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Judgment creditors of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Iran's Ministry of Intelligence and Security sought to enforce underlying judgments obtaining the turnover of $1.68 billion in bond proceeds allegedly owned by Bank Markazi. The Second Circuit held that the settlement agreements released plaintiffs' non-turnover claims with respect to some but not all of the banks; the assets at issue were in fact located abroad, but that those assets may nonetheless be subject to turnover under state law pursuant to an exercise of the court's in personam jurisdiction, inasmuch as the district court has the authority under New York State law to direct a non‐sovereign in possession of a foreign sovereignʹs extraterritorial assets to bring those assets to New York State; and those assets will not ultimately be subject to turnover, however, unless the district court concludes on remand that such in personam jurisdiction exists and the assets, were they to be recalled, would not be protected from turnover by execution immunity. Accordingly, the court affirmed in part, vacated in part, and remanded for further proceedings. View "Peterson v. Islamic Republic of Iran" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff filed suit against defendant, alleging that defendant, who had power of attorney over plaintiff's finances, stole millions of dollars from him through fraudulent financial schemes. The district court granted defendant's motion to dismiss the complaint on the ground that plaintiff failed to allege a domestic injury as required by RJR Nabisco, Inc. v. European Community, 136 S. Ct. 2090 (2016). The Second Circuit held that, to the extent plaintiff alleged injuries to property located within the United States, he satisfied the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act's, 18 U.S.C. 1964(c), domestic injury requirement. But to the extent plaintiff alleged injuries to property located outside of the United States, the fact that defendant or his co‐defendants transferred those stolen funds to (or through) the United States fails to transform an otherwise foreign injury into a domestic one. Accordingly, the court reversed in part, vacated in part, and remanded. View "Yarur Bascunan v. Yarur Elsaca" on Justia Law

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A Cayman Islands investment fund and two of its Delaware subsidiaries (collectively “Gramercy”) sued a bank organized under Delaware law with offices in Illinois and Bulgaria (Bulgarian-American Enterprise Fund, or “Bulgarian-American”) and an Irish bank headquartered in Dublin (Allied Irish Banks, P.L.C., or “Allied”) over claims they admitted arose under Bulgarian law and had no connection to activity that took place in Delaware. Delaware was the second forum in which Gramercy sought to press its Bulgarian claims. The first forum was Illinois, where: (i) after extensive discovery and briefing on the issue of forum non conveniens, the Circuit Court of Cook County in Chicago granted a motion to dismiss; (ii) the Illinois Appellate Court unanimously affirmed the Circuit Court’s dismissal; and (iii) the Illinois Supreme Court denied Gramercy’s petition for leave to appeal. Rather than going to Bulgaria and suing in the forum whose laws governed its claims and where its investment in Bulgarian-American took place, Gramercy sued in Delaware. Bulgarian-American and Allied filed a motion to dismiss, arguing Bulgaria was the appropriate forum for the litigation. In granting Bulgarian-American and Allied’s motion and holding that Gramercy’s suit did not merit the overwhelming hardship standard afforded to first-filed actions under Cryo-Maid, the Delaware Court of Chancery was forced to address confusing arguments about this Court’s forum non conveniens precedent, in particular, the relationship among the Delaware Supreme Court’s longstanding decisions in “CryoMaid” and “McWane,” and a more recent decision, “Lisa, S.A. v. Mayorga.” Ultimately, the Delaware Supreme Court determined the Court of Chancery correctly held that because the Delaware action was not first filed, and that to obtain dismissal on forum non conveniens grounds, Bulgarian-American and Allied did not need to show overwhelming hardship. But, because the Illinois case was no longer pending, and was not dismissed on the merits like the first-filed action in Lisa, McWane was no longer the proper focus for the Court of Chancery’s analysis. The Illinois action had relevance in the forum non conveniens analysis because it meant that analysis would not be tilted in Gramercy’s favor under the overwhelming hardship standard. But, because the Illinois action was not dismissed on its merits, but instead for forum non conveniens, it should not have shifted the Court’s focus from Cryo-Maid to McWane. Between Cryo-Maid’s overwhelming hardship standard and McWane’s discretionary standard lies an intermediate analysis that applies to situations like Gramercy’s: a straightforward assessment of the CryoMaid factors, where dismissal is appropriate if those factors weigh in favor of that outcome. View "Gramercy Emerging Markets Fund, et al. v. Allied Irish Banks, P.L.C., et al." on Justia Law

