New York, April 8, 2015 – Arab Bank released the following statement in reaction to the Eastern District Court of New York’s decision to grant, in part, and deny, in part, its Rule 50 motion (asking the Court to enter judgment as a matter of law), deny its Rule 59 motion (for a new trial), and deny its motion for certification of an interlocutory appeal in Linde v. Arab Bank. The case is before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.
“The District Court’s predictable decision to adhere to its prior rulings comes as no surprise. This opinion is an attempt by the District Court to justify rulings that will be reviewed by the appellate courts, including decisions that have already been found by the United States to be ‘erroneous’ and subject to ‘close scrutiny on appeal.’ Nothing in today’s opinion changes the fact that the District Court’s proceedings were fundamentally flawed and subject to reversal on appeal.
“The District Court denied the Bank a fair trial through its use of sanctions and other erroneous rulings that had the effect of precluding critical expert and fact witnesses from testifying, excluding exculpatory evidence, and imposing substantial restraints on the few witnesses who were permitted to appear on the Bank’s behalf. The District Court’s attempt to downplay the substantial impact of these rulings on the Bank’s ability to defend itself is inconsistent with the trial record and its own acknowledgement that the sanctions it chose to impose on the Bank were ‘severe’ and made it ‘very difficult to defend the case.’
“The District Court’s opinion also improperly rejects the Bank’s argument that the absence of any proof that its financial services caused plaintiffs’ injuries requires judgment to be entered in its favor, claiming that this argument ‘focus[es] on the trees over the forest.’ In reaching this conclusion, the District Court misconstrued controlling Supreme Court authority requiring such proof and recent Second Circuit decisions affirming the dismissal of similar actions against other banks. The District Court’s conclusion that requiring proof of actual causation would have made it impossible for plaintiffs to prevail is not a valid basis for eliminating this critical element of liability, but rather a reason why the Bank’s motion for judgment should have been granted in full.
“The District Court’s analysis of the trial record misstates the Bank’s argument concerning its use of the OFAC list of United States’ designated terrorists to screen transfers and accounts, describing the Bank’s defense as an ‘OFAC-only theory.’ In fact, the District Court’s own pre-trial and trial rulings prevented the Bank from offering evidence about its comprehensive adherence to sound compliance practices to prevent money laundering and terrorism finance, including its adherence to the laws and regulations of the many jurisdictions in which it transacts business. That evidence, if it were permitted at trial, would have corroborated the United States’ views, as expressed to the Supreme Court, that Arab Bank is ‘a constructive partner with the U.S. in working to prevent terrorist financing.’”