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An attorney’s polemic crusade against Jews for Jesus was harshly punished, again, in a Florida state court.
Circuit Judge Lucy Brown sanctioned attorney Barry Silver with another attorney fee award, this time for over $41,000. When added to prior court sanctions, the latest award pushes the sanctions over $100,000.
Here's the back story: Almost a decade ago, attorney Silver, who is also a rabbi, set out to persecute and bankrupt the Jews for Jesus ministry because he disagreed with its theology. Silver claimed that Jews for Jesus defamed his client, Edith Rapp, because it published a praise report about her.
He filed complaint after complaint, filled with hateful and vitriolic rants against the ministry. Silver was previously sanctioned for those rants, and he was ordered to pay more than $50,000 in attorney’s fees and costs. He appealed those sanctions, but the court of appeals affirmed them and sanctioned Silver again for filing a frivolous appeal.
Silver set out to harm Jews for Jesus, but now he is facing over $100,000 in sanctions judgments for his frivolous and bad faith litigation conduct.
“Mr. Silver’s lawsuit was a theological attack wrapped in a legal pleading,” says Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel. “Lawyers cannot use the courts to publicize philosophical vendettas against people of faith. Mr. Silver’s sad situation should send a significant signal that courts cannot be used as theological tribunals.”