JEFFREY E. GRELL
- Accomplished career demonstrating consistent success as an attorney and educator on matters relating to the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (“RICO”) Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1961, et seq.
- Internationally recognized authority on RICO, whose opinions are sought out by media outlets, such as The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, The New York Times, U.S. News & World Report, The National Review, The National Law Jorunal and Voice of America.
- Complex litigator with more than twenty years of experience in large firm, solo, and government practice and with substantial experience as a trial and appellate litigator.
Juris Doctor, magna cum laude, May 1990, Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, DC.
- Summer Associate – Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue – Washington, DC (1988, 1989).
- Summer Associate – Dorsey & Whitney – Minneapolis, MN (1989).
- Law Clerk – Koonz, McKenney & Johnson – Washington, DC (1988 to 1990).
Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude, May 1987, Augustana College, Sioux Falls, SD.
- Major: Government / International Affairs.
- Blue Key National Honor Society.
- Phi Alpha Theta – History Honor Society.
- A.J. Hotz Pre-law Scholar.
- English Finalist Award Recipient.
- Student Body President (1985-86).
- Student Council Representative (1984-85, 1986-87).
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (Feb. 23, 2015).
United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (January 5, 2015).
United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit (Nov. 5, 2004).
United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (June 25, 2001).
United States Supreme Court (March 17, 1997).
United States District Court for the District of Minnesota (Sept. 23, 1994).
United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit (Jan. 27, 1994).
District of Columbia Court of Appeals (inactive) (June 10, 1991)
Supreme Court for the State of Minnesota (Oct. 26, 1990).
Partner, Grell Feist PLC, Minneapolis, MN (2010 to Present).
- Counsel for the Appellant in Reich, et al. v. Lopez, et al., Appeal No. 16-510, U.S. Court of Appeals – Second Circuit; the appellant is the former U.S. Ambassador to Venezuela and alleges that the appellees engaged in a pattern of mail and wire fraud to discredit the appellant, to interfere with his ability to fight corruption, and to persuade the appellant’s clients to terminate their relationships with the appellant; the RICO claims were dismissed by the district court before retention; was retained by lead counsel to assist with appeal to the Second Circuit; the appeal is pending.
- Co-counsel for the defendant in Exeed Ind. LLC v. Younis, Case No. 1:15-cv-00014, U.S. District Court – Northern District of Illinois; the plaintiff alleges that the defendant orchestrated a kickback scheme as the plaintiff’s employee on various construction projects in the Middle East; the plaintiffs’ RICO claims were dismissed on the basis of extraterritoriality.
- Co-counsel for the plaintiff in Bui v. Ton Nguyen, Case No. 15-55116, U.S. Court of Appeals – Ninth Circuit; the plaintiff’s RICO and Elder Abuse claims allege that the defendants defrauded her of millions of dollars that she won playing the California lottery; the claims were dismissed by the district court before retention; was retained by lead counsel to assist with appeal to the Ninth Circuit; the appeal is pending.
- Co-counsel for plaintiff in Estate of David R. Foster v. Gomer, et al., Case No. CV11-01242-AHM (DTBx), U.S. District Court – Central District of California; plaintiff’s RICO claim alleges (among other things) that decedent’s former sister-in-law and her family defrauded him of millions of dollars during the final years of his life; case settled to the satisfaction of client.
- Consultant to plaintiff’s counsel in Marini, et al. v. Adamo, et al., Case No. 08 CV 3995, U.S. District Court – Eastern District of New York; plaintiff’s RICO claim alleges (among other things) that defendants engaged in a scheme to defraud plaintiff of millions of dollars through the sale of rare coins; defendants’ motion for summary judgment was denied; click here for further discussion.
- Co-counsel for plaintiffs in Stueve, et al. v. Novell, et al., Case No. 30-2010-00411651, Superior Court of California – County of Orange; plaintiffs’ RICO claim alleges that attorneys and other fiduciaries defrauded plaintiffs of million of dollars by self-dealing, sham loan transactions, and other illegal conduct; the majority of plaintiffs’ claims survived a demurrer to the second amended complaint; click here to read the court’s order.
