In a case that has been widely discussed on this blog, a United States federal district court Judge denied the Philadelphia Carpenters’ Union’s motion to dismiss a federal RICO case filed against it by the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Judge Nitza I. Quiñones Alejandro issued the ruling on the Union’s motion.
Unfortunately, Judge Quinoses Alejandro did not issue an opinion to go along with her order. This is a bit unusual. Federal Judges routinely issue opinions (if only in footnote form) even on motion dealing with procedural issues. like discovery disputes. The lack of an opinion prevents us from knowing the Judge’s rationale for denying the motion. Therefore, the order lack precedental value for subsequent cases. However, I do not believe the order is any less significant. Potential plaintiffs now know that a federal RICO case against a union can survive a motion to dismiss. Moreover, the attorneys for the Convention Center have provided potential plaintiffs a road map for doing so. As I have stated before, the fact pattern in the Convention case is hardly unique and the tactics the Carpenters used in that case are de ri·gueur.