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Category Archives: Sovereigns

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Thanks to Argentina, Suing Foreign Sovereigns Just Became More Attractive

Posted in Litigation Industry, Sovereigns
Litigation against foreign sovereigns received a boost from yesterday’s SCOTUS ruling allowing discovery against foreign sovereigns to find assets for potential execution by a judgment creditor, as described in an alert by Weil. The ruling provides a fresh catalyst for more global litigation of all kinds, including more tort claims against foreign sovereigns.… Continue Reading

Motley Rice Wins Against Saudi Arabia in 9/11 Litigation

Posted in Sovereigns
Mass tort litigation against sovereigns remains an intriguing issue. In the Second Circuit, Motley Rice recently won reversal of the order dismissing Saudi Arabia as a defendant in the 9/11 litigation. The opinion is here, and some of the pleadings and briefs are here. The opinion is narrow but interesting for thinking about law suits or… Continue Reading

Niche Litigation – The Small Picture and the Big Picture as Illustrated by International Arbitration Panel Awards Against Russia for Appropriating Yukos Investment Via Ginned Up Tax Bills

Posted in Sovereigns
Today, niche litigation creates an amazing three-dimensional chess board for moves and counter-moves. For example, Russia has now lost two international arbitrations regarding its appropriation of Yukos through ginned up tax bills. Covington’s cogent press release effectively tells the story of this single arbitration. The arbitration award is here.  End of story? No. The larger story is… Continue Reading

Torts, Governments and Freedom of the Press

Posted in Sovereigns
Everything is relative in the world of injuries and torts. In the US, defendants and plaintiffs jockey back and forth, and lobby for state and federal changes in laws and/or members of the judiciary.   But, we do not have outright government censorship or reporters being blocked from investigating. Not so, it appears, in China,… Continue Reading

Sovereigns, Torts and Bribes

Posted in Sovereigns
It seems inevitable that sovereign liability issues will continue to grow; several posts on this topic are indexed under  the heading  "sovereign."  Two new items caught my eye on sovereign-owned or supported entities. First, note this NLJ article on decisions holding that FCPA  prosecutions are proper for bribes paid to business entities which are arguably owned or… Continue Reading

Chinese Government Hit With Default Judgment for Stealing Sofware Code for Use in Supressing Internet Acess

Posted in Sovereigns
 A National Law Journal article reports that the Chinese government has been hit with a default judgment in a tort case. Through  February 16 rulings in federal court in Los Angeles,  District Judge Josephine Tucker held that Solid Oak Software Inc. was entitled to a default in a suit alleging governmental theft of software code for use in… Continue Reading

Sovereigns and Their Roles Related to Commercial Activities Involving Substances that Present Health Risks

Posted in Policy Issues, Sovereigns
Here’s an invitation for readers to guest blog or comment on a question related to mass tort litigation, governments and substances that are extracted and exported despite known health risks and the absence of complete certainty regarding health effects. Feel free to reframe the question, but I see it as:   when, if ever, should  government agencies and/or officials be held liable for statements or… Continue Reading

Australia and Asbestos – The James Hardie Saga, Its Asbestos Claim Payment Foundation – A Viable Alternative to Ch. 11 ?

Posted in Asbestos Bankruptcy, Personal Injury Claims Against Insolvents, Policy Issues, Shifting Tort Expenses, Sovereigns
Now it’s west (from Chicago) to Australia, asbestos and the public company fiber cement business commonly known as James Hardie.  The short story is that James Hardie and its officers and directors have been through a wringer as several were convicted of securities violations in connection with information disseminated regarding ”asbestos liabilities” and a foundation set up by various… Continue Reading

Conflict of Interests and International Tort Claims for Persons from Many Countries – The Libyan Terrorism Example

Posted in Class Actions/Aggregate Litigation, Conflicts of Interest in Mass Torts, Global Tort Litigation, Mass Accident Cases, Policy Issues, Sovereigns
Here is an unexpected but interesting non-asbestos example of conflict of interest issues arising from efforts to resolve “mass torts” for various persons around the world. The example arises from the airplane crash and airplane hijacking blamed on Libyan terrorists. The article describes a recently filed lawsuit in which two victims of the crash object… Continue Reading

Chapter 11 Cases Fail to Properly Deal with Future International Claims Against Multinationals Heavily Involved in Selling Asbestos Fibers or Products

Posted in Asbestos, Corporate or Product Image, Policy Issues, Prevention of Product Liability, Risk Management, Sovereigns
The point of today’s post is to focus attention on issues and topics that arise from relationships between insolvencies and multinationals heavily involved in selling asbestos fibers and/or asbestos-containing products, and their implications for present and future tort claiming and the ability to enforce bankruptcy court injunctions. To illustrate that the topic is well-grounded in… Continue Reading

Global Asbestos Claiming – Report on Asbestos Litigation in Nine Nations – Munich Re’s Major Compilation of Information

Posted in Asbestos, Asia, EU Developments, Global Tort Litigation, Insurance Coverage for Tort Claims, International Asbestos, Japan, Litigation Industry, Propensity to Claim, Risk Management, Sovereigns
Here is the online image of Munich Re’s recent, comprehensive report on asbestos litigation, Asbestos: Anatomy of a Mass Tort. The 112 page report is authored by Nicholas Roenneberg, and is Order number 302-06142. The report can be downloaded and printed from this page.The same page, on the right hand side, allows you to order… Continue Reading

Eternit, Etex and Asbestos Cement – Global Scale, Decades Ago – How to Deal with Current and Future Claims ?

