From Colacurcio to Al-Ogaidi


Gil Levy

What’s a strip club attorney doing representing an Iraqi suing over his alleged torture? That’s a question that arises from the federal suit filed this week by Sa’adoon Ali Hameed Al-Ogaidi, an Iraqi shopkeeper who claims he was tortured at Abu Gharib by several contractors for the U.S. military, including a Renton man named Daniel Johnson. In the documents filed in the U.S. Courthouse in Seattle, Gilbert H. Levy is listed as Al-Ogaidi’s attorney. Levy is best known as the legal voice of the Colacurcio clan, which own several strip clubs in the area including Rick’s in Seattle, and which were the target of federal raids last month.

“I don’t just represent Rick’s,” Levy says, reached by phone from his downtown office. “I have a general criminal practice.” He says he represented a defendant in the Hells Angels racketeering case last year, and is currently handling a death penalty case in Anchorage. In the Iraqi case, Levy says he knew somebody who knew somebody who knew Susan Burke, the Philadelphia attorney who is the lead attorney on the case. So Burke anointed him the local “paper shuffler,” in Levy’s words. He says he does not expect to do substantive work on the case. Nonetheless, you have to wonder what his Iraqi client would make of his other affiliations.

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