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IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE FIFTEENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT IN AND FOR PALM BEACH COUNTY, FLORIDA CASE NO.

: _________________________

DAVID JOHNSON and JANE JOHNSON, Plaintiffs, vs. ALLEN H. LIBOW, ESQ MELISSA T. LIBOW, and LIBOW & SHAHEEN, LLP, a Florida Limited Liability Partnership, et al, Defendants. ________________________/ COMPLAINT Plaintiffs, DAVID JOHNSON and JANE JOHNSON, sue Defendants, ALLEN H. LIBOW and MELISSA T. LIBOW and state: 1. This is an action for malicious prosecution, conspiracy to commit malicious

prosecution, and abuse of process, in excess of $15,000.00. 2. Plaintiff, DAVID JOHNSON is a resident of Duval County who resides at 12225

Premier Court, Jacksonville, Fl. 3223. 3. Plaintiff, JANE JOHNSON is a resident of Duval County who resides at 12225

Premier Court, Jacksonville, Fl. 3223. 4. Defendant, ALLEN H. LIBOW, ESQ, is a resident of Palm Beach County who

resides at 731 Parkside Circle North, Boca Raton, Fl. 33486. Defendant A. LIBOW is a partner in the law firm of LIBOW & SHAHEEN, LLP. 5. Defendant, MELISSA LIBOW is a resident of Palm Beach County who resides at

731 Parkside Circle North, Boca Raton, Fl. 33486.

6.

Defendant, LIBOW & SHAHEEN, LLP, is a Florida Limited Liability

Partnership with its principal place of business in Boca Raton, Palm Beach County, Florida. 7. Venue is proper in Palm Beach County, Florida pursuant to Fla. Stat. 47.011

and 47.051 because the causes of action accrued in Palm Beach County, Florida. 8. All conditions precedent to this legal action have been met, satisfied, or waived. ALLEGATIONS COMMON TO ALL COUNTS 9. In 2003, David and Jane Johnson retained Mr. Libows firm, Libow & Muskat,

LLP (Libow & Shaheen, LLPs predecessor) as their counsel in a real estate dispute. 10. In 2004, the attorney at Libow & Muskat who had been handling the Johnsons

litigation left the firm. The Johnsons elected to have that attorney continue to represent them and submitted a notice to Libow & Muskat that they would no longer continue to use their services as counsel. 11. In retaliation for the Johnsons decision to discontinue their use of Libow and his

firm, Defendant Allen Libow began to harass and threaten the Johnsons to continue to use his firm and later to collect billing amounts Plaintiffs did not believe was due. 12. Defendant A. Libows conduct escalated to more frequent and severe harassing

written and verbal communications that greatly distressed both Plaintiffs. Libow brought suit against the Johnsons for legal fees but never provided the Johnsons an opportunity to pay any outstanding balance. Mr. Libows conduct throughout this period appeared to both Plaintiffs to be unbecoming of any attorney because it involved the threat of filing and the actual filing of false police reports and excessive repeated threatening phone calls.

13.

As a result of Mr. Libows conduct, on August 16, 2004, Mr. Johnson filed a

complaint with the Florida Bar. Mr. Johnson filed this Complaint in order to protect himself and the public from conduct he legitimately believes to have been unethical. 14. After receiving notice of the bar complaint, Mr. Libow stated that unless the

Johnsons paid him $100,000.00, Mr. Libow would bring suit against them. 15. Mr. Libow and his wife Melissa Libow, filed a Complaint in Palm Beach County

Circuit Court against Mr. and Mrs. Johnson for defamation. See Libow v. Johnson and Johnson, 05-3299 CAA1, 502005CA003299XXXXMB. After multiple revisions, Defendants filed their 5th Amended Complaint on February 6, 2006. 16. The Complaint contained a total of 41 claims based upon Mr. Johnsons statement

to the Florida Bar. 17. 18. The legal proceeding was caused and continued by Mr. and Mrs. Libow. On May 11, 2006, all of Mrs. Libows claims against Mr. and Mrs. Johnson were

dismissed pursuant to a Motion to Dismiss, thus resulting in a bona fide termination of Mrs. Libows claims against the Johnsons. 19. Mr. Libows claims against Mrs. Johnson were also dismissed pursuant to a

