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Digest for January 26, 2011

We have a little catching up to do, so here is a digest of a couple of recent cases that are probably not going to get top billing as cases of the day.

In re Application of Inversiones y Gasolinera Petroleos Venezuela, Civ. A. No. 08-20378 (S.D. Fla. Jan. 19, 2011). Like Chevron Corp. v. Berlinger, the case of the day from January 14, Inversiones y Gasolinera features all the ingredients of a great story: a North American oil company, a South American criminal investigation, and a request to a U.S. court for judicial assistance. Interesting holdings: (1) a corporation is “found” in a district, for purposes of the judicial assistance statute, even if it is neither incorporated nor headquartered there, as long as it undertakes “systematic and continuous local activities” there; and (2) a private citizen undertaking a criminal investigation that has not yet resulted in a formal accusation can satisfy the requirement that the discovery be for use in a “proceeding” as long as the criminal case is within reasonable contemplation.

Milliken & Co. v. Bank of China, Civ. A. No. 09-6123 (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 6, 2010). A party to a civil action is required to comply with the automatic disclosure requirements of Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(a)(1) even if it would not be required to respond to discovery requests propounded by the adverse party under an Aérospatiale analysis. (Note that the linked opinion is a magistrate judge’s decision dated August 2010. The Dec. 6 decision was the district judge’s ruling on objection to the magistrate judge’s rulings).