Case of the Day: Vanleeuwen v. Keyuan Petrochemicals

The case of the day is Vanleeuwen v. Keyuan Petrochemicals, Inc. (C.D. Cal. 2012). Neil Vanleeuwen and Rodney Omanoff brought a class action against Keyuan Petrochemicals and Chung-feng Tao, its chairman, president, CEO, and director, for violations of the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The plaintiffs sought leave to serve process on Tao, who resides in China, by serving Keyuan’s registered agent or lawyer in the United States.

The judge noted the difficulties the plaintiffs had had with service of process in China, particularly in light of the stay of discovery in securities cases (they had been unable to obtain Tao’s address), and he correctly noted that because the service was to be effected in the United States, the Hague Service Convention was inapplicable. Last, the judge found that the service would satisfy due process as Tao was an officer and director of Keyuan. Easy case.

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