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What To Know About Civil RICO Claims And Arbitration


Arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) through which a legal conflict is resolved by an independent arbitrator instead of in state or federal court. Many different types of commercial disputes may be subject to arbitration, potentially even including civil RICO claims. At Pike & Lustig, LLP, we have extensive experience representing clients in arbitration in Florida. Here, our Miami RICO claims lawyers explain the key things to know about civil RICO laws and arbitration.

Supreme Court: Civil RICO Lawsuits May Be Arbitrated 

In decades past, there were outstanding questions about the arbitrability of civil RICO claims. In the 1987 case of Shearson/American Express, Inc. v. McMahon, the Supreme Court of the United States resolved the matter by clearly ruling that civil RICO claims are arbitrable. In the case, customers of Shearson/American Express (a licensed broker-dealer) signed an investment agreement that called for the mandatory arbitration of any disputes related to their account.

Eventually, a legal dispute arose between the customers and the brokerage firm. A federal district court ruled that most of their claims were arbitrable. However, the district court found that civil RICO lawsuits were an exception—ruling that an arbitration provision of the customer agreement could not be enforced regarding their RICO claim. On appeal, the nation’s top court reversed.

An Arbitration Provision Will Likely Be Enforced in a Civil RICO Case 

If you signed a contract with a mandatory arbitration provision, any civil RICO claim pertaining to the contract may be required to go through the arbitration process. While arbitration agreements must always be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, both federal courts and Florida courts strongly lean towards a policy of enforcing legally valid arbitration clauses, even in the context of a civil RICO claim. If you have any questions about the enforceability of an arbitration clause, an experienced Florida commercial law attorney can help.

How to Prepare for Civil RICO Arbitration 

Are you preparing for a civil RICO case that is going before an arbitrator? Whether you are a potential plaintiff or potential defendant, it is imperative that you take proactive measures to protect your legal rights and financial interests. One of the first steps to take is to consult with a Florida civil RICO lawyer who has experience representing clients in the arbitration process. Arbitration can be thought of as a “mini-trial”—but there are some unique rules and procedures that apply. You need an experienced legal advocate in your corner. Proper preparation is a must. 

Call Our Miami Civil RICO Lawyers for Immediate Help

At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our Florida civil RICO lawyers represent clients in all aspects of commercial disputes, including in litigation and arbitration. If you have any questions about your legal options, we are more than willing to help. Give us a call today for a confidential case review. Our firm provides civil RICO arbitration services in Miami, West Palm Beach, and throughout South Florida.



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