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February 2013

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Lindsay Lohan v. Pitbull — Plagiarism, Corruption, & Blame Games

Written by , Posted in General

WRITTEN BY RIK SAULT, GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

Lindsay_LohanIn 2011, Lindsay Lohan filed suit against Pitbull for using her name in the lyrics to “Give Me Everything,” in which Pitbull proclaims, “I got it locked up like Lindsay Lohan.” Lohan alleged that this violated her privacy and publicity rights and caused her emotional distress.

Late last week, Lohan’s lawsuit was dismissed. US District Judge Denis Hurley ruled that the lyrics are a protected work of art under the First Amendment, and that even though the song was created and distributed to make a profit Lohan’s name was not “used for ‘advertising’ or ‘purposes of trade’ within the meaning of the New York Civil Rights Law.”

In Pitbull’s countersuit, his attorneys asked the court to sanction Lohan for filing a frivolous claim. The judge did not find Lohan’s suit to be frivolous, but he did impose a $1,500 fine on Lohan’s Long Island attorney, Stephanie G. Ovadia, for an “affront to the court,” — the briefs she filed were plagiarized from various sources. The judge said that “the vast majority of the opposition appears to have been taken from other sources without any acknowledgment or identification of those sources.” Moreover, while trying to defend or excuse the plagiarism, Lohan’s attorney made certain representations to the court that the judge found to be “undoubtedly false.”

In a smashing display of grace under fire, the Long Island attorney – who hired another attorney, Pery Krinsky, for the sanctions motion – tried to blame an attorney from Queens for the plagiarism, submitting that the Queens attorney acted as co-counsel for Lohan in the suit against Pitbull.

When reached for comment; however, the Queens attorney said he was not co-counsel for Lohan. “I do not believe in blame games,” he said, adding that he filed papers with the court that affirmed he was not co-counsel. “My affidavit clearly says that I was not an attorney for her.”

There are at least two lessons to be learned here. One, rap is an art, so don’t hesitate to express yourself. Two, Lindsay Lohan should not be allowed to choose her own attorney.