Case of the Day: Microsoft v. Goldah.com

The case of the day is Microsoft Corp. v. Goldah.com Network Technology Co. (N.D. Cal. 2017). Microsoft sued Goldah, Changsha Xunyou Network Technology Co., Hunan Yigiyou Technology Co., and other Chinese defendants, alleging that they were trafficking in stolen Microsoft account credentials. Microsoft obtained a temporary restraining order and then a preliminary injunction. The defendants then moved to dismiss, arguing insufficient service of process. The court had authorized service by email under FRCP 4(f)(3); there was no indication that the defendants’ addresses were unknown.
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Case of the Day: Qiu v. Zhang

The case of the day is Qiu v. Zhang (C.D. Cal. 2017). In 2013, Qinrong Qiu lent 21 million RMB to Hongying Zhang and his wife, Xinghua Yu, in China. Zhang and Yu defaulted, and Qiu sued them in the Suzhou Industrial Park People’s Court. That court entered judgment for Qiu in 2016, and the Intermediate People’s Court of Suzhou City, Jiangsu Province affirmed the judgment.

Qiu alleged that Zhang and Yu lived in California with Zhang’s son, Jie Yu. Zhang and Jie Yu, still a minor, owned real property there as joint tenants. Zhang and Jie Yu transferred the property to Boxwood International LLC, for nominal consideration. Jie Yu was the sole member of the LLC. The LLC then sold the property to a third party for $750,000. Qiu alleged that this was a fraudulent transfer. He sued Zhang and Xinghua You on the Chinese judgment, and all three for the fraudulent transfer.
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Case of the Day: Reyes v. Al-Malki

The case of the day is Reyes v. Al-Malki, [2017] UKSC 61. The case is in the “diplomat allegedly abuses a domestic servant and then claims immunity from suit” genre. The infamous Gurung v. Malhotra is in that genre, as is the Khobragade case from 2013. The cases I’ve seen don’t seem to get much appellate attention, so this decision of the UK Supreme Court is particularly noteworthy.
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Service of Process and the Unauthorized Practice of Law

I have come across several cases recently where a plaintiff, or more likely the plaintiff’s lawyer, had hired a “vendor” or a contractor to serve process abroad, and where it seemed clear to me that the “vendor” had given the client bad advice or where the vendor had not done a good job effecting the service. For example, I’ve seen vendors submitting requests for service to a foreign central authority and then, after the client asks why service hasn’t been completed, informing the client that service in the country in question might take a year. The client then moved for leave to serve by alternate means, which is perhaps what the client should have done in the first place with its money. Or else I’ve seen a vendor lash out at a foreign central authority’s refusal to execute a request for service rather than try to understand the legal basis for what the foreign central authority is saying. Instances like this raise the question: to what extend do the things we do in international service of process constitute the practice of law? Or conversely, to what extent are the “vendors” doing things they shouldn’t be doing, unless they are lawyers? Here are some reflections.
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Case of the Day: FKA Distributing v. Yisi Technology

The case of the day is FKA Distributing Co. v. Yisi Technology Co. (E.D. Mich. 2017). FKA sued Yisi, a Chinese firm. FKA first simply emailed the summons to Yisi, but after Yisi failed to respond, it made a request for service under the Hague Service Convention. Although only a few months had passed, FKA sought leave to serve by email, given that the “vendor who served the Summons for them” told them that the service could take more than a year. One wonders why the vendor didn’t explain this before making the request for service under the Convention!
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Read more about the article Case of the Day: Kiribati Seafood v. Dechert
Papeete. Credit: Pontauxchats

Case of the Day: Kiribati Seafood v. Dechert

The case of the day is Kiribati Seafood Co. v. Dechert LLP (Mass. 2017). Kiribati and Olympic Packer, LLC were Washington companies. Kiribati owned the Madee, a fishing vessel, which it chartered to Olympic and to Dojin Co. for fishing tuna in the Pacific. The ship’s rudder was damaged, and it was put in dry dock at the port of Papeete, Tahiti, for repair. The dry dock collapsed, and Kiribati’s insurer, Lloyd’s, deemed the ship a constructive total loss. Kiribati hired two lawyers with Coudert Brothers to sue the port in the Commercial Court of Papeete. The lawyers later left Coudert and joined Dechert, continuing to represent Kiribati.
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Read more about the article Lago Agrio: Brazilian Reporting Judge Denies Recognition of Ecuadoran Judgment
Credit: Julien Gomba (CC BY)

Lago Agrio: Brazilian Reporting Judge Denies Recognition of Ecuadoran Judgment

Details are spotty, but I can report that Justice Luis Felipe Salomão of Brazil’s Superior Court of Justice, has issued an oral opinion refusing to recognize the Lago Agrio plaintiffs’ Ecuadoran judgment. The only information I have about the opinion so far comes from Chevron. Apparently Judge Salomão noted a lack of jurisdiction and also that enforcement would be contrary to the public order because the judgment was based on fraud. This outcome is probably not surprising, given that the LAPs signaled last month that they were abandoning their efforts to enforce the judgment in Brazil.
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Case of the Day: Desiano v. Envision Foods

The case of the day is Desiano v. Envision Foods, Inc. (Mass. Super. Ct. 2017). I love this one. Ralph Desiano had a Florida money judgment for nearly $200,000 against Envision. Desiano’s case against Envision had nothing to do with Massachusetts, and Envision was not subject to general personal jurisdiction here, either. But Envision was a creditor of Cosi, Inc., a Massachusetts corporation. The Cosi debt was, in fact, Envision’s only asset. Cosi owed Desiano $500,000. Desiano sued Envision in Boston on the Florida judgment, and it named Cosi as a reach-and-apply defendant (i.e., he asked the court to order Cosi to pay part of the money it owed to Envison to Desiano instead, in satisfaction of the judgment debt). Envision moved to dismiss on the grounds that the court lacked personal jurisdiction, and Desiano moved for summary judgment.
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Read more about the article Sgt. Bergdahl Pleads Guilty
Credit: US Army

Sgt. Bergdahl Pleads Guilty

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl pleaded guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy at his court-martial yesterday. Apparently the plea came without any agreement with the government, suggesting that Bergdahl is, in effect, throwing himself on the mercy of the military judge (he elected to have his case tried before a judge alone rather than a panel of officers). As you would expect, CAAFlog has expert commentary. I wrote about the case last year mainly because it shared something in common with the Belfast Project case: the defendant had made what amounted to a detailed taped confession to someone other than his lawyer or his priest, namely journalist and film producer Mark Boal; the confession had become publicly known (the tapes of their conversations were at the heart of Season 2 of the Serial podcast); and the government had sought discovery to get hold of the unedited interview tapes.
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