The Second Circuit Clarifies the Presumption against Extraterritoriality in European Community v. RJR Nabisco, Inc.

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On April 23, 2014, the Second Circuit issued an opinion that could be straight from a modern international-spy novel. European Community v. RJR Nabisco, Inc. involves Colombian and Russian cartels, drug smuggling and money laundering, and a suit by the European Community against U.S. tobacco companies under the federal RICO statute.

In its decision, the Second Circuit applied and clarified the presumption against extraterritoriality of U.S. statutes in the context of a complex conspiracy allegedly orchestrated by RJR Nabisco, Inc. and its affiliates to turn drug proceeds into profits for the cigarette makers. The court held that whether RICO claims can be asserted based on conduct that occurred outside the United States depends on the alleged RICO predicate acts, not the location of the RICO enterprise. Some federal statutes that supply RICO predicate acts apply extraterritorially, while others do not.

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Topics:  Cartels, European Community v RJR Nabisco, Extraterritoriality Rules, RICO

Published In: Civil Procedure Updates, Criminal Law Updates, International Trade Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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