International Judicial Assistance at the Supreme Court

Here is a page that brings together Letters Blogatory’s coverage of international judicial assistance at the Supreme Court.

Decided Cases

  • Chafin v. Chafin. The Court held that the return of a child to the country of his habitual residence under the Hague Child Abduction Convention does not moot an appeal from the decision ordering the child’s return. There had been a circuit split on this question, with the First, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Eighth, and Tenth Circuits rejecting the mootness argument and the Sixth and Eleventh Circuits adopting it.

Petitions for Certiorari Granted

  • DaimlerChrysler v. Bauman. The question is whether DaimlerChrysler was subject to general personal jursidiction in California because its subsidiary, Mercedes Benz USA, was subject to general jursidiction there and was its agent for service of process. The case was argued on October 15, 2013.
  • Lozano v. Alvarez. The question is whether the time limit on raising, as a defense to a petition for the return of a child under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, the argument that the child is now settled in the United States should be tolled until the parent seeking the child’s return was reasonably able to discover the child’s whereabouts, and whether the other parent’s immigration status in the United States could preclude a finding that the child was settled in the United States.
  • BG Group v. Argentina. The question is whether an arbitral tribunal had jurisdiction to decide on arbitrability where, under the relevant investment treaty, a dispute did not become arbitrable until the investor had proceeded in the state’s own courts and there was a question about whether the right to demand arbitration had been triggered.
  • Republic of Argentina v. NML Capital. The Second Circuit held that a judgment creditor of Argentina could take generalized asset discovery from third parties under FRCP 69 without offending Argentina’s sovereign immunity under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. This is contrary to Rubin v. Iran, 637 F.3d 783 (7th Cir. 2011), cert. denied, 80 USLW 3240 (2012), setting up a true circuit split. Argentina unsuccessfully sought a rehearing en banc.

Petitions for Certiorari Pending

  • Arab Bank v. Linde. The question is whether a US discovery order that requires a foreign defendant to violate a foreign banking secrecy law violates principles of comity.

Cert. Watch!

None right now!

Petitions Denied

  • Rubin v. Iran. The Seventh Circuit held that because a foreign state’s property is presumptively immune from execution, a judgment creditor cannot obtain generalized post-judgment asset discovery.
  • Chevron Corp. v. Naranjo. The Second Circuit held that a judgment debtor on a foreign judgment could not seek a declaration that the judgment was not entitled to recognition or enforcement under the Uniform Foreign Country Money-Judgment Recognition Act. This is an unintuitive reading of the Declaratory Judgment Act on an important issue of first impression. The ruling arguably conflicts with the way other courts have generally construed the Act, though the lack of an apparent realistic prospect that the judgment creditors intend to seek recognition and enforcement in the United States raises a real issue of justiciability. I have discussed the petition here. The case was discussed at the justices’ conference on September 24, 2012 and again on October 5. The Court denied the petition on October 9.
  • Thai-Lao Lignite (Thailand) Co. v. Laos. The Second Circuit held that in an action to confirm an arbitration award, the court must defer to the tribunal’s decision about its own jurisdiction if the parties agreed to arbitrate under rules that give the tribunal the power to rule on its own jurisdiction. The Lao government, represented by Professor George Berman, unsuccessfully sought a rehearing en banc, claiming that the panel’s decision was inconsistent with the Restatement of the U.S. Law of International Commercial Arbitration and with international practice. The Court denied Laos’s petition on February 25, 2013.
  • Moloney v. United States. This was Ed Moloney and Anthony McIntyre’s petition for review of the First Circuit decision rejecting their First Amendment and MLAT-based arguments against enforcement of the subpoena issued to Boston College on the UK authorities’ behalf. Justice Breyer has granted a stay pending a decision on the petition. Here are my comments on the government’s opposition to the petition and links to briefs filed by several amici curiae in support of Moloney & McIntyre. The Court denied the petition on April 15, 2013. I have an extensive archive of coverage of this case.

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