Tuesday, January 20, 2015

          Mark Werbner Lectures on Anti-Terrorism Litigation

          His 10-year-long case held a financial institution civilly liable for providing services to Hamas.
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          Mark Werbner, one of the lead lawyers for plaintiffs in litigation against Jordan's Arab Bank, PLC, prosecuted under the Anti-Terrorism Act(ATA).

          The UC Hastings community will have the chance to hear a talk by Mark Werbner, one of the lead lawyers for plaintiffs in litigation against Jordan's Arab Bank, PLC, prosecuted under the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA). 

          Plaintiffs alleged that Arab Bank improperly provided financial support to U.S. Department of State-designated terrorist groups in violation of the ATA, and that the bank was thus liable for deaths and severe injuries resulting from attacks in both Israel and the Palestinian territories. The case, Linde v. Arab Bank, PLC was filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York in 2004.

          Last summer, after 10 years of litigation during which portions of the case were dismissed on jurisdictional and other grounds, certain American plaintiffs presented their case to a Brooklyn jury. The trial centered around 24 attacks perpetrated by Hamas, which was first designated a terrorist entity by the United States in 1995. On September 22, 2014, an 11-person jury found Arab Bank liable for knowingly providing financial services for Hamas. This finding represents the first time a financial institution has been held civilly liable for aiding terrorism.

          Mr. Werbner will discuss the legislative history of the ATA and the reasons why the statute provides criminal and civil penalties against those who provide material support to designated foreign terrorist organizations. He will also describe the pre-suit investigation; discovery challenges, including the problems posed by foreign bank secrecy laws; the role of the United States Department of State when plaintiffs sue foreign banks under the ATA; and highlights of the six-week jury trial.

          Mr. Werbner is a principal of Sayles Werbner, PC, a Dallas, Texas law firm. His talk is sponsored by the Hastings Jewish Law Student Association and is open to all members of the UC Hastings community. It will take place on Monday, February 9, 2015, from 3:30-4:30 p.m., in Room A of the 198 MacAllister building. Professor Morris Ratner will moderate the event. Light snacks will be served.

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