Case of the Day: Fleischer Studios v. AVELA

The case of the day is Fleischer Studios, Inc. v. AVELA, Inc. (C.D. Cal. 2016). Fleischer and Hearst Holdings, Inc. sued AVELA for trademark infringement in the English High Court. The court issued an “Interim Award” in favor of the plaintiffs. AVELA sought a stay pending appeal, but the Court of Appeal in the UK denied the motion. AVELA’s appeal was stricken when it failed to post security. Fleischer and Hearst then sought recognition and enforcement in California.
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Case of the Day: Avotiņš v. Latvia

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Letters Blogatory Honors America’s Fallen Servicemen and Servicewomen on Memorial Day

The case of the day is Avotiņš v. Latvia (ECHR 2016). Pēteris Avotiņš, an investment consultant residing in Latvia, had borrowed $100,000 from F.H. Ltd., a Cyprus company. FH sued in the Limassol (Cyprus) District Court, alleging that Avotiņš had failed to pay. The Cyprus court granted leave to serve the summons on Avotiņš outside of Cyprus after FH provided an affidavit giving the address of Avotiņš’s supposed habitual residence in Riga. Avotiņš later asserted that the address was neither his business address nor his home address, but rather merely the address of the place where he had signed the deed evidencing the debt.
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Case of the Day: Freedom Watch v. OPEC

Today’s case of the day, Freedom Watch v. OPEC (D.C. Cir. 2016), is, most likely, the last installment in this long-running service of process dispute. I have covered the case several times before. Here once again is my description of the facts:

Freedom Watch, a right-wing organization that accuses the “Obama-Clinton regime” of “using the economic crisis as an excuse to turn our nation into a socialist Euro-style welfare state,” sued OPEC on antitrust theories. I am going to go out on a limb here and guess that its claims lacked merit. OPEC moved to dismiss for insufficient service of process. According to OPEC’s motion to dismiss, “Plaintiff’s counsel, Mr. Larry Klayman, personally handed an envelope containing a summons, the complaint and other documents, all in English, to an Austrian police officer (not an employee of OPEC) who was present at the reception desk in the lobby of OPEC’s headquarters in Vienna.” On the other hand, according to the return of service, filed after the motion to dismiss, Courtney Butcher of Beverly Hills, California served the summons at OPEC headquarters on Frederich Luger, “intake officer of OPEC,” who supposedly was designated by law to accept service of process on OPEC.

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Welcome to Globalit!

Readers, check out Eric Sherby’s new blog, Globalit. Eric’s an excellent Israeli lawyer, originally from New York, and I’ve had the pleasure to get to know him a little through our work together on an ABA newsletter. The name of the blog, Globalit, is a nice pun, though one that needs a little explanation in English. If you say the name “Global Lit,” it means, obviously, “Global Litigation,” but if you say, “Globaleet,“then it’s the Hebrew word for “globally.” I know there’s a rule that says a pun its no good if you have to explain it, but given that this is a bilingual pun, I think the rule does not apply, and anyway, as my own blog and Cartas Blogatorias attest, I like wordplay in the title of websites.
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Case of the Day: Andover Healthcare v. 3M

The case of the day is Andover Healthcare, Inc. v. 3M Co. (8th Cir. 2016). Andover and 3M were competitors in the market for latex-free bandages. In 2013, Andover sued 3M for patent infringement in Delaware and in Germany.

Andover’s European patent (EP 1 027 084 B1) claimed “a cohesive product comprising … an inherently crystalline elastomer and at least one tackifying agent in an amount effective to disrupt the crystalline structure of the elastomer and maintain the elastomer in a partial polycrystalline state.” In the German case, 3M’s expert opined that 3M’s elastomers “are not present in a crystalline … state,” and thus that 3Ms products could not infringe the patent. Andover did not believe the expert’s test results could be correct and asked 3M to provide samples of its materials to allow Andover to do its own tests for use in the German case. But 3M refused on the grounds that disclosure would compromise its trade secrets. 3M had previously disclosed the information for use in the Delaware case. But the Delaware court refused to modify the protective order to allow use of the information in the German case, and the German court had not yet ruled on Andover’s request for discovery. So Andover sought the information from 3M for use in Germany by way of § 1782. A magistrate judge denied its application, and the district court affirmed. Andover appealed.
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Case of the Day: Orange Middle East & Africa v. Equatorial Guinea

The case of the day is Orange Middle East & Africa v. Republic of Equatorial Guinea (D.D.C. 2016). Orange and the Republic of Equatorial Guinea were the shareholders of a telecommunications company providing service in Equatorial Guinea. The government was the majority shareholder. After some disputes arose, the parties entered into a settlement agreement, which required the government to purchase Orange’s shares if it granted a telecommunications license to a third party. The agreement provided for arbitration of disputes in Paris under the ICC rules.

In 2011, the government granted a third party a license, but it failed to purchase Orange’s shares. Orange demanded arbitration. The arbitrators awarded Orange more than € 131 million. The government sought to set aside the award, but the Court of Appeals in Paris authorized enforcement of the award.

Orange sought to confirm the award in Washington. The government moved to dismiss for insufficient service of process.
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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. 2016). This is the appeal of the case of the day from February 20, 2015. Here was my summary of the facts from the prior post:

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. …

The decision is short on details of Kim’s attempt to effect service. Kim hired a process server, who personally served the documents on Thomas at her residence. It’s unclear whether the process server was a private person or a person with some particular competence under Norwegian law. It’s also unclear what methods of service Norwegian law permits, although the court noted without explanation that the service was “considered due and proper service under the laws of Norway.” Norway is a party to the Hague Service Convention, and it has objected to service under Article 10.

Thomas appealed on the service issue, and the court of appeals affirmed—I opined in the prior post that this was a mistake. Now the case was on appeal to the Washington Supreme Court.
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Case of the Day: Gregor v. Otuorimuo

The case of the day is Gregor v. Otuorimuo (Conn. Super. Ct. 2016). The case was a divorce case. husband and the wife were married in Connecticut in 2011. The husband sued for a divorce, asserting that there had been an irretrievable breakdown in the marriage. The wife was living in Nigeria. The husband tried unsuccessfully to serve process by mail and then served process by publication. After the court decreed a dissolution of the marriage, the wife sought to vacate the judgment on the grounds of insufficiency of service of process. The court granted the motion.
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Case of the Day: Ure v. Oceania Cruises

The case of the day is Ure v. Oceania Cruises, Inc. (S.D. Fla. 2015). Diana Ure was a passenger aboard Oceania’s ship. She fell ill and was treated by one of the defendants, Dr. Fabian Bonilla, an Ecuadoran national. She and her husband sued Bonilla, apparently for medical malpractice, and she served him at his address in Ecuador via mail (sent by the clerk, as FRCP 4(f)(2)(C)(ii) requires). Bonilla moved to dismiss, arguing that Ecuadoran law forbids service by mail.
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