Belfast Project: Court of Appeal Rejects Rae’s Argument

The Court of Appeal in Belfast has dismissed Winston “Winkie” Rae’s application to quash the decision of the Director of Public Prosecutions to seek to obtain Rae’s Belfast Project interview tapes by way of an MLAT request to the United States. While it does not seem the judgment has yet been published, the court has published a summary that explains the main points.
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Ambassador Cely Prepares to Return to Ecuador

Ambassador Nathalie Cely Suárez, Ecuador’s ambassador to Washington since 2012, will soon be returning to Ecuador to join President Correa’s cabinet. Her new portfolio will include tourism, trade, industry, labor, agriculture, and infrastructure. I haven’t seen an announcement about her successor as ambassador.
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Case of the Day: Mobil Cerro Negro v. Venezuela

The case of the day is Mobil Cerro Negro, Ltd. v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (S.D.N.Y. 2015). In 2007, Venezuela expropriated Mobil’s interest in various oil projects in the country. Mobil commenced an ICSID arbitration under a bilateral investment treaty. In 2014, the tribunal awarded Mobil approximately $1.6 billion, which remains unpaid. A day after issuance of the award, Mobil, by way of an ex parte and summary proceeding, obtained recognition of the award in New York. Venezuela moved to vacate the judgment. It later asked the tribunal to modify the award on the grounds that the award gave Mobil a double recovery in light of a recovery Mobil had obtained from the Venezuelan state-owned oil company. ICSID’s Secretary-General stayed the award pending the outcome of the motion to modify it.
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Lago Agrio: MCSquared Sues Sharon Stone?

Here is the most amusing ancillary litigation to arise out of the Lago Agrio to date, as far as I know. MCSquared, the PR firm that Ecuador hired, that failed at first to register as Ecuador’s agent under the FARA, and that paid Mia Farrow to visit Ecuador to support the government’s PR efforts, has sued another actress, Sharon Stone, for breach of contract.
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A New Draft Of The Judgments Convention: Is It Good For America?

The Hague Conference has published a provisional edition of the Report on the Fourth Meeting of the Working Group on the Judgments Project, with a preliminary draft text. Bloggers including Claudia Madrid Martínez at Cartas Blogatorias and Pietro Franzina at Aldricus have already noted the new document. I know many American lawyers are skittish about the possibility of a Judgments Convention, and so I want to discuss the new draft text with the following question in mind: would a Judgments Convention be good for America?
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Case of the Day: Safra v. Palestinian Authority

While I don’t generally write about personal jurisdiction cases, the irony in Safra v. Palestinian Authority (D.D.C. 2015), is too good to pass up, especially in light of the verdict in Sokolow v. Palestinian Authority yesterday. In Sokolow, the jury found that the Palestinian Authority was liable for more than $200 million to victims of terrorist attacks in Jerusalem several years ago under the Anti-Terrorism Act. In Safra, on the other hand, the Palestinian Authority avoided trial—if the court’s decision withstands appeal—by successfully arguing that the court in Washington lacked personal jurisdiction.
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Case of the Day: In re Interest of E.H.

The case of the day is In re Interest of E.H. (Tex. Ct. App. 2014). Sara and Shlomo Hamo were married in Israel in the 1980s. In 1992, Shlomo left the family and moved to the United States—first to South Carolina and then to Texas. In 1993, Sara obtained a child support order in Israel. Sara later obtained a divorce under Jewish law in Texas (it is unclear whether the parties were ever divorced under civil law). In 2011, Sara, through the Texas Attorney General, sought registration of the Israeli child support order under the Uniform Interstate Foreign Support Act. Shlomo opposed registration, asserting that he had not been served with process in the Israeli proceeding (Sara asserted that she had served him via registered mail, as provided by Israeli law). Shlomo testified that he had been unaware of the child support order until 2011. The trial court denied registration, finding that Shlomo had not been served with process and that he had been denied due process of law in the Israeli proceeding. Sara appealed.
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Case of the Day: Kim v. Lakeside Adult Family Home

The case of the day is Kim v. Lakeside Adult Family Home (Wash. Ct. App. 2015). Ho Im Bae was an inpatient resident of the Lakeside Adult Family Home, a nursing home. She died of a morphine overdose, and her death was ruled a homicide. The personal representative of her estate, Esther Kim, sued several defendants, including a nurse, Christine Thomas. The claim against Thomas was that she was allegedly negligent for failing to report that Bae was being abused, as required under Washington’s mandated reporter law. Thomas, a Norwegian national living in Norway at the time of the lawsuit, moved to dismiss for insufficient service of process. The trial court ruled that the service was proper, but it dismissed the claim on the merits on summary judgment. Both parties appealed.
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