Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Glock Handgun Entities' Documents Obtained for Use in Austria May Be Used in U.S.

A recent Eleventh Circuit opinion is interesting on a number of levels. Glock v. Glock, Inc., No. 14-15701 (11th Cir. Aug. 17, 2015).  Helga Glock, the wife of the inventor of the Glock handgun, initiated a proceeding in the United States (under 28 U.S.C. §1782) against the Glock entities to discover documents relating to her divorce proceedings back in Austria. She obtained the documents, subject to a protective order that restricted their use in other proceedings unless she obtained court leave.

About a year and a half later, Helga filed a RICO action against Mr. Glock and the Glock entities in the U.S.  She sought and obtained, in the Section 1782 proceeding, the magistrate's permission to use the documents she had obtained in that proceeding in the subsequent RICO action.   

The district court reversed, but the Eleventh Circuit upheld the magistrate.

First, the court held that Section 1782 did not prohibit the later use of evidence that had been lawfully obtained in a Section 1782 proceeding, including in subsequent U.S. litigation.  Second, the court held that the protective order in Helga’s Section 1782 proceeding had required her to obtain court permission before using the documents in another proceeding, but that she had done that.

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