- Co-counsel for plaintiffs in WW LLC, et al. v. The Coffee Beanery Ltd., et al., Case No. 05-cv-3360, U.S. District Court – District of Maryland; plaintiff’s RICO claim alleges (among other things) that defendants sold franchise opportunities through a pattern of mail and wire fraud.
Assistant Attorney General, State of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN (2008 to 2010).
- Represented the State in numerous actions against debt settlement companies who were operating in Minnesota without a license, who were otherwise violating Minnesota’s debt settlement laws, and who were defrauding Minnesota consumers.
- Represented the State Attorney General in proceedings before the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to revoke the license of a dairy whose operations caused the evacuation of over 20 local residents due to toxic flumes.
- Represented Minnesota in multi-state action brought against Dish Network, who allegedly orchestrated a deceptive marketing campaign and collected unauthorized fees from subscribers.
- Represented Minnesota in multi-state action against manufacturer of cholesterol medication whose anti-trust violations resulted in overcharges incurred by the State.
Partner, Ricoact.com LLC, Minneapolis, MN (2003 to 2008).
- Co-counsel for plaintiff in Sterling State Bank v. Mittelstaedt, et al., Case No. 06-CV-3836 DWF / AJB, U.S. District Court – District of Minnesota; plaintiff’s RICO claim alleged that a bank officer and a commercial borrower conspired to defraud the bank of millions of dollars through the double-booking of collateral; case settled to the satisfaction of client.
- Co-counsel for plaintiff in Hickman, Coleman & Hughes, LLP v. Stephens, et al., Case No. 8:02-CV-1386-T-23 MSS, U.S. District Court – Middle District of Florida; plaintiff’s RICO claim alleged that its former partner conspired with his wife and ex-wife to defraud plaintiff of millions of dollars in legal fees through a double-billing scheme involving a client of the firm; case settled to the satisfaction of client.
- Co-counsel for defendant / counter-plaintiff in Shoreline Amphitheater Partners, L.P., et al. v. City of Mountain View, et al., Case No. 1-03-CV-000706, Superior Court of California – County of Santa Clara; the city’s RICO claim alleged that defendant’s fraudulent book-keeping methods deprived the city of revenue owed under management contract for a city-owned entertainment venue; the city’s RICO claim survived summary judgment; case settled to the satisfaction of client.
- Consultant for defense counsel in Brutyn, N.V. v. Gagliano Co., Inc., Case No. 2:04-cv-00527, U.S. District Court – Eastern District of Wisconsin; plaintiff’s RICO claim alleged that defendant defrauded plaintiff by overstating the amount of produce damaged during shipment; obtained summary judgment in favor of defendant.
- Co-counsel for defendant in Heaven & Earth, Inc. v. Wyman Properties Ltd. Partnership, et al., Case No. 03-3327 (DWF / SRN), U.S. District Court – District of Minnesota; plaintiff’s claim alleged that it was defrauded by the manner in which defendant landlord passed along its utility expenses; obtained summary judgment in favor of defendant on consumer fraud claim; RICO claim was later settled.
- Co-counsel for plaintiff in Marshall Wolf Automation, Inc., et al. v. Kostopoulos, et al., Case No. 01 C 5101 (BMM), U.S. District Court – Northern District of Illinois; plaintiff’s claim alleged that defendant had extorted thousands of dollars per month for several years under threat that defendant (a regional manager for principal) would cause plaintiff’s distribution contract with principal to be terminated unless the extorted payments were made; plaintiff’s RICO claim survived defendant’s motion to dismiss; case settled to the satisfaction of client.
Partner, Leonard, Street and Deinard, Minneapolis, MN (1998 to 2003).
Associate, Leonard, Street and Deinard, Minneapolis, MN (1993 to 1998).
- Wrote the district court and appellate court briefs that culminated in the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Klehr v. A.O. Smith Corp., 521 U.S. 179 (1997), which clarified and delineated the accrual rule applicable to civil RICO claims.
- Defeated defendant’s motion to stay client’s RICO claim on the basis of the parties’ arbitration agreement: Simitar Entertainment, Inc. v. Silva Entertainment, Inc., 44 F. Supp.2d 986 (D. Minn. 1999).
