Results matching “russia "bank of new york"”

Around the web, October 23 - PointOfLaw Forum

  • Russia settles $22.5 billion Bank of New York Mellon lawsuit, much written about in this space, for only $14 million, which works out to seven hundredths of a cent on the dollar, right? [Parloff/Fortune] Plaintiff's lawyer Steven Marks also suffers setback in his case on behalf of Nicaraguan banana workers [Longstreth/AmLaw]
  • Advocates hope to throw monkey wrench into tens of millions of foreclosures through creative attacks on legal adequacy of mortgage clearinghouses and securitization [Cavanaugh, Reason]
  • House Energy and Commerce approves chemical-plant-security bill with "citizen suit" attractions for entrepreneurial lawyers [Carter at ShopFloor]
  • "Scotland should introduce class action suits, says Lord Gill" [OUT-LAW, report and synopsis via Hartley]
  • Toldjah so: government crackdown on bank late fees and penalties results in hiking of fees for "good" customers [USA Today via Instapundit]
  • Protective orders in discovery: "Questionable Plaintiff Tactics Hammered In Florida" [Beck & Herrmann]

"Bank of New York in settlement talks with Russia" - PointOfLaw Forum

An anonymous Russian government source was quoted as suggesting that a settlement of $800 million, or 4 cents on the dollar of the dubious $22 billion claim, would be adequate. Roger Parloff of Fortune is, as before, devastating about the "reasons why Russia's suit, which has extortionate overtones, must not be permitted to succeed":

...Last October the bank, at the U.S. Treasury's bidding, accepted $3 billion in TARP (Troubled Assets Relief Program) money.

Are taxpayers now going to watch more than a quarter of that money go to Russia to pay off a fishy-smelling suit? And even if taxpayers could stomach that, are they prepared to then see 29% of the $800 million -- $232 million -- pass through to American lawyer Steven Marks of Miami's Podhurst Orseck, who represents victims in many airplane crash cases and who has been Russia's contingent-fee trial counsel in the weird case? Court records show that that's what Marks's retainer agreement calls for him to receive. ... According to Columbia Law School professor Katherina Pistor, a 2007 ruling of Russia's highest constitutional court holds that contingent fees in judicial cases are contrary to Russian public policy and, therefore, unenforceable. If Marks' case is about vindicating Russia's laws, he should get zero.

Moreover, the Russian government's purported indignation at the rogue bank officer's actions "is of suspiciously recent origin"; when the case blew up a decade ago, "Russian officials downplayed the gravity of what she'd done, claiming that most of her transfers were lawful and that American officials and media were blowing the matter out of proportion." More: American Lawyer.

Bank of New York/Russia suit update - PointOfLaw Forum

The judge in Moscow is now pressing the two sides to settle, and that pressure seems to be welcomed by the American plaintiff's lawyer who's representing the Russian government in exchange for 29 percent of its recovery. Earlier here. More: AP (Wall Street analyst believes threat of suit receding).

Parloff on Russia v. Bank of New York Mellon - PointOfLaw Forum

Over the past couple of years I've repeatedly expressed fascination (here, here, here, here, and here) with the lawsuit in a Moscow commercial court in which the government of Russia is invoking the RICO law -- America's RICO law, that is, not some equivalent on its own books -- to demand that Bank of New York pay compensation over a ten-year-old episode in which rogue bank employees opened a channel that allowed Russian exporters and others to move money out of the country without official oversight. To begin with, there's the sheer size of the sum demanded: $22.5 billion, an artifact of RICO's damage-trebling provisions as well as an optimistic view of underlying damages. Then there's the issue of the application of our distinctive RICO law in other countries' courts over actions and damages occurring overseas, which seemed like a momentous sort of precedent, even though the plaintiffs hired prominent lawprofs Alan Dershowitz and Robert Blakey to testify that it was just fine. In addition, there was the question of whether the Russian courts would prove a forum adequately protective of the rights of an entity being sued by the Russian government (although Dershowitz piquantly dismissed such concerns: "Who are we to cast aspersions on a country's legal system?") Then there was the role being played by Miami injury lawyer Steven Marks, who openly pitched the lawsuit to the Russian government; while he's hardly the first stateside lawyer to sell the idea of litigation against U.S. companies to foreign sovereigns, that trend in itself is one that deserves closer attention. Finally, there was the curious circumstance that the rogue employees, who had pleaded guilty for their role in the scheme to evade the bank's internal controls, had found it worth their while to assist the plaintiffs in the advancement of the suit.

