News May 15, 2024

Paul, Weiss Launches The Center to Combat Hate to Advance Impact Litigation and Civil Rights Actions Against Hate-Driven Violence

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP today announced the launch of The Center to Combat Hate, dedicated to partnering with civil rights organizations and educational institutions to bring impact litigation to confront and redress hate-driven violence and intimidation.

For nearly a century, Paul, Weiss has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to advancing civil rights and combatting racism and xenophobia. Its contributions have ranged from Walter Pollak’s successful appeal overturning the conviction of the Scottsboro Boys in 1935; the firm’s assistance to Thurgood Marshall in overturning the doctrine of  “separate but equal” in 1954 in Brown v. Board of Education; to its lawyers’ work in securing a groundbreaking verdict in 2021 in Sines v. Kessler against white supremacist groups for conspiracy to commit racially motivated violence in Charlottesville.

The Center to Combat Hate will facilitate even closer partnerships with co-counsel and civil rights partners in efforts to fight hate-based extremism through the court system and other avenues of legal advocacy, with the goal of safeguarding vulnerable communities and groups and fostering a more just and equitable society.

The Center is led by Daniel Kramer and Karen Dunn, two senior Paul, Weiss lawyers who have helped spearhead groundbreaking lawsuits to hold white nationalist and neo-Nazi groups accountable for violence and intimidation. Kramer teamed up with the Anti-Defamation League and States United Democracy Center in representing the District of Columbia in its lawsuit seeking recovery against the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers for harm to police officers during the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol; and Dunn, who serves as Co-Chair of the Litigation Department, tried the Sines v. Kessler case, winning a historic jury verdict against the leaders of the neo-Nazi and white supremacist movements in America responsible for the racially motivated violence at a “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va. in 2017. The two will serve as co-executive directors, with Kramer also serving as Chair of the Advisory Board and Dunn serving as a member of the Advisory Board.

The Center’s prestigious Advisory Board also includes Paul, Weiss Chairman Brad Karp, Deputy Chair Valerie Radwaner, and other prominent firm partners, including Litigation Department Co-Chair and legendary trial lawyer Ted Wells, former U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, former Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, and prominent litigator and former prosecutor Jeannie Rhee.

“It has been the honor of my career to partner with some of the greatest civil rights lawyers of our time to seek justice for individuals and communities harmed by hate groups,” said Daniel Kramer. “Today’s launch of the Center to Combat Hate serves as a natural extension of those deep partnerships as we double down on our work to combat white nationalism and other hate-based extremism.”

“We have seen firsthand the power of the legal system in deterring the actions of hate groups, and it has never been more important to stand up together against hate,” said Karen Dunn. “I am honored to help lead this group of dedicated justice seekers as we work together to create a more welcoming and equitable society.”

“A commitment to civil rights and social justice is foundational to our firm’s culture and mission,” said Brad Karp. “Every day we bring the top strategists and legal minds together to take on complicated global challenges, whether on behalf of our corporate or pro bono clients. With this month marking 70 years since the seminal Brown v. Board of Education decision, it feels very appropriate to formalize this critical work in launching the Center to Combat Hate.”