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Midbrook filed suit seeking recognition of an Amsterdam Court of Appeals judgment under Washington's Uniform Foreign-Country Money Judgments Recognition Act (UFCMJRA). The Ninth Circuit affirmed summary judgment for Midbrook and denied Holland America's discovery request under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(d). The panel held that the commentary and prefatory note to the UFCMJRA demonstrate that under section 4(c)(8), courts ask only whether the party resisting judgment "was denied fundamental fairness in the particular proceedings leading to the foreign-country judgment," not whether the foreign proceedings literally conformed to the requirements of due process under our own Constitution. UFCMJRA 4 cmt. 12. The panel explained that it was not necessary to decide whether process accorded to Midbrook also passed muster under American standards of due process. The panel held that the Dutch courts' treatment of Holland America's discovery requests was a mere "procedural difference" that was insufficient to establish that the Dutch proceedings were fundamentally unfair; Holland America was not denied due process when the Amsterdam Court of Appeal overturned the Alkmaar District Court's factual finding denying the existence of the parties' alleged 1999 settlement agreement; and the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying Holland America's motion for additional discovery. View "Midbrook Flowerbulbs Holland v. Holland America Bulb Farms" on Justia Law

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Kung Da Chang entered into a credit facility arrangement with Shanghai Commercial Bank (SCB) between March and April 2008 by executing five agreements. Together, these five agreements enabled Chang and his father, Clark Chang, to borrow large sums from SCB, and those sums make up the underlying debt obligation at issue in this lawsuit. These five documents defined Chang and SCB's agreement and governed their obligations. The parties' agreement explicitly included a choice of law provision selecting Hong Kong law as the governing law. SCB delivered the agreement papers for Chang's signature to an address in Shanghai that was actually Clark's residence. Clark sent the documents to his son in Seattle. Chang signed the documents, returned them to his father in Shanghai, and Clark forwarded them to SCB in Hong Kong. There was no indication that SCB knew that it was dealing with a person residing in Seattle. Chang ultimately defaulted on the debt obligation, and the parties litigated the matter in Hong Kong. SCB prevailed and secured a $9 million judgment. The Hong Kong judgment encompassed what Washington State considered Chang and his wife's marital community; Hong Kong law exempted solely separate property of a spouse, not community property, from judgments entered against one spouse. The issue this case presented for the Washington Supreme Court's review was whether the Hong Kong judgment as enforceable against marital community property in Washington State. Specifically, the issue was whether the choice-of-law provision in the contracts along with application of the "most significant relationship" test for determining conflict of law issues, and ultimately, whether Hong Kong law should be applied to reach the community assets in Washington to satisfy the valid and enforceable foreign judgment. The Washington Supreme Court determined that under the facts of this case, the debtor's community property could be reached to satisfy the Hong Kong judgment. View "Shanghai Commercial Bank, Ltd. v. Kung Da Chang" on Justia Law

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Stellar and Allied are American companies. Stellar sent Allied's Mexican distributors notice letters accusing them of infringing Stellar’s Mexican Patent. Allied manufactures the accused products in the U.S., which are then sold in Mexico by the distributors. Allied sells the same product in the U.S. under a different name. Allied’s U.S. counsel responded to Stellar’s notice letters on behalf of the distributors, arguing that the products did not infringe. Stellar did not respond but filed infringement actions in Mexico. Allied then sought a declaratory judgment against Stellar in the Southern District of Florida, of non-infringement, invalidity, unenforceability due to inequitable conduct, and tortious interference with business relationships. The district court dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, stating: “Stellar’s decision to enforce its Mexican patent under Mexican law against separate entities cannot, without further affirmative action by Stellar, create an actual controversy with Allied with regard to its U.S. Patent,” and that the complaint was “devoid of any allegations that Stellar has done anything to give Allied a reasonable belief that Stellar intends to enforce its 974 Patent in the United States.” The Federal Circuit affirmed. Stellar’s actions do not create a justiciable case or controversy. View "Allied Mineral Products, Inc. v. OSMI, Inc." on Justia Law

