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Paul, Weiss Awarded 2024 Outstanding Achievement Award for Landmark Victory Against White Supremacist Groups

Paul, Weiss received a 2024 Outstanding Achievement Award from the Washington Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs at the annual Wiley A. Branton Luncheon. The firm was honored for the landmark decision we helped secure on behalf of Washington D.C.’s historic Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church—an iconic Black church that sits just blocks from the White House—which was violently attacked in December 2020 by the all-male extremist group the Proud Boys. In its decision, the D.C. Superior Court held that the defendants “acted with an evil, discriminatory motive based on race,” and that their “unlawful conduct was reprehensible to an extreme degree.” The court ultimately awarded the church more than $2.8 million, including $1 million in punitive damages, against the governing body of the Proud Boys, its chairman and several members for their role in the violent attack on the church and destruction of its Black Lives Matter sign. Although the economic harm inflicted on the church was low, the court awarded $1 million in punitive damages because “compensatory damages alone will not address the defendants’ reprehensible conduct or the extraordinary trauma suffered by the church and its congregants.” The historic award was more than 27 times the amount of compensatory damages and the fourth-highest amount ever awarded against white supremacists.

The Paul, Weiss team included litigation partners Daniel Kramer, Jeannie Rhee, Andrew Ehrlich and Erin Morgan, counsel Jonathan Hurwitz and Lissette Duran, and litigation associates Samantha Fry and Walter Bonne.

© 2024 Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

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