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Last week, a development out of the Southern District of New York, attorney Tyrone Blackburn, known for representing plaintiffs in high-profile cases against celebrities, has been scrutinized. Often in the limelight for his representation of plaintiffs against prominent figures like Sean “Diddy” Combs, Nicki Minaj, TI and Tiny, and Tiffany Haddish, Blackburn faced criticism in a court filing issued by Judge Denise Cote.


The filing, made in the case of ALEKSANDAR ZUNZUROVSKI v. LIANE FISHER, ET AL., chastised Blackburn’s behavior, alleging a pattern of improperly filed cases aimed at attracting media attention and pressuring defendants to settle quickly. Judge Cote’s statement indicated a concern that Blackburn’s actions were geared more towards generating sensational headlines rather than upholding legal integrity.

The filing reads, “A reasonable inference from Blackburn’s pattern of behavior is that he improperly files cases in federal court to garner media attention, embarrass defendants with salacious allegations, and pressure defendants to settle quickly.”

The court document highlighted previous instances where Blackburn had received admonishments from other judges within the Southern District of New York. Counsel for various defendants, including Nicki Minaj, TI and Tiny, had previously accused Blackburn of engaging in what they described as a “sordid shakedown campaign” and attempting to extract settlements from wealthy celebrities.

Furthermore, the filing pointed out instances where Blackburn allegedly failed to meet his Rule 11 obligations and admitted to filing cases in federal court to increase media coverage. According to the court document, Blackburn’s submissions were filled with sensational allegations against defendants and their counsel.

Judge Cote’s opinion and order explicitly stated that Blackburn’s conduct warranted referral to the Grievance Committee of the Southern District of New York. The judge highlighted concerns regarding Blackburn’s failure to conduct a reasonable inquiry to support jurisdiction assertions and suggested that his actions appeared part of a larger pattern.

Direct quotes in the filing highlight, “Attorney Tyrone A. Blackburn filed this action, asserting that jurisdiction exists pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332. He did so without conducting a reasonable inquiry to support that assertion. Because this filing appears to be part of a pattern, he will be referred to this Court’s Grievance Committee.”

Blackburn’s approach to litigation, as depicted in the court filing, raises questions about the ethical standards and motivations behind his legal practice. The allegations against him suggest a strategy focused on leveraging media attention and pressuring defendants rather than pursuing justice through the legal system.

About The Author

Senior Editor

Shawn Grant is a Chicago native and the Senior Editor of The Source Magazine. He can only be found on Instagram and Twitter at @shawnxgrant.

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