Digest: January 16, 2011

Gannon Int’l, Ltd. v. Blocker, Civ. A. No. 10-835 (E.D. Mo. Jan. 13, 2011). The court approved service of a summons and complaint by personal delivery to a U.S. citizen defendant in Vietnam (not a party to the Hague Service Convention) under Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(f)(2)(C)(i), on the grounds that Vietnam law does not prohibit service of process by personal delivery.

MeadWestvaco Corp. v. Rexam plc, Civ. A. No. 10-511 (E.D. Va. Dec. 14, 2010). The court granted a motion to compel discovery from French defendants under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, over an objection that in light of the French blocking statute, the plaintiff should have been required to make first resort to the Hague Evidence Convention. Of course, under Aérospatiale, there is no black-letter rule requiring first resort to the Convention. Applying the multi-factor test suggested in Aérospatiale, the court found that there was no issue of undue burden as the parties had agreed on the scope of the discovery requests; the defendants had failed to show that the discovery would compromise French sovereignty; and the Convention procedures would be more cumbersome and complex than the ordinary procedures under the Rules of Civil Procedure.

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