Recent Cases

Federal Court in Nevada Allows Ethiopia Bribery Claims to Move Forward

In a fascinating decision, the District Court for the District of Nevada (Judge Richard Boulware) recently allowed civil RICO claims to proceed against a Nevada resident based on bribery in Ethiopia, while dismissing claims against Ethiopian government entities under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA). Fremichael Ghebreyesus v. Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia not only…

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District Court Rejects Forum Non Conveniens Motion in Haiti Price-Fixing Case

The plaintiffs in Celestin v. Martelly brought a class action alleging that Haitian President Michel Joseph Martelly hatched a scheme to impose fees and fix prices on money transfers, food remittances, and international calls to and from Haiti and that Haitian and U.S. companies joined the scheme in violation of U.S. antitrust law, the federal…

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Cert Petition Defends Partial Forum Non Conveniens Dismissals

A pending cert petition before the U.S. Supreme Court asks whether a district court may dismiss part of an action pursuant to the doctrine of forum non conveniens (“FNC”) while allowing the rest of the case to proceed. The Tenth Circuit held that it could not in DIRTT Environmental Solutions Inc. v. Falkbuilt Ltd. because…

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Cassirer on Remand: Considering the Laws of Other Interested States

Claude Cassirer brought suit in federal court in California eighteen years ago against the Thyssen Bornemisza Museum of Madrid, Spain, to recover a painting by Camille Pissarro that was stolen from his grandmother by the Nazis during World War II.  After a reversal and remand from the U.S. Supreme Court last summer, the case is…

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Ninth Circuit Applies New Supreme Court Interpretation of RICO’s Geographic Scope

On August 11, 2023, the Ninth Circuit became the first lower court to apply the new test for “domestic injury” under RICO that the Supreme Court announced in Yegiazaryan v. Smagin (2023). In Global Master International Group, Inc. v. Esmond Natural, Inc., the Ninth Circuit held that a Chinese company stated a valid civil RICO…

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Abitron Eliminates Circuit Tests but Causes More Confusion

During the oral argument in Abitron Austria GMBH v. Hetronic International, Inc., Justices Alito, Sotomayor, Gorsuch, and Barrett all expressed concern over whether the Court should overrule its 1952 decision in Steele v. Bulova Watch Co (1952). A reader of the Court’s majority decision by Justice Alito might be surprised to see that the majority…

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Ninth Circuit Allows Human Rights Claims Against Cisco to Proceed

There may yet be life in the Alien Tort Statute (ATS). The Ninth Circuit recently held, in Doe I v. Cisco Systems, Inc., that Chinese practitioners of Falun Gong could go forward with claims of aiding and abetting human rights violations against Cisco Systems, which designed and built a surveillance system for the People’s Republic…

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What is a “Domestic Application” of the Lanham Act? The Supreme Court Creates More Questions than It Answers

In Abitron Austria Gmbh v. Hetronic International, Inc., the Supreme Court appears to have returned to its recent preference for bright-line rules in cases assessing the extraterritoriality of federal statutes, but the brightness of this rule will dim as other fact patterns are considered.

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Mallory Decision Opens New Path for Personal Jurisdiction

The Supreme Court’s decision in Mallory re-opens the door to suing foreign companies in U.S. courts over disputes that arise in other countries. It may also have significant repercussions for personal jurisdiction doctrine more broadly.

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Smagin‘s Surprises

Last week’s decision in Yegiazaryan v. Smagin was surprising in a number of respects, from the line-up of the Justices to the possible shift it signals in the presumption against extraterritoriality.

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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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