Letters Blogatory’s Top Ten Posts for 2013

Scrooge's Third Visitor, by John Leech
And it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God bless Us, Every One!
Merry Christmas! Here’s a list of the top ten most-read posts from Letters Blogatory during 2013. If you missed some of these posts, why not take a look? Of course, the Lago Agrio case is well represented. The Belfast Project itself isn’t represented in the top ten, but one of the ancillary aspects of the Belfast Project fiasco, the war of words between the Irish News and Anthony McIntyre, appears on the list twice. And I’m pleased that a few other posts elbowed their way onto the top-ten list, including an excellent post on Brussels I by Letters Blogatory contributor Pietro Franzina. Here’s the list.

  1. Case of the Day: Changzhou Amec Eastern Tools & Equipment v. Eastern Tools & Equipment, September 3, 2012. I’m not sure why this post shot to the top of this year’s list. The case had some pretty egregious facts and is probably of most interest to those interested in anecdotes about the difficulties of doing business in China.
  2. The Recast of the Brussels I Regulation: Old and New Features of the European Regime on Jurisdiction and the Recognition of Judgments, June 27, 2013, by Pietro Franzina of the late lamented Aldricus blog. Pietro’s post is a great short scholarly commentary on the Brussels I recast that has come in handy for European readers in particular.
  3. Marcus Junius Brutus
    Et tu, Calmbacher Reyes the Huaorani people Burford Capital Stratus Consulting?
    Steven Donziger Has A Fraud Problem, January 11, 2013. This is the first post in which I first noted the extraordinary string of defections from the plaintiffs’ side of the Lago Agrio case that Chevron had been able to orchestrate. This post doesn’t directly accuse Donziger of fraud, though as later posts make clear, I’ve concluded—as has nearly everyone else, I think—that Donziger crossed the line of impropriety in his dealings with the supposedly independent expert, Cabrera.
  4. Wolfgang Neuberger
    The contemnor
    Case of the Day: AngioDynamics v. Biolitec, April 29, 2013. I suspect this case is on the list because of the fascination with Wolfgang Neuberger, who thumbed his nose at a federal judge’s order and may come to regret it.
  5. Noel Doran on the Pensive Quill and Anthony McIntyre, September 30, 2013, by Irish News editor Noel Doran. This post, and post #7, are an exchange between Doran and McIntyre about the over-the-top criticisms of Irish News reporter Allison Morris that appeared on McIntyre’s blog, The Pensive Quill. I’m afraid that 2013 marked the end of the Belfast Project saga, at least for Letters Blogatory’s purposes, barring unforeseen events. And so with these two posts we bid farewell to an interesting drama that unfolded right here in Boston.
  6. Case of the Day: Wultz v. Bank of China, May 15, 2013. Another China case, this time involving an Aerospatiale analysis in the shadow of China’s banking secrecy laws.
  7. Belfast Project: Anthony McIntyre’s Suspension by the National Union of Journalists Reversed, July 31, 2013. See #5.
  8. Randy Mastro
    Lawyer of the Year?
    Maestro Mastro: Chevron’s Legal Team Hits A Home Run, January 28, 2013. This post covered the Guerra Declaration and included an appreciation of the remarkable work of Chevron’s lead outside lawyer, Randy Maestro, who has proved that the best defense is a good offense. In later posts, I’ve expressed deep skepticism about Guerra’s testimony and credibility, but how can you not admire what Mastro has accomplished, from a purely technical point of view?
  9. Lago Agrio: The Beltman Declaration, April 12, 2013. This post covered the remarkable declaration of Stratus VP Douglas Beltman, which I called a “potentially career-ending tale of woe.” I can’t think of another time when an expert witness fell on his sword in such an abject way.
  10. Lago Agrio: A First Look At The Ontario Decision In Yaiguaje, May 2, 2013. This post was a big-picture look at the Ontario Superior Court’s decision staying the Lago Agrio plaintiffs’ recognition and enforcement action in Ontario. It’s been overtaken by events recently, but it still may be worth a read.

And so 2013 draws to a close! I look forward to another year of bringing you news and commentary in the field of international judicial assistance.

Photo Credit: Soerfm.

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