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Mayer Brown withdraws from controversial suit seeking removal of ‘comfort women’ memorial

Posted May 2, 2014 7:39 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Mayer Brown has withdrawn from a controversial lawsuit that contends a statue honoring “comfort women” interferes with the federal government’s power to conduct foreign policy.

A federal court approved the law firm’s request to withdraw on Monday, report the Los Angeles Daily News and the Glendale News-Press. The firm will continue to represent the plaintiffs until a replacement is found and will reimburse the plaintiffs for their fees, according to the website of one of the plaintiffs, GAHT-US Corp.

A Mayer Brown spokesperson told the Glendale News-Press that the firm asked to be removed from the case with its clients’ consent. A new lawyer, William DeClercq of Pasadena, was substituted on Tuesday.

Bloggers and columnists had expressed outrage over the suit, which seeks the removal of the statue that honors the women who were forced into prostitution in Japanese military brothels during World War II. The city council in Glendale, California, had refused to remove the statue from a public park.

One of the plaintiffs, Koichi Mera, expressed disappointment in the law firm’s decision. “Mayer Brown is a law firm, and once a firm decides to support a client, they should be doing it all the way to the end,” Mera told the Los Angeles Daily News.

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