Of Course I Would Vote For Bernie Sanders

Apologies to those readers who prefer reports about the latest 1782 cases and Hague Service Convention news, but as you can imagine if you read the news, politics is becoming all-consuming here and it’ll stay that way at least through early March. The convention wisdom has it that Sen. Bernie Sanders is now the Democratic frontrunner. He is not my first choice for Democratic nominee. He is not my second, third, fourth, fifth, or sixth choice. For the most part his policies are not my preferred policies, and in some cases I find his views unsettling and very concerning. On the one hand, a Jewish major party nominee would be a real milestone, and Sanders is recognizably Jewish and has views and an outlook characteristic of a recognizable, though somewhat fringe, corner of the Jewish community. I reject the views of those who doubt his Jewish bona fides. On the other hand, his substantive views on Jewish issues are, ironically, atrocious, and his attacks on AIPAC, his use of antisemitic figures as campaign proxies, and the ridiculous and unacceptable behavior of some of his supporters is beyond the pale. (more…)

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Case of the Day: Illumina Cambridge v. Complete Genomics

The case of the day is Illumina Cambridge Ltd. v. Complete Genomics, Inc. (N.D. Cal. 2020). I was counsel to the applicant, Illumina Cambridge. The underlying case was a patent infringement dispute being litigated in the US as well as in several European countries. The court had granted Illumina Cambridge’s ex parte application for issuance of subpoenas under 28 U.S.C. § 1782, and the respondents, Complete Genomics, BGI Americas, and MGI Americas, all affiliates of the BGI Group, a Chinese biotech company, moved to quash the subpoenas. (more…)

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Read more about the article Judge Dismisses Elephant Habeas Petition
Credit: Deror Avi (CC BY-SA)

Judge Dismisses Elephant Habeas Petition

As everyone but Steven Wise and the Nonhuman Rights Project expected, a judge in the Bronx dismissed a habeas corpus petition brought on behalf of Happy the Elephant on the grounds that an elephant is not a person with standing to invoke the writ. Before turning to the decision, I’d like to set the stage by talking about another famous New York City habeas corpus case. (more…)

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Case of the Day: A v. C

The case of the day is A v. C, [2020] EWHC 258 (Comm). The dispute was between joint venturers in a central Asian oil field. The details are unimportant. The claimants demanded arbitration in New York, and the arbitration proceeded to an evidentiary hearing. The tribunal gave permission to the claimants to seek an order from an English court for the taking of evidence from a third party in that country. The interesting jurisdictional question was whether § 44 of the Arbitration Act 1996 gives the court jurisdiction to compel a third party to give evidence. (more…)

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Case of the Day: Chevron v. Donziger

Okay, I admit it, I cannot write about most of what is going on in the Lago Agrio case anymore—it is too depressing. However, there was an interesting ancillary decision recently that I will cover. The case is Chevron Corp. v. Donziger (S.D.N.Y. 2020), and it involves post-judgment third party discovery. Chevron served a subpoena on Patricio Salazar Cordova, an Ecuadoran lawyer, while he was visiting New York City. A persn can be validly served with a subpoena anywhere in the jurisdiction of the United States. But ordinarily under FRCP 45 a subpoena cannot require the recipient to appear or to produce documents more than 100 miles from where he resides, is employed, or regularly transacts business in person. Everyone agreed that Salazar did not have sufficient contacts with New York to come within the 100-mile rule. Chevron made an argument that the geographical limitations didn’t matter since Salazar could produce the documents electronically with the push of a button, but that argument is obviously incorrect and Judge Kaplan rightly rejected it. (more…)

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See Something, Say Something: Letters Blogatory on Trump

If you see something, say something

I am re-upping this post from December 10, 2015, in light of the resignations at the Department of Justice yesterday. What do you think?

Readers abroad, you may not have heard the phrase, “If you see something, say something.” It’s something we here in the U.S. see all the time in public places and on trains and at airports. The idea is that if you see an unattended package on a seat in your train car, let the conductor know. This idea is part of the response to the new threats we face in the post-9/11 world.

I want to put the saying to another use today. We’ve all read about Donald Trump’s recent outrageous statements. (more…)

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Case of the Day: Zanghi v. Ritella

The case of the day is Zanghi v. Ritella (S.D.N.Y. 2020). Francesco Zanghi and Zanghi LLC sued Piergraziano Ritella, Giuseppe Cavallaro, Alessandro Vacca, and Gioia e Vita S.r.L. alleging violations of the securities laws and the RICO Act. “Broadly described, the complaint alleges that defendants defrauded plaintiffs into investing in pizzerias in New York City and Miami.” He served some of the defendants in Italy by FedEx and some by email. The Italian defendants moved to dismiss for insufficient service of process. (more…)

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A Profile In Courage

Mitt Romney
Credit: Gage Skidmore (CC-BY-SA)

As a citizen of Massachusetts and someone who pays attention to politics in the Commonwealth, I’ve had my eyes on Mitt Romney for a long time. After his turn in the private sector and his work with the Salt Lake City Olympics, he had a moderately successful term as governor of Massachusetts in the early 2000s. He was a classic New England Republican, focusing on balancing the budget, enacting what were then thought of as Republican ideas for achieving universal healthcare coverage in the Commonwealth (the basic idea later became known as Obamacare and therefore became anathema to the Republican Party), and appointing technocrats rather than ideologues to head the departments of government. Later, his national political ambitions got the better of him, and he became infinitely malleable in the way that presidential candidates often do. Yes he was a little odd—he would talk about how much he loved “sport,” he took a cross-country trip with the loyal family dog riding in a carrier on top of the car, and he once said, “I’m not suggesting for a moment you don’t have a wonderful and warm relationship with your family and your grandchildren in these open-space areas” that, as Jon Stewart said, ordinary human beings call “parks.” And he was no match for the deeply thoughtful and eloquent Barack Obama in the 2012 election. But no one ever doubted that he was a fundamentally decent and public-spirited person and a good family man.1 (more…)

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