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Case of the Day: Grupo Mexico v. SAS Asset Recovery

The case of the day is Grupo Mexico SAB de CV v. SAS Asset Recovery, Ltd. (5th Cir. 2016). This was a § 1782 case with an unusual twist. Grupo Mexico was involved in litigation in Mexico and sought discovery from SAS, which had offices in Dallas. After the district court granted the ex parte application (which included, as a necessary finding, that SAS was “found” in the Northern District of Texas), SAS evaded service of process in Dallas, leading Grupo Mexico ultimately to serve the subpoena on its registered agent in the Cayman Islands, via the Hague Service Convention. Grupo Mexico then moved to quash, arguing that the service was improper because it failed to comply with Cayman law, and also that the court lacked personal jurisdiction. The judge denied the motion, in part on the grounds that SAS had waived objections to service and the jurisdiction by failing to object timely to the subpoena. SAS appealed.
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Case of the Day: DeJoria v. Maghreb Petroleum Exploration

The case of the day is DeJoria v. Maghreb Petroleum Exploration, S.A. (5th Cir. 2015). This is the appeal of the case of the day from September 4, 2014. I won’t repeat the facts from the prior post: the question in the case was whether a Moroccan judgment should be recognized, and in particular whether Morocco provides impartial tribunals and procedures compatible with the requirements of due process of law.
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Case of the Day: Derr v. Swarek

The case of the day is Derr v. Swarek (5th Cir. 2014). This was the appeal of the case of the day from Sept. 12, 2013. The basic facts: Thomas L. Swarek and Thomas A. Swarek sued Herman Derr in the Issqquena County, Mississippi chancery court seeking specific performance of a purchase and sale agreement and damages. Derr, who resided in Germany, moved to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. He died while the case was pending, and his estate was substituted as defendant. The case was stayed while the parties fought about whether it belonged in the chancery court or in the circuit court. While the litigation was stayed, Derr’s heirs filed a lawsuit in a German court seeking a declaratory judgment on the contract claim. Swarek sought to substitute the heirs for the estate as parties in the Mississippi action, but the Swareks then voluntarily dismissed their claims with prejudice before the substitution. Ultimately the German courts decided that the Derr heirs were entitled to their declaratory judgment even though the Swareks (it would seem) had mooted the suit by dismissing their own claims with prejudice. (According to the German court, the dismissal was a “unilateral statement” that did not extinguish the Derr’s claims under German law). The German court awarded costs in the amount of $300,000 (!), and the Derrs sought recognition of the judgment for costs in Mississippi. As we saw in the earlier case, the district court refused recognition of the judgment, and the Derrs appealed.
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