Motion to Dismiss, thus resulting in a bona fide termination of Mr. Libows claims against Mrs. Johnson. 20. During this same proceeding, the Court also dismissed 38 of Mr. Libows 41

claims against David Johnson. 21. June 5, 2006. Mr. Libow filed an appeal with the District Court of Appeal, Fourth District on

22.

On January 24, 2007, the District Court of Appeal, Fourth District, affirmed the

lower courts dismissal of 38 of Mr. Libows 41 counts of defamation against Mr. Johnson. The Court allowed 3 counts to proceed to Summary Judgment. 23. On December 31, 2008, the Circuit Court entered Final Summary Judgment in

favor of David Johnson against all of Mr. Libows remaining claims. 24. On March 13, 2008, Mr. Libow and his firm appealed the lower courts entry of

Final Summary Judgment in favor of Mr. Johnson. See Libow & Shaheen, LLP v. Johnson and Johnson, 05-3299 CAA1, 502005CA003299XXXXMB. 25. On July 8, 2008, the Fourth DCA issued its mandate affirming the lower courts

grant of summary judgment in favor of Mr. Johnson. 26. There was an absence of probable cause for Defendants initiation and

continuation of claims against the Johnsons, and such absence was at all times known or should have been known to all Defendants 27. Malice was present on the part of the Defendants, as inferred from the lack of

probable cause to institute the proceedings, and the continuation of such proceedings. 28. As a result of Defendants unjust prosecution, Plaintiffs were forced to expend

hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees and have suffered legal damages in an amount to be proved at trial. COUNT I MALICIOUS PROSECUTION Plaintiffs sue Defendants Allen H. Libow, Melissa Libow, and Libow and Shaheen, LLP for Malicious Prosecution. 29. 30. Plaintiffs reallege Paragraphs 1 thru 28 above as if fully set forth herein. Defendants instigated and continued a legal proceeding against each of the

Plaintiffs for defamation by filing a Complaint in Palm Beach County, Florida.

31. Plaintiffs. 32.

The original proceeding concluded with bona fide terminations in favor of the

The Defendants were without probable cause to file the original proceeding for

these and other reasons: a. Florida law has long recognized an absolute privilege on the part of a citizen to make a complaint against a member of the bar; b. A reasonable lawyer would not have regarded the claims against the Johnsons to be tenable; c. Mr. Libow unreasonably neglected to investigate the law and the facts before deciding to proceed; d. Neither Mr. Libow, nor Libow and Sheen LLP, had any reasonable or honest belief that Mrs. Libow had a tenable claim against the Johnsons for defamation; e. Mrs. Libow had no legitimate basis to bring claims against the Johnsons for defamation; 33. Each of the Defendants acted with actual and legal malice in filing and continuing

the original proceeding. 34. Defendants initiation and continuation of the civil proceeding for defamation has

damaged the Plaintiffs in an amount to be proven at trial. 35. The Plaintiffs joint and individual reputations have been injured by the unlawful

actions of the Defendants.

36.

