Letters Blogatory

The Blog of International Judicial Assistance

Letters Blogatory

The Blog of International Judicial Assistance

Case of the Day: US v. Vaello Madero

It was a busy day at the Supreme Court yesterday. You probably logged on expecting to read about the Cassirer case, and I’ll try to get a post up about it next week. But over time, I have covered some of the First Circuit’s Puerto Rico status cases, so I wanted to comment on US v. Vaello Madero, an 8-1 opinion yesterday by Justice Kavanaugh. The question in the case was whether under the Equal Protection Clause, Congress had to make Supplemental Security Income benefits available to Puerto Ricans. SSI is. the federal government’s program for low-income senior citizens. The

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Thoughts on the Bill on Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Harassment Claims

In February, Congress passed the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act of 2021. The new law amends the Federal Arbitration Act to forbid employers from requiring employees to agree to arbitrate sexual assault or sexual harassment claims under federal, state, or tribal law. I wanted to comment on the bill generally, and then raise a specific concern about it in the international context. First, what do I think about the law from the perspective of an arbitrator? I do not serve as arbitrator in employment law cases, though I do serve I commercial and consumer cases,

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Case of the Day: Hulley Enterprises v. Russian Federation

The case of the day is Hulley Enterprises, Ltd. v. Russian Federation (D.D.C. 2022). It involves the $50 billion arbitral award that shareholders in Yukos Oil Co. obtained against Russia in 2014 after alleging, in an arbitration in the Netherlands, that Russia had violated the Energy Charter Treaty by measures intended to “bankrupt Yukos, appropriate the company’s assets, and silence the company’s head, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, due to Khodorkovsky’s support for political parties opposed to President Vladimir Putin and the company’s proposed integration with Western oil interests.” Russia moved to set aside he award in the District Court of the Hague

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Paul Revere

Case of the Day: Ganpat v. Eastern Pacific Shipping

The case of the day is Ganpat v. Eastern Pacific Shipping Pte. Ltd. (E.D. La. 2022). I love this case. Kholkar Ganpat, an Indian national, was a seaman on the M/V Stargate, a ship operated by Eastern Pacific Singapore, a Singapore company. The vessel had traveled from Savannah, Georgia to Gabon, and then to Brazil. Ganpat alleged that he had contracted malaria in Gabon, a region with high malaria risk, and had begun to suffer symptoms on the high seas on the way to Brazil, where he was hospitalized and later repatriated to India. He alleged that Eastern Pacific had

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Case of the Day: Sinox Co. v. Yifeng Manufacturing Co.

The case of the day is Sinox Co. v. Yifeng Manufacturing Co. (W.D. Tex. 2022). In light of my recent post on service by electronic means at the Transnational Litigation Blog, which dealt with prospects for addressing the tension between the Service Convention and current practice in the US courts, I thought I would use today’s case as a vehicle to summarize my thoughts about service by email generally. Today’s case is pretty typical. Sinox sued two Chinese companies, Yifeng and Shenzhen Yuandaoyuan Industrial Co., for patent infringement. It made several efforts, all facially improper, to serve process. Its effort

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Case of the Day: CDM Smith v. Atasi

The case of the day is CDM Smith, Inc. v. Atasi (D. Mass. 2022). CDM is a Massachusetts engineering and construction firm. Khalil Atasi was a senior vice president who managed the company’s operations in Saudi Arabia. Although he was an employee at will, in order to obtain permission to work in Saudi Arabia, he had to have a written employment contract. One was prepared, and among other things, it had an agreement on choice of forum designating the Saudi Labor Committee as the tribunal to decide employment disputes. CDM terminated Atasi’s employment, and Atasi brought a claim before the

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