Federal Common Law

The Media Coverage of Turkiye Halk Bankasi, in Review

Last week, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Turkiye Halk Bankasi A.S. v. United States, a criminal case originating in the Second Circuit. The defendant, Turkiye Halk Bankasi A.S. (“Halkbank”), is a foreign state-owned commercial bank, headquartered in Istanbul, and a subsidiary of the Turkish government’s sovereign wealth fund. Charged with laundering over $1…

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Expert Recap and Analysis of Halkbank Oral Argument at the Supreme Court

Editor’s Note: This article also appears in Just Security. On January 17, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Türkiye Halk Bankasi A.S. (Halkbank) v. United States. The case asks whether Halkbank, which is majority-owned by the Turkish Wealth Fund (TWF), enjoys immunity from criminal prosecution in U.S. courts. Last spring, I previewed the unresolved…

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Executive Control Versus “Deference” in Halkbank

On January 17, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Turkiye Halk Bankasi A.S. v. United States(Halkbank) on whether the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) applies to criminal prosecutions. One argument advanced by the government in Halkbank (and other immunity cases) is that the executive branch has absolute control over immunity determinations not governed by…

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Transnational Litigation Anticipation: Previewing the Court’s Next Term

TLB recently recapped the Supreme Court’s transnational litigation cases from last Term. This post looks ahead to the upcoming Term, for which the Court has already granted certiorari in a personal jurisdiction case that may have implications for transnational litigation. TLB is also tracking several interesting petitions for certiorari in disputes involving the Foreign Sovereign…

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When Should Federal Common Law Govern Transnational Litigation?

The conventional wisdom is that transnational litigation “can trigger foreign relations concerns.” Because the federal government has primary responsibility for the United States’ relations with other nations, the question naturally arises whether federal law should govern such litigation even when neither a federal statute, nor the U.S. Constitution, nor a treaty is applicable. Currently, as…

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A Primer on State Law in Transnational Litigation

[Editors: This post is one in a series of Primers on topics in transnational litigation. Primers on each of the topics listed in the Topics menu are planned, and some already appear on the relevant topic pages.] The procedural and substantive rules that U.S. courts apply in transnational litigation come from many sources, including the…

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Criminal Proceedings and the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act

Congress enacted the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976 (FSIA) to address the inconsistent application of doctrines of state immunity to civil suits against foreign states and state-owned enterprises. The statute confers jurisdictional immunity on these entities, subject to enumerated exceptions. Most litigation under the FSIA involves whether a particular defendant qualifies as a foreign…

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Climate Change Litigation and the “Foreign Affairs” Trump Card

Factory with smoke stakes

Having found the federal courts unfriendly to climate-related claims, a series of plaintiffs—mostly state and municipal governments—have sued fossil fuel companies under state law often in state court. Oil company defendants resisting these claims have argued that federal law, not state law, should govern. For cases filed in state court, defendants also have sought to remove the cases to federal court, asserting federal jurisdiction on various theories.

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A Primer on the Act of State Doctrine

The act of state doctrine is a federal common law doctrine providing that courts in the United States will not question the validity of an official act of a recognized foreign government fully performed within its own territory. The doctrine is often applied in cases like Banco Nacional de Cuba v. Sabbatino (1964) to require…

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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
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Zachary D. Clopton

Northwestern Pritzker School of Law
zclopton@law.northwestern.eduEmail

Matt Hornung

Cornell Law School
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Jonathan Schaffer-Goddard

Holwell Shuster & Goldberg; 4 Pump Court, London
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Chimène Keitner

UC Hastings Law
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David P. Stewart

Georgetown University Law Center
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Curtis A. Bradley

University of Chicago Law School
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Benjamin Hayward

Department of Business Law and Taxation, Monash Business School
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Rajat Lal

Faculty of Law, Monash University
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David Landau

Florida State University College of Law
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Katie Burghardt Kramer

DGW Kramer LLP
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Tanya Monestier

University at Buffalo School of Law
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