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Hague Service and Evidence Conventions: The US Central Authority’s Unusual Interpretation

A reader wrote in with the following case. He (a Mexican lawyer) asked PFI, the contractor that carries out the day-to-day work of the Department of Justice in its capacity as central authority for the United States under the Hague Service Convention, to serve a summons on a Mexican national in the United States. The summons would require the Mexican national to appear in court in Tijuana to be questioned about a promissory note he had signed. The Mexican proceeding was a “measure preliminary to a lawsuit,” apparently a proceeding in which the plaintiff gathers the evidence that he needs in order to file a lawsuit.
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Case of the Day: In re Berlamont

The case of the day is In re Application of Berlamont (S.D.N.Y. 2014). Franck Berlamont applied for leave to serve a subpoena under § 1782 in order to obtain a transcript of testimony Rajiv Jaitly gave in a deposition in an earlier New York case, Rembaum v. Banco Santander. The deposition had, apparently, taken place in England pursuant to a letter rogatry from the New York court issued under the Hague Evidence Convention. The application was in aid of a Swiss criminal investigation into Manuel Echevarria, a former colleague of Jaitly in Optimal Investment Services. The judge allowed the application.
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