Case of the Day: Continental Transfert Technique v. Nigeria

The case of the day is Continental Transfert Technique Ltd. v. Federal Government of Nigeria (D.C. Cir. 2015). I last wrote about the case in August 2011. In 1999, Continental, a Nigerian corporation, made a contract with Nigeria’s Ministry of the Interior to create a computerized residence permit and alien card system. After disputes about the contract arose, Continental initiated an arbitration in London, pursuant to the contract. The arbitrators entered an award in favor of Continental in 2008 for ₦ 29.6 billion. Continental sought recognition and enforcement of the award in Washington. Here was my earlier summary of what happened next.

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Case of the Day: Publicidad Vepaco v. Mezerhane

The case of the day is Publicidad Vepaco, C.A. v. Mezerhane (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2015). Publicidad Vepaco and LaTele Television, C.A., two Venezuelan corporations, sued Nelson Mezerhane, the owner of Banco Federal, C.A. (a Venezuelan bank), and Rogelio Trujillo, the bank’s CEO, claiming that the two had carried out a scheme to defraud them of $72 million in US treasury bills through the bank. According to the complaint, the stolen T-bills passed through entities located in CuraƧao. Mezerhane and Trujillo both live in Florida. Both face criminal charges in Venezuela on account of the alleged scheme, and the Venezuelan government has taken over the bank.

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Case of the Day: Chevron v. Snaider

The case of the day is Chevron Corp. v. Snaider (D. Colo. 2015). I haven’t written about a Lago Agrio-related case in a while. It’s good to be back! Chevron, after applying under § 1782, obtained leave to serve a subpoena on Andres Snaider. Snaider, an Ecuadoran national living in Connecticut, was the founder of Nextant, LLC, a consultancy, and he was a classmate of Steven Donziger and James Russell DeLeon at Harvard Law School in the 1980s. Snaider and Donziger had originally approached DeLeon, who controlled Torvia Ltd., seking an investment in a documentary about the environmental damage in the Amazon—presumably the film that became Crude. According to Chevron, DeLeon ultimately invested more than $3 million in the Lago Agrio litigation, and Snaider was alleged to be involved in structuring the investment and reviewing the Torvia funding agreement. Chevron brought a § 1782 application, seeking evidence from Snaider for use in its action in Gibraltar against DeLeon and Torvia as well as for use in the actions in Argentina and Brazil to enforce the Ecuadoran judgment. After the subpoena issued, Snaider moved to quash.

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Prince Andrew: Cassell and Edwards Try Again

In honor of the impending snowpocalypse, another post on the Prince Andrew matter: according to the Daily Mail, the lawyers seeking the Duke of York’s testimony, whose informal written request delivered by mail to Buckingham Palace was rebuffed, is now seeking to “serve papers on him via the British embassy.”

This is absurd theater. It seems to me that Cassell and Edwards, Jane Doe #3’s lawyers, don’t really want the the Duke’s testimony, since they seem to prefer splashy letters sent to ritzy addresses—Buckingham Palace, the British Embassy—than taking the one step (or one of the steps, anyway) that could actually lead to obtaining the testimony, namely a request to the Florida judge to issue a Letter of Request to the UK Central Authority under the Hague Evidence Convention. Get real.

Since so many of you commented favorably on my lion couchant, here is a great tweet by friend of Letters Blogatory Antonin Pribetic:

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Belfast Project: Belfast Court Enjoins the PSNI

There is still some life in the Belfast Project case! The Belfast Telegraph reports that Winston “Winkie” Rae, a former Loyalist prisoner, has obtained an injunction preventing the PSNI from traveling to Boston to collect the taped recording of his Belfast Project interview. The story does not give any details about the legal arguments, so I’m not really sure what his lawyers argued to the court. I am interested, though, to know how Article 7(2) of the MLAT plays into the latest developments. That article provides:

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Taking Evidence from Prince Andrew

A reader called to my attention an extraordinary letter in the Jeffrey Epstein sex abuse case. This is the case that has, surreally, drawn in Alan Dershowitz and Prince Andrew. In a recent filing, Paul G. Cassell and Bradley J. Edwards, lawyers who represent a woman who claims to be a victim of sexual assault by Mr. Dershowitz and the Prince, submitted a letter from their own lawyer, Jack Scarola of Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley in West Palm Beach, Florida, addressed to His Royal Highness the Duke of York.

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Case of the Day: Hyundai Securities v. Lee

The case of the day is Hyundai Securities Co. v. Lee (Cal. Ct. App. 2015). Lee was the CEO of Hyundai Securities from 1996 to 2000. Several Hyundai shareholders brought a shareholder derivative action against Lee in the Seoul Southern District Court, claiming that Lee was guilty of securities fraud. Lee appeared and defended. The Korean court entered judgment in favor of Hyundai for approximately $24 million plus interest at 20%. A portion of the damages were for a criminal fine Hyundai paid in Korea on account of Lee’s acts. Lee appealed to the Seoul Court of Appeals and then to the Korean Supreme Court. Both appellate courts dismissed the appeals. The dismissals were based on the merits. Hyundai then sought recognition of the judgment in the Los Angeles Superior Court. The court entered judgment in favor of Hyundai in a summary proceeding, but the Court of Appeal reversed on the grounds that Hyundai could not proceed by way of a petition but had to seek summary judgment. I covered this aspect of the case in April 2013. On remand, Hyundai moved for summary judgment. Lee argued that the court could not recognize the portion of the judgment attributable to the criminal fine, or the 20% interest rate. The court entered judgment in favor of Hyundai, and Lee appealed.

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Event Announcement: The external dimension of EU private international law after Opinion 1/13

the-external-dimension-of-eu-pil-ferrara-13-february-2015-jpgReaders, friend of Letters Blogatory and fellow blogger Pietro Franzina is organizing an interesting conference to be held in Ferrara on February 13. The title is The external dimension of EU Private International Law After Opinion 1/13. (more…)

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Case of the Day: Assoun v. Assoun

The case of the day is Assoun v. Assoun (S.D.N.Y. 2015). The parties, Yan Assoun and Anais Assoun, were former spouses who lived in England after their divorce. Anais petitioned the High Court in London to increase the amount of child support and spousal support Yan was required to pay. The court granted the petition and ordered Yan to pay $380,000 per year in spousal support, $25,000 per child per year in child support, retroactive child and spousal support, and £ 234,622 in attorney’s fees. Yan believed that Anais had misstated her own finances, either fraudulently or negligently, in the English court. After Anais registered the English judgment with the New York Family Court, Yan asked the Family Court to vacate the registration. He also brought an action for fraudulent or negligent misrepresentation in the New York Supreme Court. Anais removed the action to the federal court and moved to dismiss for failure to state a claim.

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