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Paul, Weiss, with Integrity First for America (IFA) and a coalition of law firms, secured a civil contempt order and an arrest warrant for Texas resident Robert “Azzmador” Ray on behalf of nine plaintiffs who are suing individual and organizational far-right extremists associated with the August 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Representing nine individuals in a civil conspiracy case, Paul, Weiss and co-counsel argued that the defendant, Mr. Ray, a neo-Nazi podcaster who promoted, helped to organize, and attended the rally, should be held in civil contempt, arrested, and held in custody in Virginia until he is questioned under oath by the plaintiffs’ attorneys. Litigation partner Jessica Phillips argued at the hearing that it is “unbelievably galling” that Mr. Ray has been active on social media and posting his podcasts online while defying court orders and withholding a “trove” of documents relevant to the litigation and the conspiracy alleged, and argued further that Mr. Ray is already wanted on a felony charge stemming from a torchlit march through the University of Virginia on the eve of the rally.
U.S. District Judge Norman Moon agreed that Mr. Ray has been in “total disregard” of court orders and has not “taken any steps at all to comply” in the lawsuit against him and other far-right groups and individuals, and ultimately found Mr. Ray in civil contempt and issued a bench warrant for his arrest.
Mr. Ray is the second defendant in the civil case to be jailed after being held in contempt of court by Judge Moon. Mr. Ray is a frequent writer for The Daily Stormer, an influential neo-Nazi website created and published by Andrew Anglin, who also is a defendant in the lawsuit and has not participated in the case. The lawsuit, which is set for trial next year, alleges that, among other actions, Mr. Ray exhorted the website’s readers to attend the rally and had a planning meeting with event organizers in Charlottesville one day before the street violence erupted, in which the plaintiffs were injured, including in the James Fields car attack.
The Paul, Weiss team includes litigation partners Jessica Phillips, William Isaacson and Karen Dunn.