June 17, 2019
A team of Litigation & Trial lawyers based in Washington, D.C. secured a huge pro bono victory for pro bono client Dean Obeidallah, a writer, political commentator, SiriusXM radio host, and comedian. Mr. Obeidallah filed a defamation suit against Andrew Anglin, the publisher of the most widely read neo-Nazi website on the internet, The Daily Stormer. During a damages hearing last week, the US District Court for the Southern District of Ohio judge awarded our client all the relief we sought: US$4.1 million in damages and a permanent injunction, in addition to attorneys’ fees and costs.
The case arose from Anglin’s publication of a defamatory article regarding Mr. Obeidallah in June 2017, which, among other things, falsely alleged that Mr. Obeidallah was the “mastermind” behind the terror attack at the Ariana Grande concert in the United Kingdom that resulted in 23 deaths and 250 injuries. Anglin fabricated a number of Twitter messages to make it appear that Mr. Obeidallah had claimed responsibility for the attack. The Daily Stormer bills itself as a “news website,” and many of its readers took these false allegations to be the truth, resulting in a number of threats against Mr. Obeidallah’s life. The case was referred by the firm's pro bono partner Muslim Advocates.
In an op-ed for CNN about the lawsuit, Mr. Obeidallah thanked Latham, and noted that he’ll be donating any money received as a result of the legal victory to organizations that fight bigotry and white supremacy.
The win was a true team effort by colleagues in the DC Litigation & Trial Department. The team consisted of partner Abid Qureshi; associates Robyn Greenberg, Cherish Drain, and Tyler Williams; and summer associate Briana Clark. The DC Litigation Services and the New York Managing Attorney’s Office provided important support to the associate team during critical phases of the case.