Alien Torts: The Risks of Allowing Foreign Citizens to Sue U.S. Companies

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<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />June 25, 2003

10:00 a.m. to Noon

Hosted By

The National Chamber Litigation Center 

and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce

1615 H ST. NW

Washington, DC

Herman Lay Room


Join us at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Wednesday, June 25, 2003 for a lively discussion of the implications of the Alien Tort Act (ATA). The ATA, part of the first Judiciary Act of 1789, creates liability risks for firms doing business in other nations. The Act was dormant for almost 200 years, until a 1980 case in which a citizen of Paraguay sued another Paraguayan in U.S. court for a human rights violation that occurred in Paraguay.  This opened the door for dozens of lawsuits against U.S. companies operating in other countries.  The risks this creates for suppressing global economic growth, foreign direct investment, American leadership in the developing world—and perhaps, most seriously, the rule of law—are great and growing.   What might be done to reign in this aberrant policy will be the focus of our discussion.


The panelists will be:


Judge Robert Bork, Senior Fellow, American Enterprise Institute, whose Wall Street Journal opinion piece of June 17, 2003 explains the true intent of the Act as envisioned by our nation’s founders.


Christopher C. Horner, Attorney and Senior Fellow, CEI, will briefly outline the ATA policy points raised in his Federalist Society paper on the topic.


Bill Reinsch, President, National Foreign Trade Council, will review the foreign commerce implications of the abuse of the ATA. (If you’re involved in international business and aren’t yet involved with the ATA, don’t worry, you soon will be.) 


Daniel M. Price, Partner, Sidley Austin Brown & Wood, who will discuss key legal issues being highlighted in amicus briefs filed in ATA cases by a broad coalition of business groups, including the Chamber, NAM, NFTC, USCIB, OFII, and USA*Engage.


Robin S. Conrad, Senior Vice President, National Chamber Litigation Center, will provide opening remarks.


Fred Smith, President, CEI, will moderate the discussion.


We look forward to seeing you next week.


Fred Smith, President, Competitive Enterprise Institute

Leonard Leo, Executive Vice President, The Federalist society


Please RSVP to Megan McLaughlin at CEI, 202.331.1010, or [email protected].