The U.S. Supreme Court refused Monday to hear a Jordanian bank’s challenge to a sanction levied against it in a lawsuit filed by terrorism victims.
The victims claimed that the Arab Bank knowingly provided financial assistance to Hamas leadership, a charge the bank denied.
The bank maintained the records sought by the plaintiffs were restricted by foreign bank secrecy laws, but in 2010, Eastern District Judge Nina Gershon (See Profile) ruled that unless the information was disclosed, jurors would be instructed they could infer the bank offered its services to terrorist organizations “knowingly and purposefully.” (NYLJ, July 14, 2010).
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit declined to vacate the sanction (NYLJ, Jan. 22, 2013). The bank sought of writ of certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court.
In a brief arguing for the writ’s denial, U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr. said it would be premature for the Supreme Court to hear the matter, given its interlocutory posture and the fact that the sanction could still be modified or reconsidered before trial (NYLJ, May 29).
Still, Verrilli said both Gershon and the Second Circuit applied flawed legal reasoning and the sanction could have broader consequences in U.S. relations with Jordan and other countries in the region.
Jury selection in Linde v. Arab Bank, 04-cv-2799, now before Eastern District Judge Brian Cogan, is scheduled to start Aug. 11.