Presumption Against Extraterritoriality

Second Circuit Allows Securities Claims Against Crypto-Asset Exchange

In Morrison v. National Australia Bank (2010), the U.S. Supreme Court applied the presumption against extraterritoriality to § 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act, holding that this provision applies only to transactions in the United States. Morrison’s transactional test has proven difficult to apply to unlisted securities that do not trade on an exchange. In…

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District Court Permits Clean Air Act Action Against Canadian Company

The presumption against extraterritoriality is the principal tool that U.S. courts use to determine the reach of federal statutes. Last year, in Abitron Austria GmbH v. Hetronic International, Inc. (2023), the U.S. Supreme modified the presumption by requiring conduct relevant to a provision’s focus to occur in the United States in order for the application…

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Another Victory for Mexico in Guns Litigation

Still flush with success from its win at the First Circuit against U.S. gun manufacturers, Mexico has scored a new victory in federal court—this time, against U.S. gun dealers. In Estados Unidos Mexicanos v. Diamondback Shooting Sports, Inc., the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona (Judge Rosemary Márquez) ruled that Mexico could move…

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D.C. Circuit Defines “Venture” Under the TVPRA

On March 5, 2024, the D.C. Circuit issued its long-awaited opinion in Doe v. Apple, a suit against U.S. tech companies seeking to hold them liable under the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) for forced labor and human trafficking used to mine cobalt in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). (Disclosure: I joined…

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The Extraterritorial Reach of Criminal Statutes

When federal statutes do not indicate how far they reach, courts apply a presumption against extraterritoriality to limit their geographic scope. Last year, in Abitron Austria GmbH v. Hetronic International, Inc. (2023), the Supreme Court revised the presumption by requiring conduct in the United States for a statute’s application to be considered domestic. Meanwhile, lower courts…

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First Circuit Allows Some of Mexico’s Claims Against Gun Manufacturers to Move Forward

Mexico has strict gun laws. There is one gun store in the country, and Mexico issues fewer than fifty gun permits a year. Yet Mexico has the third most gun-related deaths in the world because it borders the United States. An estimated half million guns flow from the United States into Mexico each year. In…

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How to Criticize U.S. Extraterritorial Jurisdiction (Part I)

[This post is based on a lecture delivered at Wuhan University School of Law on October 15, 2023] China has been critical of U.S. extraterritorial jurisdiction. In February, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a report entitled “The U.S. Willful Practice of Long-arm Jurisdiction and its Perils.” In the report, the Ministry complained about U.S….

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Court Rejects Challenge to OFAC Blocking Order

Sanctions are an increasingly important part of United States foreign policy, and cases challenging them are also of growing significance. Sanctioned entities face an uphill battle in court however, as illustrated by a recent decision from the Southern District of New York: Rusaviainvest, OOO v. Yellen. Rusaviainvest, OOO (the plaintiffs) challenged an order by the…

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Supreme Court Denies Cert in Extraterritorial Wire Fraud Case

The Supreme Court denied cert this morning in Elbaz v. United States, a case involving the extraterritorial reach of the federal wire fraud statute. The order lets stand a decision of the Fourth Circuit holding that the wire fraud statute could be applied to a scheme to defraud investors centered in Israel based on two…

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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

Matt Slovin

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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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