Randy D. Gordon

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RICO has for over 50 years presented something of a parlor game for lawyers, mostly because its text leaves wide latitude in interpretation. And, as is often the case with RICO, resolution of one question begets more. The Supreme Court’s recent decision in Yegiazaryan v. Smagin proves no exception. Here, the Court brought some clarity to a question left open by RJR Nabisco: viz, what must one plead and prove to satisfy the “domestic injury” requirement necessary to invoke an extraterritorial application of RICO. The Court held that a foreign plaintiff can indeed, given the right facts and circumstances, establish a domestic injury. But it declined to establish a bright line test—or really any test, leaving that to the lower courts to flesh out. The Court also declined to engage the question of whether RICO is an appropriate vehicle for enforcing all (or perhaps international) arbitral awards. And—more generally—domestic judgments. Those and many other questions remain for another day.

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