Monday, December 22, 2014


Counsel for the Arab Bank, in its efforts to postpone the upcoming trial on damages, has been rebuffed by the trial judge in the New York Federal case where a jury has already returned a verdict against the Bank on liability. One of the comments made by the Court, in the Order, appears to indicate that the trial judge is aware of the bank's dilatory tactics.

In a letter to the Court, Arab Bank's attorney stated that the necessary depositions, and discovery which had to be obtained, would render a Spring 2015 trial impossible. He also advised that he was unhappy with the fact that the Bank, in the pretrial order, was required to produce its witness list before plaintiff was due to produce its documents, but the Court advised that it would handle any issues with the need for subsequently needed witnesses if the need arises.

In what must be regarded as a mild rebuke to the defendant Bank, the Court noted that one of the bank's objections, regarding the release of medical records, was made without the Bank's statement that it had requested such information. One could interpret the language as being critical of the bank's defensive tactics, though the Court's language was mild and nonjudgmental.

The bottom line: The Court did not buy into the bank's arguments, and did not reset the trial date to August, as the Bank requested. My thoughts about this: inasmuch as the trial testimony will feature the horrific injuries and fatalities suffered by the plaintiff, the Bank wanted to insure that it occurred when most Americans are on vacation, and might miss reading about it.  The damages trial potentially could result in serious reputation damage to the Bank, which it probably wants to keep from not only the banking industry, but American regulatory agencies, which have the power to revoke the bank's  charter to operate in the United States.

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