As a further result of Defendants' actions, Plaintiffs have been damaged by having

to pay monies to defend themselves in the defamation proceedings, loss of reputation, lost business opportunities and lost profits, and pain and suffering due to wanton and grossly reckless conduct. WHEREFORE, Plaintiffs demand judgment for damages against Defendants, plus punitive damages, interest, costs, attorneys fees, and any other appropriate remedies. COUNT II CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT MALICIOUS PROSECUTION 37. This is an action for the tort of civil conspiracy to commit malicious prosecution

brought against Allen Libow / Libow & Sheen, LLP and Melissa Libow. 38. 39. Plaintiffs reallege 1 through 28 above as if fully set forth herein. Defendants Allen Libow / Libow and Sheen LLP shared with Melissa Libow the

common purpose to illegally and unjustifiably engage in malicious prosecution of the Johnsons. 40. Defendants joined together and used their power to maliciously prosecute the

Johnsons by intentional and unjustifiable means. 41. Defendants took these actions against the Johnsons for the purpose of

accomplishing the underlying tort of malicious prosecution. 42. Defendants conspiracy resulted in the malicious prosecution of the Johnsons by

the commencement and continuation of a civil proceeding for defamation in Palm Beach County. See Libow v. Johnson and Johnson, 05-3299 CAA1, 502005CA003299XXXXMB. 43. Defendants initiation and continuation of the civil proceeding for defamation has

damaged the Plaintiffs in an amount to be proven at trial.

44.

The Plaintiffs joint and individual reputations have been injured by the unlawful

actions of the Defendants. As a further result of Defendants' actions, Plaintiffs have been damaged by having to pay monies to defend themselves in the defamation proceedings, loss of reputation, lost business opportunities and lost profits, and pain and suffering due to wanton and grossly reckless conduct. WHEREFORE, Plaintiffs demand judgment in an amount to be proven at trial to compensate Plaintiffs for Defendants' conspiracy to maliciously prosecute Plaintiffs, and for fees, costs and such other relief as this court deems just and proper. COUNT III ABUSE OF PROCESS 45. 46. This is an action for abuse of process against all Defendants. Plaintiffs reallege the allegations set forth in paragraphs 1-28 as if set forth fully

herein and further alleges: 47. Defendants instigated and continued a civil action against the Johnsons in bad

faith and for purposes of extorting monies from the Johnsons to which Defendants were not entitled, to extort other concessions from the Johnsons, and to damage the Johnsons reputations. 48. After the proceedings were instigated Defendants threatened to file and filed false

police reports, manufactured evidence, and otherwise carried on a pattern of wrongful, harassing, and threatening misconduct. 49. Defendants use of civil court proceedings for purposes of extorting funds and

damaging the Johnsons reputations was an illegal, improper, and perverted use of the judicial process. 50. Defendants initiation and continuation of the civil proceeding for defamation has

damaged the Plaintiffs in an amount to be proven at trial. 51. The Plaintiffs joint and individual reputations have been injured by the unlawful

actions of the Defendants. 7

52.

As a further result of Defendants' actions, Plaintiffs have been damaged by having

to pay monies to defend themselves in the defamation proceedings, loss of reputation, lost business opportunities and lost profits, and pain and suffering due to wanton and grossly reckless conduct. WHEREFORE, Plaintiffs demand judgment in an amount to be proven at trial to compensate Plaintiffs for Defendants' conspiracy to maliciously prosecute Plaintiffs, and for fees, costs and such other relief as this court deems just and proper. NOTICE OF INTENT TO PLEAD PUNITIVE DAMAGES 54. Plaintiffs hereby give notice to Defendants that they intend to claim and will

proffer evidence to support an award of punitive damages. WHEREFORE, Plaintiffs demand judgment in an amount to be proven at trial to compensate Plaintiffs for Defendants' conspiracy to maliciously prosecute Plaintiffs, and for fees, costs and such other relief as this court deems just and proper. DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL Plaintiffs respectfully request a trial by jury.

DATED: January 24th, 2011.

