Publication of the Day: The HCCH Service Convention in the Era of Electronic and Information Technology

The Hague Conference on Private International Law has just published The HCCH Service Convention in the Era of Electronic and Information Technology, a set of papers stemming from the HCCH a|Bridged 2019 conference held almost a year ago. I was one of the speakers, and my paper on Email as a Secure Means of Transmission under the HCCH Service Convention is the first paper in the collection. (more…)

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Case to Watch: Aljabri v. Bin Salman

I’m keeping an eye on Aljabri v. Bin Salman, a blockbuster complaint brought by Dr. Saad Aljabri, who claims that the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohamed Bin Salman, is trying to have him killed. The complaint alleges that after he fled from Saudi Arabia, Dr. Aljabri received a Whatsapp message from the Crown Prince demanding that he return immediately. So it seems that Dr. Ajabri has the Crown Prince’s Whatsapp number. So perhaps it’s not surprising that he has purported to serve process on him via Whatsapp. Saudi Arabia is not a party to the Hague Service Convention, so if the court has authorized it, the service probably complies with US law. Curiously, the docket does not seem to show a motion for leave to serve by alternate means under FRCP 4(f)(3), though there are several documents filed under seal, and I suspect one of them is a motion for leave to serve by alternate means. (more…)

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Case of the Day: Gyger v. Clement

The case of the day is Gyger v. Clement (N.C. 2020). The mother and the father were unmarried and had had a romantic relationship in North Carolina. They had two children, both born in Switzerland. In 2007, the mother brought an action in a Swiss court to establish paternity, and for child support. The Swiss court entered a default judgment against the father, and the Swiss central authority registered the Swiss order with the North Carolina Office of Child Support and Enforcement. The father sought to vacate the registered order on the grounds that the father had not been served in the Swiss proceedings. The mother sought relief and submitted an affidavit, but the court denied the motion. I assume that if the court had credited the mother’s affidavit, she would have prevailed, but the court excluded the affidavit from evidence because it had not been sworn before a notary. The mother appealed, and the intermediate appellate court affirmed. The mother then sought review in the North Carolina Supreme Court. (more…)

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Case of the Day: In re Newbrook Shipping

The case of the day is In re Newbrook Shipping Corp. (D. Md. 2020). Nardella Corp., a Nevis company, obtained an order from a South African court to arrest the M/V Falcon Traveller to provide security for a claim in an arbitration in Singapore regarding the arrest of another vessel, the M/V Falcon Carrier.. Newbrook challenged the arrest, and the South African court set it aside on the grounds that the Falcon Traveller was not associated with the Falcon Carrier, even though Nadella had acted in good faith. Later, Newbrook obtained a similar order in South Africa to arrest the M/V Falcon Confidence, and Falcon Confidence Shipping sought to set the arrest aside. The court denied that motion.

Newbrook and Falcon Confidence Shipping then brought a § 1782 application to seek evidence GMS, a Maryland company alleged to be Nadella’s registered agent, and Anil F. Sharma, alleged to own Nadella. They wanted to get evidence about Nadella’s claims in South Africa that the Falcon Traveller and the Falcon Confidence and about Nadella’s corporate structure.

The court granted the ex parte application. GMS then moved to strike service, quash the subpoenas, and dismiss the action. (more…)

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Case of the Day: US v. Halkbank

The case of the day is United States v. Türkiye Halk Bankasi A.S. (S.D.N.Y. 2020). The government alleged that Halkbank conspired to help Iran evade US sanctions and to use Iranian money held in the bank to engage in transactions in the US banking system. The indictment included charges for conspiracy, bank fraud, and money laundering. Halkbank is an instrumentality of the Turkish state, and it sought dismissal of the indictment on the grounds that under the FSIA the court lacked jurisdiction. (more…)

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Case of the Day: Banca Pueyo v. Lone Star Fund IX

The case of the day is Banca Pueyo S.A. V. Lone Star Fund IX (US), LP (5th Cir. 2020). The case addresses an important point about § 1782 procedure, namely, when a decision is sufficiently final to permit an appeal. I preface the discussion by saying that if you find yourself in a § 1782 appeal, you’re probably not where you want to be. If you’re the applicant appealing, the time available in the foreign proceeding for offering evidence may be short enough that an appeal can’t give you effective relief. If you’re the respondent appealing, you probably need to make a pretty good showing in order to get a discovery order stayed pending appeal. As in any other litigation, the time and expense are good reasons to work out as much as you can with your adversary. (more…)

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