Readers, I am very pleased to announce the publication of the ABA’s new two-volume deskbook, International Aspects of U.S. Litigation, edited by James E. Berger of King & Spalding. The book features contributions from many excellent authors, including several friends. I am the author of the chapter of service of process. Other chapters cover subject-matter and personal jurisdiction, venue, forum non conveniens, parallel proceedings, forum selections clauses, the Alien Tort Statute, the extraterritoriality of US law, choice of law clauses, conflict of laws, proof of foreign law, treaties as substantive law, pretrial discovery, recognition and enforcement of judgments, res judicata, international arbitration, sovereign litigation, foreign bankruptcy, and trade disputes.
The chapter on service is meant to be useful to practitioners but also to address issues of policy and principle. So, for example, I note the decisions on both sides but take fairly firm positions on matters like the permissibility of service by email when the Hague Service Convention applies; the reasons why there is no good Due Process objection to service on a foreign defendant’s US lawyer under FRCP 4(f)(3); and others.
Those of you who have taken part in big projects like this know that they can take a long time from start to finish. My chapter, at least, is a little like the computers NASA puts on spacecraft: a bit out of date but (I hope) very reliable. Just by way of example, since I did the final edits, the Supreme Court agreed to decide the circuit split on the meaning of Article 10(a) of the Hague Service Convention; the Supreme Court abrogated the appendix of forms to the FRCP; the articles of the French Code Civil were renumbered; you get the idea. So we will have to have a second edition at some point! But the law in this area never stands still for too long.
You can buy the book on the ABA’s website for $149.95, or $119.96 if you’re an ABA member. I recommend it to every lawyer and law firm, since more and more, even routine litigation features cross-border issues.