Case of the Day: Freedom Watch v. OPEC

Today’s case of the day, Freedom Watch v. OPEC (D.C. Cir. 2016), is, most likely, the last installment in this long-running service of process dispute. I have covered the case several times before. Here once again is my description of the facts:

Freedom Watch, a right-wing organization that accuses the “Obama-Clinton regime” of “using the economic crisis as an excuse to turn our nation into a socialist Euro-style welfare state,” sued OPEC on antitrust theories. I am going to go out on a limb here and guess that its claims lacked merit. OPEC moved to dismiss for insufficient service of process. According to OPEC’s motion to dismiss, “Plaintiff’s counsel, Mr. Larry Klayman, personally handed an envelope containing a summons, the complaint and other documents, all in English, to an Austrian police officer (not an employee of OPEC) who was present at the reception desk in the lobby of OPEC’s headquarters in Vienna.” On the other hand, according to the return of service, filed after the motion to dismiss, Courtney Butcher of Beverly Hills, California served the summons at OPEC headquarters on Frederich Luger, “intake officer of OPEC,” who supposedly was designated by law to accept service of process on OPEC.

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Merrick Garland on International Issues

Merrick Garland
Mazal tov, Judge Garland! Credit: The White House
Today the President nominated Merrick Garland, chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, to be a Justice of the Supreme Court. Tom Goldstein previously reviewed some of Judge Garland’s decisions, but his post dates from 2010, and anyway, it doesn’t focus on Letters Blogatory’s issues. So here is a brief overview of decisions that may give some insight into Judge Garland’s views on matters of importance to us. I’ve looked only at decisions that Judge Garland wrote and that would have been within the Letters Blogatory scope of coverage had they been written after the blog’s inception in 2011, not cases where he was on the panel but didn’t write the decision.
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Case of the Day: Chevron v. Ecuador

The case of the day is Chevron Corp. v. Republic of Ecuador (D.C. Cir. 2015). Today’s decision doesn’t relate to the main Lago Agrio case or the BIT arbitration related to the Lago Agrio case. It relates instead to another BIT arbitration in which Chevron claimed it had suffered damages on account of undue delay in the settlement of lawsuits TexPet (of which Chevron was a shareholder) had brought against Ecuador in the early 1990s. The arbitration resulted in a $96 million awared in Chevron’s favor. I’ve written about the case a few times before:

  • My post on the Dutch first instance decision refusing to vacate the award.
  • A post on Chevron’s motion to confirm in Washington.
  • My post on the decision confirming the award. This is the decision that was on appeal in today’s case.
  • My post on the Dutch Supreme Court decision.

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