Readers, now that the Supreme Court’s October 2014 term is ended—what a term!—it’s time to look ahead to next year. I have not done a very good job of keeping my “International Judicial Assistance at the Supreme Court” page up to date, and maybe like Conley v. Gibson it has earned its retirement. Still, I will of course keep you up to speed on relevant cases in the Supreme Court. Here is the first case that the Court will hear next term that is worth watching for Letters Blogatory readers:

  • OBB Personenverkehr AG v. Sachs. Carol Sachs, a Californian, suffered a personal injury at a train station in Innsbruck, Austria. She was traveling using a Eurail pass she had bought online from a ticket seller in Massachusetts. OBB Personenverkehr is the Austrian rail operator. Sachs sued and invoked the commercial activity exception to foreign sovereign immunity under the FSIA. The two issues in the case are, first, whether the Ninth Circuit was wrong to determine that the ticket seller was the rail operator’s “agent,” for purposes of applying the commercial activity exception, using the common law of agency rather than asking whether the ticket seller was an “agency or instrumentality” of Austria as those terms are used in the definitions section of the FSIA; and second, whether Sachs’s tort claim was based upon the rail operator’s commercial activity in the United States.

I’ll keep my eyes on SCOTUSBlog for new cert. grants, and I’ll try to dig up relevant cert. petitions as well, but no promises on that front.