Attorneys for the publisher of a neo-Nazi website are preparing to drop their client, court records filed earlier this week show.
Andrew Anglin of The Daily Stormer has been a testing figure in the civil case filed against him two years ago by Tanya Gersh, a Whitefish woman seeking damages after Anglin called on his followers to deploy a torrent of anti-Semitic hate speech against her and her family.
Earlier this month Anglin refused a judge's order to return to the United States for a deposition. In March, the federal judge presiding over the case expressed his distaste for the parties' unproductive negotiations as the two-year mark approached from when the case was first filed.
In an order filed Monday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah Lynch said Anglin's attorneys, Marc Randazza and Mathew Stevenson, had served their client with their intent to move to withdraw as his counsel. Randazza told the Associated Press on Friday the motion is based on Anglin's refusal to comply with the judge's orders.
Lynch's order requires them to file that motion on May 13. On or before May 13, Lynch ordered Anglin to either have his new attorney file notice of taking up the case, or file a notice stating he intends to proceed without an attorney.
The order also brings up Anglin's unwillingness to cooperate for a deposition, stating a new deposition has been requested for April 30.
"If Anglin fails to appear for this deposition … [I] will enter Anglin's default in this matter," Lynch wrote, meaning the legal argument in the case will shift from whether Anglin is liable for damages, to the damages Anglin will be ordered to pay.
Randazza previously told the Associated Press he expects Anglin would "willingly" accept a default judgement against him over returning to the United States to be deposed by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights organization representing Gersh in this case. Anglin has said through court filings that he believes the Southern Poverty Law Center wants him to be harmed if he returns to the country.
Anglin's attorneys were not immediately available for comment Friday morning. John Morrison, an attorney for Gersh, was also unavailable.
Anglin called on his followers to descend on the Gersh and her family, who are Jewish, with hateful and anti-Semitic messages after a local tangle there with the mother of prominent white nationalist Richard Spencer. Anglin accused Gersh and other residents there of extorting Sherry Spencer because of her son's views.