Case of the Day: Sonera Holding BV v. Çukurova Holding AŞ

The case of the day is Sonera Holding BV v. Çukurova Holding AŞ (2d Cir. 2014). This is the appeal from the judgment confirming a Swiss arbitral award in a case I considered in January 2013. From the earlier post: “The dispute arose out of a share purchase agreement requiring Çukurova to deliver to Sonera shares in Turkcell Holding AŞ, which owned Turkcell İletişim Hizmetleri AŞ, Turkey’s largest mobile phone service. Sonera claimed a breach by Çukurova, and an arbitral tribunal in Switzerland awarded Sonera $932 million in damages.” The point on appeal was whether the district court had erred in holding that Çukurova was subject to the court’s personal jurisdiction. The Second Circuit held that personal jursidiction was improper and reversed.
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Case of the Day: Badyal v. Bosch Packaging Technology

The case of the day is Badyal v. Bosch Packaging Technology, Inc. (E.D. Cal. 2014). Kiranjeet Badyal, who worked at Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics, alleged that she was injured by flying glass and steam when a Bosch autoclave exploded.She sued Bosch and SBM Bchoeller-Bleckmann Medizintechnik for negligence. In a separate action, Siemens and its insurer brought an action against Bosch, SBM, and others for negligence, breach of implied warranty, and strict liability. In its action, Siemens moved for issuance of a letter rogatory to the Austrian authorities to permit service of process on SBM, an Austrian firm. After SBM was served, the two actions were consolidated without objection from any party. But Badyal had not yet effected service on SBM.
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LaVenture v. United Nations: The Romance of the Process Server

A theater of the absurd played out on the streets of Manhattan last week. The plaintiffs for a class of Haitian victims of the cholera epidemic seeking to sue the United Nations and several of its officials in the Eastern District of New York hired a process server to serve the summons and complaint on Secretary General Ban Ki Moon. (Note that this lawsuit is separate from Georges v. United Nations, which I’ve covered before). According to The New York Times, the process server claims he got the job done:
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Case of the Day: Landauer Ltd. v. Joe Monani Fish Co.

The case of the day is Landauer Ltd. v. Joe Monani Fish Co. (N.Y. 2014). This is the appeal of the case of the day from January 9, 2013. The trial court had dismissed an action for recognition and enforcement of an English judgment on personal jurisdiction grounds, and the Appellate Division (New York’s intermediate court) affirmed. In today’s appeal, the Court of Appeals (New York’s highest court) reversed.
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Lago Agrio: The Ecuadorans’ PR People Step In It

A few weeks ago Paul Barrett reported on a tacky but seemingly insignificant misstep by the public relations people advising the Ecuadoran plaintiffs in the Chevron case:

Several dozen demonstrators gathered outside the Permian Basin Petroleum Museum in Midland to condemn Chevron, which held its annual meeting on Wednesday at the historic site in the west Texas oil patch. Humberto Piaguaje, one of the indigenous Ecuadorian leaders involved in a massive lawsuit against the oil company, helped lead the sign-waving, slogan-chanting cohort. To fill out the ranks of the demonstration, a Los Angeles-based production company offered local residents $85 apiece to serve as what the firm described in a recruiting e-mail as “extras/background people.”

Julieta Gilbert, executive producer of DFLA Films, said in the e-mail that the company “need to get a group of people to help us document this event. … We will pay each one of them $85. They will be there for a couple of hours (8am to 12 pm). We need ethically [sic] diverse people.”

Did you catch that? Ethically diverse instead of ethnically diverse? Chortles from Barrett, a long-time critic of Steven Donziger. Overwrought reactions from Chevron’s PR team on Twitter and elsewhere. Surely just a passing embarrassment for the plaintiffs. Karen Hinton, one of the Donziger’s PR people, told Barrett that the PR firm MCSquared handled the “protest,” and that MCSquared worked for the Republic of Ecuador. In PR Week, MCSquared denied that it was behind the “protest” but admitted that the Republic of Ecuador was one of its clients.
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Case of the Day: United States v. One Gulfstream G-V Jet

The case of the day is United States v. One Gulfstream G-V Jet Aircraft Displaying Tail Number VPCES, Its Tools and Appurtenances (D.D.C. 2014). As the name of the case suggests, the United States brought a civil action in rem seeking forfeiture of a jet aircraft. The government alleged that the aircraft had been purchased by Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, Second Vice President of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea and son of the country’s president, using the proceeds of extortion, public corruption, embezzlement, and theft. Nguema submitted a verified claim to the aircraft. The government served a notice of deposition requiring Nguema to appear for a deposition in Washington. Nguema moved for a protective order, seeking to require the deposition to take place either on written questions, remotely by telephone or videoconference, or in person in Equatorial Guinea. The judge granted the motion.
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Case of the Day: Republic of Argentina v. NML Capital

The Death of General Warren at the Battle of Bunker Hill by John Trumbull
Letters Blogatory wishes you a happy Bunker Hill Day!
Credit: Wikipedia
Yesterday the Supreme Court handed down its decision in Republic of Argentina v. NML Capital. Just to avoid confusion, this is not the case about whether Judge Griesa got it wrong when he issued an injunction forbidding Argentina to favor holders of new debt over the holdout owners of defaulted debt. The Court denied Argentina’s petition for a writ of certiorari yesterday.1 This is the case that deals with the interaction between the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act and Rule 69 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which gives a judgment creditor the right to take discovery about a judgment debtor’s assets in aid of the judgment. Can the holdout bondholders obtain information about Argentina’s assets around the world? Short answer: yes.
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