News

« Back to News List

July 27, 2016

Arab Bank Plaintiffs’ Trial Team Honored with 2016 Public Justice Trial Lawyers of the Year for Landmark Verdict

Public Justice presented the 2016 Trial Lawyers of the Year Award to Motley Rice attorneys who worked on the landmark case Linde v. Arab Bank, PLC. The team tied with the litigation team for Jones (Varden) v. City of Clanton and similar cases and was one of five finalists in the running for the annual award. Among the team of attorneys awarded were Motley Rice anti-terrorism attorneys Michael E. Elsner (NY, SC, VA), Jodi Westbrook Flowers (SC), John M. Eubanks (MD, SC) and Liza C. Elsner (NC, SC), along with co-counsel attorneys Gary M. Osen of Osen LLC, C. Tab Turner of Turner & Associates, P.A. and Mark S. Werbner of Sayles Werbner P.C.

The award honors the verdict or settlement that, “made the greatest contribution to the public interest within the past year by trying or settling a precedent-setting, social significant case,” factoring dedication, tenacity and skill of trial lawyers, in addition to public interest and results.

The Arab Bank verdict marked the first time that a financial institution had been brought to trial under the Anti–Terrorism Act (ATA) and the first time that a financial institution had been found liable under the ATA for the financing of terrorism. Public Justice interviewed Motley Rice attorney Michael Elsner about the case. Watch the video to learn more about the litigation:

“It is a great honor to be recognized by Public Justice and to have the Arab Bank litigation included among those cases that have made a significant public impact,” said Michael Elsner. “While extremely challenging, we were proud to achieve justice for our clients and to aid in preventing the financing of terrorism.”

“Cases like these are what Motley Rice is all about,” said Jodi Westbrook Flowers. “This was no easy fight. Tremendous amounts of time, energy, hard work and resources – over ten long years – led to this historic result. We thank Public Justice for this award and for the awareness they have helped create about the Arab Bank case, a case that proved our civil justice system has the potential to positively impact how we hold terrorists accountable.”

Read the full list of attorneys involved in this litigation.

This is the second time in three years that Motley Rice attorneys, with co-counsel, have received this significant honor. The first was in 2014 regarding the case People of California v. Atlantic Richfield, the California lead paint public nuisance litigation in which a $1.15 billion judgment was issued against Defendants ConAgra Grocery Products Company, LLC, NL Industries, Inc., and The Sherwin-Williams Company. The ruling, which is currently on appeal, stated that the three companies created a public nuisance by concealing the dangers of lead, pursued a campaign against regulation of lead and actively promoted lead for use in homes, despite knowing that lead paint was highly toxic.

Public Justice is America’s public interest law firm that fights against injustices and is supported by the Public Justice Foundation, a nonprofit organization. Learn more.


UPDATE: On Nov. 14, 2017, The California Court of Appeals, 6th appellate District, affirmed the majority of a lower court ruling that found three lead paint companies created a public nuisance by promoting toxic lead paint for interior residential use. The case was then remanded to the Santa Clara Superior Court to decide how much defendants should pay to establish an abatement fund that will be used to clear toxic lead paint from homes in plaintiffs’ jurisdictions that were constructed prior to 1951. Homes built after 1951 were also excluded in the settlement.