Case of the Day: United States ex rel. UXB International v. 77 Insaat & Taahut A.S.

The case of the day is United States ex rel. UXB International, Inc. v. 77 Insaat & Taahut A.S. (W.D. Va. 2015). UXB brought a qui tam action on behalf of the United States against 77 Construction Co., an Afghan corporation, and 77 Group Co., an Iraqi corporation. UXB sought leave to serve process on both defendants by email via the Afghan company’s US lawyer.

The court granted the motion. Neither Afghanistan nor Iraq is a party to the Hague Service Convention, so there was no issue about the permissibility of service by email under the Convention. The judge followed the majority of cases and authorized such service even though FRCP 4(f) applies only to service “at a place not within any judicial district of the United States.” There was no discussion of the point, but in light of the handful of cases raising the issue, I expect one day soon to begin to see courts on the other side of the issue feel the need to explain their reasoning.

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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