Lawyer says “BOOM SHAKALAKA” in Response to Bar Complaint

Ilya Liviz “DID COMPLY, and DID PROVIDE AN ANSWER, and my answer was provided in a form of SILENCE. (BOOM SHAKALAKA.)” was this particular Massachusetts lawyer’s response, which came in the form of a script, to an accusation of professional misconduct. Liviz had been temporarily suspended and failed to respond to the bar counsel’s request for information. Two months later, the bar filed a contempt order, with the backing that the lawyer had been practicing even after his temporary suspension. When he was found in contempt, he appealed to the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts.

Boom shakalaka can be found on dictionary.com’s slang dictionary. Boom shakalaka is “an interjection that expresses dominance, triumph, or joy. It is especially used when commenting on big dunks in basketball.” Dictionary.com also provides more information on the history of the word. It may have had roots in the 1969 song, “I Want To Take You Higher” lyrics, “boom-laka-laka-laka”. In covers, the boom-laka-laka-laka was transformed into the onamonapia boom-shaka-laka-laka.

In 1981, a military comedy titled Stripes had a scene where Bill Murray acting as John Winger trains soldiers in singing and dancing rather than drills. The soldiers chanted— you got it— Boomshakalaka. The movies use of the word is the most notable use in basketball. In 1993’s NBA Jam video game, the in-game commentator actually used boomshakalaka to describe powerful slam dunks (along with other nonsense exclamations).

The voice actor of this in-game commentator, Tim Kitzrow, attributed boomshakalaka to one of the game’s scriptwriters. The scriptwriter watched Stripes during the making of the game. They found that the onomatopoeia was perfect to describe a slam dunk, the boom of the ball going through the rim and the shakalaka of the rim shaking after the dunk.

“BOOM SHAKALAKA” is, in fact, not the perfect onomatopoeia to use in court when combating a contempt petition in an appeal. The lawyer described silence as the response to the bar’s request of information. However, silence is not one that is acceptable. The records were required, an exception to the Fifth Amendment privilege provided by the Constitution. The lawyer did not meaningfully challenge the contempt order and the court considered the facts that the bar counsel brought forth as enough to affirm the suspension and contempt order.

He was warned on December 3rd that his complaint that came in the form of a movie script did not meet procedural requirements. The rules required a short and plain statement. His application for a waiver of filing fees was insufficient because it was not signed by his client. It fails to provide information about the client’s income. Liviz filed his October suit. Liviz filed the complaint in the form of a screenplay because he needed to bring attention to his client. He elaborated on the reason of the unusual filing, ultimately he ends with this. Judicial reform isn’t needed. “People fail to realize that our way of life, our morale, our security and our economy are burdened, repressed and held back due to failure of the judiciary heads to recognize and correct injustice.”

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