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A Chinese construction company and seven of its employees challenged the district court's order denying their motion to quash subpoenas requiring the employees to appear before a grand jury. The Second Circuit affirmed the order, holding that the 2009 Bilateral Agreement between the United States and the People's Republic of China (PRC) incorporates a 2003 Diplomatic Note that imposes a registration requirement on construction personnel. In this case, the Executive Branch reasonably interpreted the relevant agreements as requiring construction personnel to register with the State Department before receiving immunity and because that condition was not satisfied here, the employees were not entitled to diplomatic immunity. View "In re Grand Jury Subpoenas Returnable December 16, 2015" on Justia Law

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The Board of Immigration Appeals found that Uddin, a citizen of Bangladesh, was ineligible for withholding of removal because he was a member of the Bangladesh National Party (BNP). The Board found that the BNP qualified as a Tier III terrorist organization under the “terrorism bar,” 8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(3)(B)(vi)(III). The Third Circuit denied relief with respect to the Board’s ruling dismissing Uddin’s Convention Against Torture claim but remanded his withholding of removal claim. The Board pointed to terrorist acts by BNP members but it did not find that BNP leadership authorized any of the terrorist acts committed by party members. The court joined the reasoning of the Seventh Circuit and the Board in many of its own opinions by holding that unless the agency finds that party leaders authorized terrorist acts committed by its members, an entity such as the BNP cannot be deemed a Tier III terrorist organization. View "Uddin v. Attorney General United States" on Justia Law

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The Board of Immigration Appeals found that Uddin, a citizen of Bangladesh, was ineligible for withholding of removal because he was a member of the Bangladesh National Party (BNP). The Board found that the BNP qualified as a Tier III terrorist organization under the “terrorism bar,” 8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(3)(B)(vi)(III). The Third Circuit denied relief with respect to the Board’s ruling dismissing Uddin’s Convention Against Torture claim but remanded his withholding of removal claim. The Board pointed to terrorist acts by BNP members but it did not find that BNP leadership authorized any of the terrorist acts committed by party members. The court joined the reasoning of the Seventh Circuit and the Board in many of its own opinions by holding that unless the agency finds that party leaders authorized terrorist acts committed by its members, an entity such as the BNP cannot be deemed a Tier III terrorist organization. View "Uddin v. Attorney General United States" on Justia Law

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Doe and her daughter flew aboard Etihad Airways from Abu Dhabi to Chicago. During the journey, Doe’s tray table remained open because a knob had fallen off. Doe’s daughter found the knob on the floor; Doe placed it in a seatback pocket. When a flight attendant reminded Doe to place her tray in the locked position for landing, Doe attempted to explain by reaching into the seatback pocket to retrieve the knob. She was pricked by a hypodermic needle that lay hidden within, which drew blood. Doe sought damages from Etihad for her physical injury and her “mental distress, shock, mortification, sickness and illness, outrage and embarrassment from natural sequela of possible exposure to” various diseases. Her husband claimed loss of consortium. The court granted Etihad partial summary judgment, citing the Montreal Convention of 1999, an international treaty, which imposes capped strict liability “for damage sustained in case of death or bodily injury of a passenger upon condition only that the accident which caused the death or injury took place on board the aircraft.” The Sixth Circuit reversed. The district court erred in reading an additional “caused by” requirement into the treaty and concluding that Doe’s bodily injury did not cause her emotional and mental injuries. The Convention allows Doe to recover all her “damage sustained” from the incident. View "Doe v. Etihad Airways, P.J.S.C." on Justia Law