Discovery

The United States is an outlier both in the amount of discovery permitted during litigation in its courts and in its willingness to assist evidence gathering on behalf of foreign and international courts. The readiness of U.S. courts to compel production by foreign parties of evidence located in foreign countries has at times spurred protests by those countries, particularly in the context of antitrust litigation. When that extraterritorial evidence is in the hands of a nonparty, U.S. courts must seek assistance from the country where the evidence is located because a court can only compel persons subject to its authority to testify or produce documents. To request such assistance, U.S. courts may invoke the Hague Evidence Convention or rely on letters rogatory, both of which are imperfect mechanisms. Meanwhile, Congress has broadly authorized the federal courts to assist with discovery on behalf of foreign or international tribunals through 28 U.S.C. § 1782.

Recent Posts

Lower Court Grapples with Supreme Court Ruling on Section 1782 and Investor-State Arbitration

Back in June 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court resolved a circuit split on the applicability of Section 1782’s discovery tools for private commercial arbitration, and simultaneously addressed a related issue of Section 1782’s use in investor-state arbitration. The investor-state issue came to the Court in the case of AlixPartners LLP v. The Fund for Protection…

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Foreign Data Protection Laws: Greater Impact on U.S. Discovery than Foreign Blocking Statutes

Litigants are increasingly relying on foreign data protection laws – especially new laws in China and the European Union – to resist discovery requests from courts in the United States. Historically, U.S. courts do not limit discovery just because the production of the requested materials or information would violate foreign laws. So far, as Bill…

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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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