing, active and abiding interest in the legal issue he discusses in his article, Mr. Sanai has done the reading public a disservice, cloaking his analysis with a varnish of objectivity. Worse, by publishing the article while he had a case raising this precise issue, Mr. Sanai used The Recorder to call unfair attention to his petition for rehearing, to the detriment of opposing parties who limited their advocacy to the briefs. And, by gratuitously drawing my name repeatedly into the controversy, he has also managed to disqualify me from participation in his case, skewing the en banc voting process.
Patterico’s Pontifications reports that Sanai called him at 12:44 a.m in the morning to take credit for the disclosure, click here
It appears that Sanai may also have tried to get other papers and lawyers interested in the smut. The defense attorney for Ira Issacs, Roger Diamond said that Cyrus Sanai called him “and I said, ‘It’s not right, don’t do it.” Sanai has been trying to get newspaper to run the story since he discovered the material in December 2007.
For background on the dispute between Kozinski and Sanai, click here.
In the meantime, people are beginning to defend Kozinski and support his claim that much of this material was just private jokes and downloaded material for friends, click here.
As noted here, the idea that a judge must recuse himself for his private interest in such material is troubling. This was a private site that was accidentally made public (It is hard to believe Kozinski would invite this upon himself). It comes down to the specific pictures, particularly those reportedly involving bestiality and defecation. Those images would fall within the scope of the issues at trial. Nevertheless, Sanai appears to be a perfect menace and his clearly malicious intent adds to the concerns over this controversy.
Ironically, if this site were not accidentally made public by Kozinski, there might be a tort action possible for public disclosure of embarrassing private facts and intrusion upon seclusion.