Vulcan Golf, LLC v. Google Inc. et al

Filing 184

Plaintiffs' Supplement to Response Brief in Light of the United States Supreme Court's Ruling in Bridge v. Phoenix Bond & Indemnity Co., et al. by John B. Sanfilippo & Son, Inc., Blitz Realty Group, Inc., Vincent E Jackson, Vulcan Golf, LLC (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A)(Foote, Robert)

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Vulcan Golf, LLC v. Google Inc. et al Doc. 184 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS EASTERN DIVISION VULCAN GOLF, LLC, JOHN B. SANFILIPPO & SON, INC., BLITZ REALTY GROUP, INC., and VINCENT E. "BO" JACKSON, Individually and on Behalf of All Others Similarly Situated, Civil Action No. 07 CV 3371 Lead Plaintiffs, Honorable Blanche M. Manning v. Magistrate Judge Geraldine Soat Brown GOOGLE INC., OVERSEE.NET, SEDO LLC, DOTSTER, INC., AKA REVENUEDIRECT.COM, INTERNET REIT, INC. d/b/a IREIT, INC., and JOHN DOES I-X, Defendants. PLAINTIFFS' SUPPLEMENT TO RESPONSE BRIEF IN LIGHT OF THE UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT'S RULING IN BRIDGE V. PHOENIX BOND & INDEMNITY CO., ET AL On June 9, 2008, the United States Supreme Court affirmed the Seventh Circuit's holding in Phoenix Bond & Indemnity Co. v. Bridge, et al., 477 F.3d 928 (7th Cir. 2007), a case relied upon by Plaintiffs in support of their Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act ("RICO"), 18 U.S.C.A 1962, claims. Bridge v. Phoenix Bond & Indemnity Co., et al., 128 S. Ct. 2131 (2008).1 See Bridge v. Phoenix Bond & Indemnity Co., et al, Supreme Court Opinion, attached hereto as Exhibit A. Plaintiffs respectfully move this Court to allow Plaintiffs to 1 On May 16, 2008 Lead Plaintiffs filed a Response to Defendants' Consolidated Motion to Dismiss Plaintiffs' Third Amended Class Action Complaint. See Plaintiffs' Response to Defendants' Consolidated Motion to Dismiss Plaintiffs' Third Amended Class Action Complaint. Page 1 of 6 Dockets.Justia.com supplement their Response Brief with said new authority. In support of their motion, Plaintiffs state as follows: 1. In contrast to Defendants' "policy" arguments against permitting civil RICO actions and suggestions that this Court employ a cautious and limited approach aimed at curbing the proliferation of civil RICO claims, the Supreme Court's Phoenix Bond ruling affirms the importance of permitting private civil RICO actions and actually cautions against adopting "narrowing constructions of RICO" that essentially re-write RICO to conform to policy concerns (i.e., limiting RICO to criminal racketeering enterprises).2 The Court reasoned that: "(I)f the absence of such a requirement leads to the undue proliferation of RICO suits, the `correction must lie with Congress.'" Bridge, 128 S.Ct. at 2145, quoting Sedima, S.P.R.L. v. Imrex Co., 473 U.S. 479, 499, 105 S.Ct. 3275, 87 L.Ed.2d 346 (1985). "It is not for the judiciary to eliminate the private action in situations where Congress has provided it." Sedima, S.P.R.L., 473 U.S. at 499-500, 105 S.Ct. 3275. 2. Phoenix Bond squarely rejects Defendants' arguments that reliance is an element See Defendants' Memorandum of Law in Support of Defendants' of the RICO claims. Consolidated Motion to Dismiss the Third Amended Class Action Complaint, pg. 21-22. Although Plaintiffs cited the 7th Circuit Phoenix Bond holding in their Response Brief, (See Plaintiffs' Response to Defendants' Consolidated Motion to Dismiss the Third Amended Class Action Complaint, pp. 17, 25, 26), as of the time of filing the briefs, the case was on appeal and Court citing in support, National Organization for Women, Inc. v. Scheidler, 510 U.S. 249, 252, 114 S.Ct. 798, 127 L.Ed.2d 99 (1994) (rejecting the argument that "RICO requires proof that either the racketeering enterprise or the predicate acts of racketeering were motivated by an economic purpose"); H.J. Inc. v. Northwestern Bell Telephone Co., 492 U.S. 229, 244, 109 S.Ct. 2893, 106 L.Ed.2d 195 (1989) (rejecting "the argument for reading an organized crime limitation into RICO's pattern concept"); Sedima, S.P.R.L. v. Imrex Co., 473 U.S. 479, 481, 105 S.Ct. 3275, 87 L.Ed.2d 346 (1985) (rejecting the view that RICO provides a private right of action "only against defendants who had been convicted on criminal charges, and only where there had occurred a `racketeering injury' "). 2 Page 2 of 6 the United States Supreme Court had not ruled. On June 9, 2009, the Supreme Court affirmed unequivocally that "reliance," and even more specifically "first party reliance" is not an element of a RICO claim. Bridge, 128 S.Ct. at 2145. 