U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
Anti-Terrorism Act — Personal Jurisdiction
Transaction of Business — Nexus
Licci, et al. v. Lebanese Canadian Bank, SAL
Judges Katzmann, Kearse and Sack
Background: The plaintiffs appealed from an order that dismissed their action for lack of personal jurisdiction. The plaintiffs were injured in rocket attacks allegedly carried out by Hezbollah. The defendant, with no operations in the United States, made a number of transactions with the defendant American Express. The plaintiffs alleged that the defendant Lebanese Bank knowingly wired millions of dollars to the terrorist organization that would enable it to conduct acts of terror.
Ruling: The Second Circuit vacated and remanded. The court found that the defendant’s repeated use of a New York correspondent bank account to transfer substantial sums of money on behalf of a Hezbollah affiliate shows not only transaction of business, but an articulable nexus or substantial relationship between the transaction and the plaintiffs’ Anti-Terrorism Act, Alien Tort Statute and Israeli law claims to support personal jurisdiction.
Robert J. Tolchin of the Berkman Law Office for the plaitniffs-appellants; Jonathan D. Siegfried of DLA Piper for the defendant-appellee