Read more about the article Supreme Court Cases to Watch
Credit: Matt Wade (CC BY-SA)

Supreme Court Cases to Watch

The Supreme Court is about to begin its October 2017 Term. For we happy few who focus on service of process, the Term is sure to be less interesting than last term, which featured the Water Splash case. (Kidding!) Here is a look at the cases I’ll be following in the coming year.

  • Jesner v. Arab Bank. The question in this case, which the Court previously ducked in the Kiobel case, is whether a corporation can be found liable under the Alien Tort Statute.
  • Rubin v. Iran. The question is whether the exception in 28 U.S.C. § 1610(g) to FSIA immunity from attachment and execution in state-sponsored terrorism cases allows creditors to reach sovereign assets that otherwise would not be subject to attachment or execution under § 1610.

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Case of the Day: In re Richmond Group

The case of the day is Lustig v. Wilson (In re Richmond Group) (Bankr. W.D.N.Y. 2017). Lustig, the bankruptcy trustee of the Richmond Group, sued Wilson, who resided in New Zealand. Lustig sought leave under FRCP 4(f)(3) to serve process on Wilson by email. New Zealand is not a party to the Hague Service Convention, so the court couldn’t simply say that service by email is impermissible under the Convention.

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Puerto Rico and the Jones Act

The Times reports that the government has refused to waive the requirements of the Jones Act to aid Puerto Rico’s recovery from Hurricane Maria, as it had to aid Texas and Florida with their recoveries. What’s the Jones Act? It’s an early twentieth-century law that requires that all shipping between US ports must be carried on US ships built by the US shipping industry and with a US crew. The decision seems outrageous—if we can decrease the price of shipping to Puerto Rico to aid its recovery, obviously we should. But the news has led to a lot of commentary suggesting that the Jones Act itself is an antique that needs to go once this crisis is past.

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Case of the Day: Wimbledon Financing Master Fund v. Weston Capital Management

The case of the day is Wimbledon Financing Master Fund, Ltd. v. Weston Capital Management, LLC (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2017). Wimbledon sued Keith Laslop for aiding and abetting a fraud. After Wimbledon asserted that Laslop had been “duly served … in Canada in accordance with the Hague Convention” (by mail, according to the return of service), Wimbledon sought a default judgment.

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Read more about the article Lago Agrio: LAPs Abandon Recognition and Enforcement Effort in Brazil
Credit: Julien Gomba (CC BY)

Lago Agrio: LAPs Abandon Recognition and Enforcement Effort in Brazil

The group representing the Lago Agrio plaintiffs announced last week that they have abandoned their efforts to have the Lago Agrio judgment recognized and enforced in Brazil. The announcement came on the same day the case was to be heard in the Brazilian court. According to the LAPs, Chevron had submitted documents to the court in recent weeks that had not been shared with the LAPs and that the LAPs did not have time to evaluate before the hearing. The LAPs also complained that a judge had resigned and been replaced with a new judge, though they say nothing against the new judge except that he moved too quickly to hear the case.

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Warning: Construction Zone!

Readers, you no doubt have noticed that Letters Blogatory looks different today. I like the way it looked before, but the “theme” I was using is several years old, and for various reasons that won’t be visible to you, it made sense for me to switch to a more modern theme. I’m still fiddling with how the site should look, and because of my, ahem, very small staff of web designers and programmers, I have to do the fiddling on the website itself instead of on a test site that larger operations might use for this purpose. So you will likely see things changing for the next while, and maybe things breaking. Please bear with me, and if you notice anything broken, please let me know. And if you have any expertise in web design and would like to help Letters Blogatory look its best, please be in touch!

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Case of the Day: Handshoe v. Perret

The case of the day is Handshoe v. Perret (S.D. Miss. 2017). The case is related to Trout Point Lodge Ltd. v. Handshoe, 729 F.3d 481 (5th Cir. 2013), the first appellate decision on the SPEECH Act. We haven’t seen the Act in a while, so just as a reminder, the purpose of the Act is to curb “libel tourism” by providing that US courts cannot recognize foreign defamation judgment if the foreign law does not provide the same protections for free speech as a US court would.

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Read more about the article Lago Agrio: SDNY Judges Submit Ethics Complaint Against Donziger
Steven Donziger. Credit: Zennie Abraham (CC-BY-ND)

Lago Agrio: SDNY Judges Submit Ethics Complaint Against Donziger

It’s been a while since I’ve written about the Lago Agrio case. Not much is going at the moment. I was aware, via press releases, of a dispute about whether Judge Kaplan should order Steven Donziger to pay Chevron’s legal fees, but I hadn’t read any of the motion papers until I came across a tweet from Roger Parloff highlighting the fact that several SDNY judges had submitted a disciplinary complaint against Donziger.

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Letters Blogatory is Now Available on Facebook

Readers, as many of you know, there are lots of ways to have Letters Blogatory delivered to you. The main one, of course, is just to visit the website. But I also have an RSS feed, and email subscription service, and links to nearly all posts on LinkIn and Twitter.

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Case of the Day: Estate of Aquino

The case of the day is Estate of Aquino (Mount Vernon N.Y. City Ct. 2017). Aquino married in New York in 1986 and died in 2011, survived by a wife and seven children. In 2012, the wife petitioned the court for letters of administration allowing her to administer his estate, which the court granted. The wife, though, had given notice of her petition to only three of the children. In 2014, one of the sons who had not received notice sought to revoke the letters of administration and to have himself appointed as administrator on the grounds that his father and his father’s wife were divorced in 1993 in the Dominican Republic.

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