February 16, 2012
West Palm Beach, FL – An attorney’s polemic crusade against Jews for Jesus took another blow this week, after the Fourth District Court of Appeal in Florida affirmed over $56,000 in sanctions won by Liberty Counsel against attorney Barry Silver of West Palm Beach. Mr. Silver sued Jews for Jesus over eight years ago on behalf of his client, Edith Rapp, who claimed that the organization defamed her by publishing a praise report about her. Since then, two separate judges dismissed four separate complaints filed by Mr. Silver, as Mr. Silver continually refused to obey court orders telling him to drop the polemic and hateful language in his complaints. Judge Edward Fine ultimately sanctioned Mr. Silver and ordered him to pay more than $56,000 for legal fees he needlessly caused Jews for Jesus to incur.
Mr. Silver appealed Judge Fine’s sanctions judgment, but the Court of Appeal has now affirmed it in full. Moreover, the Court of Appeal has imposed additional sanctions on Mr. Silver, ordering him to pay for the legal fees caused by his appeal. The Court of Appeal has also indicated that if Mr. Silver files additional motions on appeal, the denial of those motions will lead to more sanctions.
Mathew Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel, commented: “In losing this appeal, Mr. Silver finally learned a costly lesson. Lawyers cannot use the courts to publicize philosophical vendettas against people of faith whom they do not like. Mr. Silver should have dismissed this lawsuit years ago. His bad faith pursuit of Jews for Jesus has turned out to be a costly mistake.”
Liberty Counsel will now move forward to satisfy the court-awarded judgment. The amount of the judgment includes $56,000, to which interest will be added. Liberty Counsel will also file time affidavits for the additional amount of time expended on the appeal that was also assessed against Mr. Silver.