__________________________ DAVID JOHNSON PRO SE __________________________ JANE JOHNSON PRO SE 12225 Premier Court, Jacksonville, Fl. 32223

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE I HEREBY CERTIFY under penalty of perjury that a true and correct copy of the foregoing was served via hand delivery and U.S. Mail on: Allen Libow, Esquire, as an individual and as a partner of Libow & Shaheen, LLP, at Libow & Shaheen, LLP, 3351 Northwest Boca Raton Boulevard, Boca Raton, Fl. 33431-6623, Melissa Libow, on this 24th day of January, 2011. __________________________ DAVID JOHNSON PRO SE

THEMIAMIMIRRORTRUEREFLECTIONS

Monday, June 27, 2011


The Florida Bar sat on its "bureaucratic asses" while an influential member maliciously prosecuted a client for complaining to it

INFLUENTIAL LAWYER SUED FOR MALICIOUS PROSECUTION The Florida Bar sat on its bureaucratic asses
By David Arthur Walters The Miami Mirror June 27, 2011 MIAMI BEACH David Johnson and his wife Jane Johnson, former residents of Palm Beach County, have filed a complaint in the circuit court of Palm Beach County against Palm Beach attorney Allen H. Libow, his wife Melissa Libow, and Boca Raton law firm Libow & Shaheen LLP et al, for malicious prosecution, conspiracy to commit malicious prosecution, and abuse of process, in regards to a defamation action first asserted by the defendants against the Johnsons in 2004 for filing an absolutely privileged complaint against Libow with The Florida Bar, the agency of the Florida Supreme Court that licenses lawyers in the state, regulates their conduct, and presently represents mainly the political and business interests of the dominant professional elite.

The defamation suit against the Johnsons was prosecuted by Mrs. Libows father, affluent Miami attorney Arthur W. Tifford, who has not yet been named as a defendant in the Johnsons malicious prosecution complaint, and who has now appeared to defend his son-in-law from that complaint. According to the court docket, attorneys Lisa Weiss and Bruce L. Udolf of Boca Raton law firm Udolf Libow have appeared to defend Mrs. Libow. The Johnsons are represented by Steven Jeffrey Rothman. (See case 502011CA001121XXXXMB). Mr. Johnsons long-running Bar complaint, originally filed on August 16, 2004, alleged that Mr. Libow had filed a false police report as part of an attempt to extort a $100,000 settlement for a disputed legal fee amounting to $1,621. According to Mr. Johnson, that amount due had allegedly been reduced from $5,014 after Mr. Johnson, who had already paid several thousand dollars in fees, demanded an accounting and discovered that he had even been billed for his attorneys failure to appear for him in the case. The law firm even billed Mr. Johnson another $397 for itemizing the bill, at the hourly rate of $200. At one point, Mr. Libow, who is also a certified public accountant, allegedly told Mr. Johnson that clients at his firm had been overbilled for research by his lawyer, that downward adjustments to one clients bill had been $11,000, and that he, David Johnson, did not owe the law firm a dime; but he changed his mind when Johnson decided to let that attorney, who had withdrawn from the Libow law firm and whom Mr. Libow was defaming in his conversation with Mr. Johnson, continue to handle his case. The suit for the $1,621 fee balance was brought in the small claims court, where Eric Stockel, an attorney for the
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Libow law firm, admitted that the complaint to the Bar was privileged; nevertheless, Mr. Libow asserted a defamation cause of action there and managed to have the issue removed to the circuit court (see Libow v. Johnson and Johnson, 05-3299 CAA1, 502005CA003299XXXXMB) where it was prosecuted by Mr. Tifford. Mrs. Johnson was named in the defamation suit although she had not signed the Bar complaint against Mr. Libow and other members of his firm. The Bar complaint stated that Mr. Libow had claimed that his wife put him up to making the police report, and complained that Mr. Libow was making over death threats. Mr. Johnson opined that Libow was emotionally disturbed, having likened his Bar complaint with the January 2005 murderer of Mr. Libows babysitter, Shanette Jones, and her two daughters, Ashley and Joanna Robinson; the girls step-father, who had attempted suicide, was suspected in the shooting. The family had made a lot of money in real estate; Mr. Libow would represent Shanette Jones parents in the wrongful death civil suit.

