Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Before San Francisco lawyer John O’Connor exposed W. Mark Felt as Deep Throat in the July 2005 issue of Vanity Fair, few people knew as much about the one-time assistant director of the FBI as Ralph de Toledano, who helped ghostwrite Felt’s 1979 biography, The FBI Pyramid from the Inside. Now, de Toledano contends in a suit filed July 3 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia that he was duped — not simply about Felt’s secret but by O’Connor, Felt, and Felt’s son over the rights to the 1979 book. According to the complaint filed by attorney Theodore Allison of Karr & Allison, Felt’s son, William Mark Felt Jr., approached de Toledano in early 2003 hoping to negotiate a deal to re-release the book with some “additional background material.” The initial offer — which came in a letter from O’Connor, according to the complaint — gave de Toledano a royalty of 33 percent for substantial use of the original book and 10 percent of any other story about Felt, which could be subject to arbitration. De Toledano says in the complaint that he was confused by the proposal. But by September the two parties had agreed on a contract to pay de Toledano $10,000 — half up front and half, as the complaint says O’Connor put it, to buy de Toledano’s rights for a re-release. The complaint alleges that O’Connor knew this assertion was “misleading, because in truth there was little or no doubt that the story of �Washington’s most celebrated secret source’ would have considerable commercial value.” De Toledano says in his complaint that after waiting three months for his paycheck he wrote O’Connor to cancel the original deal. It wasn’t until February 2005 that O’Connor sent him the first payment of $5,000. De Toledano alleges that O’Connor then used the purchased rights to solicit his own book deal, which led to A G-Man’s Life by O’Connor and Felt, which was published earlier this year. In May 2006, O’Connor sent de Toledano two checks totaling $5,000. Now, de Toledano is suing for copyright infringement and fraud and is seeking a 50 percent stake in the copyright of the earlier book. Reached by phone at his new solo practice, O’Connor said he had not yet seen the suit but was “generally familiar with the claims.” He added, “We don’t believe there is a whiff of merit to them.”
Emma Schwartz can be contacted at [email protected].

This content has been archived. It is available exclusively through our partner LexisNexis®.

To view this content, please continue to Lexis Advance®.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber? Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® is now the exclusive third party online distributor of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® customers will be able to access and use ALM's content by subscribing to the LexisNexis® services via Lexis Advance®. This includes content from the National Law Journal®, The American Lawyer®, Law Technology News®, The New York Law Journal® and Corporate Counsel®, as well as ALM's other newspapers, directories, legal treatises, published and unpublished court opinions, and other sources of legal information.

ALM's content plays a significant role in your work and research, and now through this alliance LexisNexis® will bring you access to an even more comprehensive collection of legal content.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2020 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.