The Second Circuit recently held that a denial of a motion to dismiss a criminal indictment based on the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (“FSIA”) is immediately appealable under the collateral-order doctrine but concluded that even if FSIA did provide immunity from criminal prosecutions, that immunity would not extend to a foreign sovereign’s or its instrumentality’s commercial activities.
On October 12, 2021, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a disgorgement order issued by the SEC, in—according to the opinion— the first appellate ruling on the topic since the Supreme Court’s 2020 decision in Liu v. SEC. Commercial litigators involved in securities disputes should take note that…
In a unanimous opinion, the U.S. Supreme Court held that Section 13(b) of the FTC Act does not authorize the Federal Trade Commission to seek monetary relief in the form of restitution or disgorgement, despite the agency’s redoubled practice of seeking such relief under the Act since 2012. The Court’s…
The Second Circuit has recently held that the Government must account for rental income it denied a property owner during a period of illegal seizure even though the Government was able to establish probable cause at a post-seizure hearing. The appeal stemmed from a decades-long sanctions and civil forfeiture action in which the U.S. Department of Justice has sought to forfeit, among others, a 36-story skyscraper located at 650 Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan co-owned by the Alavi Foundation, an entity accused of laundering money for Iran.
If you thought there would be no news coming out of President Biden’s Department of Justice, since his pick for Attorney General has yet to be confirmed, you would be wrong. Just over a week after Biden’s inauguration, the Acting Attorney General, Monty Wilkinson, issued interim guidance that is likely to have a major impact on criminal prosecutions, including of corporations, going forward while the new Justice Department formulates its long-term strategy.
Qui tam cases in American jurisprudence rely on a simple premise: help prevent nefarious actors from defrauding the government and Uncle Sam will compensate you for your efforts. With its roots in English law, the American version was adopted during the Civil War in light of alleged fraud by federal contractors skirting the proper procurement process. Our American cousin to this English theory was colloquially known as “Lincoln’s Law,” better known today as the False Claims Act (the “FCA”). The FCA permits private parties or “relators” to relate the matter to the Court by suing on behalf of the federal government against any contractor who issued to the government “a false or fraudulent claim of payment or approval.” 31 U.S.C. § 3729(a)(1)(A). Should the government choose to intervene, the relator could see a payday ranging from 15 and 30 percent of the penalty collected in that action.
On April 20, 2020, the Supreme Court held in a 6-3 decision that the Sixth Amendment requires a unanimous jury verdict to convict a defendant of a serious offense in state courts. In so holding, the Court not only paved the way for potentially hundreds of defendants convicted by divided juries, like petitioner Evangelisto Ramos, to obtain new trials, but also effectively overturned its prior holding in Apodaca v. Oregon. Thus, the potential impact of Ramos v. Louisiana extends far beyond issues of criminal procedure, as the justices’ spirited debate over when and whether to overturn precedent took center stage and illustrated deep divisions within the Court.
In February 2020, at the 13th International Cartel Workshop, Deputy Assistant Attorney General (DAAG) Powers provided some insight as to the DOJ’s current views about the Antitrust Division’s Leniency Program. The headline: no major changes; but there are a few interesting takeaways, which we offer below.