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NY Times Recounts How Twitter 'Threadnought' Spawned by Vic Mignogna's Lawsuit Led to Lawyer Team-Up

posted on by Ken Iikura-Gross
Legal team formed after Twitter dustup in 2019 defamation case is now taking Elon Musk to court

Between the trolls, random arguments, and so many other negative aspects of the social media platform, X (formerly Twitter) can be an unwelcoming space. However, a person's experience on the platform depends the community. Apparently the law analysis side of Twitter was at one point a truly intriguing place to be as shown by an article from The New York Times. The article by John Leland examined a unique way a New York lawyer, Akiva Cohen, created a team of lawyers. The article notes that law firms will hire based on a candidate's résumé, but Cohen turned to Twitter, particularly the law analysis side of Twitter, to develop his team. This was spurred on by the 2019 defamation case by infamous voice actor Vic Mignogna.

Image via The New York Times' Twitter account

According to The New York Times, Cohen saw a post in 2019 about Mignogna's lawyer arguing the definition of certain terms and phrases levied against his client. Definitions are crucial in law–it's how we get Bill Clinton's famous quote: "It depends upon the meaning of the word 'is' is." Upon retweeting the post, Cohen didn't think much of the tweet, with the article saying that he figured "...that some of his lawyer friends would have a good laugh at another lawyer's expense, then return to the serious business of lawyering."

But this is Twitter we're talking about. And it wasn't long before the thread with Cohen's tweet exploded into something much greater. Namely, doxing and fighting... a "Threadnought," as it was named in the article. What's fascinating about Cohen's experience is that through his interactions with the Threadnought, he was able to find keen legal minds in action rather than just looking at a résumé.

The New York Times' article also looks at other notable accomplishments by the Cohen's team, including a 2021 copyright case between video game studio Bungie and cheat and mod distribution website AimJunkies and — in an ironic twist — ongoing litigation against Elon Musk and X regarding severance pay. To think this team of legal minds was formed from a comical tweet about Mignogna's lawyer is wildly fascinating. It really goes to show that when different spheres of interest collide, sometimes fireworks are made.

Over the course of his career, controversial voice actor Mignogna has received multiple allegations of sexual harassment from both colleagues and fans/convention attendees, which came to a head in 2019 when Funimation ceased its working relationship with him. Mignogna then sued both Funimation and voice actor colleagues Marchi and Rial, as well as Rial's fiance Toye, for defamation. The court later dismissed this lawsuit. Over the course of the lawsuit, multiple witnesses and alleged victims of Mignogna's sexual advances or unwanted affection came forward including voice actress Kara Edwards, underage con attendees, convention staff, and industry professionals.

Update: Corrected attribute on the tweet that led to the lawyers' team. Thanks, PatrickD.

Source: The New York Times' website and X/Twitter account

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