The case of the day is Osei v. Standard Chartered Bank (SDNY 2015). The plaintiff, Akwasi Boakye Osei, alleged that Standard Chartered Bank and Standard Chartered Bank Ghana Ltd. wrongfully dishonored several checks, causing him to suffer an injury. He sued in the High Court in Ghana, claiming breach of contract, conspiracy, and defamation and seeking more than $40 billion (!) in damages. He claims to have won a judgment of $14 million in Ghana, and he sought recognition in New York and other relief.
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The case of the day is Kuznetsov v. Kuznetsova (N.Y. App. Div. 2015). The husband and wife were married in Russia in 1991. In 2003, the husband obtained an ex parte judgment of divorce from a Russian court. In 2007, the husband then sought a divorce, and other relief, in Kings County, New York. The wife sought a declaration that the Russian divorce was valid and that the parties’ 2002 separation agreement was also valid. The husband sought a declaration that both were invalid. The judge ruled in favor of the wife, and the husband appealed.
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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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