Individuals and Businesses
RICO can be used on behalf of individuals or businesses in a wide variety of contexts. A basic business dispute, one company over-billing another one for services, might be the basis of a RICO case if the over-billing firm has engaged in that type of fraud in the past against others. A breach of contract or commercial disagreement might be much more serious if it causes big damages and is part of a pattern of misconduct involving extortion, loansharking, theft of trade secrets and/or fraud, for example.
Or one spouse hides assets from another during a divorce, causing an ill-gotten distribution of marital property for that party.
Additionally, piracy is big business. Studios and other copyright owners are in a never-ending war against the illegal downloading and sale of copyrighted works and use of their trademarks. All of these disputes can be redressed under RICO. But very few are.
And these are just a few examples of how racketeering activity may victimize individuals or businesses.
We can advise you as to whether your case is a good fit for RICO. And if it is, you have a huge litigation advantage against your opponents because RICO is powerful and not well understood. When you use RICO properly, your opponent’s in house lawyer may well realize he or she cannot handle the case and has to employ a costly high-end law firm and a public relations consultant to defend its reputation. RICO changes everything.
Whether you are a business owner or individual, you may have a RICO case. If you do, we want to hear from you.
Law Firm Consulting & B2B
Foster PC works and consults with law firms—large and small—around the country who have clients involved (or soon to be involved) with RICO litigation, as plaintiffs or defendants. If you represent a client involved in RICO litigation and need assistance with any of the following, Foster PC can help:
- Preparing the RICO complaint or claim;
- An existing client wants an opinion/evaluation about the strength/weaknesses of a possible RICO case;
- A RICO complaint has been filed and is now being contested with a Motion to Dismiss, based on enterprise issues, pattern of racketeering, proximate causation, standing, extraterritoriality, and/or statute of limitations issues;
- A RICO complaint has been dismissed without prejudice and your client seeks to file an Amended Complaint curing the defects noted by the Court;
- Your client’s existing RICO case is pending, but wants to amend it to make it stronger;
- Your client needs a RICO expert to opine about the purpose or applicability of civil RICO (in litigation, arbitration, and/or mediation);
- Preparation of RICO case statement;
- Your client is a defendant in a civil RICO matter;
- Strategy with respect to motions to dismiss/summary judgment on RICO claims;
- Your client is facing class certification in a RICO matter;
- Identification of key discovery issues and drafting written discovery for RICO claims;
- Issues related to venue in RICO cases;
- General consulting for RICO cases, including the distinctions in case law between various Circuits;
- Memos and research regarding RICO jury instructions; and
- Appellate consulting in RICO cases
We have often become involved in litigation in which an inadequate RICO complaint has already been filed and motions to dismiss are pending, threatening the entire litigation. We do so quickly, efficiently, and cost-effectively. And we do so in partnership with the client’s existing counsel, so as to allow you to maintain the strong relationship you have developed with your client over time.
We understand that your clients, on occasion, may become involved with RICO litigation. We also understand that RICO can be complicated, even for sophisticated and experienced attorneys. You want to be able to fully assist your clients on these individual RICO matters as they arise, while still continuing to service their remaining legal needs in the future, and without having to compete with co-counsel down the road.
We can help. All we do here is RICO.
Illegal immigration is one of the most pressing problems facing the country. This is so despite the fact that we have ample federal laws dealing with it. But the laws are not enforced as they should be. Non-enforcement benefits both political parties. High levels of illegal immigration lower the cost of unskilled labor, benefiting employers. Americans without college educations must endure the erosion of their wages and higher unemployment because of the steady flow of a million illegal immigrants into the country year after year. Jobs that used to support a middle class family, like poultry processing, now pay barely above the poverty level.
Howard Foster filed the first wage depression RICO class action against Zirkle Fruit Company of Selah, Washington in 2000. Long-time employees at that company worked at stagnant wages while a former illegal aliens oversaw hiring of a mostly illegal workforce. The case was certified as a class action on behalf of the legally-authorized workers and then settled on the eve of trial. Legal workers received backpay for each hour employed, the first such settlement on behalf of the victims of illegal immigration in American history.
Since then, Howard has won many decisions from federal district courts and four appellate circuits allowing these cases to proceed under RICO and be certified as class actions. In 2006, Howard argued the Mohawk Industries case in the U.S. Supreme Court and persuaded the Justices not to read the concept of a group enterprise out of RICO, which the Company’s lawyers had sought. The case settled for $18 million. These class actions have been featured in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the National Law Journal, CNN, Lou Dobbs, and many local newspapers and web sites across the country.
If your employer is hiring illegal alien labor, feel free to tell us what you have observed. We will follow up with you. If your employer is the subject of one of our cases, we need to hear from you.
We have served as experts in insurance coverage disputes concerning RICO claims. Arguments can be made on both sides of this complex issue, which often involves the propriety of insuring against criminal and intentional wrongdoing. Our opinions have led to the resolution of significant cases. We can also assist lawyers seeking, and defending, sanctions for frivolous RICO claims.
Litigation Financing Information
We understand that from time to time, clients may need litigation financing to assist in prosecuting their RICO cases (or portions/phases of their case). While we do not provide any kind of financing at Foster P.C., we do have experience working with litigation financing companies to ensure a smooth operation of your case. We can also refer you to litigation financing companies that have experience evaluating complex RICO cases.