Relist Watch: Water Splash v. Menon

I’m interrupting my travel just for a moment to report that the Supreme Court has relisted Water Splash v. Menon, the case we’ve been following on the interpretation of Article 10(a) of the Hague Service Convention, for its conference of December 2. I hope SCOTUSBlog will not frown on my use of the term “relist watch!” We can’t tell from the docket what the relist means, but here are some possibilities, courtesy of SCOTUSBlog’s FAQ:

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Cert. Watch: Water Splash v. Menon

Back in July 2015, I covered Menon v. Water Splash, Inc., 472 S.W.3d 28 (Tex. Ct. App. 2015), a case in which the Texas Court of Appeals held, erroneously and over a strong dissent, that Article 10(a) of the Hague Service Convention does not permit service by mail, because it refers to “sending” rather than “serving” documents. In October 2015, the court denied a petition for rehearing en banc, and in May 2016 the Texas Supreme Court denied review. Water Splash, the plaintiff below, then filed a petition for a writ of certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court. Such petitions, as a general matter, have a very low chance of success, and in many cases, as here, the respondent waives the right to respond. But in September, the Court requested a response, which generally is an indication that there may be some interest on the Court in the issue the petition presents. So it is possible that at long last we will have some closure one way or the other to the saga of Article 10(a) in the US courts. Stay tuned!

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Case of the Day: Menon v. Water Splash

The case of the day is Menon v. Water Splash, Inc. (Tex. Ct. App. 2015). Water Splash, a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in New York, sued Tara Menon, a Canadian national residing in Quebec, in a Texas court. The claim was that Menon had been Water Splash’s regional sales representative and that she had also gone to work for a competitor, South Pool, and had used Water Splash’s designs and drawings when submitting a bid to the city of Galveston, Texas on behalf of South Pool. Water Splash had sought and obtained leave to serve process on Menon by mail and email. After service of process, the case ended in a default judgment. Menon moved to set aside the judgment on the grounds that service was insufficient. The trial court denied her motion, and she appealed.

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