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Baker Marquart achieved another Ninth Circuit victory on January 27, 2020, when the Ninth Circuit affirmed the Southern District of California’s ruling in McMillan, et al. v. Chaker, et al. In the case, plaintiffs argued defendants violated the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) based on the predicate act of extortion by disrupting plaintiffs’ right to practice law and publish decisions on the internet free of threats. The appellate court upheld the district court’s finding that these allegations were insufficient to state a RICO claim as a matter of law.

Extortion as the predicate act necessary to establish a RICO violation requires a plaintiff to allege that a defendant “obtained something of value” from plaintiff. In this case, the Court found plaintiffs’ claim deficient because plaintiffs did not allege defendant obtained property that could be “exercised, transferred or sold.” The Ninth Circuit affirmed dismissal of the complaint in its entirety.

Ryan Baker argued the case and was assisted by Teresa Huggins.