Case of the Day: In re Application of Gazprom

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The case of the day is In re Gazprom Latin America Servicios, CA (S.D. Tex. 2016). Gazprom Latin America, a Venezuela company, brought a § 1782 application seeking discovery from Jean-Marc Pivert. The court granted the application ex parte, and then moved to compel and for contempt. Privert then moved to vacate the original order.

The main issue in the case was whether Privert resided or was found in Texas, as the statute requires. “Found” has been construed to permit tag service, see, e.g., In re Application of Edelman, 295 F.3d 171 (2nd Cir. 2002), but Privert was not personally served in Texas. Privert owned a home in Texas but claimed that he resided in Venezuela. Gazprom argued that Privert’s argument was really an argument about domicile, not about residency. The court noted some fuzziness about the definition of residency (as opposed to domicile, which is a fairly well-defined term), but since Privert had lived in Venezula for years and had not been in Texas, except for a temporary visit, since 2013, he could not be considered a resident.

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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