David Deitch and Jeff Ifrah, the legal representatives of Full Tilt Poker owners facing the class action lawsuit, want to quit. The duo has been representing some of the 24 people who have been sued by 4 US Poker players who want an immediate refund of their poker deposits along with damages as per the provisions of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act 1961, which permits the prosecution of mafia members for ordering crimes although they did not play an active part in them.
Deitch and Ifrah were the “Attorneys on Record” for five companies involved with Full Tilt Poker Ltd. and eight individual players who are believed to be closely associated with these companies. Ifrah had filed a motion for the dismissal of the defendants from the lawsuit, but this motion might be heard only in October. A complete list of defendants that Deitch and Ifrah are representing include Tiltware, Vantage, Filco, Pocket Kings, Pocket Kings Consulting, Howard Lederer, Chris Ferguson, Jennifer Harman, Erick Lindgren, Andrew Bloch, Mike Matusow, Erik Seidel, and Allen Cunningham.
The other defendants are Full Tilt Poker, Nelson Burtnick, Patrik Antonius, and Gus Hansen, who are yet to hire lawyers to fight their case, and John Juanda and Phil Ivey, who have already engaged lawyers to represent them. Ray Bittar, the CEO of Tiltware LLC, is also one of the defendants and has hired another lawyer to defend him.
However, Deitch and Ifrah cannot quit till their clients have found someone else to represent them. They also need the court’s approval before they can finally quit, and this will take some time because the courts in New York are busy.
Nobody knows for sure why the lawyers have decided to withdraw from the class action; but there are three major opinions. First, Full Tilt Poker is impoverished, and as Ifrah has already stated, the case might turn out to be an “unreasonable financial burden” on their law firm. If Full Tilt Poker really cannot afford to pay their legal fees, players can as well stop hoping for a refund of their poker deposits.
Second, the lawyers are trying to delay the lawsuit. If they step down, the new lawyers who take up the case can say that they are unfamiliar with it, request more time, and have the hearing delayed by months. Third, the lawyers have been threatened by furious Full Tilt Poker players and have decided to quit to keep themselves safe.