Digest for February 23, 2011

Pearl Seas Cruises, LLC v. Irving Shipbuilding Inc., 2011 WL 577333 (D. Conn.).  In an arbitration between Connecticut business registered in Marshall Islands (Pearl Sea Cruises LLC) and a Canadian shipbuilder, the arbitration panel issued a partial decision, leaving issues of regulatory compliance and damages for later proceedings.  Pearl Sea Cruises petitioned to vacate in the district court.  The court found that sufficient minimum contacts to create personal jurisdiction over the Canadian shipbuilder arose from the contract at issue having been pitched and negotiated in Connecticut.  However, the court went on to dismiss the action, finding that it could not review the arbitration panel’s interlocutory decision because it did not address a “wholly separable claim,” because the parties had not explicitly agreed to seek bifurcation of liability and damages, and because the court could not discern any “imminent hardship absent judicial” review to Pearl Sea Cruises.

Trusz v. UBS Realty Investors, LLC, 2011 WL 577331 (D. Conn.).  Plaintiff sought to take the depositions of three high-level Swiss-national executives from Defendant’s London office in Hartford, Connecticut and according to the procedural requirements of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.  Defendant objected that only one of the deponents possessed potentially relevant information and argued that the depositions, if any, should take place in London according to the procedural requirements of the Hague Convention (or, if in the United States, at least in New York instead of Hartford).  The Magistrate split the difference, permitting the deposition of one of the three executives, but ordering that it take place in the United States (in New York or Fairfield County, Connecticut) on Plaintiff’s dime (i.e., Plaintiff was responsible for the deponent’s reasonable costs for transportation, lodging, etc.) – reasoning in part that “proceeding under the Hague Convention would unnecessarily delay discovery” and that, quoting Schindler Elevator Corp. v. Otis Elevator Co., 657 F. Supp. 2d 525, 527-28 (D.N.J. 2009), “utilization of Hague procedures are slow and cumbersome and usually take far longer than discovery procedures under the Federal Rules.”

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