Law Firms

Breaking up is hard to do, Greenberg Traurig learns after finally succeeding in dropping rapper Ye

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shutterstock_kanye west 2016

Rapper Kanye West, now known as Ye, exits a hotel Sept. 3, 2016, in New York City. Image from Shutterstock.

Greenberg Traurig has finally served notice on rapper Ye that it is dropping him as a client.

The law firm was able to serve the rapper formerly known as Kanye West with the help of a California lawyer, according to a Feb. 3 declaration and a Feb. 3 letter filed with U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres of the Southern District of New York. In a stroke of luck for the firm, the California lawyer contacted Greenberg Traurig on Jan. 18 and said he would be representing Ye on some matters.

Greenberg Traurig wanted to drop Ye in a copyright lawsuit after he made antisemitic comments, including a tweet that he wants to go “death con 3 on Jewish people.”

Greenberg Traurig had told Torres in a Jan. 13 letter that it couldn’t find Ye to serve him with the notice of withdrawal, despite “diligent efforts” to personally serve him. Ye’s last known cellphone number was apparently deactivated, and a process server was not able to find him at addresses that he was known to frequent.

Greenberg Traurig asked to served Ye by publication in two Los Angeles newspapers and by mailing the withdrawal order to two California addresses likely to be Ye’s residences.

In a Jan. 24 order, Torres told Greenberg Traurig to keep trying to obtain personal service.

In the Feb. 3 letter, the firm said Ye was served at an address that is not publicly affiliated with him or his businesses but is one that he frequents. Torres agreed to seal the certificate of service with the address and the person who served Ye based on Greenberg Traurig’s request.

The firm sought to keep the information private following accounts that the press and members of the public were frequenting locations thought to be associated with Ye.

If the certificate of service was made public, it is likely that the address that it identified “would be subject to unwanted loitering and attempted access by third parties,” Greenberg Traurig said in the Feb. 3 letter. “Similarly, the person who personally served Ye at this address should also be safeguarded from potential and unwarranted harassment.”

Hat tip to Business Insider and Above the Law, which called Greenberg Traurig a “classy law firm” for seeking to keep the address secret.

See also: “These law firms are shunning Kanye West; one says end to representation wasn’t a firing”

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