Case of the Day: Kumkang Valve Manufacturing Co. v. Enterprise Products

The case of the day is Kumkang Valve Manufacturing Co. v. Enterprise Products Operating LLC (Tex. Ct. App. 2014). Enterprise purchased 1,000 high-pressure valuves from Kumkang, a Korean firm, for use in its gas-processing plants in Colorado and Wyoming. The valves failed, and Enterprise paid $11 million to replace them. Enterprise sued Kumkang in 2007 for breach of warranty in the Texas state court. In 2009, while the case was pending, Kumkang sought protection under Korean bankruptcy law, and it then filed a Chapter 15 petition in a bankruptcy court in the Southern District of Texas seeking recognition of the Korean main proceeding. The bankruptcy court recognized the Korean proceeding, which had the effect of staying the Texas litigation.

Enterprise did not appear in the Korean bankruptcy case, and it was not included on the list of creditors in the Korean proceeding, or mentioned in the plan of reorganization the Korean court approved. Kumkang did not inform the US bankruptcy court of the approval of the plan in Korea, and Kumkang’s US lawyer informed the US bankruptcy court that he had been unable to communicate with his client and had no information about the status of the Korean proceedings. The US bankruptcy court, after providing a final opportunity for the US lawyer to obtain information from his client, dismissed the Chapter 15 case and lifted the stay.

In the main case, the parties stipulated that Enterprise had suffered $11 million in damages due to breach of express warranty and breach of the warranty of fitness for a particular purpose, and Kumkang moved for summary judgment on the affirmative defense of discharge in bankruptcy. Enterprise cross-moved for summary judgment. The trial court gave judgment for Enterprise, and Kumkang appealed.
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Letters Blogatory Makes The 2014 Blawg 100

2014 ABA Blawg 100 Readers, thank you for nominating Letters Blogatory again for the ABA’s 2014 Blawg 100 list. I’m grateful to you and to the ABA Journal’s editors for helping me bring attention to the wide, wide world of international judicial assistance.

For new readers, welcome! I hope you’ll stick around for my regular features:
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Lago Agrio: My Prediction

Readers, only one of you was foolhardy brave enough to take a guess about the outcome of the Second Circuit RICO appeal. That’s okay. Here for what it is worth is my prediction. Before giving it, a word of explanation is in order. I am not using any particular methodology, and I am not going to give much explanation. Think of this post as my turn in a parlor game “for entertainment value only.” You’ve been warned.
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Case of the Day: DHL Global Forwarding Management Latin America v. Pfizer

The case of the day is DHL Global Forwarding Management Latin America, Inc. v. Pfizer, Inc. (S.D.N.Y. 2014). DHL Global and DHL Logistics Brasil Ltda sued Itau Seguros, S.A., Pfizer, Pfizer Global Trading, and Laboratorios Pfizer Ltda, seeking a declaratory judgment regarding the extent of DHL’s liability for a partially rejected shipment of pharmaceuticals. Itau, a Brazilian company, and Pfizer’s Brazilian affiliate moved to dismiss for insufficient service of process.
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Case of the Day: Yukos Capital v. Samaraneftegaz

The case of the day is Yukos Capital S.A.R.L. v. Oio Samaraneftegaz (2d Cir. 2014). In 2004, Yukos loaned Samaraneftegaz almost 2.5 billion rubles. The loan agreement had an arbitration agreement providing for arbitration before the ICC. Samaraneftegaz defaulted, and Yukos demanded arbitration. Samaraneftegaz failed to participate, and eventually Yukos won a judgment for the full principal amount of the loan, plus more than 664 million rubles in interest and approximately $700,000 in fees and the costs of arbitration. The Russian courts refused recognition of the award, but the District Court in New York confirmed the award, entering a dollar-denominated judgment that used the exchange rate of the date of the award. Samaraneftegaz appealed.
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Case of the Day: Application of Coalition to Protect Clifton Bay

The case of the day is In re Application of the Coalition to Protect Clifton Bay (S.D.N.Y. 2014). Peter Nygård was the longtime owner of Nygård Cay in the Bahamas. Louis Bacon owned a neighboring parcel, Point House. The Coalition to Protect Clifton Bay had brought two actions in the Bahamas challenging the supposed failure of the Bahamian government to oversee Nygård’s expansion of Nygård Cay. Nygård sought to intervene in those actions. Bacon, who opposed Nygård’s work on his property, had separately sued several of Nygård’s associates for defamation, claiming they were part of a “smear campaign” against him. Nygård, taking a page perhaps from Steven Donziger, had a videographer, Stephen Feralio, who filmed “Nygård’s daily life, both personal and professional, including meetings between Nygård and Bahamian officials,” and who also allegedly “aided in the production of anti-Bacon videos.” The Coalition and Bacon, taking a page from Gibson Dunn, sought an order under § 1782 allowing a subpoena to Feralio to obtain the videos. Did I say taking a page from Gibson Dunn? I misspoke—Gibson Dunn is actually representing the Coalition and Bacon!
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Case of the Day: Walters v. China

The case of the day is Walters v. People’s Republic of China (D.D.C. 2014). Debbie and Max Walters had a $10 million default judgment against China in the Western District of Missouri which they sought to enforce in the District of Columbia. The judge ordered China to produce certain documents to the Walterses, and China ignored the order. The Walterses asked the judge to hold China in contempt and impose daily monetary sanctions.
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