This judgment bankrupts Mr. Butler, but he was bankrupted from the start
Morris Dees is a civil rights attorney who, in 1971, co-founded the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, AL. He is well-known for his innovative legal strategies in breaking hate groups. In 1998, after Victoria and Jason Keenan were shot at by guards at the Aryan Nations compound, Kootenai County Task Force member Norm Gissel asked Dees if he would represent the Keenans in a civil case against Butler and his associate, Michael Teague.
Dees won the case, with a judgment of more than $6 million for the plaintiffs. Although the Keenans received only $225,000 from the sale of the Aryan Nations compound, the verdict bankrupted the organization.