Events May 14, 2024

Paul, Weiss Hosts Event to Introduce Center to Combat Hate

As reported in The New York Times' “Dealbook” newsletter, The American Lawyer and various other news outlets, Paul, Weiss hosted an event at the firm’s New York office on May 14 to announce the launch of the Paul, Weiss Center to Combat Hate.

“Paul, Weiss has long been at the forefront of the public battle against hate and discrimination,” Paul, Weiss Chairman Brad Karp said in his opening remarks. Brad, who also serves on the Center’s board, mentioned highlights from the firm’s work over the decades to combat hate and promote justice, including helping overturn the conviction of the Scottsboro Boys; partnering with Thurgood Marshall on Brown v. Board of Education, the seminal Supreme Court case that ended racial segregation; and winning a landmark verdict against white supremacists who conspired to commit racially motivated violence during the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017.

“I wish the Center wasn’t necessary, but it’s a sad truth that every generation is called upon to confront hate-driven violence and intimidation, and our generation is no different,” said litigation partner Dan Kramer, who serves as board chair and co-executive director of the Center. Dan remarked on the great amount and variety of racially motivated violence plaguing our society today. “In the face of all of this violence and intimidation, we all know that we cannot sit back, that we need to respond.”

Litigation Department Co-Chair Karen Dunn, who serves as board member and co-executive director of the Center, reflected on her experience as co-lead counsel in the Charlottesville trial, noting that the many lessons learned during that case will inform the Center’s work. “While the forces of hate are powerful, they can be debilitated by civil lawsuits, judges, jury verdicts and financial penalties,” Karen observed. “While we may be living in a new world of political violence, we are also living in a very old world of the rule of law.”

Litigation partner and former U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who also serves on the Center’s board, closed by reflecting on the ebb and flow of hate she has witnessed. “It is true that for some reason there does seem to be a darkness in us that comes out in this malevolence toward others,” Loretta said. “But, my friends, there is also this tremendous light when we come together to do something about this.” Loretta emphasized the power of the law to combat hate in all its forms. “We turn to the law to protect the weak from the strong. We turn to the law to give voice to those who face oppression. And we turn to the law to make real the cry of never again,” she noted.

“This Center has a bold and audacious mission, but that’s okay,” Loretta said. “That’s what we need these days to fight the forces of hate.”