American Bar Association
Media Alerts
Media Alerts - Second Circuit: In re Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001 (Asat Trust Reg. et al.)
Decrease font size
Increase font size
April 16, 2013
  Second Circuit: In re Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001 (Asat Trust Reg. et al.)
Headline: In Three Related Decisions, Second Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Claims Arising out of 9/11 Terrorist Attack Against Sixty-Four Defendants Alleged to Have Provided Support to Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda, But Vacates Dismissal of Claims Against Twelve Defendants Ordering Discovery on Question of Jurisdiction

Area of Law: Civil Procedure

Issue(s) Presented: Whether the District Court properly dismissed these 9/11 claims on various grounds including lack of personal jurisdiction, failure to state a claim, and certain defendants' immunity from suit under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.

Brief Summary: In three separate but related opinions, the Second Circuit addressed appeals arising from claims brought by the plaintiffs - numerous victims, their families and estates, and commercial entities who were injured or suffered losses as a result of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack - against seventy-six individuals, financial institutions, charitable groups, and other entities alleged to have provided financial support and resources to Osama Bin Laden and al Qaeda.

The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed plaintiffs' claims for damages under common law tort theories and the Anti-Terrorism Act ("ATA"), the Alien Tort Statute ("ATS") and the Torture Victim Protection Act ("TVPA") on various grounds including: (1) a lack of personal jurisdiction over thirty-seven defendants; (2) plaintiffs' failure to state a claim against five of the defendants; and (3) two defendants' immunity from suit under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act ("FSIA").

In one opinion, the Second Circuit affirmed, although on different grounds, the district court's dismissal of claims against two purported Saudi Arabia-sponsored humanitarian relief organizations. The Court reasoned that, as instrumentalities of Saudi Arabia, these entities were immune from suit under the FSIA and any alleged torts they committed occurred outside the United States and, thus, could not support an application of the FSIA's noncommercial tort exception.

In a second opinion the Second Circuit also affirmed the dismissal of claims against one individual and four institutional defendants alleged to have provided financial and banking services to front and support charitable entities that also supported al Qaeda. The court found various deficiencies under prior case law including a failure to adequately allege these defendants proximately caused plaintiffs' injuries, among other grounds.

Finally, in its longest opinion, the Second Circuit affirmed the dismissal of claims against most of the thirty-seven defendants for lack of personal jurisdiction due to plaintiffs' failure to plead sufficient facts demonstrating that certain defendants "expressly aimed their allegedly tortious conduct at the United States," and failed to plead sufficient facts demonstrating that other defendants provided support to Osama Bin Laden or al Qaeda. However, the court vacated the dismissal as to twelve defendants - the nine "charity defendants" and three individuals - and remanded for jurisdictional discovery as to those defendants because "those defendants' alleged support of al Qaeda is more direct."

To read the full opinions, please visit: ">http://www.ca2.uscourt.../de.....6/1/hilite/


">http://www.ca2.uscourts.g...c6156/2/hilite/


">http://www.ca2.uscourt.../de.....6/3/hilite/


Panel: Circuit Judges Cabranes, Raggi and District Judge Rakoff

Argument Date: 12/04/2012

Date of Issued Opinions: 04/16/2013

Docket Numbers: 11-3294-cv(L), et al.

Decided: Affirmed as to Dismissal for Failure to State a Claim; Affirmed as to Dismissal for Immunity under Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act: Affirmed as to Dismissal of Personal Jurisdiction as to 25 Defendants, Vacated and Remanded for Jurisdictional Discovery as to 12 Defendants

