Case of the Day: In re Request for International Judicial Assistance from the Court of First Instance of Macau

The case of the day is In re Request for International Judicial Assistance from the Court of First Instance of the Special Administrative Region of Macau, 2nd Civil Court (N.D. Cal. 2019). A court in Macau made a request to the US Central Authority under the Hague Evidence Convention, seeking aid in obtaining answers to interrogatories from Phillip J. Ferraro. Mr. Ferraro refused to answer the questions voluntarily, and so the government brought an application under § 1782. (more…)

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Case of the Day: Navarro v. Tufesa USA

The case of the day is Navarro v. Tufesa USA LLC (D. Utah 2019). Plasida Navarro, a Mexican national residing in Utah (it brought an action in the Utah state courts aganst Tufesa, an LLC with its principal place of business in Arizona and a “John Doe” defendant, whose citizenship was unknown. Tufesa filed a notice of removal on grounds of diversity. Navarro moved for leave to amend the complaint and to replace the “John Doe” defendant with Abundio Guadalupe Miranda, a Mexican national. Tufesa did not object. But later, the court and the parties discovered that the addition of Miranda destroyed diversity jurisdiction, because there is no diversity jurisdiction when aliens are both plaintiffs and defendants. Navarro moved to remand the case to the state court, but Tufesa resisted the motion on the grounds that Navarro had not effected service of process on Miranda and that her attempts to serve him were insufficient because they were contrary to the Hague Service Convention. (more…)

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Case of the Day: ACL Netherlands BV v. Lynch

The case of the day is ACL Netherlands BV v. Lynch, [2019] EWHC 249. A US grand jury issued a subpoena to Hewlett Packard Enterprises. The subpoena called for HP to produce documents in the possession of direct or indirect subsidiaries in the UK. But those subsidiaries had received the responsive documents in the course of UK litigation, and they were subject to what we would call a protective order allowing them to use the documents only for purposes of the UK litigation, without leave of court. (Unlike in US practice, where protective orders are ad hoc, in English practice there are rules imposing limitations on disclosure that apply more generally). The subsidiaries sought permission from the High Court to produce the documents. (more…)

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Read more about the article Elephant Habeas Case: The NhRP Really, Really Does Not Want To Litigate Happy The Elephant’s Case In The Bronx
Credit: Deror Avi (CC BY-SA)

Elephant Habeas Case: The NhRP Really, Really Does Not Want To Litigate Happy The Elephant’s Case In The Bronx

Happy the Elephant has very strong views about venue for her, ah, quixotic habeas corpus case. As I noted in December, a judge in Orleans County, New York, ordered the case transferred to the Bronx, where Happy lives at the Bronx Zoo. Recently, Happy has filed a motion to reconsider and a motion for leave to appeal. All of the papers are available on the website of the Nonhuman Rights Project. (more…)

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Case of the Day: In re Request for Judicial Assistance from the First Instance Court in Civil and Commercial Matters

The case of the day is In re Request for Judicial Assistance from the First Instance Court in Civil and Commercial Matters No. 12 in Buenos Aires, Argentina (M.D. Fla. 2019). An Argentine court requested judicial assistance from the United States under the Hague Evidence Convention in order to obtain bank account statements for a particular bank account and information about a particular wire transfer. The government decided to execute the request and brought an application under § 1782 for appointment of a commissioner to take the evidence from Merrill Lynch, the bank in question. (more…)

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Read more about the article The Emergency Declaration: It’s About Character
The Father of His Country. Letters Blogatory Wishes Readers a Happy Presidents Day! Credit: Daderot

The Emergency Declaration: It’s About Character

As you no doubt know, President Trump signed an emergency declaration on Friday that, he says, allows him to divert money Congress appropriated for other purposes and use it to pay for his wall on the southern border. I have thoughts about the legality of the declaration, but I am not going to discuss the legalities here. I have thoughts, too about the rationality of the President’s approach, which boil down to this: it is pointless to try to make rational sense of his approach to the wall he wants to build. Leave aside the fact that no serious person thinks that there is a real crisis at the border, at least relative to the past, when levels of illegal immigration were much higher, and leaving aside the self-made crisis the President himself has created through his policies on family separation, refusal to allow aliens to request asylum at ports of entry, etc. If, as the President claims, he has the power to ignore Congress and spend money to build the wall without an appropriation, why was he so insistent on his $5 billion figure that he was willing to shut down the government when Congress refused to appropriate that amount? Why insist on any particular amount if he had the ability and the will to declare an emergency anyway? Nothing President Trump does can be judged through an ordinary lens of rationality.

But this post isn’t about the rationality of the president’s approach, either. Instead, it’s about the politics of it. As many pundits have been saying, Trump is not the first president to declare an emergency. But his act is clearly different in kind from anything that has gone before. What’s going on? (more…)

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Case of the Day: Brown-Thomas v. Hynie

James Brown
Credit: Heinrich Klaffs (CC-BY-SA)

The case of the day is Brown-Thomas v. Hynie (D.S.C. 2019). James Brown, the hardest working man in show business, died leaving a will that made no provision for his wife, Tommie Rae Hynie, or their son, James Brown II, born in 2001. The two challenged the will and also sought statutory rights as the surviving spouse and as heir, respectively. While the proceedings regarding the will were pending, the members of the family who opposed the claims of Hynie and the younger Mr. Brown sued them in the Central District of California on claims under the Copyright Act and for a declaratory judgment. Hynie and Mrspe. Brown Jr. moved to dismiss. Both resided in the United Kingdom, and the plaintiff sought to serve them through a process server. They argued that the service of process was insufficient. (more…)

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Lago Agrio: New York Appellate Court Reverses Referee’s Decision on Collateral Estoppel

Back in November I noted a decision in the disciplinary case against Steven Donziger: the referee who was to decide the sanction Donziger will face had ruled that although Judge Kaplan’s findings of fact had had preclusive effect with respect to the question whether Donziger had violated the rules of professional conduct, the findings should not have preclusive effect with respect to the sanction. In other words, Donziger should be entitled to put on evidence to prove that Judge Kaplan’s findings were wrong at the hearing to be held on his sanction. (more…)

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New Draft Explanatory Report on the Judgments Convention

The HCCH has released a revised draft explanatory report on the Judgments Convention, prepared by Prof. Francisco Garcimartín and Prof. Geneviève Saumier. In the current political climate, it is very difficult to imagine the President, who likes to tear up treaties with abandon, signing let alone ratifying the new Convention when it is promulgated. (more…)

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