Opinion: White supremacists are using an old playbook but so are the lawyers fighting them

By: 
Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP
Published on:
December 30, 2021
(Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)

On Tuesday, founding partner Roberta Kaplan and Karen Dunn, partner at Paul, Weiss and co-counsel in Kaplan Hecker & Fink's Charlottesville lawsuit, published an op-ed in The Washington Post, describing the "renaissance" of Section 1985 of the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871. This fairly obscure statutory provision, which Kaplan Hecker & Fink attorneys relied on in our lawsuit against the neo-Nazi and white supremacist organizers of the 2017 Unite the Right rally, empowers private citizens to hold individuals and groups responsible for inciting racially motivated violence. Last month, our team secured a $26 million verdict against the defendants in Charlottesville. In recent months, as our trial approached, private lawyers and public officials have applied this law in cases involving other instances of violence, including the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Tuesday’s op-ed considers that how we are holding these individuals accountable can be just as important as why.

Read the full op-ed here.

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