San Francisco Court to Hold Hearing on Landmark RICO Case Against Greenpeace
by Rodrigo Estrada
May 14, 2018
Judge Jon S. Tigar of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California has set May 31, 2018 to hold a hearing on Resolute Forest Products’ baseless racketeering case  against Greenpeace and others. A decision on the case is expected to come soon after.
Last Friday, Greenpeace defendants also filed their final response  to the logging company’s repackaged version  of spurious claims that had been dismissed by the same court in October, 2017.
In that filing, Greenpeace defendants emphasize: “that nothing about Resolute’s claims has changed since it filed the original Complaint, other than Resolute’s own emphasis. No matter how it tries to recast or reshuffle those claims, the effort is fruitless and should be rejected by this Court […]”
Greenpeace USA General Counsel Tom Wetterer said:
“We remain confident that the May 31 hearing will lead to a decision dismissing this baseless case for good. A court decision upholding free speech and advocacy work in the United States should send a strong signal to Resolute and other companies also attempting to muzzle civil society, like Energy Transfer Partners, that baseless lawsuits won’t stop advocacy groups from calling out activities that harm communities and the planet. Instead of wasting time and money on suing Greenpeace and others, Resolute could have been investing its resources into better conserving the forest and meeting global demand for sustainable forest products.”
Notes to editors:
 On May 31, 2016 Resolute Forest Products filed a CAD$300 million lawsuit under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) and other claims in the United States District Court for Southern Georgia, against Greenpeace International, Greenpeace, Inc., Greenpeace Fund, Inc., Stand.earth (formerly ForestEthics), and five individual staff members of these independent organizations.
The case was transferred to Northern California on May 16, 2017 when Resolute failed to demonstrate that the case should be heard in Georgia. On October 16, 2017 the U.S. District Court for Northern California dismissed all of the company’s claims. Exactly 3 weeks later, Resolute’s lawyers filed a repackaged version of the same meritless claims against the same individual defendants in the same court.
This baseless racketeering case is Resolute’s second strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) aiming to silence Greenpeace entities. In 2013, the company filed a CAD$7 million defamation case against Greenpeace Canada and two staff members in Ontario, which is still pending. Click here for more information about the existing legal cases between Resolute Forest Products and Greenpeace, or copy this to your browser: http://www.greenpeace.org/resolutelawsuits/
 Click here to access the response filed by Greenpeace defendants to Resolute’s opposition memorandum to motions to dismiss the case, or copy the following link to your browser: www.greenpeace.org/usa/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/c022409d-greenpeace-reply-to-rfp-opposition-brief-to-mtd-2018.pdf
 Click here to access the amended complaint filed by Resolute Forest Products in Novemeber 6, 2018 or copy the following link to your browser: http://www.greenpeace.org/canada/Global/canada/file/2017/10/20171108-PACER-0185-Amended-Complaint.pdf
 On August 22, 2017 Energy Transfer Partners filed a USD$900 million lawsuit under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) and other claims in the United States District Court for North Dakota against Greenpeace International, Greenpeace, Inc., Greenpeace Fund, Inc., Banktrack, and the movement Earth First!
This baseless case is the second strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) filed by the law firm Kasowitz Benson Torres against Greenpeace entities. Click here for more information about the case, or copy this to your browser: https://www.greenpeace.org/defendingprotest