The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on Friday refused to overturn sanctions against the Jordan-based Arab Bank, which is being sued by thousands of plaintiffs for allegedly providing services to terrorist groups and handling accounts that those groups used to pay the families of suicide bombers.
In 2010, Eastern District of New York Judge Nina Gershon ordered Arab Bank to turn over records requested by the plaintiffs or face sanctions. The bank argued it could not turn over the records because of bank secrecy laws. Gershon said that if it did not, it would be sanctioned by allowing the jury to infer that it had aided Hamas and other terrorist groups.
Arab Bank asked the Second Circuit for a writ of mandamus vacating the sanctions order. It argued that, even though normally only a final decision in a case is appealable, the sanction is in effect a final decision because it effectively guarantees that a jury will find against Arab Bank. Circuit Judges Denny Chin and Susan Carney, and Connecticut District Judge Stefan Underhill, sitting by designation, disagreed, holding that the order is not appealable. “We conclude … that this is not an appropriate case for issuance of the extraordinary writ of mandamus, since we agree with plaintiffs that the Bank has not established (among other factors) that it has a ‘clear and indisputable right’ to such drastic relief or that review after final judgment will not provide adequate relief,” Carney wrote for the panel in Linde v. Arab Bank, 10-4519-cv.