Under what circumstances can United States federal statute apply extraterritorially—that is, outside of the U.S.? And in an increasingly globalized society, where parties in a legal dispute may be located around the world, how should a court make that determination?
For decades, courts have deliberated on these questions when hearing claims brought under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (commonly referred to as RICO). Some courts have made the determination solely based on a plaintiff’s location; others have used a multi-factor test to ascertain whether allegations involve “domestic injury” or not. Adding to the uncertainty is the issue of shareholder rights: when shareholders in a business entity plaintiff in a RICO suit reside in more than one location, questions of extraterritoriality and the scope of domestic injury are no simple matter.
In “RICO Extraterritoriality, RJR Nabisco and Shareholder Residence—A Key Consideration in Determining RICO ‘Domestic Injury,'” published in the most recent issue of RICO and Securities Fraud Law Reporter, Offit Kurman attorneys Lawrence A. Steckman and Adam J. Rader explore these legal complexities in light of the Supreme Court’s 2016 decision in RJR Nabisco, Inc. v. European Community. They write that “[n]o sound argument supports the view that courts should effectively overrule a legislature that enacted RICO remedies for any person injured in their business or property by engrafting a standing rule that would disable U.S. shareholders from maintaining a statutory action to seek a remedy Congress plainly wanted them to have.”
ABOUT ADAM RADER
Adam J. Rader has been assisting clients in the civil prosecution and defense of complex commercial business disputes in state and federal court for more than 20 years. His practice focuses on commercial litigation in state and federal court with an emphasis on international law. Mr. Rader provides clients with creative and practical approaches to the resolution of complex commercial problems.
ABOUT LAWRENCE STECKMAN
Lawrence Steckman is a principal attorney of the law firm Offit Kurman and has been litigating securities and business cases since 1988. In July, 2006, Super Lawyers Magazine, in its inaugural New York edition, identified Mr. Steckman as one of New York’s first “Super Lawyers” in both securities and business litigation. He received that honor again in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. The independent attorney rating service, AVVO, has awarded him a rating of “superb,” its highest achievement level, based on a 10/10 score. Mr. Steckman has handled billions of dollars in client matters and been counsel in leading securities, derivatives and RICO litigations and arbitrations.
ABOUT OFFIT KURMAN
Offit Kurman is one of the fastest-growing, full-service law firms in the mid-Atlantic region. With over 185 attorneys offering a comprehensive range of services in virtually every legal category, the firm is well positioned to meet the needs of dynamic businesses and the people who own and operate them. Our twelve offices serve individual and corporate clients along the I95 corridor in the Virginia, Washington, DC, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York City regions. At Offit Kurman, we are our clients’ most trusted legal advisors, professionals who help maximize and protect business value and personal wealth. In every interaction, we consistently maintain our clients’ confidence by remaining focused on furthering their objectives and achieving their goals in an efficient manner. Trust, knowledge, confidence—in a partner, that’s perfect.
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