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How California Broke the Hague Service Convention

The Hague Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters sets forth the rules for serving process on a defendant in another country that is party to the Convention. Under the terms of the Convention, service by mail is not permitted if the nation where the foreign defendant…

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More Evidence that Helms-Burton is Backfiring

In 1996, Congress passed the Helms-Burton Act to strengthen sanctions against Cuba and to deter foreign companies from investing there. To discourage foreign investment, Title III created a civil remedy allowing U.S. nationals to sue any person who “traffics” in property confiscated by the Cuban government for damages in an amount three times the value…

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Is the Treaty Supremacy Rule Really Dead?

In Medellín v. Texas, the U.S. Supreme Court held that a non-self-executing treaty does not supersede conflicting state law, or perhaps that courts cannot enforce non-self-executing treaties to override conflicting state laws. After Medellín, one would have expected state courts in treaty supremacy cases to begin their analyses by determining whether a treaty is self-executing….

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A Typical 1782 Case

28 U.S.C. § 1782 allows a federal court to order discovery for use in a foreign or international tribunal. After the Supreme Court’s first § 1782 decision in 2004, Intel Corp. v. Advanced Micro Devices, Inc., the number of § 1782 petitions increased dramatically, more than quadrupling between 2005 and 2017. In re Petition of…

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A Baffling Characterization Decision

Characterization plays an important role in a court’s choice-of-law analysis. If an issue is characterized as a “contracts” issue, then the court will apply the choice-of-law rule for contracts to determine the governing law. If an issue is characterized as a “torts” issue, then the court will apply the choice-of-law rule for torts. Because the…

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English Court Finds No Sovereign Immunity in Spyware Case

The English High Court has applied a statutory exception to foreign sovereign immunity to claims arising from the alleged use of spyware by a foreign state to target and monitor dissidents in the United Kingdom. It is the first case to find an exception to sovereign immunity for allegations relating to spyware. In doing so,…

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Comparing Extraterritoriality in the EU

How a court decides whether a statute applies extraterritorially is a fundamental question in transnational litigation. TLB has lots of information about the U.S. approach. Our Primer on Extraterritoriality describes the federal and state approaches, as well as the customary international law rules on jurisdiction to prescribe. Recent posts have discussed the extraterritorial application of…

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Throwback Thursday: John Henry Merryman on the Civil Law Tradition

Transnational litigation is situated at the intersection of many areas of law, including comparative law. This Throwback Thursday focuses on one of the great works of comparative law, The Civil Law Tradition: An Introduction to the Legal Systems of Western Europe and Latin America by John Henry Merryman.  The slim volume can almost get lost…

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Immediate Appeals in Foreign Sovereign Litigation

Foreign governments have many advantages in litigation.  Chief among them is sovereign immunity.  Under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, foreign states and their agencies and instrumentalities are immune from suit in United States courts unless the case falls within one of the statute’s specific exceptions to immunity.  That substantive immunity also confers important procedural advantages. …

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China’s New Data Security Law in U.S. Discovery Disputes

Discovery litigation regarding the impact of China’s Data Security Law (“DSL”), which took effect less than a year ago in September 2021, has steadily increased in U.S. courts, and it is likely to continue to increase over the coming months and years.  One driver of this litigation is the uncertainty created by the newness of…

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Ingrid (Wuerth) Brunk

Vanderbilt Law School
ingrid.wuerth@vanderbilt.eduEmail

William Dodge

UC Davis School of Law
wsdodge@ucdavis.eduEmail

Maggie Gardner

Cornell Law School
mgardner@cornell.eduEmail

John Coyle

University of North Carolina School of Law
jfcoyle@email.unc.eduEmail

Peter B. "Bo" Rutledge

University of Georgia School of Law
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Linda J. Silberman

New York University School of Law
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Geneviève Saumier

McGill University Faculty of Law
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David L. Sloss

Santa Clara University School of Law
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Philippa Webb

King's College London
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Robert Kry

MoloLamken LLP
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Katie Burghardt Kramer

DGW Kramer LLP
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Ellen Nohle

Yale Law School
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Chris Ewell

EarthRights International
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Oona A. Hathaway

Yale Law School
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