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RICO Area of Practice at Watson Spence, LLP

Originally designed to combat the Mafia or La Cosa Nostra, the RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) Act has emerged as the nuclear weapon of commercial litigation.  For successful plaintiffs, it offers triple or “treble” damages, injunctive relief, attorney’s fees, costs of investigation, and the potential for massive punitive damages awards. Not surprisingly, defendants facing RICO claims can be subject to extreme and devastating financial risks.

RICO claims are often based on allegations of systemic frauds or “schemes” to defraud individuals or businesses out of money or property.  Critical to any RICO case is a sophisticated legal determination as to whether or not a pattern of criminal predicate acts has been attempted or committed.  The crimes which can support a RICO claim can be both subtle and complex.  Predicate crimes can run the gamut, from theft by taking, fiduciary theft, theft by deception, theft by conversion, wire fraud, bank fraud, mail fraud, computer theft, trade secret theft, false statements and writings, to perjury.  Talented attorneys who are inexperienced with RICO claims and complex criminal law routinely seek to associate us for our expertise and experience in this area. 

RICO claims present high stakes for litigants with the potential for astronomical awards and crushing financial defeats.   Properly litigating these claims requires a specialized knowledge of both civil and criminal law.  RICO law is complex and constantly evolving.  We know that and stay on top of these developments for our clients.  The stakes are too high to enter the world of RICO litigation unarmed.

For clients bringing or defending RICO claims, we bring a wealth of civil and criminal trial experience.  We don’t just push paper around.  We fight, and when we fight, we are loaded for bear.  We have an experienced team of lawyers who have tried all manner of civil and criminal cases in state and federal courts.  Our roster of RICO attorneys include the former Chief Assistant District Attorney for Dougherty County, a former Division Supervisor for the Florida State Attorney’s Office, and a former Assistant Public Defender.  Given our unique blend of criminal and civil trial experience, we are uniquely situated to provide cutting-edge advice and advocacy with respect this complex area of the law.