Now Fortune legal analyst Roger Parloff has published a thoroughly devastating analysis of the lawsuit in the form of a lengthy article for the Sept. 29 issue of the magazine and a series of follow-up blog posts here, here, and here. Among Parloff's findings:

Russia vs. Bank of New York Mellon, cont'd - PointOfLaw Forum

Odd doings continue in the $22.5 billion lawsuit, per Bloomberg:

``Every legal system has its flaws,'' [plaintiff's expert and Harvard lawprof Alan Dershowitz] said in an interview yesterday. ``Who are we to cast aspersions on a country's legal system?''... Leading the Russian legal team is 47-year-old Steven C. Marks, an attorney with Miami-based Podhurst Orseck P.A. who has worked with the Russian government for the past decade on cases including tobacco litigation.

His firm pitched the money-laundering case against BNY Mellon to Russian authorities. It has hosted conference calls to promote the merits of Russia's claims and issued a press release when Bove wrote in March that U.S. and European Union courts may enforce any ruling made in Russia.

Marks has declined to disclose the percentage of the judgment his firm stands to collect as fees if it wins the lawsuit, drawing criticism from analysts at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in New York.

A team led by Vivek Juneja wrote in a July 16 note to clients that ``misstatements,'' inconsistencies and lack of disclosure about fee arrangements by the trial attorneys were troubling.

``We would hope legal authorities and agencies would look into what is really going on in this lawsuit,'' the JPMorgan analysts wrote.

Marks said any criticism of his or Russia's motives is ``inappropriate.''

``The analysts have a financial interest in this institution,'' Marks said in an interview.

Earlier here, here, here, and here.

Around the web, August 7 - PointOfLaw Forum


Around the web, July 14 - PointOfLaw Forum

  • "We would say 'only in America' but for the fact that it's in Russia": travails of Bank of New York in Moscow courtroom show need to rethink RICO law [NY Sun editorial, earlier]
  • New Hampshire is latest target for ABA-backed "Civil Gideon" push for blanket right to taxpayer-paid lawyers in noncriminal cases [Jonathan Baird, Concord Monitor via ABA Journal; earlier] Last December the Washington Supreme Court ruled against such a constitutional claim [Perkins Coie]
  • Expect some hot contests in Mississippi high court races [Clarion-Ledger] "What do Dickie Scruggs' crimes have to do with you? Plenty." [Ziemba, Meridian Star via YallPolitics]
  • Most dangerous kind of discrimination claim? Jury sets $10 million punitive damages in age-bias suit against telecom firm Avaya [NJLJ]
  • Score one against litigation slush funds: after controversy over payout to Seton Hall Law in Bristol-Myers Squibb nonprosecution deal, DoJ adopts policy to curb deals "requiring a defendant to pay a third party unrelated to the defendant's criminal conduct" [Corporate Counsel, earlier]
  • Texas Watch, a group whose views often seem to reflect those of the Lone Star State's litigation lobby, keeps firing blanks at the Supreme Court of Texas [SMS blog]

In a Moscow courtroom - PointOfLaw Forum

That very curious RICO-invoking multi-billion suit by Russian customs authorities against Bank of New York Mellon is being aired.

Russia v. Bank of New York - PointOfLaw Forum

Critical pieces in Forbes and in Canada's Financial Post about a curious lawsuit launched by the government of Russia against Bank of New York over its role in a notorious money-laundering scheme eight years ago. As Reuters summarizes the background, a former executive at the bank and her husband pleaded guilty in 2000 to a conspiracy to move $7 billion from Russian sources out of the country through money orders drawn on the bank. Per the WSJ's account (sub-only), "Much of the money was from Russian exporters who avoided paying Russian customs duties." A year and a half ago, the bank agreed to pay $38 million and overhaul its anti-fraud safeguards to end two U.S. criminal investigations.

The Russian government sued Bank of New York in May, and here's where things get curiouser: it sued in a Moscow court, but has hired American plaintiff's lawyers -- Podhurst Orseck of Miami -- who say (per the WSJ) that "the damages sought are calculated according to U.S. law." And that apparently means the application of treble-damage principles to the entire $7 billion that got sluiced through the back channels, adding up to a very cool $22.5 billion. Per the Financial Post piece, by Peter Foster, "It seems enterprising U.S. lawyers may have approached the Russian Federation and suggested applying U.S. triple damage laws" to produce the whopping damages demand.

The WSJ reports that in its statement, "Bank of New York said it had been approached by lawyers 'purporting to represent' the Russian government 'who claimed to be able to dispose of the matter for a tiny fraction of the amount now claimed.'" The executive at the center of the money-laundering scheme and her husband, incidentally, both of whom pleaded guilty at the time, are assisting the Russian government in the suit.

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