NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) – A Florida attorney is seeking more than $30 million in his suit against the global law firm Baker Botts and one of its partners over allegations he was the victim of the firm's extortion and threats.
Harvey Kesner filed a complaint Jan. 21 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against Baker Botts LLP and Jonathan Shapiro alleging violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and other claims.
The suit states Kesner and his former law firm Sichenzia Ross Ference Kesner (SRFK) represented MabVax Therapeutics in a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigation in January of 2018. The defendants began to represent MabVax in May of 2018.
Kesner alleges the defendants set him up for extortion and falsely accused him of providing "contrary legal advice" to MabVax. Kesner alleges the defendants asked for $9.6 million or they would use their "influence and political connections" to implicate him in criminal wrongdoing and turn him over to the Department of Justice and SEC.
Kesner seeks compensatory and punitive damages of no less than $35 million, interest, a trial by jury and all other just relief. He is represented by Robert Buschel of Buschel Gibbons PA in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York case number 1:20-CV-551