Monday, April 29, 2013

Bankcard America, Inc. v. Universal Bancard Systems, Inc. and Samuel Buchbinder and Paul Alperstein case brief

Bankcard America, Inc. v. Universal Bancard Systems, Inc. and Samuel Buchbinder and Paul
Alperstein case brief
203 F.3d 477

CASE SYNOPSIS: Defendant appellant sought review from the judgment of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, which, after a retrial, entered a jury verdict on its counterclaims, finding no Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act violations by plaintiff appellee, and struck a verdict awarding damages for breach of contract to defendant appellant.

FACTS: After a retrial, defendant appellant sought review of the judgment that plaintiff appellee had not breached its contract or violated the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).

A new trial should not have been ordered on breach of contract. Although giving the jury exhibits that had not been admitted into evidence was error, they were cumulative, or had not been preserved for appeal. Admitting evidence of settlement talks was not erroneous when defendant appellant needed to refute plaintiff appellee's charges by explaining that it had acted pursuant to the expected settlement terms.The judgment from the first trial was reinstated, however, a new trial on the issue of RICO violations was proper. Over plaintiff-appellee's objection, the original jury instructions listed many alleged predicate acts that lacked evidentiary support or did not charge indictable actions, and lacked an explanation of the requisite fraudulent intent. These were serious errors warranting a new trial. The judgment on RICO violations was affirmed.

CONCLUSION: On appeal from a retrial, granting of a new trial, and judgment on a retrial was affirmed as to defendant appellant's racketeering claim; but granting a new trial on a breach of contract claim was reversed, and the judgment from the first trial was reinstated. The case was remanded for entry of an amended judgment.

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