Posted in Asbestos, Corporate or Product Image, Policy Issues, Prevention of Product Liability, Risk Management, Sovereigns
Monday’s post (12/26) pointed out a variety of product liability, corporate law and compensation issues in the context of one nation (India) and a small group of apparently independent asbestos-cement companies. The point of today’s post is to illustrate macro level complexities that arise due to the cross-border issues that arise from multinationals, globalization and… Continue Reading

Focusing this Week on Global Issues and Future Claims, Starting with Articles on Growing Asbestos Cement Use in India

Posted in Asbestos, Corporate or Product Image, Policy Issues, Prevention of Product Liability, Risk Management, Sovereigns
I keep falling off the “global” side of things. So, this week, I’ll make a special effort to be more global. This week I’m also going to try to focus more on the wide range of issues regarding “future” claims. By future claims, I mean future tort or business to business claims that possibly, likely… Continue Reading

Update on China’s Tainted Milk Scandal – Bankruptcy, Executions and Civil Court Hearings

Posted in China, Criminal Law and Torts, Sovereigns
Milk intentionally altered with melamine sickened around 300,000 thousand children in China The aftermath includes civil suits in China and criminal convictions. The NYT reported yesterday that civil trial is underway against one of the producers and the retailer. Earlier this year, about 20 involved persons were convicted of criminal charges. Two of them were… Continue Reading

Taking Discovery Against the UK’s FSA Regulatory Agency ?

Posted in Discovery, Sovereigns
Here is an interesting paper from the Lehman bankruptcy. It is a motion for discovery against the UK’s Financial Services Authority and PwC. (Hat tip to Am Law Daily for publishing this article on the topic, with a link to the motion. ) The opening paragraph is pasted below: __________________________________________________________________ “The Official Committee of Unsecured… Continue Reading

State Secrets Privilege – Should The Alleged Victim Be Compensated When the Government Chooses to Exercise the Privilege ?

Posted in Policy Issues, Privileges, Secrecy, Sovereigns
Here is an interesting NLJ article on the state secrets privilege from a law professor and dean with an impressive background in both public interest litigation and academics. The law professor, Alan B. Morrison, currently is the Lerner Family Associate Dean for Public Interest and Public Service Law at the George Washington University School of… Continue Reading

Binding a Successor Corporation to a Forum Selection Clause in International Litigation Related to a Sovereign-Owned Entity

Posted in Global Tort Choice of Law/Venue Issues, Sovereigns
With a hat tip to Mondaq, this article from Proskauer summarizes a recent 2d Circuit ruling holding that forum selection clauses may be enforced against successor entities in the context of an entity 90% owned by the Argentine government. The case arises in the context of business to business litigation, but the same principles presumably… Continue Reading

United States to Limit Use of the State Secrets Privilege for Civil Litigation ?

Posted in Privileges, Sovereigns
This September 23 NYT article by Charlie Savage describes Obama administration plans to deploy rules that limit the use of the state secrets privilege to block civil litigation. The article also briefly discusses legislative efforts to limit invocation of the privilege. The existing use of privilege has significantly limited past lawsuits. For an example, see… Continue Reading

Tort Settlement Secrecy – Can Government Lawyers Ethically Use Settlement Agreement Terms That Purport to Limit Future Use of The Settlement ?

Posted in Civil Rights, Secrecy, Sovereigns
Is it ethical for government lawyers to demand, or a plaintiff’s lawyer to sign, a tort claim settlement agreement that includes terms that purport to limit the use of the settlement agreement in future litigation? “No” is the answer provided in this article addressing the issue in the context of government and private lawyers involved… Continue Reading

Suits Against Sovereigns – Class Action Filed Against the Commonwealth of Antigua and Barbuda for Aiding and Abetting the Stanford Ponzi Scheme

Posted in Global Tort Litigation, Sovereigns
Here is an excerpt fron this blog post by Kevin LaCroix at The D + O Diary: “The Latest Stanford Financial Group Lawsuit: According to a July 13, 2009 Bloomberg article (here), Stanford Group investors have filed a class actoin lawsuit in the Southern District of Texas against The Commonwealth of Antigua and Barbuda, alleging… Continue Reading

Litigating with State-Owned Entities – China, Non-performing Loans and State-Owned Banks

Posted in Sovereigns
Jones Day lawyers wrote a detailed article on new Chinese Supreme Court rules regarding litigation over non-performing loans and state-owned banks. This is not quite tort litigation, but provides yet another example of the accelerating relationships between legal sytems, and the difficult issues that may arise when dealing with state-owned entities. You can see the… Continue Reading