Subject Matter Jurisdiction

Foreign Sovereign Immunity and the Time-of-Filing Rule

Suppose a defendant goes into liquidation during litigation and becomes an agency or instrumentality of a foreign state through the liquidation process. Is the defendant entitled to sovereign immunity under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976 (FSIA)? The Second Circuit recently said yes. The proper answer is no. Bartlett v. Baasiri The issue arose…

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Beer Halls and Forum Selection Clauses

Homer Simpson once described alcohol as the “cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems.” The same can be said for forum selection clauses. In the hands of the cognoscenti, these provisions can operate as magical elixirs that completely insulate a litigant from liability. In the hands of those unfamiliar with their intricacies, these…

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MBS’s Immunity and the Subject Matter Jurisdiction Problem

As previously discussed at TLB, a federal district court recently dismissed claims against Mohammad bin Salman (MBS) arising from the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. When the claims were filed, MBS was merely Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia and not entitled to head-of-state immunity. MBS was subsequently appointed Prime Minister, however, a position that does…

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