Counsel: RICHARD KLINGLER (Sean P. Carter, Stephen A. Cozen, Elliott R. Feldman, Cozen O'Connor, Philadelphia, PA; Ronald L. Motley, Robert T. Haefele, Motley Rice, LLC, Mount Pleasant, SC; Carter G. Phillips, Sidley Austin, LLP, Washington, DC; Andrea Bierstein, Hanly Conroy Bierstein Sheridan Fisher & Hayes, LLP, New York, NY; Robert M. Kaplan, Ferber Chan Essner & Coller, LLP, New York, NY; James P. Kreindler, Justin T. Green, Andrew J. Maloney, III, Kreindler & Kreindler LLP, New York, NY; Jerry S. Goldman, Anderson Kill & Olick, P.C., New York, NY; Chris Leonardo, Adams Holcomb LLP, Washington, DC, on the brief), Sidley Austin, LLP, Washington, DC, for Plaintiff-Appellants on Personal Jurisdiction Issues. JAMES E. GAUCH (Mary Ellen Powers, Stephen J. Brogan, Timothy J. Finn, on the brief), Jones Day, Washington, DC, for Defendants-Appellees Saudi Binladin Group, Abdullah Bin Laden, Bakr M. Bin Laden, Omar M. Bin Laden, Tarek M. Bin Laden, Yeslam M. Bin Laden, and Khaled Bin Mahfouz. Barry Coburn, Coburn & Greenbaum, PLLC, Washington, DC, for Defendants-Appellees Asat Trust Reg., Martin Watcher, Erwin Watcher, and Secor Treuhand Anstalt. Martin F. McMahon, Martin F. McMahon & Associates, Washington, DC, for Defendants- Appellees Al Shamal Islamic Bank, Tadamon Islamic Bank, and Dallah Avco Trans Arabia Co. Ltd. John N. Scholnick, Ayad P. Jacob, Schiff Hardin LLP, Chicago, IL, for Defendants-Appellees Schreiber & Zindel Treuhand Anstalt, Frank Zindel, Engelbert Schreiber, Sr., and Engelbert Schreiber, Jr. Daniel L. Brown, David Geneson, Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP, New York, NY, for Defendant-Appellee Yassin Abdullah Al Kadi. Lawrence H. Schoenbach, Law Offices of Lawrence H. Schoenbach, PLLC, New York, NY, for Defendant-Appellee Yeslam M. Bin Laden. Mitchell R. Berger, Alan T. Dickey, Patton Boggs, LLP, Washington, DC, for Defendant-Appellee National Commercial Bank. John F. Lauro, Lauro Law Firm, Tampa, FL and New York, NY, for Defendant-Appellee Faisal Islamic Bank.Lynne Bernabei, Alan R. Kabat, Bernabei & Wachtel, PLLC, Washington, DC, for Defendants-Appellees Abdul Rahman Al Swailem, Abdullah Muhsen Al Turki, Abdullah Bin Saleh Al Obaid, Saleh Al-Hussayen, Soliman H.S. Al Buthe, Adnan Basha, and Abdullah Omar Naseef. Peter J. Kahn, Edward C. Reddington, David S. Kurtzer-Ellenbogen, Williams & Connolly LLP, Washington, DC, for Defendant-Appellee Abdulrahman Bin Mahfouz. V. Thomas Lankford, Terrance G. Reed, Lankford & Reed, PLLC, Alexandria, VA, for Defendants- Appellees Sulaiman Bin Abdul Aziz Al Rajhi, and Abdullah Salaiman Al Rajhi. David R. Francescani, Thomas M. Melsheimer, Fish & Richardson P.C., New York, NY, for Defendant-Appellee Saleh Abdul Aziz Al Rajhi.Kenneth A. Caruso, White & Case LLP, New York, NY; Viet D. Dinh, Lizette Benedi, D. Zachary Hudson, Bancroft PLLC, Washington, DC, for Defendant-Appellee Yousef Jameel. James J. McGuire, Timothy J. McCarthy, Aimee R. Kahn, Daniel A. Mandell, Mishcon de Reya New York LLP, New York, NY, for Defendant- Appellee DMI Administrative Services S.A.

SEAN P. CARTER (Stephen A. Cozen, Elliott R. Feldman, Cozen O'Connor, Philadelphia, PA; Ronald L. Motley, Robert T. Haefele, Motley Rice, LLC, Mount Pleasant, SC; Carter G. Phillips, Richard Klingler, Sidley Austin, LLP, Washington, DC; Andrea Bierstein, Hanly Conroy Bierstein Sheridan Fisher & Hayes, LLP, New York, NY; Robert M. Kaplan, Ferber Chan Essner & Coller, LLP, New York, NY; James P. Kreindler, Justin T. Green, Andrew J. Maloney, III, Kreindler & Kreindler LLP, New York, NY; Jerry S. Goldman, Anderson Kill & Olick, P.C., New York, NY; Chris Leonardo, Adams Holcomb LLP, Washington, DC, on the brief), Cozen O'Connor, Philadelphia, PA, for Plaintiffs- Appellants on Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act Issues. MICHAEL K. KELLOGG (Gregory G. Rapawy, Brendan Crimmins, William J. Rinner, on the brief), Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel, PLLC, Washington, DC, for Defendant- Appellee Saudi Joint Relief Committee. Lynne Bernabei, Alan R. Kabat, Bernabei & Wachtel, PLLC, Washington, DC, for Defendant-Appellee Saudi Red Crescent Society.

SEAN P. CARTER (Stephen A. Cozen, Elliott R. Feldman, Cozen O'Connor, Philadelphia, PA; Ronald L. Motley, Robert T. Haefele, Motley Rice, LLC, Mount Pleasant, SC; Carter G. Phillips, Richard Klingler, Sidley Austin, LLP, Washington, DC; Andrea Bierstein, Hanly Conroy Bierstein Sheridan Fisher & Hayes, LLP, New York, NY; Robert M. Kaplan, Ferber Chan Essner & Coller, LLP, New York, NY; James P. Kreindler, Justin T. Green, Andrew J. Maloney, III, Kreindler & Kreindler LLP, New York, NY; Jerry S. Goldman, Anderson Kill & Olick, P.C., New York, NY; Chris Leonardo, Adams Holcomb LLP, Washington, DC, on the brief), Cozen O'Connor, Philadelphia, PA, for Plaintiffs- Appellants on Rule 12(b)(6) Issues.
CHRISTOPHER M. CURRAN (Nicole Erb, Matthew S. Leddicotte, on the brief), White & Case LLP, Washington, DC, for Defendant-Appellee Al Rajhi Bank. Henry Weisburg, Brian H. Polovoy, Shearman & Sterling LLP, New York, NY, for Defendant- Appellee Saudi American Bank. James J. McGuire, Timothy J. McCarthy, Aimee R. Kahn, Daniel A. Mandell, Mishcon de Reya New York LLP, New York, NY, for Defendant- Appellee Dar Al-Maal Al-Islami Trust. Martin F. McMahon, Martin F. McMahon & Associates, Washington, DC, for Defendants-Appellees Dallah Al Baraka Group LLC & Saleh Abdullah Kamel.

Author of Opinions: Cabranes

Circuit: Second Circuit

Case Alert Supervisor: Elyse Diamond Moskowitz

Edited: 04/17/2013 at 09:41 AM by Elyse Diamond

    Posted By: Elyse Diamond @ 04/16/2013 08:33 PM     2nd Circuit  

FuseTalk Enterprise Edition - © 1999-2018 FuseTalk Inc. All rights reserved.

Discussion Board Usage Agreement

Back to Top