Paul Levine

Levine, who maintains that the tape constitutes an invasion of his privacy and that Feinberg could be prosecuted for illegal wiretapping, says he only meant to say that as the people who had originally brought the complaint against Feinberg, he and Grossman could drop the matter if they wanted to. (McGunegle says that is incorrect, and that once a complaint has been filed, its fate is in the hands of the bar association.)

Levine also strenuously denies having had any intention of implying that he or his friend had any control over David McGunegle. "It was a poor choice of words," Levine says in retrospect. "It was very inarticulate."

Grossman says that when he learned of the tape and its contents, he was furious. "I called Paul," Grossman recalls. "I said, `Paul, why did you do that? Why would you do that to me?' And he said, `I don't remember saying that. If I did, I fucked up.'

"Then he fucked up," Grossman echoes. "And I'm bitter about it. And I'm angry about it. And I'm very disappointed about it, too. Who would have a right to play with my name behind my back?"

But Grossman blames Feinberg for reopening a case that finally seemed to have been settled. Whether because of the tape-recorded agreement or in spite of it, the specifics of the mezzanine meeting at the Grand Bay Hotel were being met: Levine is paying for his daughter's college expenses; the bar complaints against Feinberg were dismissed; the lawsuits against Levine and his parents were dropped. But after Feinberg filed suit against Grossman this past October, the Florida Bar assigned an independent investigator to re-examine the circumstances surrounding the entire matter.

If there's a victim in all of this, Grossman stresses, it's himself. He believed Brenda Feinberg was guilty of misconduct when she wrote a threatening letter to Levine's parents, so he initiated a complaint against her. That's all he did. And while Grossman feels it is proper for the Florida Bar to investigate any alleged wrongdoing by him or Levine (or, for that matter, by Feinberg herself; the grounds for the original complaints are currently being re-examined, too), he thinks Feinberg's suit against him is an entirely different matter.

"I feel like I'm being maliciously prosecuted," says Grossman, who stands accused of perjury, fraud, and of having conspired with Levine to force Feinberg to take less money in child support. "She's using me to get at Paul. There is no proof I did anything. I didn't do anything."

If Feinberg was pressured into a bad settlement, Grossman adds, she should petition the court to set it aside, on the grounds that she was under duress. And if she thinks she was wrongly accused in a bar complaint, he recommends that she should sue the Florida Bar, the agency that actually filed the complaint. Instead, he contends, Feinberg and Ticktin are attacking his name and reputation. "I'm being sued by alleged lawyers," he says.

And in a case that now seems to have no end, Levine and Grossman both promise there is more to come, including more bar complaints, a possible criminal investigation, and at least one more lawsuit. "I'm not finished yet with Mr. Ticktin and Ms. Feinberg," Grossman promises. "They made a mistake by suing me this time. And they will pay for this mistake. I will sue their ass off when this case is over with.

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