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Metropolitan AME Church Wins Entry of Default Against Proud Boys Leaders

Paul, Weiss achieved a significant victory on behalf of Washington DC’s historic Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church in a lawsuit stemming from acts of violence committed on church grounds by members of the all-male extremist group the Proud Boys. On August 30, 2022, Judge Heidi Pasichow of D.C. Superior Court granted Metropolitan AME’s motion for entry of default against Ethan Nordean, Joseph R. Biggs and Jeremy Bertino, three leaders of the Proud Boys, and John Turano, a Proud Boys supporter. Last year, we obtained a default against the group’s governing body, Proud Boys International. Both PBI and its chairman, Enrique Tarrio, are co-defendants in the case.

Metropolitan AME’s lawsuit alleges that Nordean, Biggs and Bertino were among the Proud Boys leaders who conspired and agreed to commit intentional unlawful acts in an effort to attack those who support racial justice, including the Black Lives Matter movement. Metropolitan AME, like other nearby churches showing support for the Black Lives Matter movement, suffered from the Proud Boys’ coordinated acts of violence when Proud Boys members leapt over a fence surrounding the church, and tore down and destroyed a large Black Lives Matter sign that Metropolitan AME was displaying. Turano has been identified as a direct participant in the attack against the church.

The Paul, Weiss team includes litigation partners Daniel Kramer, Jeannie Rhee and Andrew Ehrlich, counsel Jonathan Hurwitz and associates Erin MorganLissette DuranAlexandra GordonEric Abrams, Samantha FryJillian GrayMarisa Papenfuss and Clay Wild

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