Thursday, October 26, 2017

International Law and International Litigation in U.S. Domestic Courts

Judicial Panel ABA MiamiThe Fall Meeting of the American Bar Association Section of International Law continues this week in Miami, Florida. One showcase panel considered how U.S. judges view international litigation and international law. The speakers were a federal district court judge (the Honorable Ursula Ungaro, Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida) and a Florida State Court judge (the Honorable John Thornton, Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida). The moderator was Steven Richman, Chair of the ABA Section of International Law. The panel discussed a variety of issues that arise in international litigation, including:

  • serving process on defendants who reside in other countries, using the Hague Service Convention and by other methods of actual service (including service by Facebook and other social media), and issues that arise with establishing personal jurisdiction over foreign defendants; 
  • the adequacy of alternative forums when arguing a motion to dismiss for forum non conveniens, or whether forum non conveniens can be a defense to enforcement of a foreign arbitral award under the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcemnt of Foreign Arbitral Awards, or in an action under the Montreal Convention (the Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air, 28 May 1999);
  • problems that arise when a state constitution or state statute purports to prohibit courts from considering international and foreign law, because eleven states (Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Louisiana, Kansas, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Washington) have enacted legislation restricting the application of foreign or religious law in state courts. Click here to read more about state restrictions on using foreign or religious law.
  • blocking enforcement of foreign defamation judgments in U.S. courts unless the party seeking enforcement complies with the federal statute called the "Securing the Protection of our Enduring and Established Constitutional Heritage" Act (the "SPEECH Act");
  • different rules for attorney-client privilege in different jurisdictions and other issues that arise when seeking discovery.


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