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.
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The case of the day is CenturyTel, Inc. v. Schermerhorn (In re Skyport Global Communications, Inc. (S.D. Tex. 2015). The case was a complicated bankruptcy dispute that I won’t attempt to summarize. One of the parties in an adversary proceeding in the Bankruptcy Court sought to serve a party, Wilson Vukelich LLP, in Canada. Service was effected via the Hague Service Convention, but the Article 6 certificate stated that service had been made by delivering the documents to Wilson Vukelich’s receptionist. The Bankruptcy Court granted Wilson Vukelich’s motion to dismiss for insufficient service of process, and the other party, Schermerhorn, appealed to the District Court.
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The case of the day is Symons International Group, Inc. v. Continental Casualty Co. (S.D. Ind. 2015). Continental Casualty, the third party plaintiff, won a $34.2 million judgment against the third party defendant, Robert Symons, the successor in interest (maybe the heir, or executor—the decision doesn’t make it clear) of G. Gordon Symons. Symons resided in Canada, and it appears that G. Gordon Symons lived in Canada at the time of his death. Symons appealed, but he did not seek a stay or provide a supersedas bond, which means, in federal practice, that Continental was free to try to execute on the judgment pending the appeal. Continental sought discovery in aid of execution from Symons, but Symons did not respond. Meanwhile, Continental brought an action in Ontario, seeking recognition and enforcement of the US judgment, and it sought an order in Canada requiring the probate of G. Gordon Symons’s will. A Canadian court agreed, though Symons objected on the grounds that probate was premature. Symons moved for a protective order in Indiana on the grounds that “it is improper for [Continental] to simultaneously attempt to enforce its judgment in both the United States and Canada.”
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