In the endless, eternal conflict between student and master, score one for the lowly grasshopper:
A Miami-Dade judge tossed Ecuador's civil case against two brothers the country claims embezzled $662 million from the bank they ran in the 1990s.
The decision came about a year after an appellate victory that gave Ecuador the go-ahead to seek a trial against Roberto and William Isaias in its quest to seize the brothers' Florida property.
Ecuador lacked standing to bring suit and the statute of limitations ran out on its claim that the brothers embezzled from Filanbanco S.A., Circuit Judge John Thornton ruled Oct. 15. Once the country's largest bank, Filanbanco was acquired by the Isaias family in 1960 and collapsed with reported losses of $662 million in 2001.But who represents Ecuador, pray tell?
The decision follows six years of litigation against the brothers, who were convicted of embezzlement in absentia and sentenced to eight years in prison. The U.S. State Department in 2013 denied Ecuador's request to extradite the brothers, saying the country hadn't demonstrated probable cause.
"I've been saying from the beginning there's no evidence in this case," said the Isaiases' lawyer, Michael Tein of Lewis Tein in Miami.
Ecuador's attorney Alvin B. Davis of Squire Patton Boggs in Miami said his client plans to appeal.
"We are respectful of Judge Thornton's decision," said Davis, who tried the case with colleague Digna French. "It is a complex area of the law. Nonetheless, we believe the decision is in error in several material regards.""Several material regards"??
Hush your mouth -- such strong language!
In other news, it's love your lawyer day!!!