Letters Blogatory

The Blog of International Judicial Assistance

Letters Blogatory

The Blog of International Judicial Assistance

Case of the Day:Chevron Corp. v. Berlinger

It’s a big day at Letters Blogatory—our first appellate Case of the Day! The case is Chevron Corp. v. Berlinger. It arose out of the epic Lago Agrio litigation. You may remember the case as an example of why you should be careful what you wish for: Ecuadorian plaintiffs had filed a class action alleging all kinds of nasty environmental torts against the oil company in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Texaco vigorously argued that the case should be dismissed on forum non conveniens grounds and should instead be litigated in Ecuador. The District

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New Chinese Conflict of Laws Statute

Conflict of Laws.net has posted a new translation of the Statute on the Application of Laws over Foreign-Related Civil Relations of the People’s Republic of China, which goes into effect on April 1, 2011. I was most interested in its provisions on choice of law with regard to IP issues and in arbitration. In the IP arena, the statute provides that the lex loci protectionis governs questions of ownership, content, and infringement, but that the parties may choose the law applicable to a transfer or license of an IP right, and that in the absence of such a choice, the

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Case of the Day: Willis v. Magic Power Co.

The Blogatory case of the day is Willis v. Magic Power Co., a case involving service by mail under the Hague Service Convention. Willis brought a personal injury suit against Magic Power, a Hong Kong company,  in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. She served the complaint by registered mail. Magic Power objected to service by mail. The Court of Common Pleas overruled the objection, and Magic Power then removed the case to the District Court.  Willis moved to remand the case, on the grounds that Magic Power’s notice of removal was untimely (the statute requires that the notice be filed within thirty

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Case of the Day: Netezza Corp. v. Intelligent Integration Systems

We will focus on international judicial assistance here at Letters Blogatory, but in federal countries such as the United States, issues of judicial assistance, comity, the extent of a court’s extraterritorial jurisdiction, and so forth can arise in purely domestic litigation, where some parties or witnesses are located in states other than the forum state. Our case of the day, Netezza Corp. v. Intelligent Integration Sys., Inc., is such a case. IBM, a non-party, was in the process of acquiring Netezza. IIS asserted, in a lawsuit in the Massachusetts Superior Court, that Netezza had misappropriated its trade secrets and disclosed them to

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Blogatory Update

This blog is brand-new, and I’ve been taking a crash course in how WordPress works. I’ll be adding features as I go along. Today’s additions: A Resources page, with links to some useful primary and secondary sources. I will be adding additional resources as I go. A Policies pages, with the fine print. A share this toolbar for each post. In order to see the toolbar, you have to click on the post’s title. The toolbar will appear at the bottom of the page for each post. If you like what you read, please share it on Twitter, Facebook, or

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Arbitral Tribunals as “Tribunals” Under The Judicial Assistance Statute

Prior to 2004, it was fairly clear that arbitral tribunals were not “tribunals” for purposes of the judicial assistance statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1782, and thus that the statute did not authorize the District Courts to compel discovery in aid of foreign arbitrations. But in light of dicta in Intel Corp. v. Advanced Micro Devices, Inc., a 2004 Supreme Court decision, the district courts have divided on the question. Judges in Massachusetts, Delaware, Minnesota, and the Northern District of Georgia have held that arbitral tribunals are tribunals within the meaning of the statute. Judges in the Northern District of Illinois, the

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