More on Green Development

In In re Green Development Corp. (D. Md. 2016), the district judge affirmed the magistrate judge’s order, which we saw yesterday, denying Green Development Corp.’s § 1782 application.
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Case of the Day: In re Green Development

The case of the day is In re Green Development Corp. (D. Md. 2015). Green Development, a Honduran corporation, was engaged in litigation in the Honduran courts “arising out of its financial and real estate dealings in Honduras.” It had succeeded in the litigation and had a judgment in its favor, which was on appeal before the Honduran Supreme Court. Green claimed that an “unspecified, adverse party” had “engaged in improper, ex parte communications with the Honduran Supreme Court.” In particular, the adverse party had given the Honduran court a copy of an article by Michael McNicholas that contained (according to Green) “outlandish, defamatory claims accusing Green Development’s CEO (Mohammad Yusuf Amdani) and two companies of laundering money in furtherance of international terrorism, smuggling drugs, and even aiding al-Qaeda.” Green brought a § 1782 application seeking production of documents and a deposition of McNicholas in order “to test the factual sufficiency of statements found in the Article” and “to discover information regarding McNicholas’ improper motive.” The purpose, Green claimed, was to submit the discovery to the Honduran Supreme Court in order to “mitigate the adverse effect” of the improper ex parte communication with that court.
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Case of the Day: Goenechea v. Davidoff

The case of the day is Goenechea v. Davidoff (D. Md. 2016). Juan Miguel Goenechea was a Spanish lawyer. He advised Luis Rullan on the purchase of a summer camp in West Virginia. The purchase of the camp was at issue in Rullan v. Goden, a claim Rullan brought against Jill Goden. Goden’s lawyer, Jonathan Marc Davidoff, sent Goenechea and one of his law partners a letter, in which Davidoff “threatened to sue Goenechea and [his law firm,] Uria Menendez and expressed his ‘shock and dismay’ at what he called the ‘fraudulent scheme’ that Goenechea and Uria Menendez ‘assisted Mr. Rullan [to] perpetuate.’ He called Goenechea’s representation of Rullan ‘abhorrent’ for ‘such a distinguished attorney and law firm,’ and ‘unbecoming of those who practice in the United States, or in fact in any jurisdiction in this world.'” Davidoff also sent similar letters to Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and to Ernst & Young, both of which may have had some role in the dispute, though that’s not really clear. With the letters, he included translations of emails between Goenechea and Rullan.

Goenechea claimed that the letters damaged his reputation, and he made a request for conciliation to a court in Madrid. In the conciliation, he sought a “negotiated resolution” of the dispute. He believed that Goden was responsible for obtaining the emails, which were privileged, and he brought a § 1782 application seeking discovery from Goden in aid of the conciliation.
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