Law360 Quotes Steven Schulman re: 11th Circ. Win for Akin Gump Pro Bono Clients in Bolivia Human Rights Suit

The 11th Circuit has denied defendant requests for a panel or en banc rehearing of its June ruling that family members of civilians killed around 2003 protests against Bolivia’s former President Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada and ex-Minister of Defense Jose Carlos Sánchez Berzain are not barred from pursuing Torture Victims Protection Act (TVPA) claims against these two men.

The victims’ families are being represented by, inter alia, Akin Gump.

According to the article, the plaintiffs sued Sánchez de Lozada and Sánchez Berzain under the Alien Tort Statute and the TVPA on the grounds that the two authorized Bolivian armed forces to treat civilians as unarmed combatants to be shot and killed on sight.

The defendants had sought a rehearing because, they claimed, the plaintiffs had exhausted their remedies in Bolivia. The appeals court refuted that claim in its June decision.

Steven Schulman, Akin Gump’s pro bono partner, said he was grateful that this decision had cleared the way for trial in the Southern District of Florida, noting, “Our Bolivian clients have been waiting to see Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada and Jose Sánchez Berzain brought to justice for the deaths committed under their direction 13 years ago this month.”