Letters Blogatory

The Blog of International Judicial Assistance | By Ted Folkman of Folkman LLC

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Tenth Anniversary Post: Melissa Kucinski on the Future of IJA—Family Law Edition

Posted on January 18, 2021

I am truly honored to write this guest blog post celebrating the anniversary of Letters Blogatory. Ted asked that I provide my thoughts on the future of international judicial assistance in the field of family law. I struggled writing this blog post, because nearly every family lawyer would immediately ask, “what is international judicial assistance?”

Family law is one of the best examples of a purely domestic legal practice. Outcomes are achieved in local courts and focus heavily on the family’s local experiences. U.S. family court jurisdiction is typically based on a family member’s local connections. For most family lawyers, when a client from another country walks in our door, it is exciting and exotic… and way above our paygrade. Perhaps I am exaggerating. There have always been clients who have connections to other countries, but I truly envision this growing over the next ten years. COVID has caused many of us to realize the importance of spending time with our families and has us missing time with those in our family who are far from us. It has also shown us that we can work from virtually anywhere and remain connected to colleagues and friends no matter where we sit. I anticipate many more of these international, and domestic, families will seek out opportunities overseas and more routinely travel to spend time with loved ones in far corners of the globe. Coupled with a new administration in Washington, D.C., we may see changing immigration policies, and more movement across our U.S. border. This mobility and multi-jurisdictional lifestyle will complicate the domestic family law practice. It will demonstrate the increasing need for domestic lawyers to seek out education and resources around issues of international judicial assistance. It will create a venue for platforms, like Letters Blogatory, to expand and reach lawyers who have never anticipated needing to know how to serve a litigant in a foreign country, depose a witness overseas, or authenticate a foreign public document for their trial.

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Tenth Anniversary Post: Steven Loble on the Future of IJA

Posted on January 14, 2021

I would like to thank Ted for the opportunity to contribute to Letters Blogatory. I admire Ted for his hard work, dedication, and discipline in producing quality and topical writings. It is not easy to write so regularly.

International judicial assistance is a huge topic, so I have chosen to deal with just one aspect in this post – obtaining evidence for proceedings in other jurisdictions and what it may be like in 10 years’ time.

As an English lawyer, this is an interesting time. Brexit just happened. The effects are still happening. The Transition Period has just ended, so there will, no doubt, be litigation as whether something happened or is covered by pre-Brexit, transition or post-Brexit rules.

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Tenth Anniversary Post: Peter Bert on the Future of IJA

Posted on January 13, 2021

Ted’s invitation to share some thoughts about the future of international judicial assistance (IJA) comes at a time when I experience, for the first time, a step backwards in that field: The Brexit Deal between the European Union and the United Kingdom, which in my view is a “sectoral hard Brexit” for civil judicial assistance.

Ever since I attended law school, international judicial assistance progressed in scope and territorial reach, primarily within Europe: The European Union was on a path towards deeper integration on all levels, including the IJA regime: Starting with the Brussels Convention, moving on to the Brussels Regulation and then to Brussels Recast with automatic recognition of judgments.

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