Kristin Myles to Discuss Alien Tort Statute Litigation

Munger, Tolles & Olson attorney Kristin Linsley Myles will speak at two symposiums on the Alien Tort Statute (ATS) on March 2 and 27 at the UC Irvine School of Law and at Georgetown University Law Center, respectively.

Ms. Myles will be one of 15 panelists at UC Irvine’s symposium titled, “Human Rights Litigation in State Courts and Under State Law.” The symposium will focus on the role of state courts and laws in developing human rights litigation and the questions about federalism, foreign relations, jurisdiction, choice of law, extraterritoriality and litigation strategy that arise from it. Ms. Myles will contribute to the panel titled “The Future of Human Rights Litigation in State Courts and Under State Law.”

The Georgetown symposium will focus on how ATS litigation has emerged as a focal point in the field of corporate responsibility and what it means for foreign businesses.

It will be sponsored by the Georgetown Journal of International Law and the Center on Transnational Business and the Law.

Ms. Myles has been engaged in this developing and complex area of the law since 1996. Most recently, in a September 2010 ruling in favor of Munger Tolles client Archer Daniels Midland, U.S. District Court Judge Stephen V. Wilson became the first court to find that the Alien Tort Statute does not extend liability to corporations. In the Archer Daniels case, Judge Wilson agreed with Munger Tolles that the liability of corporations must be resolved as a matter of international law and there is a lack of precedent for applying international human rights law to corporate entities, as opposed to individuals.

This issue is now the subject of the U.S. Supreme Court case, Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum, in which cert was granted for this term and the Court will be deciding the issue. Ms. Myles submitted a brief on behalf of the Coca Cola Co. and Archer Daniels as amici in the case.

Ms. Myles is a litigation partner in the San Francisco office of Munger Tolles. Her practice has focused upon complex business litigation in a wide spectrum of matters affecting the firm’s corporate clients.