Case of the Day: Zaft v. Golan

The case of the day is Zaft v. Golan (N.D. Fla. 2013). It’s an older case that just came across my screen and is worth a mention. Gidon Zaft, an American, and Yair Golan, an Israeli, were parties to a partnership agreement under which Zaft owned 70% of Royal Moroccan Inc., a Floridan corporation, and Golan owned 30%. The agreement had Florida choice of law and choice of forum agreements, and it provided:

All notices required or permitted under the terms of this Agreement shall be in writing and shall be
deemed to have been properly given and served when sent by overnight, Registered and/or Certified Mail, postage prepaid, returned receipt requested, properly addressed.

Zaft sued Golan on several business tort claims. According to the return of service, a process server personally served the documents on Golan in Israel, at the address specified for notices in the agreement. The court entered Golan’s default when Golan didn’t answer. Golan sought relief from the default on the grounds that he had not been properly served with process.
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Case of the Day: Kim v. Lakeside Adult Family Home

The case of the day is Kim v. Lakeside Adult Family Home (Wash. 2016). This is the appeal of the case of the day from February 20, 2015. Here was my summary of the facts from the prior post:

Ho Im Bae was an inpatient resident of the Lakeside Adult Family Home, a nursing home. She died of a morphine overdose, and her death was ruled a homicide. The personal representative of her estate, Esther Kim, sued several defendants, including a nurse, Christine Thomas. The claim against Thomas was that she was allegedly negligent for failing to report that Bae was being abused, as required under Washington’s mandated reporter law. Thomas, a Norwegian national living in Norway at the time of the lawsuit, moved to dismiss for insufficient service of process. The trial court ruled that the service was proper, but it dismissed the claim on the merits on summary judgment. …

The decision is short on details of Kim’s attempt to effect service. Kim hired a process server, who personally served the documents on Thomas at her residence. It’s unclear whether the process server was a private person or a person with some particular competence under Norwegian law. It’s also unclear what methods of service Norwegian law permits, although the court noted without explanation that the service was “considered due and proper service under the laws of Norway.” Norway is a party to the Hague Service Convention, and it has objected to service under Article 10.

Thomas appealed on the service issue, and the court of appeals affirmed—I opined in the prior post that this was a mistake. Now the case was on appeal to the Washington Supreme Court.
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Case of the Day: Delex, Inc. v. Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Co.

The case of the day is Delex Inc. v. Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Co. (Wash. Ct. App. 2016). Delex’s claim was that it had entered into a three-year lease of office and warehouse space in Seattle from a third party on behalf of Sukhoi, a Russian firm. According to Delex, Sukhoi never paid rent, and Delex surrendered the premises to the landlord within a year, and it sued Sukhoi for breach of contract. It served process by registered mail in Russia and by personal delivery to the head of Sukhoi’s foreign activity legal support department. Sukhoi defaulted, and Delex obtained a default judgment for approximately $327,000. The court issued a writ of execution. The sheriff seized Sukhoi’s property, worth $420,000, which, according to Sukhoi, included “highly sensitive US aircraft technology and components.” Sukhoi then sought relief from the judgment and a stay of the sheriff’s sale. The trial court denied the motions, and Sukhoi appealed.
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