On March 14, 2017, the D.C. Circuit dismissed a law firm’s challenge to the State Department’s application of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (“ITAR”) Part 129 brokering provisions against practicing attorneys. In its lawsuit, law firm Matthew A. Goldstein, PLLC (“Goldstein”) alleged that the State Department lacked constitutional and statutory authority to apply Part 129 to legal services provided to its clients and sought declaratory and injunctive relief to prevent the State Department from applying the brokering provisions to the firm.
Regulation of Brokering Activities
The State Department regulates international arms brokering under the Arms Export Control Act (“AECA”) and the ITAR. The AECA mandates that “every person . . . who engages in the business of brokering activities with respect to the manufacture, export, import, or transfer of any defense article or defense service” shall register with the State Department and obtain a license before engaging in “the business of brokering activities.” The AECA further provides that “brokering activities shall include the financing, transportation, freight forwarding, or taking of any other action that facilitates the manufacture, export, or import of a defense article or defense service.” These requirements are implemented and further defined at Part 129 of the ITAR. Continue reading