Readers, I hope you will be able to attend an exciting event on the Hague Service and Evidence Conventions this autumn in Washington. Titled “Service of Process and Taking of Evidence Abroad: The Impact of ‘Electronic Means’ on the Operation of the Hague Conventions,” the event will feature panels of distinguished scholars and practitioners from around the world on topics such as (a) the origins, theory and practice of the Conventions, (b) the role of Central Authorities, (c) how civil lawyers and common lawyers deal with issues under the Conventions, and (d) future challenges facing those who use convention mechanisms. I’ll be speaking on one of the panels, though I disclaim the “distinguished” label. Christophe Bernasconi, the Secretary-General of the Hague Conference on Private International Law, will deliver opening remarks, and the keynote speaker will be the Hon. Rimski Yeun, Hong Kong’s Secretary of Justice. A reception will follow.
The event is hosted by the Center on Transnational Business and the Law at Georgetown University Law Center. The co-sponsors are Covington & Burling, Jones Day, Winston & Strawn, the American Branch of the International Law Association, the American Society of International Law, the ABA Section of International Law, and the Hague Conference on Private International Law. You will be able to read about the event right here at Letters Blogatory, but it would be even better to be there in person.
||Service of Process and Taking of Evidence Abroad: The Impact of ‘Electronic Means’ on the Operation of the Hague Conventions.
||Gewirz Center 12th floor
Georgetown University Law Center
600 New Jersey Ave NW, Washington D.C.
||November 2, 2015
||On-line preregistration will be available soon. There is no fee to attend.
The case of the day is Ackelson v. Manley Toys Ltd. (Iowa Ct. App. 2015). The plaintiffs, Tammie Ackelson, Robin Drake, and Heather Miller, sued their employers, Manley Toy Direct LLC, Toy Network LLC, alleging violations of the Iowa Civil Rights Act. They later amended the complaint to add Manley Toys Ltd., and Toy Quest, Ltd., two related entities, both Hong Kong companies without agents for service of process in the United States.
The employees sought to make service on the Hong Kong companies by way of the Hong Kong central authority under the Hague Service Convention. The bailiff’s affidavit stated that the address where he served the documents “was operating (sic) by two companies named Manley Toys Limited and Toy Quest Limited, of which a female staff member, Ms. Lo Ming informed me that the aforesaid address was the registered office of the said party for service.” Looks good! But the two Hong companies moved to quash the service on the grounds that they had no employe or agent named Lo Ming (as far as the decision reveals, they did not claim that service had been made at the wrong address). The trial judge granted the motion, citing a similar decision from the US District Court for the Southern District of Iowa in another case involving the same defendants (but not, apparently, involving the same plaintiffs). I believe that the federal decision at issue was this decision in Rennenger v. Manley Toy Direct LLC (S.D. Iowa 2013), which also featured the mysterious Lo Ming. The employees then sought to make service on the Hong Kong companies’ US counsel under Iowa Rule of Civil Procedure 1.305(14). The trial judge agreed, and the Hong Kong companies took an interlocutory appeal.
Continue reading Case of the Day: Ackelson v. Manley Toys
The case of the day is Ledroit Law v. Kim (Colo. Ct. App. 2015). Snell & Wilmer, an Arizona law firm with offices in Colorado, represented two Ontario companies in a civil case in the District of Colorado. At the same time, Ledroit Law, an Ontario law firm, represented one of the Canadian companies in related proceedings in Canada. Eugene Kim was a first-year associate at Snell & Wilmer at the time.
According to Snell & Wilmer and Kim, their clients instructed Snell & Wilmer to have Ledroit serve subpoenas in Ontario relating to their case in Colorado. But Ledroit sent Snell & Wilmer a bill for $15,000, claiming that Snell & Wilmer had retained Ledroit to provide legal services. Nonsense, said Snell & Wilmer—the two firms’ mutual client had instructed S&W to pass the task of serving the subpoenas on to Ledroit, so the client was liable for the bill.
Ledroit filed an action in the Ontario Superior Court against Snell & Wilmer and Kim. They served process by mail. The Ontario court “issued an assessment” against Snell & Wilmer and Kim in the amount of $15,829.99. Ledroit brought an action in Colorado for recognition and enforcement under the UEFJA.
Continue reading Case of the Day: Ledroit Law v. Kim