Kanye West’s former lawyers want to print newspaper ads announcing they have dropped him

Kanye West‘s lawyers are asking a federal judge to let them run newspaper ads announcing they’ve dropped the embattled rapper, claiming he’s so far evaded all their efforts to formally notify him he’s been fired as client.

Greenberg Traurig, one of the many law firms that have cut ties with the West in the wake of his anti-Semitic remarks last year, a federal judge in California said on Friday (Jan 13) that the company had “exhausted all means” of contacting the rapper, who has legally changed his name to Yes. The cell phone he mentioned is disabled, they said, and his representatives are no longer working for him.

“GT has been unable to locate Ye for personal service despite its best efforts,” wrote lawyers for the prestigious firm. “GT has attempted to arrange for personal service by sending process servers to his last known location and using all available means to contact Ye and his representatives since November, but has been unsuccessful.”

Claiming that Kanye appears to have engaged in “deliberate avoidance and obstruction,” the firm asked the judge to allow an extraordinary alternative: printing a formal public notice in Los Angeles newspapers.

“Publication of the withdrawal order’s contents in two newspapers in the Los Angeles area where Ye appears to reside will also inform him of the withdrawal order,” his former lawyers wrote. “Given Ye’s public status, publication of the withdrawal order is likely to generate significant media attention, resulting in wider publicity and providing an even greater likelihood of informing Ye of the order.”

The filing came in a copyright lawsuit alleging West failed to pay for a sample he used in the track “Flowers” from his album Donna 2. Greenberg had represented him from the beginning of the case, but after West’s nasty statements, the firm has published in October that it would withdraw: “This company was founded by individuals who faced discrimination, and many of us lost ancestors to that kind of hatred and prejudice.”

The firm received formal approval from the judge to withdraw from the case a short time later. But federal court rules and legal ethics require lawyers to serve clients with formal notice that they have been dropped; it’s this step Greenberg says Kanye has eluded.

The request requires the approval of the judge overseeing the case. West could not immediately be reached for comment on Friday’s letter from his former attorneys.

In the wake of his public self-destruction last year, West has lost almost every aspect of his once formidable business empire. His representatives at CAA have dropped him and his signature fashion partnerships with Adidas, The Gap and Balenciaga have all been terminated.

So have his lawyers. In addition to Greenberg, West has also been dropped by Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft, the prestigious Wall Street firm that represented him in his dealings with The Gap; Cohen Clair Lans Greifer Thorpe & Rottenstreich, who represented him in his divorce from Kim Kardashian; and Brown Rudnick partner Camille Vasquezwho rose to prominence representing Johnny Depp in his defamation suit against Amber Heard and briefly re-acclaimed West last fall. Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan partner Alex Spirowho reps Jay-Z and Elon Muskpublicly stated that West sought to hire him but never did.

Read Greenberg Traurig’s entire letter here:

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