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Five Tips For Defending A Civil RICO Lawsuit In Florida


Modelled after the federal RICO law, the Florida RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization) Act provides civil remedies. An individual, business, or organization can file a civil RICO lawsuit to hold a defendant liable for damages caused by racketeering. As civil RICO claims allow for the recovery of treble damages, there is a lot on the line in these cases.

Businesses or organizations facing a civil RICO lawsuit need to know what to do to protect their rights and interests. A strong, well-prepared defense strategy can help to protect you or your company against an unsupported civil RICO claim. Here, our Miami RICO claims attorneys highlight five tips for defending yourself or your business against a civil RICO lawsuit in Florida.

  1. Avoid Direct Confrontations With the Plaintiff 

Being sued is frustrating—especially when you believe that the complaint is unjustified. Still, it is important that you avoid any direct confrontation with the plaintiff in the case. Once a lawsuit is filed (or even threatened), it is time to handle the matter formally through the legal system. 

  1. Seek Professional Guidance and Support from an Attorney 

Civil RICO claims are notoriously complex. As there are highly technical pleading standards, it is easy for parties to get tripped up when facing litigation. You should consult with a Florida attorney who has the skills and experience to defend civil RICO claims. 

  1. Understand the Elements of a Civil RICO Violation 

Fraud is not, by itself, a RICO violation. To bring a civil RICO claim against a business or organization in Florida, a plaintiff must prove specific elements. In defending a civil RICO lawsuit, it is helpful to understand these legal elements. The three key elements in a civil RICO case are as follows:

  • The defendant in a civil RICO claim must have acted as part of an “enterprise; and
  • The defendant must have engaged in a “pattern of racketeering activity”. And
  • The plaintiff must have sustained actual losses. 
  1. Get Organized—Prepare Relevant Documents and Records 

One of the keys to raising a successful defense in a civil RICO claim is being able to document exactly what did (and did not) happen. As soon as you learn of potential RICO litigation, organize all of the documents, records, and information that can help to support your side of the case. 

  1. Consider Options for Resolving the Matter Outside of Litigation 

Finally, as with other types of business litigation, it is important to consider all available options for resolving the matter. A wholly false civil RICO claim should be defended aggressively. However, in some cases, working towards a settlement may be advisable.

Schedule a Confidential Consultation With a Florida Civil RICO Defense Lawyer Today

At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our Florida commercial lawyers have the professional skills and legal knowledge to defend individuals and businesses facing civil RICO claims. If you have questions about raising a defense, we can help. Contact us now for a confidential consultation. We provide civil RICO defense representation throughout Southeastern Florida, including in Miami, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Opa-locka, Doral, Miramar, and Pembroke Pines.



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