Of Gangs and Gaggles: Can a Corporation Be Part of an Association-in-Fact RICO Enterprise? Linguistic, Historical, and Rhetorical Perspectives
16 U. PA. J. BUS. L. 973 (2014)
56 Pages Posted: 3 Dec 2013 Last revised: 31 Oct 2014
Date Written: December 2, 2013
Over 30 years ago, courts of appeals began to hold that the RICO statute’s definition of association-in-fact enterprise is broad enough to include corporations as constituent members, even though that definition states that such an association is limited to a “group of individuals.” This Article demonstrates why these cases were wrongly decided from a variety of perspectives: linguistic, systemic and consequentialist. It also suggests a strategy for correcting this widespread interpretive error and provides evidence that the Supreme Court may be disposed to agree that the lower courts have uniformly erred.
Keywords: RICO, association-in-fact, enterprise, linguistics, legislative history, rhetoric, interpretation, legal theory
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