Miami Heat Minority Owner Raanan Katz Scores Small Victory Over Blog Hating On Him

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Raanan Katz
On Monday, Miami Circuit Court Judge Ellen Leesfield gave Miami Heat minority owner Raanan Katz a clear path to the basket. She granted him a temporary injunction to stop a formerly anonymous blogger from writing "defamatory blogs" about Katz. In her order, Leesfield also hinted that she expects Katz to prevail in his pending defamation lawsuit against the blogger, who has been identified as Irina Chevaldina. 

How Leesfield drew her conclusions has us scratching our peel. Sure, the blog RK Associates USA is hypercritical of Katz's business practices and uses humorous photo-shopped images of the Israeli businessman to drive home its point. But the posts are usually backed up by public records and court documents. 

See also:
- Go Heat
- Miami Heat minority owner Raanan Katz Sues An anonymous Blogger

For more than a year, Katz's attorneys have been using the laughable argument that Katz is not a public figure and should not be subjected to ridicule. Mind you, in addition to owning a small piece of the Miami Heat, Katz is part owner of Macabi Tel Aviv basketball club. The Sunny Isles Beach city commission has declared a day and named a street after Katz, too. And there is hardly a business in Sunny Isles Beach that doesn't rest under his company's logo -- a basketball stamped with his initials swishing through a net.

Chevaldina's attorney Darren Spielman has argued that his client, who is a citizen journalist, was providing a public service by writing about Katz's litigation history and aggressive business tactics. Katz's lawyer Alan Kluger claims his client's tormentor has taken information out context, expanding it into a "totally false, malicious, and defamatory statement."

Meanwhile, South Florida Lawyers blog, which first posted Leesfield's ruling online, poses an interesting question: "How will the defendant know in advance whether a blog entry is possibly  defamatory or not?"  



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