Washington Law Review


Diana K. Carey


This Note analyzes the Second Circuit's decision in Sedima against the background of the explosion of civil RICO suits and judicial attempts to contain that explosion. It concludes that courts should reject the prior criminal conviction requirement. The requirement is unsupported by either the language or the legislative history of the act, and in practice the requirement would frustrate legislative purposes and deny recovery to those victims whom Congress intended the act should compensate. Moreover, the requirement nullifies the purpose of the private attorney general concept. Until Congress acts to redefine the statute, other limitations would create more desirable results than those produced by requiring a prior criminal conviction.

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