International Comity Abstention

Third Circuit Clarifies Comity Abstention Test

The Third Circuit recently clarified the appropriate test for deferring to foreign bankruptcy proceedings. The court’s opinion in Vertiv, Inc. v. Wayne Burt PTE, Ltd. is clear, correct, and helpful in disambiguating the different contexts in which other federal courts have referred to “international comity abstention” and adjudicatory comity. The Facts In January 2020, Vertiv,…

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A Primer on Transnational Parallel Proceedings

It is not uncommon for parties involved in cross-border disputes to file competing or overlapping lawsuits in different forums. When should a U.S. court stay its hand in favor of a lawsuit filed in another country? Conversely, when should a U.S. court take proactive measures to defend its jurisdiction from interference by proceedings in a…

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Oral Argument Recap: Reid v. Doe Run Resources Corp.

On Tuesday, the Eighth Circuit heard oral argument in Reid v. Doe Run Resources Corp., an ad hoc interlocutory appeal limited to the question of whether the district court should have abstained in that case based on foreign policy concerns. The facts of the case are described in a prior post. This post summarizes Tuesday’s…

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Eighth Circuit Weighing Adoption of Foreign Relations Abstention

The Eighth Circuit will soon hear an interlocutory appeal to consider permitting abstention based on foreign relations concerns. In Reid v. Doe Run Resources Corp. (as the case is captioned on appeal), Peruvian citizens allege they were seriously harmed as children by toxic substances emitted by a metallurgical refining complex in Peru and that this…

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Rejecting Comity-Based Abstention in Human Rights Cases

Defendants in transnational human rights cases may seek dismissal on a great many bases—so many, in fact, that it can be hard to keep them all straight. One growing source of confusion is the argument that a case should be dismissed based on “comity.” The problem is that comity isn’t a single doctrine. But because…

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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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How Do Federal Courts Treat Foreign Parallel Litigation?

The Supreme Court has not explained how federal judges should evaluate parallel litigation in foreign courts. If the same parties are litigating the same issues before a foreign tribunal, should the federal court stay its hand? Or should it proceed until one or the other of the cases results in a judgment? The traditional European…

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Throwback Thursday: Joseph Story and the Comity of Nations

One of the most influential books on transnational litigation was written nearly two centuries ago by a sitting Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Joseph Story’s Commentaries on the Conflict of Laws, first published in 1834, synthesized foreign and domestic cases regarding conflict of laws and the enforcement of foreign judgments. Story endorsed international comity…

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Cert Petition Challenges Second Circuit’s Comity Abstention Doctrine

A cert petition filed with the Supreme Court on March 21, 2022 challenges the doctrine of prescriptive comity abstention.  The Second Circuit used this doctrine to reverse a $147 million antitrust judgment against Chinese companies for fixing the price of vitamin C sold into the United States. The Second Circuit’s decision relies on the kind…

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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 F. Coyle

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

Zachary D. Clopton

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

Noah Buyon

Duke University School of Law
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Will Moon

University of Maryland
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William K. McGoughran

Vanderbilt Law School
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Chimène Keitner

UC Davis School of Law
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Catherine Amirfar

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
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Justin R. Rassi

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
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Isabelle Glimcher

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
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Ben Köhler

Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law
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Aaron D. Simowitz

Willamette University College of Law
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Timothy D. Lytton

Georgia State University College of Law
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