Relist Watch: Water Splash v. Menon

I’m interrupting my travel just for a moment to report that the Supreme Court has relisted Water Splash v. Menon, the case we’ve been following on the interpretation of Article 10(a) of the Hague Service Convention, for its conference of December 2. I hope SCOTUSBlog will not frown on my use of the term “relist watch!” We can’t tell from the docket what the relist means, but here are some possibilities, courtesy of SCOTUSBlog’s FAQ:

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Case of the Day: Ahrens v. Pecknick

The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth
Letters Blogatory wishes all its readers a happy Thanksgiving Day! Credit: Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal

A note to readers: Due to my travel schedule, there will likely be no new posts next week, and I may not respond to your comments or emails as quickly as I ordinarily do. Also, thank you for your feedback on political posts. I am going to continue writing them, but I am going to segregate them from the ordinary posts. My current thought is to put them at, but if anyone can come up with a good pun or similarly catchy name that uses “blogatory,” I’m all ears. Also, by separating the political posts, I think we can open up some new possibilities, such as regular contributing authors. So if you are interested in writing about US (or non-US) politics at the new blog, whatever it ends up being called, let’s talk!

The case of the day is Ahrens v. Pecknick (D. Nev. 2016). Edd H. Ahrens sued Windermere Holdings Group, Ltd. and others for copyright infringement and unjust enrichment. Windermere was a Seychelles company. Ahrens attempted service via the central authority, but the Article 6 certificate stated that Windermere was no longer registered, and the process server’s declaration said that Windermere was no present at the address where he attempted service. Ahrens sought leave to serve process by email, using an email address found doing a WHOIS search of the domain name Windermere used for its website.

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Case of the Day: In Re R.L.

The case of the day is In re R.L. (Cal. Ct. App. 2016). R.L., a child, was born in San Diego. The child’s mother, an American citizen, was living in Tijuana at the time of the birth but came to California to deliver the baby. The child tested positive for amphetamine and methamphetamine, and the state took protective custody and filed a petition alleging inadequate care. The father, a Mexican national, lived in Tijuana. The state mailed notice of the proceedings to the father at the mother’s address in Tijuana. It made efforts to locate the father, but the mother could not provide an address and other efforts, including publication of notice of the proceedings in Mexico, yielded no fruit.

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President-Elect Trump: The First Two Weeks

I would be interested in hearing from readers: do my recent political posts work for you? Are they a distraction? I am open to considering publishing them somewhere other than the front page of Letters Blogatory if you would prefer that I stick to my usual fare.

In the immediate aftermath of the election, I recommended giving President-elect Trump “a chance with a clean slate.” Mr. Trump doesn’t assume office for about two months, so I still want to try to reserve judgment. But a lot has happened in the last two weeks, so we can begin to make some judgments, and unfortunately what I see so far is distressing. I am not going to note all the issues I see, or even all the serious issues: I’m leaving aside the President-elect’s poor-quality nominations for important posts including Administrator of the EPA, National Security Advisor, and Attorney General, his apparent plans regarding tax reform, reform of the civil service laws, the possibility that he wants to privatize Medicare, his apparent intention to withdraw from the TPP (a position he shared with Mrs. Clinton), etc. Nor am I going to write about the troubling trends in foreign relations I see: our uneasy allies; moves by some Asian allies towards closer ties with China, and so forth. Instead, I’ll focus on a few hot-button issues: Nazis; the press; and conflicts of interest.

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Case of the Day: Nicholas v. Environmental Systems

The case of the day is Nicholas v. Environmental Systems (International) Ltd. (Tex. Ct. App. 2016). In a Canadian copyright infringement lawsuit brought by Frederick Nicholas against Environmental Systems, Brian G. Cook, Reif Winery Inc., Klaus Reif, and Re/Defining Water Inc., the court awarded costs and attorney’s fees to the defendants. Environmental Systems and the other defendants in the Canadian action then sought recognition and enforcement of the Canadian judgment in Texas.

Nicholas argued that the Canadian judgment was not properly authenticated. The Texas court held a trial and entered a judgment recognizing the Canadian judgment, and Nicholas appealed.

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The Electoral College For Dummies

As everyone knows by now, President-elect Donald Trump expects 306 electoral votes when the electors cast their votes. Since 270 is a majority of the electoral college, he will be the next president. And as everyone knows, there’s been a lot of heated talk about the electoral college in the aftermath of the election, particularly because Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by more than a million votes. Here is Harvard Law School professor Laurence Tribe recently:

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Case of the Day: Cabrera v. Kosan Crisplant

The case of the day is Cabrera v. Kosan Crisplant A/S (S.D. Tex. 2016). Much confusion is in the air. Roberto Cabrera brought a product liability suit against Kaya Baskül, a Turkish company, following a propane fire and explosion in Conroe, Texas. The decision is a little confusing, because it refers to an attempt in 2014 to serve process on Kaya by service of the summons and First Amended Complaint on the Texas Secretary of State, which then sent the documents by registered mail to the Turkish central authority. The Secretary of State indicated that no response had been received. In fact, Cabrera went on to serve process on Kaya directly via the central authority mechanism in February 2016. As far as I can tell, the court should have referred to the latter service.

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Letters Blogatory’s Trump Listening Tour

A conservative blog called MercatorNet (“Navigating Modern Complexities”) was kind enough to repost my post-election reflections, where I focused on the need to reach out and listen to Trump supporters. Well, some Trump supporters, and some conservatives who did not vote for President-elect Trump, took the time to respond, for which I’m grateful. I think it important to engage with their responses in a way that is totally separate from reactions to the latest news about the Presidential transition (the awful and distressing appointment of Steve Bannon as a chief advisor, for example, or the President-elect’s threats of legal action against Sen. Reid). Here are some lessons I’ve learned and a non-exclusive list of themes I heard.

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Case of the Day: Silver Star Alpine Meadows v. Quinlan

The case of the day is Silver Star Alpine Meadows Development, Ltd. v. Quinlan (Cal. Ct. App. 2016). Lora and Stephen Quinlan had a contract to purchase lots in an undeveloped subdivision in a British Columbia ski resort. They refused to close, believing the seller, Silver Star, had changed the topography of the lots in a way that would disadvantage them. Silver Star sued in a British Columbia court. The court held that Silver Star had performed, that the Quinlans had breached their obligation, and that Silver Star had sought to mitigate its damages. Judgment was for more than $1.1 million (CDN), because in the relevant time period the value of the lots had declined precipitously. Silver Star sought recognition and enforcement of the judgment in California. The Quinlans counterclaimed for fraud and argued, in defense, that the contract had a liquidated damages provision that the British Columbia court should have applied. They claimed that the Canadian court’s mistake meant that it would be contrary to public policy to recognize the judgment.

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Case of the Day: Honig v. Cardis Enterprises

The case of the day is Honig v. Cardis Enterprises International N.V. (E.D.N.Y. 2016). Edward Honig sued Cardis Enterprises International N.V.,and others for securities fraud. Cardis was a CuraƧao company. It moved to dismiss for insufficient service of process.

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