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The Public Justice Foundation Names Zuckerman Spaeder's Shawn Naunton One of its "Trial Lawyers of the Year" for Landmark Anti-Terrorism Case

July 24, 2016

Zuckerman Spaeder LLP is pleased to announce that the Public Justice Foundation has selected Shawn P. Naunton, managing partner of the firm’s New York office, as one of its Trial Lawyers of the Year for 2016. Mr. Naunton was selected in recognition of Zuckerman Spaeder’s work on behalf of victims of international terrorism in the case Linde v. Arab Bank, the first case in which a U.S. jury found a bank liable for knowingly funding terrorism.

The Public Justice Foundation presents its Trial Lawyer of the Year Award to the attorneys who made the most outstanding contribution to the public interest through precedent-setting litigation over the past year. Mr. Naunton was selected with the other members of the trial team in Linde v. Arab Bank for shepherding the case to trial and settlement after 12 years of litigation.

In the Linde case, Zuckerman Spaeder was instrumental in developing a new legal approach in the fight against global terrorism. The firm brought lawsuits on behalf of terrorism victims and their families, alleging that various international banks were funding terrorist organizations in violation of the federal Anti-Terrorism Act of 1992. In September 2014, Zuckerman Spaeder and other firms representing terrorism victims won a landmark victory in the Eastern District of New York when a jury found Arab Bank plc—based in Amman, Jordan—liable for knowingly funding the terrorist organization Hamas in connection with 24 terrorist attacks perpetrated in Israel during the period of the Second Intifada. Arab Bank ultimately agreed to settle the lawsuit in September 2015.

In describing the Linde case, the Public Justice Foundation noted, “Although the Linde case was successful, it took over a decade before the team was able to bring the case to trial. The team overcame many hurdles and even secured sanctions against Arab Bank and its defense counsel ... The outcome of this trial will undoubtedly encourage stronger consequences for corporations that promote terrorism and violate human rights.”

Zuckerman Spaeder’s efforts in connection with the Linde trial and settlement were led by Mr. Naunton and former associate Maggie Lynaugh. The firm’s work in the case was led at other times by former Zuckerman Spaeder partner Aitan Goelman and partner Peter Kolker.

The award winners were announced at the Public Justice Foundation’s Annual Gala and Awards Dinner, held on July 24 at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles.

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