Archive for the ‘Transnational’ Category

Donald Earl Childress III, “Forum Conveniens: The Search for a Convenient Forum in Transnational Cases”

February 4, 2013

Donald Earl Childress III (Pepperdine University School of Law) has posted “Forum Conveniens: The Search for a Convenient Forum in Transnational Cases”, Virginia Journal of International Law, Vol. 53, No. 1, p. 157, 2012.  The abstract reads:

This Article examines the forum non conveniens doctrine as it is applied by federal courts and state courts in present-day transnational litigation. The Article also explores what happens when the doctrine is invoked in cases involving foreign sovereigns. The Article uncovers empirical evidence suggesting increased use of the forum non conveniens doctrine by courts. Unfortunately, this increased use does not come with clear standards for application. After considering the underlying rationales for the doctrine and whether they are effectuated by the current doctrine’s usage in transnational cases, the Article proposes a new series of rules and factors to be balanced by courts when asked to apply the doctrine.

 A PDF copy of the paper is available for download on SSRN here.

“International Commercial Transactions: Sales of Goods and Cross-Border Financing | New England Law | Boston

January 31, 2013

I will be speaking at the upcoming “International Commercial Transactions: Sales of Goods and Cross-Border Financing” program, to be held at the New England Law | Boston, Center for Business Law on February 21, 2013 (1:00 pm-3:00 pm), discussing Transnational Sales of Goods- CISG.

Here is the program announcement:

Center for Business Law   Program and Forum for Faculty and Students – New England Law   Boston

Baumgartner on “Understanding the Obstacles to the Recognition and Enforcement of U.S. Judgments Abroad”

January 23, 2013

Samuel P. Baumgartner (University of Akron – School of Law) has posted “Understanding the Obstacles to the Recognition and Enforcement of U.S. Judgments Abroad”, New York University Journal of International Law and Politics (JILP), Vol. 44, 2013/U of Akron Legal Studies Research Paper No. 13-01. Here’s the abstract:

Questions of recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments have entered center stage. Recent empirical work suggests that there has been a marked increase in the frequency with which U.S. courts are asked to recognize and enforce foreign judgments. The U.S. litigation surrounding a multibillion-dollar Ecuadoran judgment against Chevron indicates that the stakes in some of these cases can be high indeed. This rising importance of questions of judgments recognition has not been lost on lawmakers. In November of 2011, the Subcommittee on Courts, Commercial and Administrative Law of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Judiciary Committee held hearings on whether to adopt federal legislation on the question of recognizing and enforcing foreign judgments in the United States. And at the Hague Conference of Private International Law, the project – begun in the 1990s and later shelved – to enter into a world-wide convention on the recognition of foreign judgments, has just been put on the agenda for further study.

In this Article, I focus on the major obstacles U.S. judgment holders have encountered abroad as a matter of foreign recognition doctrine and to analyze the reasons underlying those obstacles. This should help lawmakers and treaty negotiators better understand what sorts of problems U.S. judgments holders are likely to encounter and why. I propose that we distinguish those obstacles on the basis both of the purpose they are meant to serve and of the way in which they have developed. Thus, I submit that the doctrinal obstacles identified pursue three distinct purposes: the protection of the sovereignty of the recognition state; the protection of other public interests of the recognition state; and the protection of the party against whom the U.S. judgment is to be used from what the recognition state views as substandard legal norms or procedural treatment. I further suggest that we separate the doctrinal obstacles encountered by U.S. judgments holders abroad into two categories on the basis of how they have developed. The first category consists of doctrines that were set in place some time ago and that apply to all judgments from jurisdictions with which the relevant country does not have a recognition treaty, including the United States. The second category consists of slight changes to existing recognition doctrine that some foreign jurisdictions have adopted specifically in reaction to litigation in the United States. This second category has come about, I argue, through the operation of four factors: power politics, domestic legal and procedural culture, the preferences of groups and individuals inside and outside the state apparatus, and relevant information asymmetries.

A copy of the paper is available for download at SSRN here.

Matthew J. Wilson, “Improving the Process: Transnational Litigation and the Application of Private Foreign Law in U.S. Courts”

January 8, 2013

Matthew J. Wilson (University of Wyoming – College of Law) has posted “Improving the Process: Transnational Litigation and the Application of Private Foreign Law in U.S. Courts”, New York University Journal of International Law and Politics (JILP), Vol. 45, 2013, forthcoming. The abstract reads:

Due to the current and anticipated stream of foreign law issues in U.S. courts and arbitration proceedings, it is necessary to explore additional ways to ensure accuracy and improve current procedures in applying foreign law. At the same time, it is also important to understand the issues and concerns underlying the application of foreign law in U.S. courts. In recent years, foreign law has increasingly gained greater public attention and political discourse has progressively focused on the use of foreign law by U.S. courts. Some of this attention has been politically charged and quite unfavorable. In fact, policymakers across the U.S. have advocated measures that would prohibit courts from using or relying on foreign law in certain instances. In many respects, much of the negative sentiment towards foreign law has been misdirected resulting in public confusion. Accordingly, an examination of the boundaries of the ongoing debate is necessary to clarify those areas in which foreign law can and should be applied without issue. To accomplish the above objectives, this article focuses on the legal requirements, practical aspects, and possible improvements of proving the law of a foreign country in U.S. courts. Before delving into these areas though, it is worthwhile to breakdown the opposition to the use and application of foreign law in U.S. courts to gain a better understanding of the attendant issues.

 A pdf copy of the paper is available for download on SSRN here.

Lili Levi, “The Problem of Trans-National Libel”

September 28, 2012

Lili Levi (University of Miami – School of Law) has published “The Problem of Trans-National Libel”, American Journal of Comparative Law, Vol. LX, No. 2, Spring 2012/ University of Miami Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2012-25. Here’s the abstract:

Forum shopping in trans-national libel cases “libel tourism”­ has a chilling effect on journalism) academic scholarship) and scientific criticism. The United States and Britain (the most popular venue for such cases) have recently attempted to address the issue legisla­tively. In 2070) the United States passed the SPEECH Act) which prohibits recognition and enforcement of libel judgments from juris­dictions applying law less speech-protective than the First Amendment. In Britain) consultation has closed and the Parliamentary Joint Committee has issued its report on a broad-ranging libel reform bill proposed by the Government in March 2011. This Article questions the extent to which the SPEECH Act and the Draft Defama­tion Bill will accomplish their stated aims. The SPEECH Act provides little protection for hard-hitting investigative and accountability jour­nalism by professional news organizations with global assets. The proposed British bill has important substantive limits. Moreover) even if Parliament approves reform legislation discouraging libel tourism) such actions may shift to other claimant-friendly jurisdictions. Global harmonization of libel law is neither realistic nor desirable. Instead this Article proposes a two-fold approach. On the legal front, it supports the liberalizations of Britain’s proposed libel reform legislation and calls for foreign courts) when assessing the significance of contacts to the forum in cases affecting the United States) to consider seriously the importance of extensive First Amendment protections for political speech to the American concept of democracy. In addition) the Article calls for voluntary initiatives such as: 1) new approaches to help defend trans-national defamation claims when they are brought; and 2) measures to reduce the number of trans-national libel cases by improving the way in which the press does its job. The defense measures explored include the development of community-funded (rather than media-supported) libel defense funds; the formation of pro bono libel review consortia; and alternative approaches to increasing the availability of libel insurance. The recommended press-improvement measures include expanded access to documents, as well as the enhancement of accountability measures such as best-practices education, journalistic self-criticism, and updated codes of conduct.

A copy of the article is available for download via SSRN here.




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