Case of the Day: Astronics Advanced Electronic Systems v. Lufthansa

The case of the day is Astronics Advanced Electronic Systems Corp. v. Lufthansa Technik AG (9th Cir. 2014). AES sought discovery from Lufthansa in the Western District of Washington. It was particularly interested in obtaining a license agreement between Lufthansa and an unnamed third party. The discovery was in aid of a litigation pending in Mannheim, Germany between AES and Lufthansa. However, AES had previously sought discovery of that document, which is physically located in Germany, from the German court itself, and that court had denied the request on the grounds that the license agreement was irrelevant. The District Court denied the request, and in an easy and clearly correct decision, the Ninth Circuit affirmed, holding that in the circumstances, the District Court had not abused its discretion. AES’s protestation that Lufthansa itself had successfully brought a § 1782 application in connection with the same German proceeding was to no avail—each application gets judged on its own merits.

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