What’s a Biglaw firm to do when it wants to part ways with a celebrity client who’s completely MIA? It looks like the answer here is to treat that celebrity like an average joe and take to the local newspapers to dump him.
That’s what’s currently going on between Greenberg Traurig and Ye (fka Kanye West). This past fall, Biglaw firm after Biglaw firm (i.e., Brown Rudnick; Cadwalader; Pryor Cashman; and Quinn Emanuel) pulled the plug on their representation of the troubled musical icon following his antisemitic remarks. Greenberg Traurig — the fifth Biglaw firm (that we know of) that’s attempted to step away from Ye — has been trying to withdraw from the rapper’s ongoing matters for quite some time now, but it’s proven incredibly difficult due to the star’s seclusion in the wake of his outright praise for Hitler on Alex Jones’s “Infowars” show. TMZ has the scoop:
According to legal docs, obtained by TMZ, Greenberg Traurig, LLP claims there’s been “a breakdown in communication” with Kanye, as they attempt to let him know they’re off of the case. They say Ye apparently deactivated the phone number they previously used to get in touch with him.
As a result, the docs say the company’s looking to use “alternative means” to reach him … which includes putting ads out in 2 L.A.-based newspapers, and publishing the order from the judge, which allows them to withdraw from the case, for all to see.
The docs say the goal is to inform the rapper about the order — and seeing as he’s incommunicado, this is the best option left to give him notice. The firm says it’s aware the publication would “likely garner significant media attention, resulting in broader publication.”
Greenberg Traurig previously issued a statement on Ye’s comments, noting that the firm “condemn[s] antisemitism and all hate speech or bigotry, which is repugnant to the core values we believe in and live.” Hopefully with the widespread newspaper publication and media coverage of the firm’s withdrawal, GT will be able to wipe its hands of Ye and all of his hateful stances.
Staci Zaretsky is a senior editor at Above the Law, where she’s worked since 2011. She’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to email her with any tips, questions, comments, or critiques. You can follow her on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.