Case of the Day: Continental Transfert Technique v. Nigeria

The case of the day, Continental Transfer Technique v. Nigeria (D.D.C. 2015), is a coda to the case of the day from January 29. The question related to post-judgment discovery the plaintiff sought to take from Nigeria.

Nigeria sought relief from a FRCP 30(b)(6) deposition notice. For non-US readers, under FRCP 30(b)(6), when a party seeks testimony from ” a public or private corporation, a partnership, an association, a governmental agency, or other entity,” it can provide a list of topics on which it seeks testimony. The deponent then has the obligation to designate a witness to testify on its behalf, and the obligation to educate the witness so that he or she can provide whatever relevant information the entity has.

Nigeria made an interesting argument. It’s a foreign sovereign, and it says that FRCP 30(b)(6) does not expressly mention foreign sovereigns. It also claims that any witness it realistically would designate would be entitled to foreign official immunity or diplomatic immunity. The court ordered further briefing on both points. I’m not sure that either strikes me as persuasive, but I’ll continue to follow this and we’ll see what the judge does with it.

About Ted Folkman

Ted Folkman is a shareholder with Murphy & King, a Boston law firm, where he has a complex business litigation practice. He is the author of International Judicial Assistance (MCLE 2d ed. 2016), a nuts-and-bolts guide to international judicial assistance issues, and of the chapter on service of process in the ABA's forthcoming treatise on International Aspects of US Litigation, and he is the publisher of Letters Blogatory, the Web's first blog devoted to international judicial assistance, which the ABA recognized as one of the best 100 legal blogs in 2012, 2014, and 2015.

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