Monday, October 17, 2005

No Donut for DOJ

Today, the Supreme Court denied cert. in United States v. Philip Morris USA Inc., et al., rejecting DOJ's effort to resurrect its claim for $149 billion in disgorgement. Earlier this year, the D.C. Circuit determined that the statute under which the Government brought suit -- 18 U.S.C. 1964(a) -- does not permit a court to order disgorgement but rather is limited to forward-looking remedies such as divestiture.

Although this is a big win for the industry, the Government's lawyers are creative and will no doubt seek to bleed the industry via other more forward-looking means. Congrats all around to the industry's lawyers (Winston, A&P, Jones Day, Thompson Coburn, Kirkland etc.). SCOTUSblog has an update on this and the day's other orders.