Letters Blogatory

The Blog of International Judicial Assistance

Letters Blogatory

The Blog of International Judicial Assistance

Case of the Day: Preble-Rish Haiti S.A. v. Republic of Haiti

The case of the day is Preble-Rish Haiti S.A. v. Republic of Haiti (5th Cir. 2022). Preble-Rish had a contract for delivery of fuel with the Haitian government. When a dispute arose, it demanded arbitration in New York. Haiti refused to participate, and the parties cross-moved to compel and to stay the arbitration in the New York courts. In the meanwhile, the aribitral panel issued an award granting security to PReble-Rish, and Preble-Rish brought a proceeding under Rule B of the Supplemental Rules for Admiralty or Maritime Claims in order to attach prepaid funds in the hands of BB Energy

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Today’s DIScussion On ZF Automotive

I participated in a panel discussion today of the ZF Automotive case at the DIS, the German Arbitration Institute. It was a pleasure to get to exchange ideas with my colleagues on the panel, Derek Adler of Hughes Hubbard & Reed and Barbara Maucher of Noerr. I was assigned the role of explaining reasons why Section 1782 should be read to allow for discovery in aid of private international arbitration. That was, of course, a quixotic assignment in light of the ZF Automotive decision! Nevertheless, I persisted. Here were the considerations I presented (in a slightly different form than I

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Elephant Habeas: San Francisco Judge Sends Case To Fresno

Well that didn’t take long! As predicted, a San Francisco judge has rejected an effort by the Nonhuman Rights Project, a group with no apparent connection with San Francisco, to seek habeas corpus for three elephants, who also have no apparent connection with San Francisco. The case will (barring an appeal, which I’m sorry to say is pretty likely) now be heard in the place where the elephants are kept. The judge’s decision illustrates an absurdity of the petition. Under California procedural law, a habeas corpus petition can be transferred to the county where the “prisoner” is being kept if

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Elephant painting an elephant

Elephant Habeas: Steven Wise Shops for a Forum

What stereotypes come to mind when you think of San Francisco? It’s full of hippies! It has open-air drug markets! It is the home of Star Fleet Academy! Steven Wise and the Nonhuman Rights Project may have had such stereotypes in mind when they filed their latest petition for a writ of habeas corpus for the benefit of three elephants. The elephants are kept at a zoo in Fresno, a city in California’s San Joaquin Valley, and no San Francisco. Donald Trump won 45% of the vote for president in Fresno County in 2020, while he won 12% of the

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Case of the Day: Missouri v. China

The case of the day is Missouri ex rel. Schmitt v. People’s Republic of China (E.D. Mo. 2022). This was my “unmeritorious case of the day” from April 27, 2020, and the subject of my informal Letters Blogatory amicus post in March 2021. The state of Missouri sued the Chinese state, as well as several Chinese government agencies, the Chinese Communist Party, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, asserting that they are liable for damages on account of the COVID pandemic. In the earlier posts, I noted a service of process challenge for Missouri. On the one hand, Missouri claimed

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Case of the Day: Basfar v. Wong

The case of the day is Basfar v. Wong, [2022] UKSC 20. The case is in a genre that is all too common and that I’ve written about before: a foreign diplomat or consul is accused of violating wage and hour laws or other employment laws by a domestic worker, and then he or she asserts an immunity from suit. In a variation on the theme, the diplomat or consul’s government protects its representative by refusing to execute a request for service of process or otherwise shielding him or her from the jurisdiction of the court’s in the domestic worker’s

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