Thursday, April 13, 2017

Victims ASk Reinstatement of $650M Terror Verdict vs PLO // Journal

Workers clean the inside of a cafeteria hours after a bomb exploded at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, killing nine, four of them Americans, and wounding more than 70, on July 31, 2002.

Big Law Bench Runs Deep in $655M Terror Case at High Court | National Law Journal
by Marcia Coyle

Thirteen years after suing the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority—and winning a $655 million jury award in 2015—the American victims and estates of victims of a series of bombings and shootings in Israel are asking the justices to overturn a federal appeals court decision that jettisoned them out of court.

In Sokolow v. Palestine Liberation Organization & Palestinian Authority, the victims—members of 11 American families—bring to the high court a bevy of big-name lawyers and substantial friend-of-the-court support. The case could present a delicate foreign policy question for the Trump administration.***

The Second Circuit said there was no general personal jurisdiction over the PLO and Palestinian Authority because, despite having an office in Washington, they were not "at home" in the United States—the Supreme Court's test for personal jurisdiction.
The appellate court also held there was no specific personal jurisdiction because the attacks were not “specifically targeted [at] United States citizens” and the attackers did not have the "specific aim" of "targeting the United States.” That some U.S. citizens were being attacked and killed was an insufficient basis for specific jurisdiction.
Following the 2015 jury award in Sokolow, the Obama Justice Department filed a statement of interest with the district court on the amount of bond that might be required of the PLO and Palestinian Authority pending the appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. The department said it "strongly supports" civil remedies for American victims of terrorism but also raised "significant concerns about the harms that could arise if the court were to impose a bond that severely compromised the Palestinian Authority’s ability to operate as a governmental authority."
Gibson Dunn's Olson had little sympathy for any financial repercussions the case may have on the PLO and Palestinian Authority.

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