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Lawyer who led song-theft lawsuit against Led Zeppelin suspended

By | Published on Friday 1 July 2016

Led Zeppelin

The lawyer who led the plagiarism case against Led Zeppelin has been suspended from practicing law for three months in relation to his conduct during another copyright infringement lawsuit.

Before scoring over one hundred sustained objections against his statements in court during the ‘Stairway To Heaven’ song-theft trial last month, attorney Francis Malofiy was previously accused of misconduct over allegations that he tricked a defendant into signing an affidavit as part of copyright battle around Usher’s ‘Bad Girl’.

A three-judge panel ruled against Malofiy in relation to the case last year ordering the three month suspension. The lawyer appealed, arguing that he didn’t break any rules, and even if he did, the proposed punishment was too harsh. But this week an appeals panel upheld the earlier ruling, meaning Malofiy cannot now practice law until the autumn. Which could affect his involvement in any appeal of the ‘Stairway’ case.

As previously reported, Malofiy’s client – who accused Led Zepp of ripping off Spirit song ‘Taurus’ when writing their big hit – lost the case. Although Malofiy’s ban technically relates to Pennsylvania, it is unlikely he’d be allowed to front a case in California while the suspension was underway. So if there is a ‘Stairway’ appeal incoming, it may be the less high profile co-counsel which worked for the plaintiffs who would have to lead second time around.