HCCH Publishes Guide to Good Practice on the Use of Video Conferencing under the Evidence Convention

The HCCH has just published its Guide to Good Practice on the use of video-conferencing technology in taking evidence under the Evidence Convention. Of course, the GGP wasn't written from…

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Royal Scandal of the Day: Can Prince Andrew Be Required To Testify?

Back in 2015 I wrote about some unserious attempts by lawyers for an alleged victim of Jeffrey Epstein to get testimony or a statement from Prince Andrew. I commented on the haplessness of the strategy of sending requests to Buckingham Palace and the awesomeness of the letterhead of the alleged victims’ lawyers. Later, I commented on a silly follow-up attempt to send official letters to the British Embassy. (more…)

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Blockchain for Central Authorities?

Burcu YĆ¼ksel and Florian Heindler have published a post on “Use of Blockchain Technology in Cross-Border Legal Cooperation under the Conventions of the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH).” Jan Von Hein reviewed it at Conflict of Laws, and I’m going to review it here. I have a feeling that my post today will be read more than the usual Letters Blogatory post because it has the word “blockchain” in it. #Blockchain. Block. Chain. (more…)

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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: 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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Case of the Day: Nike v. Wu

The case of the day is Nike, Inc. v. Wu (S.D.N.Y. 2018). Nike and Converse, the shoe companies, brought trademark infringement cases against hundreds of online retailers. These actions resulted in a default judgment for $1.8 billion, which perhaps will not turn out to be worth the paper it was printed on. The companies assigned their judgment to Next Investments, LLC. Next Investments caused subpoenas to be issued to Agricultural Bank of China, Bank of China, Bank of Communications, China Construction Bank, China Merchants Bank, and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, seeking information on the judgment debtors’ assets. It’s not clear from the decision how the subpoenas were served, but presumably they were served on the New York branch offices of the Chinese banks, and in any case the banks raised no challenge to the service. The banks’ main claims were that the court lacked personal jurisdiction and that in light of Chinese bank secrecy laws, Next Investments should have been required to make first resort to the Hague Evidence Convention. The magistrate judge denied the banks’ motion to quash, and the banks sought review of the order. (more…)

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Case of the Day: EFG Bank v. AXA Equitable Life

The case of the day is EFG Bank AG, Cayman Branch v. AXA Equitable Life Insurance Co. (S.D.N.Y. 2018). The judge had previously denied a motion by EFG, a Swiss bank, for a protective order that would have required AXA to seek discovery of information located in Switzerland via the Hague Evidence Convention. EFG sought reconsideration.
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Case of the Day: EFG Bank v. AXA Equitable Life

The case of the day is EFG Bank AG, Cayman Branch v. AXA Equitable Life Insurance Co. (S.D.N.Y. 2018). The judge had previously denied a motion by EFG, a Swiss bank, for a protective order that would have required AXA to seek discovery of information located in Switzerland via the Hague Evidence Convention. EFG sought reconsideration.
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Case of the Day: Salt River Project v. Trench France

The case of the day is Salt River Project Agricultural Improvement and Power District v. Trench France SAS (D. Ariz. 2018). The Salt River Project sued Trench France in a case arising out of an explosion at a Salt River power plant. Trench France brought an interesting motion seeking appointment of a commissioner under Chapter 2 of the Hague Evidence Convention, so that all information it produces to Salt River in discovery will be produced under Chapter 2.

The context in which Trench France made its motion is unclear. Were there prior fights in the case about discovery? Did Salt River already seek to make use of Chapter 1? But what makes the motion so unusual is that the French defendant is actively seeking to invoke the Convention, rather than raising it defensively in response to a motion by an American plaintiff seeking to take discovery via the FRCP.
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