Attorneys for Christopher Cantwell and Robert “Azzmador” Ray have filed to withdraw as counsel in a lawsuit stemming from the 2017 Unite the Right rally.
In a filing this week, attorneys Elmer Woodard and James Kolenich asked the court to dismiss them from the Sines v. Kessler case, citing difficulties with their clients. The suit was filed by local victims of the white supremacist rally against its organizers.
Cantwell has been accused of sending threatening messages to plaintiffs attorney Roberta Kaplan. Because of this, Woodard and Kolenich believe they have good cause to withdraw as his counsel.
“As a result, Mr. Cantwell has rendered Attorney’s continued representation of him unreasonably difficult, has created a conflict of interest between himself and Attorney’s other clients, and has engaged in conduct Attorneys consider ‘repugnant or imprudent,’” Kolenic and Woodard said in the filing.
According to the motion, Ray has been unavailable by phone or email for the majority of the case and the attorneys would have to request he call them via commenting in an “alt-right comment area.”
“For more than 6 weeks, Mr. Ray has been absent from said comment area,” the filing states. “Mr. Woodard and Mr. Kolenich have not heard from Mr. Ray in at least that amount of time.”
This is not the first time Woodard and Kolenich have asked to withdraw as counsel for Cantwell and Ray. In October, the attorneys attempted to withdraw, saying they had not been paid. The defendants later agreed to pay and the request was dropped.
The plaintiffs opposed the previous requests to withdraw, claiming that if Woodard and Kolenich were allowed to withdraw, it could delay the trial and impede the discovery process.
The plaintiffs have yet to file a response to this latest motion.