Tag Archives: Hague Evidence Convention

Germany’s Position on Pre-Trial Discovery Softens!

Peter Bert, of Taylor Wessig, with important developments from Germany on execution of requests under Article 23 of the Hague Evidence Convention. This is cross-posted at his blog, Dispute Resolution in Germany.

You read it here first, back in 2013, but at the time with a question mark, and then again in 2014 and 2015. Finally, 2017 is the year it is actually going to happen: Germany is about to change its approach to discovery of documents under the Convention of 18 March 1970 on the Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil or Commercial Matters, commonly known as the Hague Evidence Convention. The bill that would remove Germany’s reservation pursuant to Article 23 of the Convention 1 has been introduced into Parliament. It passed the Upper Chamber (Bundesrat) late last year without any objections.
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Notes:

  1. Article 23 reads: “A Contracting State may at the time of signature, ratification or accession declare that it will not execute Letters of Request issued for the purpose of obtaining pre-trial discovery of documents is known in common law countries.”

Case of the Day: Microsoft v. Weidmann Electrical Technology

The case of the day is Microsoft Corp. v. Weidmann Electrical Technology, Inc. (D. Vt. 2016). Weidmann was a Vermont corporation with offices in St. Johnsbury. Its corporate parent was WICOR Holding AG, a Swiss company that, with its subsidiaries, is a multi-national manufacturer of medical equipment. Weidmann had a licensing agreement with Microsoft that allowed it to use multiple copies of Microsoft software and to report the number of copies in use to Microsoft. The number reported would be the basis for the royalties due under the license. The agreement gave Microsoft the right to verify compliance at its own expense using a third-party accountant. Weidmann was required to “promptly provide the accountant with any information it reasonably requests in furtherance of the verification.” Suffice it to say Microsoft wanted to do an audit, which was to take place in Switzerland and was dissatisfied with Weidmann’s cooperation. It sued, seeking specific performance.
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Case of the Day: Judicial Authority of Ohio v. Mann

Jerusalem Magistrate Court building
The Magistrate Court building in Jerusalem. Credit: Yagasi

The case of the day is Judicial Authority of Ohio v. Mann (Jerusalem Magistrate Court 2016). I don’t have the text of the opinion, unfortunately, but I got a pointer to the case from Eric Sherby’s Globalit blog. The case involved a letter of request under the Hague Evidence Convention seeking discovery in aid of execution of an Ohio judgment. The exact procedural posture of the case in Ohio is unclear from Eric’s report. In any case, the Jerusalem Magistrate Court refused to execute the letter of request on the grounds that Article 1 of the Convention provides: “The expression ‘other judicial act’ does not cover the service of judicial documents or the issuance of any process by which judgments or orders are executed or enforced, or orders for provisional or protective measures.”
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