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Karen Dunn Featured in Reuters’ “Pro Bono Heroes” Column
- December 29, 2021
Litigation partner Karen Dunn was featured in Reuters’ monthly “Pro Bono Heroes” column. In “Pro Bono Heroes: Trio scores $26-mln verdict against Charlottesville rally organizers,” Karen, Kaplan Hecker & Fink founding partner Roberta Kaplan and Cooley senior counsel Alan Levine discussed their recent four-week civil trial in Sines v. Kessler against the leaders of the 2017 white supremacist “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Karen noted that the plan was always to go to trial and that there “was no settlement to be had.” She added that the repeated use of racial slurs and violent images, as well as arguments supporting the creation of a white ethno-state, were initially shocking but soon became “part of the day-to-day” courtroom testimony.
The trial, which Karen described as “a bubble of hate and violence,” culminated in a $26 million verdict from a federal jury in November.
“While the jury deliberated, I thought to myself what the ramifications would be if we didn’t get a verdict in our favor,” Karen said. “It would have really shaken my faith in the system.”