Civil RICO Claims
When Congress passed the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act, commonly known as RICO, in 1970, it was done with the intent to tackle organized crime. More specifically, Congress supplied the U.S. Attorney’s office with the power to prosecute mobsters who used seemingly legitimate businesses as a cover for their criminal operations.
What most people don’t realize is that businesses or individuals were also equipped with the power to file a civil RICO lawsuit against parties whose criminal behavior inflicts damage on that business or person. A civil or business RICO claim, as it is often referred to, requires evidence of an enterprise conducting a pattern of “racketeering” (essentially criminal) activities.
If a business successfully establishes a RICO claim, the Act allows the court to award treble damages and attorney fees. In other words, a damaged business could recover triple the amount of damages in addition to the attorney fees spent to litigate the case. For a business financially destroyed by a RICO violation, this significant recovery could mean the difference between failure and success.
What Is Needed To Establish A Civil RICO Claim?
Plainly stated, establishing a civil RICO claim is not simple. Case law continues to evolve and develop in this area, particularly for business RICO violations, as both federal and state courts work through the complexities of their respective statutes. This is particularly true for RICO violations in the context of business torts, such as the misappropriation (illegal use) of trade secrets, where case law is still developing. The federal courts have demonstrated that without proper consideration and case analysis, a civil RICO claim will likely fail.
Get Guidance From Experienced Lawyers
If your business intends to file a civil RICO action, it is important to meet and speak with a knowledgeable attorney. Navigating the legal complexities surrounding this area of law requires know-how and expertise. As qualified litigators with a background in civil RICO law, we know how to aggressively advocate behalf of our clients in and outside the courtroom.
If you have questions regarding a potential civil RICO claim, please contact an attorney at Slinde Nelson today. Call 503-567-1234 or complete the online form. With offices in Portland, Oregon, we serve clients in both Oregon and Washington.