Webcast – Kiobel Three Years On: ATS Scope and Litigation Trends

May 24, 2016

​This webcast explores how courts have interpreted the scope of the Alien Tort Statute following the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co., 133 S. Ct. 1659 (2013). We will address trends in the case law regarding the types of violations of international law that will be recognized under the ATS, how courts have applied the “touch and concern” standard for permissible extraterritorial applications of the ATS, whether the ATS applies to corporate defendants, and the standard for aiding and abetting liability under the ATS. In addition, we will address the extent to which state law claims may be used in lieu of the ATS.

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Our Panelists:

Andrea E. Neuman — A partner in the New York office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, Ms. Neuman Co-Chairs Gibson Dunn’s Transnational Litigation Practice Group and is a member of the firm’s Appellate, Class Action, Environmental Litigation and Mass Tort and International Arbitration Practice Groups. Ms. Neuman is a high-stakes trial lawyer, whose cases include billion dollar matters for Chevron Corporation, Dole Food Company and other clients in nationwide and international forums. The international features of her work span Central and South America and include in country litigation, as well U.S. litigation brought by foreign plaintiffs. Her practice also spans all U.S. courts – she has handled high profile appellate matters in multiple state supreme courts as well as many circuit courts. She represents clients in an array of industries, including oil and gas, food and agriculture, aerospace, technology, accounting, real estate and financial services. Ms. Neuman has also served as trial counsel for state and local governments. She has obtained both defense and multimillion-dollar plaintiff judgments.

William E. Thomson — A litigation partner in the Los Angeles office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, Mr. Thomson is Co-Chair of the firm’s Transnational Litigation Practice Group and a member of the firm’s Appellate and Constitutional Law and Securities Litigation Practice Groups. Mr. Thomson’s practice focuses on federal and state appellate and Supreme Court litigation, and on strategic analysis and briefing in high-stakes cases in trial courts around the country. His representations include high-profile transnational cases emanating from Latin America, Asia, and Africa. He is an expert in civil RICO litigation and has broad experience in foreign judgment recognition actions, product liability, mass tort, securities and consumer class actions, and First Amendment litigation.

Anne M. Champion — A partner in the New York office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, Ms. Champion is a member of Gibson Dunn’s Transnational Litigation, Environmental Litigation, Class Action, and Intellectual Property Practice Groups. Ms. Champion’s practice focuses on trial litigation in high-stakes matters in state and federal courts throughout the country. She has experience in pursuing and defending civil RICO claims, judgment enforcement, environmental and mass tort claims. Recent representations include the successful defense of Dole Food Company in a wrongful death suit in which Dole was accused of collaborating with Colombian paramilitary groups and of Chevron in its successful RICO case against the perpetrators of a fraud and extortion scheme against the company.

Dylan Mefford — An associate in the Los Angeles office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and a member of the firm’s Litigation Department and its Transnational Litigation Practice Group, Mr. Mefford’s practice focuses on transnational litigation and developing offensive claims. Mr. Mefford has extensive experience handling cross-border matters and has represented clients in global disputes arising from a number of jurisdictions, including Argentina, Ecuador, Guatemala, Iraq, Spain, and Venezuela. Through these representations, Mr. Mefford has developed experience in successfully addressing issues that commonly arise in transnational cases, including jurisdictional issues, application of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (“FSIA”), claims under the Alien Tort Statute (“ATS”), cross-border discovery under 28 U.S.C. § 1782, and dismissing claims on the grounds of forum non conveniens. In addition to his transnational work, Mr. Mefford specializes in developing and pursuing offensive actions, including under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (“RICO”) Act, to combat fraudulent and extortionate attacks against the firm’s clients.

Corey G. Singer — An associate in the Los Angeles office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, Mr. Singer practices in the firm’s Litigation Department and its Transnational Litigation Practice Group. Mr. Singer has represented several international clients in U.S. litigation brought by foreign plaintiffs. Mr. Singer was a member of the team that scored a decisive victory for Dole Food Company in a wrongful death case brought by dozens of Colombian plaintiffs who alleged Dole had provided support for the Colombian paramilitary organization, the AUC. Mr. Singer has also assisted in securing a dismissal on forum non conveniens grounds in Delaware Superior Court of claims brought by hundreds of Argentine citizens alleging exposure to pesticides used on Argentine tobacco farms against Philip Morris USA.