Paul, Weiss is committed to providing impactful pro bono legal assistance to individuals and organizations in need. Our program is all-encompassing, spanning the core issues facing our society.
Pro Bono Clients Win Verdict and Over $25 Million in Damages Against Charlottesville “Unite the Right” Rally Organizers
- Client News
- November 23, 2021
Paul, Weiss, alongside co-counsel, secured a major victory in Sines v. Kessler on behalf of nine pro bono clients who were injured in the violence during the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend of August 11-12, 2017. An 11-member jury found every one of the defendants liable for a conspiracy to commit racially motivated violence under Virginia law, and awarded our clients over $25 million in compensatory and punitive damages.
Our clients filed the lawsuit in October 2017 in Virginia federal court. Among other claims, we alleged a conspiracy to commit racially-motivated violence under the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871 and other federal and Virginia state laws.
Our clients alleged that they suffered a range of physical and mental injuries as a result of the violence that unfolded that weekend, including concussions, a skull fracture, post-traumatic stress disorder, insomnia, the inability to concentrate, flashbacks and panic attacks.
At trial, the team presented extensive evidence that the leaders of the white supremacist movement planned for months to bring violence to the streets of Charlottesville. According to The New York Times, the verdict is “a clear rebuke” to the white supremacists, neo-Nazis and white nationalists who organized the rally.
The verdict followed a lengthy four-week trial during which the plaintiffs were subjected to hate speech and doxing by white supremacists who were following the public proceedings.
The Paul, Weiss team included litigation partners Karen Dunn, Jessica Phillips and William Isaacson, and associates Makiko Hiromi, Arpine Lawyer, Agbeko Petty, Giovanni Sanchez, Nicholas Butto, Matteo Godi and Mo Light.
Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP and Cooley LLP acted as co-counsel in this matter.