The case of the day is AVR Communications, Ltd. v. American Hearing Systems, Inc. (Minn. Ct. App. 2005). American Hearing Systems, a Minnesota firm in the hearing aid business, got into a contract dispute with AVR, an Israeli firm. In 2007, AVR commenced an arbitration against AHS in Israel that resulted in an award in favor of AVR for $2.675 million in damages and ₪ 1 million in fees and expenses. In other words, the award was partly denominated in dollars and partly in shekels. In 2014, the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota confirmed the award. Its judgment required payment of a portion of the judgment in shekels, just as the award had. AVR then sought to register the federal judgment in the Minnesota state district court. The decision said AVR did this “so [it] could begin collection proceedings.” Of course, registration of the federal judgment in the state courts was hardly necessary—the federal courts have ample remedies for judgment creditors, and indeed, FRCP 69 incorporates the remedies the judgment creditor would have in the state courts.
In any event, the state district court refused to enter a judgment denominated in both dollars and shekels. Instead, it entered a judgment denominated in dollars only, at a particular conversion rate. AHS appealed.
Continue reading Case of the Day: AVR Communications v. American Hearing Systems
A final update on the recent DC Circuit decision: the Donziger camp has confirmed to me that the Ecuadoran court order, mentioned in my second post on the case, is still in effect. Thus Ecuadoran law apparently requires the Ecuadoran government to pay the award to the Lago Agrio plaintiffs rather than to Chevron. However, the Donziger folks also tell me that no money can be paid under Ecuadoran law until the National Assembly takes certain steps. (This is sensible and familiar, as US law requires an appropriation before money can be spent from the treasury). I am guessing there will be quite a long delay (and maybe a petition for a rehearing en banc or a petition to the Supreme Court, as suggested in a recent statement from the Ecuadoran attorney general) while the Ecuadoran government figures out what it wants to do, because it is in a pickle.
Continue reading Lago Agrio: One Last Post On The DC Circuit Decision
The case of the day is Commissions Import Export, S.A. v. Republic of the Congo (D.D.C. 2015). I’ve written about this case twice before, once in the D.D.C. and once in the D.C. Circuit. In the previous case, the question was: when a party to a foreign arbitration has obtained a judgment confirming the award from a foreign court and then seeks recognition and enforcement of the foreign judgment rather than of the award in a US court, does the statute of limitations in § 207 of the FAA preempts any longer statute of limitations available under state law governing the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments? The D.C. Circuit said no, and so the case was back in the district court on remand to consider the merits of Commisimpex’s claim for recognition and enforcement of the foreign judgment.
Continue reading Case of the Day: Commissions Import Export v. Republic of the Congo