Charlottesville Rally Litigators Bloch, White Open NYC Law Firm – Bloomberg Law

June 8, 2022 By admin

By Sam Skolnik
Two of the lawyers who helped lead the civil case against white supremacist leaders of the 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va., are starting a new law firm in New York.
Litigators Michael Bloch and Benjamin White are launching Bloch & White, the firm announced Wednesday. The pair recently worked together at New York’s Kaplan Hecker & Fink, which has helped fund its public interest cases by also doing commercial work for tech and financial giants like Uber Technologies Inc. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
Bloch & White also will focus on a range of legal work, including public interest and civil rights cases, criminal defense, and commercial litigation.

Benjamin White and Michael Bloch

The lawyers had prominent roles in the Charlottesville civil suit, which resulted in a $26 million verdict against organizers of the rally. Bloch gained notice for his work during the trial, including his interrogation of white supremacist Richard Spencer.
“Robbie asked me to try the case when I started, which I thought was a huge opportunity,” said Bloch, referring to Kaplan Hecker & Fink cofounder Roberta Kaplan. “It gave us each great experience running a complex, high-profile civil case and really ignited our excitement to continue doing this work.”
Karen Dunn, a Washington-based partner with Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, also played a leading role in the case.
“Both Michael and Ben are talented young lawyers who were wonderful colleagues to all of us here at KHF,” said Kaplan in a written statement. “We are so proud and will be wishing them every success as they launch their new firm devoted to obtaining justice for their clients.”
Bloch and White, who both graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School, worked earlier in their careers as associates for Williams & Connolly and Sullivan & Cromwell, respectively.
At Williams, Bloch litigated civil matters including cases involving commercial manufacturing—moving to become a line public defender, and eventually a supervisor, with the Bronx Defenders. He spent seven years with the group.
“I genuinely have a passion for that work,” Bloch said.
White, who was at Sullivan & Cromwell for roughly two years, defended banks in residential mortgage-backed securities cases, he said.
“My life was essentially ‘The Big Short’ for about two years,” he said, referring to the 2015 movie about the subprime mortgage crisis. “As a young lawyer, I was able to dive in at a really substantive level, and learn how a big, complex case works,” said White.
Another pair of litigators—Hogan and Lovells lawyers Katie Ali and Liz Lockwood—announced earlier this week that they’ve started their own civil rights-focused firm, Ali & Lockwood, in Washington.
To contact the reporter on this story: Sam Skolnik in Washington at [email protected]
To contact the editors responsible for this story: Chris Opfer at [email protected]; John Hughes at [email protected]
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