- Obtained dismissal of a claim against a title insurance company based upon a riparian rights owner’s inability to develop a marine due to environmental concerns: R.W. Docks & Slips v. Chicago Title Ins. Co., 2001 WL 856431 (Minn. Ct. App. 2001).
- Defeated class certification and obtained summary judgment on behalf of the Mall of America, who had been sued by foreign-born taxi-cab drivers claiming discrimination: Gold Star Taxi & Transp. Serv. v. Mall of America Co., 987 F. Supp. 741 (D. Minn. 1997).
- Obtained the dismissal of a claim brought by a Minnesota company against its former Japanese business partner on the bases that personal jurisdiction was lacking in Minnesota and the doctrine of forum non conveniens: Fluoroware, Inc. v. Dainichi Shoji, K.K., 999 F. Supp. 1265 (D. Minn. 1997).
- Was responsible for defending Rollerblade against product liability actions brought in the eastern United States: see, e.g., Achatz v. Rollerblade, Inc., 642 N.Y.S.2d 250 (N.Y. App. Div. 1996).
Associate, Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue, Washington, D.C. (1990 to 1993).
- Was one of the principal authors of a federal trustee’s 300+ page RICO complaint seeking to hold liable the principals of Bank of Credit and Commerce International (“BCCI”) for the losses incurred when First American Bank was seized by federal regulators after the collapse of BCCI; the complaint alleged that BCCI secretly acquired First American through regulatory fraud orchestrated by former Secretary of Defense Clark Clifford and his law partner, Robert Altman. The BCCI litigation was widely reported in the media and resulted in several court decisions. See e.g., Hamid v. Price Waterhouse, 51 F.3d 1411 (9th Cir. 1995); In re First American Corp., 1998 WL 148421 (S.D.N.Y. 1998); First American Corp. v. Price Waterhouse L.L.P., 988 F. Supp. 353 (S.D.N.Y. 1997); United States v. BCCI Holdings (Luxembourg), S.A., 980 F. Supp. 496 (D.D.C. 1997); First American Corp. v. Al-Nahyan, 948 F.Supp. 1107 (D.D.C. 1996). Columbia Picture’s 2009 feature film, The International, was also based on the BCCI scandal.
Adjunct Associate Professor, Racketeering and the RICO Act: Criminal & Civil Liability – University of Minnesota School of Law (1999 to Present).
Lecturer, RICO’s Extraterritorial Application: Post Nabisco – West LegalEdCenter: Online Continuing Education (July 29, 2016).
Author, European Economic Community v. RJR Nabisco, Inc.: Has the Second Circuit Ignited a Second Explosion in Civil RICO Claims?, ABA Preview of United States Supreme Court Cases, Issue No. 6, Vol. 43, p. 205 (March 21, 20016).
Lecturer, Better Call Saul and the Mythology of RICO – West Legal EdCenter: Online Continuing Education (Oct. 21. 2015).
Lecturer, The Debate Over RICO’s Extraterritorial Application – West LegalEdCenter: Online Continuing Education (Nov. 19, 2015).
Lecturer, Pleading the RICO Claim – West LegalEdCenter: Online Continuing Education (June 23, 2015).
Lecturer, Minnesota Business Disputes: Claims and Remedies – Minnesota CLE (March 13, 2009; March 7, 2008; June 16, 2011 and June 17, 2015).
Author, Minnesota Business Disputes: Claims and Remedies, Chapter 10 – RICO (2008-2017).
Lecturer, Extortion and RICO – West LegalEdcenter: Online Continuing Education (April 21, 2015).
Lecturer, Mail and Wire Fraud: RICO’s Most Popular Predicate Acts – West LegalEdcenter: Online Continuing Education (March 17, 2015).
Lecturer, RICO’s Statute of Limitations, Accrual Rules and Tolling Rules – West LegalEdcenter: Online Continuing Education (October 16, 2014).
Lecturer, RICO’s Policy-Oriented Proximate Cause Standard – West LegalEdcenter: Online Continuing Education (September 16, 2014).
Lecturer, RICO’s Patterns of Racketeering – West LegalEdcenter: Online Continuing Education (August 18, 2014).
Lecturer, RICO Operation and Management vs. RICO Conspiracies – West LegalEdcenter: Online Continuing Education (July 16, 2014).
Lecturer, RICO Defendant Persons v. RICO Enterprises – West LegalEdcenter: Online Continuing Education (June 16, 2014).
Lecturer, Suing the Racketeers: Using RICO to Protect Our Clients – American Immigration Lawyers’ Association CLE (August 22, 2012).
Lecturer, Anti-Racketeering Laws in the United States – U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program (May 6, 2011).
Lecturer, Contemporary Issues in Consumer Law – Minnesota Attorney General’s Office CLE (March 10, 2010).
Lecturer, Debt Managers, Debt Settlers and Debt Negotiators – Hennepin County Bar Association CLE (Nov. 18, 2009).
Author, Boyle v. United States: Does a RICO Association-in-Fact Enterprise Require Proof of an Ascertainable Structural Hierarchy Distinct from the Acts of Racketeering?, ABA Preview of United States Supreme Court Cases, Issue No. 4, Vol. 36, p. 216 (Jan. 12, 2009).
Author, Bridge v. Phoenix Bond & Indemnity Co.: Is a Plaintiff Required to Prove Reliance in Civil RICO Cases Predicated on Acts of Mail and Wire Fraud?, ABA Preview of United States Supreme Court Cases, Issue No. 7, Vol. 35, p. 321 (April 14, 2008).
Author, Odom v. Microsoft Corp.: The Ninth Circuit Abandons the Enterprise / Racketeering Activity Distinction, ricoact.com (May 4, 2007).
Author, Mohawk Industries, Inc. v. Williams: The Eleventh Circuit Revisits RICO’s Application to the Employment of Illegal Aliens, ricoact.com (Sept. 27, 2006).
Lecturer, How RICO Actions Apply in Dependency and Neglect – CCC Inc. First Annual Family Law Conference (March 18, 2006).
Lecturer, RICO’s Statute of Limitations – Lorman Educational Services CLE (Nov. 15, 2005).
Author, Ideal Steel Supply Corp. v. Anza: The Second Circuit Determines that No Reliance is Necessary When a Defendant’s Alleged Acts of Mail and Wire Fraud Directly Cause Injuries to a Competitor or to the Target of the Scheme to Defraud, ricoact.com (July 2, 2004).
Author, American Chiropractic Ass’n, Inc. v. Trigon Healthcare, Inc.: The Fourth Circuit’s Attempt to Achieve a Balance Between the Policies Reflected in the McCarran-Ferguson Act and RICO, ricoact.com (May 6, 2004).
Author, Wagh v. Metris Direct, Inc.: The Ninth Circuit Wisely Dismisses Civil RICO Claims under Section 1962(a) and (b), but Affirms the “Result-Oriented” Racketeering Activity / Enterprise Distinction Under Section 1962(c), ricoact.com (Nov. 7, 2003).
Lecturer, Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations – Minnesota Institute of Continuing Legal Education (June 5, 2001 and Feb. 21, 2003).
Lecturer, Financial Investigations and Forensic Accounting – Minnesota Institute of Continuing Legal Education (Dec. 13, 2001).
Author, Western Associates Limited Partnership v. Market Square Associates: The D.C. Circuit’s Ill-Advised Attempt to Revive a Multiple Scheme Approach to RICO’s Pattern Requirement, Civil RICO Report (April 2001).
Author, RICO: Businesses’ Best Weapon Against Bribes, Kickbacks, and Other Forms of Corporate Corruption, ricoact.com (Dec. 2000).
Author, RICO and Eminent Domain: Condemnation or Crime, ricoact.com (Nov. 2000).
Author, United States v. Goldin Industries, Inc.: Is the Eleventh Circuit Trading One Conflict for Another?, Civil RICO Report (Sept. 1, 2000).
Author, HMO’s Under RICO: Issues the Courts Are Likely to Confront, Civil RICO Report (May 10, 2000).
Lecturer, Taking and Defending Effective Depositions – Lorman Educational Services CLE (July 28, 1999).
Author, Exorcising RICO from Product Litigation, 24 WM. MITCHELL L. REV. 1089 (1998).
Author, Restatement (Third) of Torts, Section 8(d): Back to the Future of the Learned Intermediary Doctrine, 19 Hamline L. Rev. 349 (1996).
IN THE MEDIA
“U.S. RICO Case Could Impact Foreign Banks Linked to Money Laundering,” ACAMS moneylaundering.com (April 14, 2016).
“Edward Fitzpatrick: Climate-change battle heats up between Whitehouse, Wall Street Journal,” Providence Journal (April 9, 2016).
“A Federal Case Over Online Contests: Is ‘RICO’ a Reach in Derbywars Lawsuit,” Thoroughbred Daily News (Jan. 11, 2016).
“RJR Nabisco RICO Claims Will Get Supreme Court Review,” 84 U.S.L.W. 12 (Oct. 6, 2015).
“Reynolds American Suit,” Bloomberg Law Brief (Oct. 5, 2015).
“Court Will Review Reynolds American Suit,” Bloomberg Law (Oct. 2, 2015).
“Taking the Gangster Rap,” The Economist (August 8, 2015).
“Racketeering Statute Cited in Shadow Insurance Disputes,” INN Daily Newsletter (July 14, 2015).
“Sheldon Whitehouse: Sue Fossil Fuel Companies for Climate Fraud,” The Huffington Post (June 3, 2015).
“FIFAgate: The Increasingly Long Arm of American Justice,” Bilan (June 2, 2015).
“RJR Nabisco En Banc Rehearing Denied; RICO Extraterritoriality Ripe for SCOTUS?,” 83 U.S.L.W. 40 (April 21, 2015).
“Cheaters Never Prosper,” The Marshall Project (April 9, 2015).
“Local Lawyers Argue that Gangsters Shouldn’t be Prosecuted Like Mafia,” Indy Week (February 4, 2015).
“14 Charged in Deadly 2012 Meningitis Outbreak,” Boston Globe (December 17, 2014).
“Future Could See More RICO Cases Like Garlock’s, Expert Says,” Legal News Line (September 12, 2014).
“Humana Files RICO Claim Over Medtronic Bone Drug – Health Insurer Alleges Device Maker Conspired with Physicians,” The Wall Street Journal (June 2, 2014).
“Chevron’s RICO Case Against Plaintiffs Attorney Presents Unique Set of Facts, Attorney Says,” Legal Newsline (April 24, 2014).
“Cheating Case Built on Confessions,” Atlanta Journal-Constitution (March 1, 2014).
“Was Chevron Scammed for $19 Billion,” Newsweek, (October 31, 2013).
“Rare Racketeering Suits Filed in Mahoning Valley,” Tribune Chronicle (June 16, 2013).
“Atlanta Testing Scandal Begins Long March to Justice,” USA Today (April 3, 2013).
“RICO Presents Challenges in Atlanta Cheating Case,” Associated Press (April 1, 2013).
“Racketeering Survives Against Coffee Beanery,” BlueMauMau.org (Sept. 4, 2012).
“Hell Hath No Fury Like a RICO Action: Racketeering Charges Filed in Hedge Fund Divorce,” The New York Observer (July 18, 2012).
“Racketeering Expert Goes After Coffee Beanery,” BlueMauMau.org (Feb. 8, 2012).
“James Murdoch Admission Brings Him Closer to Facing Charges,” The Telegraph (Dec. 14, 2011).
“Bartolomei Readies Tuscarora Suite; Feds Confer with Local Dissidents,” Niagara Falls Reporter (Sept. 27, 2011).
“Phone hacking: Rupert Murdoch’s American Legal Woes Mount Up,” The Telegraph (July 14, 2011).
“Suit Lobs Curve in Snowball Fight,” The Times-Picayune (July 5, 2011).
“Imams, Dons and RICO,” American Thinker (March 16, 2011).
“Do Planned Parenthood ‘Sting’ Videos Depict a Sex-trafficking Crime?,” The Christian Science Monitor (Feb. 7, 2011).
“Organized Crime Cases Aren’t Easy, RICO Convictions Require More Proof from Prosecutor,” The Detroit News (Dec. 16, 2010).
“Geico Lawsuits Alleged Medical Insurance Fraud,” News Day (Sept. 29, 2010).
“Class Action Traction?,” IGaming News (Sept. 5, 2008).
“Court Cites Discovery Costs in Dismissing RICO Case,” Inside Counsel (June 2008).
“Firms Use RICO to Fight Union Tactics,” The Wall Street Journal (Dec. 10, 2007).
“A Law of Unintended Consequences,” Conde Nast Portfolio (Oct. 29, 2007).
“PTC Fends Off Legal Heat from the Land of the Rising Sun,” Catalyst (Aug. 13, 2007).
“Vivendi Raises Stakes in Fight with Deutsche Telekom,” The New York Times (March 2, 2007).
“RICO, Illegal Aliens, and other Issues,” The George Putnam Show, Cable Radio Network (Oct. 3, 2006).
“High Court Reins In RICO: Anti-civil RICO forces get a win – but it’s not over,” The National Law Journal (June 12, 2006).
“Morpheus Parent Company Sues eBay Over Skype Technology,” Tech News World (May 24, 2006).
“StreamCast Targets Skype, Kazaa for Alleged RICO Act Violations,” Tech News World (March 28, 2006).
“RICO Act Takes Aim at Facility Near Pahrump; Founder Piazza Says Allegations Without Merit,” The Pahrump Valley Times (Nov. 11, 2005).
“Plaintiffs Try to Use RICO to Curb Illegal Immigration,” Corporate Legal Times (Oct. 2005).
“Ruling Hurts Tobacco Fraud Suit, Judge Says Government Can’t Strip $280 Billion from Cigarette Makers,” Richmond Times-Dispatch (Feb. 5, 2005).
“U.S. Department of Justice v. Big Tobacco,” Market Place Morning Report (nationally syndicated public radio news program) (Sept. 20, 2004).
“Stakes High in Fraud Case Against Tobacco Industry,” Winston-Salem Journal (Sept. 19, 2004).
“Suit Alleges Abuse Linked to Two Firms,” Boston Globe (June 10, 2004).
“RICO First Used to Battle Mafia, Law Focuses On Pattern of Corruption,” New Jersey News (May 27, 2004).
“Smokey’s Denied Betting License,” The Forum (May 19, 2004).
“RICO Law, Powerful Tool in ’80s, Takes Back Seat in New Scandals,” Investor’s Business Daily (Aug. 21, 2002).
“The Commissioner’s Racket: David Moore won election with his business reputation. A RICO suit claims he’s little more that a loan shark,” Cleveland Scene (Aug. 7, 2002).
“Expos: A Lawsuit Against a Criminal Organization,” La Presse (June 7, 2002) (in French).
“Lawsuit Accuses DMV of Systemic Corruption,” Citizen-Times (May 23, 2002).
“The Long Arm of Abuse: Problem Priests Cross Not Just States But Oceans as Well,” U.S. News & World Report (May 6, 2002).
“Experts Question Use of RICO Against Clergy,” Los Angeles Daily Journal (May 1, 2002).
“Mitered in the Mob: What RICO Lawsuits Could Mean for the Catholic Church in the United States,” National Review (March 28, 2002).
“The PNP Qualifies as a Criminal Organization,” Primera Hora (March 25, 2002) (in Spanish).
“Leonardo Associate may Face Federal Racketeering Charges,” Democrat & Chronicle (Dec. 29, 2001).
“RICO and the Mafia,” Voice of America, National Public Radio (May 17, 2001).
“The RICO Act,” The Lionel Show, Eyada.com Internet Talk Radio (Jan. 30, 2001).
“An Interview with RICO Expert Attorney Jeff Grell,” AmericanMafia.com and GamblingMagazine.com (Oct. 2, 2000).
“RICO Viewed as Cop Suit Sidelight,” National Law Journal (Sept. 25, 2000).
“The Use of RICO Against Big Tobacco and Others,” The Dark Star Show, WCCO Radio, Minneapolis, Minnesota (April 11, 2000).