Federal Rules of Civil Procedure

D.C. Circuit Revives Case by Former Saudi Official with Ties to U.S. Intelligence

Saudi Arabian Flag Next to U.S. Flag.

Dr. Saad Aljabri, a former Saudi official who lives in Canada, sued Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (“MBS”) and other defendants, alleging that they tracked him down and tried to kill him because of his relationship to the United States and to the former Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia.  As covered at TLB, federal district…

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The Perils of Rule 44.1

Late last month, Judge Malachy E. Mannion of the Middle District of Pennsylvania ruled on a motion for summary judgment in Epsilon-NDT Endustriyel Kontrol Sistemleri Sanayi VE Ticaret, A.S. (“Epsilon”) v. Powerrail Distribution, Inc. (“PowerRail”). From one perspective, this case is an unremarkable business dispute arising out of an international contract. But from another perspective,…

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New Article on Cross-Border Discovery

In the most recent issue of Judicature, Judge Michael Baylson and Professor Steven Gensler have a new article related to cross-border discovery—that is, discovery abroad in support of adjudication in U.S. courts. The whole article is worth readers’ time, though I will only briefly summarize it here. As TLB readers know well, cross-border discovery is…

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Preliminary Injunctions and the Hague Service Convention

Kitchenaid

In Whirlpool Corporation v. Shenzhen Sanlida Electrical Technology Company, the Fifth Circuit addressed the interaction between the Hague Service Convention and the preliminary injunction. Briefly, Whirlpool sued Shenzhen in the Eastern District of Texas for trademark and trade dress infringement related to Whirlpool’s “iconic” KitchenAid mixer. (Much like a prior Seventh Circuit case, this one…

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Throwback Thursday: Federal Rule 44.1

For this installment of Throwback Thursday, we are going back to the year 1966. In that year, the Supreme Court adopted important changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure governing class actions, amendments that have garnered substantial commentary ever since. This post addresses a less-heralded change, the introduction of Federal Rule 44.1 governing foreign…

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Supreme Court Ducks Fifth Amendment Due Process Question

The Supreme Court denied certiorari yesterday in Douglass v. Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha. This highly-watched case raises an important question that the Court will have to address sooner or later:  the Fifth Amendment due process limitations on personal jurisdiction. The Supreme Court’s personal jurisdiction cases have repeatedly interpreted the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment…

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A Primer on Service of Process

Serving process on a defendant does two things: (1) it asserts the court’s authority over the defendant; and (2) it provides the defendant with notice of the lawsuit. In the United States, process can be served by private parties. But many foreign states regard service as a public act that can be done only by…

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SDNY Rejects Service by Email on Chinese Companies

In Smart Study Co. v. Acuteye-US, a federal court in the Southern District of New York (Judge Gregory Woods) rejected service by email on Chinese companies in a trademark and copyright infringement case. China and the United States are parties to the Hague Service Convention. The court reasoned that the Convention precludes service by email,…

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A Primer on State Law in Transnational Litigation

The procedural and substantive rules that U.S. courts apply in transnational litigation come from many sources, including the U.S. Constitution, international treaties, customary international law, federal statutes, federal rules, and federal common law (both preemptive and non-preemptive)—but also, state statutes, state rules, and state common law. This primer focuses on the underappreciated role of state…

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A Primer on Forum Selection Clauses

A forum selection clause is a contractual provision that selects a specific court to resolve disputes. When suit is filed in a court that is not the chosen forum, the clause may provide a basis for dismissal or transfer. When suit is filed in the chosen forum, the clause may provide a basis for the…

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