Kanye West’s Ex-Lawyers Want To Print Newspaper Ads Announcing They’ve Dropped Him
Attorneys at a prestigious law firm say the disgraced rapper is evading their efforts to notify him that they're no longer defending him in a copyright case.
Kanye West’s lawyers are asking a federal judge to let them print newspaper ads announcing they’ve dropped the embattled rapper, claiming he has thus far evaded all their efforts to formally notify him that he’s been fired as a client.
Greenberg Traurig, one of the many law firms that have cut ties with West in the wake of his antisemitic statements last year, told a California federal judge on Friday (Jan. 13) that the firm had “exhausted all methods” of contacting the rapper, who has legally changed his name to Ye. The cell phone he listed is deactivated, they said, and his reps no longer work for him.
“GT has been unable to locate Ye for personal service despite its best efforts,” attorneys from the prestigious firm wrote. “GT has tried to arrange for personal service by dispatching process servers to his last known location and using all available means to contact Ye and his representatives since November but has not been successful.”
Claiming that Kanye appears to be engaged in “deliberate avoidance and obstruction,” the firm asked the judge to permit an extraordinary alternative: printing a formal public notice in Los Angeles newspapers.
“Publication of the Withdrawal Order’s contents in two Los Angeles-area newspapers, where Ye appears to reside, will also apprise him of the Withdrawal Order,” his former lawyers wrote. “Given Ye’s public status, publication of the Withdrawal Order will likely garner significant media attention, resulting in broader publication and provide an even greater likelihood of apprising Ye of the Order.”
The filing came in a copyright lawsuit that alleged West had failed to pay for a sample he used in the track “Flowers” from his album Donda 2. Greenberg had represented him from the beginning of the case, but following West’s ugly statements, the firm announced publicly in October that it would withdraw: “This firm was founded by individuals who faced discrimination and many of us lost ancestors because of that kind of hate and prejudice.”
The firm got formal approval from the judge to withdraw from the case a short time later. But federal litigation rules and legal ethics require lawyers to serve clients with formal notice that they’ve been dropped; it’s this step that Greenberg says Kanye has evaded.
The request will require approval from the judge overseeing the case. West could not immediately be located for comment on Friday’s letter from his former lawyers.
In the wake of his public self-destruction last year, West has lost nearly every aspect of his once-formidable business empire. His representatives at CAA have dropped him, and his signature fashion partnerships with Adidas, The Gap and Balenciaga have all been terminated.
His lawyers have done the same. In addition to Greenberg, West has also been dropped by Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft, the prestigious Wall Street firm that repped him in his dealings with The Gap; Cohen Clair Lans Greifer Thorpe & Rottenstreich, who repped him in his divorce from Kim Kardashian; and Brown Rudnick partner Camille Vasquez, who rose to prominence representing Johnny Depp in his defamation case against Amber Heard and briefly repped West last fall. Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan partner Alex Spiro, who reps Jay-Z and Elon Musk, publicly clarified that West sought to hire him but never did so.
Read Greenberg Traurig’s full letter here: