The case of the day is Alberta Securities Commission v. Ryckman (Del. Super. Ct. 2015). In 1996, the Alberta Securities Commission, following a hearing, found that Lawrence G. Ryckman, the chairman and director of Westgroup, had violated Alberta securities laws by participating in a “complex scheme that created a false and misleading appearance of trading designed to deceive investors to trade at artificial prices.” The administrative decision imposed nearly $500,000 in costs. The Commission obtained a judgment in Canada against Ryckman on the basis of the administrative decision.
Ryckman moved from Canada to Arizona in 1997. The Commission obtained an Arizona judgment against Ryckman in an action in an Arizona Superior Court, which was affirmed on appeal. It then sought to enforce the Arizona judgment in Delaware under the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act, the law in force in most states under which states grant full faith and credit to sister-state judgments. It was undisputed that the Commission would not have been able to obtain recognition of the Alberta judgment directly in Delaware, for two reasons. First, the statute of limitations under Delaware law had expired; and second, Delaware law (the UFCMJRA) does not provide for recognition and enforcement of foreign money judgments to the extent the judgment is for a fine or other penalty.
Continue reading Case of the Day: Alberta Securities Commission v. Ryckman
The case of the day is BBK Tobacco & Foods LLP v. Juicy eJuice (D. Ariz. 2014). The plaintiff, which sold the liquid used to create vapor in electronic cigarettes, owned registered trademarks including JUICY JAYS and JUICY DROPS. It sued 1673030 Alberta, Inc., which, it alleged, sold electronic “smoking devices” and the liquids under the mark JUICY ESTICK, for trademark infringement.
Continue reading Case of the Day: BBK Tobacco & Foods v. Juicy eJuice
The case of the day is Thompson v. Doel (N.D. Cal. 2013). Denise Thompson, plaintiff in an Alberta defamation action, sought leave under 28 U.S.C. § 1782 to serve a subpoena on Google. The claim was that someone had used a Gmail email address to send Thompson’s employer defamatory statements about her. The proposed subpoena sought documents sufficient to identify the names, physical addresses, email address, and media access control address of the owners of the Gmail account.
The judge undertook a simple Intel analysis and found that all of the factors weighed in favor of issuance of the subpoena. Notably, he cited Alberta authority showing that the courts in Alberta will grant document production requests if “necessary to identify wrongdoers.” Thus there was no attempt to circumvent foreign proof-gathering restrictions (though even if Alberta did not allow such discovery, it wouldn’t follow that a § 1782 request seeking such information from Google would be deemed an attempt at evasion).
It’s worth pointing out that because the proposed subpoena did not seek the content of any emails, there was no issue under the Stored Communications Act, which generally precludes subpoenas in civil actions that seek the contents of communications stored on the servers of a provider such as Google.