3. Defendants further argue that Plaintiffs' claims are merely "derivative" injuries that are insufficient to establish RICO liability. Defendants' Consolidated Motion to Dismiss the Third Amended Class Action Complaint, pg. 21-22. Again, in contrast to Defendants' argument, the Supreme Court's Phoenix Bond decision establishes first-party reliance is not necessary "to ensure that there is a sufficiently direct relationship between the defendant's wrongful conduct and the plaintiff's injury to satisfy...proximate cause..." Bridge, 128 S. Ct. at 2143. The Court further acknowledged that: "(t)he legal injury from a fraudulent misrepresentation is not limited to only those who rely on it." Id. Plaintiffs have sufficiently alleged actionable injuries that were directly and proximately caused by Defendants' wrongful conduct. The Supreme Court's Phoenix Bond holding confirms that nothing more is required of Plaintiffs, and contrary to Defendants' suggestion, Plaintiffs are not required to allege that they directly relied upon, or were the recipient of, each of the numerous acts of mail and wire fraud. 4. The Supreme Court's ruling in Bridge v. Phoenix Bond & Indemnity Co., et al, directly supports Plaintiffs' RICO claims and corresponding arguments made in their responsive briefing. It affirms that Plaintiffs' pleadings were more than adequate and sufficient to state valid RICO claims. WHEREFORE, for the foregoing reasons, Plaintiffs respectfully request this Court allow Plaintiffs to supplement their Response brief and incorporate the Supreme Court's June 9, 2008 decision in Bridge v. Phoenix Bond & Indemnity Co., et al. Page 3 of 6 Dated: July 3, 2008 By: FOOTE, MEYERS, MIELKE & FLOWERS, LLC /s/ Robert M. Foote Robert M. Foote, Esq. (#03214325) Stephen W. Fung, Esq. (#06289522) Mark A. Bulgarelli, Esq. (#06284703) Foote, Meyers, Mielke & Flowers, LLC 28 North First St., Suite 2 Geneva, IL 60134 Tel. No.: (630) 232-6333 Fax No.: (630) 845-8982 Kathleen C. Chavez, Esq. (#6255735) Chavez Law Firm, P.C. 28 North First St., Suite 2 Geneva, IL 60134 William J. Harte, Esq. Dana Pesha, Esq. William J. Harte, Ltd. 111 West Washington Street, Suite 1100 Chicago, IL 60602 Benjamin G. Edelman, Esq. Law Office of Benjamin Edelman 27a Linnaean Street Cambridge, MA 02138 Tel. No.: (617) 359-3360 Bryan L Clobes, Esq. Cafferty Faucher, LLP 1717 Arch Street Suite 3610 Philadelphia, PA 19103 Nyran Rose Pearson, Esq. Dominic J. Rizzi, Esq. Cafferty Faucher LLP 30 North LaSalle Street Suite 3200 Chicago, IL 60602 Attorneys for Plaintiffs Page 4 of 6 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS EASTERN DIVISION VULCAN GOLF, LLC, JOHN B. SANFILIPPO & SONS, INC., BLITZ REALTY GROUP, INC., and VINCENT E. "BO" JACKSON, Individually and on Behalf of All Others Similarly Situated, ) ) ) ) ) ) Civil Action No. 07 CV 3371 ) Lead Plaintiffs, ) ) Honorable Blanche M. Manning v. ) ) Magistrate Judge Geraldine Soat Brown GOOGLE INC., OVERSEE.NET, ) SEDO LLC, DOTSTER, INC., AKA ) REVENUEDIRECT.COM, ) INTERNET REIT, INC. d/b/a IREIT, INC., ) and JOHN DOES I-X, ) ) ) Defendants. ) CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE I hereby certify that on July 3, 2008, I electronically filed the foregoing document with the clerk of court for the U. S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, using the electronic case filing system of the court. The electronic case filing system sent a "Notice of Electronic Filing" to the following attorneys of record who have consented in writing to accept this Notice as service of this document by electronic means: Brett A. August baugust@pattishall.com Michael H. Page mhp@kvn.com Mariah Moran mmoran@stetlerandduffy.com edocket@stetlerandduffy.com Janelle M. Carter jcarter@winston.com ECF_CH@winston.com Kenneth P. Held kheld@velaw.com Steven Borgman sborgman@velaw.com jwarren@velaw.com steveborgman@gmail.com yshumaker@velaw.com Bradley L. Cohn bcohn@pattishall.com Page 5 of 6 Alison Conlon conlon@wildmanharrold.com ecf-filings@wildmanharrold.com hardt@wildmanharrold.com Joseph Gratz jgratz@kvn.com Alexis Payne aep@pattishall.com Jeffrey Singer jsinger@smsm.com Anastasios Foukas afoukas@smsm.com Michael R. Dockterman dockterman@wildmanharrold.com ecf-filings@wildmanharrold.com eckertm@wildmanharrold.com William J. Harte wharte@williamharteltd.com mccarey@williamharteltd.com Scott Ryan Wiehle swiehle@velaw.com Adam Lauridsen ALauridsen@kvn.com Henry Baskerville hbasker@stetlerandduffy.com Jonathan M. Cyrluk cyrluk@stetlerandduffy.com edocket@stetlerandduffy.com Misty Martin mmartin@smsm.com Ronald Rothstein rrothsstein@winston.com ECF_CH@winston.com mconroy@winston.com Scott R. Wiehle swiehle@velaw.com Joseph Duffy jduffy@stetlerandduffy.com bdorgan@stetlerandduffy.com edocket@stetlerandduffy.com Dana Marie Pesha dpesha@williamharteltd.com mccarey@williamharteltd.com Aaron Van Oort mavanoort@faegre.com Marlon Emile Lutfiyya mlutfiyya@winston.com Thomas Wiegand twiegand@winston.com I certify that I have served the foregoing document by emailing a copy to the following individuals: Steven Atlee SAtlee@winston.com Joanna J. Cline clinej@pepperlaw.com Vincent V. Carissimi carissimiv@pepperlaw.com Robert J. Hickok hickokr@pepperlaw.com /s/Robert M. Foote Page 6 of 6

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