Mr. Johnson disparaged Mr. Libows character in his complaint to the Bar, stating, for example, that, while Jessie James used a horse and a six-gun to carry out his robberies, Mr. Libow uses a computer and the United States Mail to carry out his. He further claimed that Mr. Libow carried out said robberies on less sophisticated clients; had a total absence of ethics; was guilty to concocting a story and filing a false police report; modified (forged) email; was a pathological liar predisposed to wild accusations; overbilled and used unlawful collections methods; abused the legal process; was a psychotic misfit with a psychotic agenda, besides being a creative, twisted, lying son of a bitch. After nine months had passed since Mr. Johnson filed the original complaint, he besought the Bar, which had yet done nothing, to get off your bureaucratic asses and do something before this twisted madman lands us all on the six oclock news.

The defamation suit against the Johnsons was ultimately dismissed by the circuit court and the dismissal was affirmed on appeal. The lower court held that most of the statements made were mere opinions or were hyperbole not to be seriously construed as statements of fact, and that other assertions were not otherwise actionable. The few fact-like statements that would be actionable if false were protected or absolutely privileged because they were made in a complaint to public officials for redress of grievances. Therefore there was nothing to be taken to trial. But that was not the end of the duress for the Johnsons, who refused to be slapped into silence and who claimed they had fronted nearly a quarter million dollars to defend themselves, which they were at a loss to fully recover.

As for The Florida Bar, it took no action against Mr. Libow or other lawyers at his firm or against his father-in-law, Mr. Tifford, even though threatening to file or filing a suit against someone for bringing an inquiry or complaint to The Florida Bar is a prima facie violation of the ethical standards promulgated by the Bar. For example, in The Florida Bar v James Daniel Eckert, File No. 2009-11,071 (6C), The Florida Bar averred that Mr. Eckert had represented Jean Camposecco in post dissolution of marriage
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proceedings, and that, while the case was pending, the opposing party, Robert Camposecco, filed an Inquiry/Complaint form against the lawyer with The Florida Bar, which it received on March 4, 2009, alleging that Mr. Eckert had blackmailed him, and had personally called him at home although he was represented by an attorney, one Phillip McLeod. Those complaints were dropped or dismissed by the Bar although it did not create a record explicitly discharging them.

However, the Bar on its own initiative charged Mr. Eckert with threatening to sue Mr. Camposecco with defamation for bringing the complaint. On December 30, 2009, the Sixth Judicial Circuit Grievance Committee found probable cause for further disciplinary proceedings, that the Respondent had violated Florida Bar: Rule 4-8.4(d), stating that a lawyer shall not engage in conduct in connection with the practice of law that is prejudicial to the administration of justice. The probable misconduct was stated as: On or about July 9, 2009, Respondent wrote a letter to a complainant threatening to sue him for defamation and damages unless he withdrew his Bar complaint and issued a letter of apology within five days. The lawyer and his attorney claimed ignorance of the Rule and the common law involved, and copped a plea.

To the best of our information and belief, The Florida Bar has not been sued for its gross negligence or otherwise taken to task for its dereliction of duty in the Libow v. Johnson matter although it has been aware of the infraction of its Rules since 2004 (the Bar has as recently as this 2011 reviewed documents in the matter) yet did nothing to stop the malicious prosecution of the Johnsons, which would have saved the courts and everyone else concerned a great deal of aggravation, time and money. It is reasonable to assume that the power elite at the Bar have a favorable relationship with Mssrs. Libow and Tifford, or that the persons involved at the Bar are incompetent; in either case they should be discharged from their offices forthwith, as they would be if they worked for a good law firm, and perhaps subjected to Bar investigations themselves. That is highly unlikely to happen, however, unless the Press, the so-called fourth branch of government, is willing to shed light on the matter, something that mainstream publications including the Miami Herald and the South Florida Business Journal have failed to do, despite being fully informed of the particulars of the public record over the past year, presumably because professional journalists dare not alienate the judiciary, the source of their press shield and one of their main news sources.

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