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American Bar Association

Case Notes

 

FEDERAL CASES


U.S. Supreme Court

Rent-A-Center West, Inc. v. Jackson

The Supreme Court made it harder to challenge an arbitral agreement in court, holding that if the contract delegates that issue to the arbitrators and a person fails to challenge that clause, the arbitrators decide whether the agreement is “unconscionable.”


Morrison v. National Australia Bank Ltd.

The Supreme Court held that the main antifraud provision in the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934 applies only to transactions in securities listed on U.S. exchanges and domestic transactions in other securities.


CitiFinancial Corp., LLC v. Frazier

The U.S. Supreme Court held that the statutory grounds for vacatur of an arbitration award enumerated in the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) couldn’t be expanded by contract.


Stolt-Nielsen v. AnimalFeeds Int'l Corp.

The U.S. Supreme Court decided that the question of whether an arbitration clause is silent on the issue of class arbitration is one to be decided by the arbitral tribunal and not by a court.


Hall Street Assocs., LLC v. Mattel, Inc.

The Supreme Court held that the statutory grounds set forth in the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) for vacating or modifying an arbitration award are exhaustive and thus cannot be supplemented by contract.


Second Circuit

Karada Bodas Co. v. Perusahaan Pertambangan Minyak Dan Gas Bume Negara

The Second Circuit considered the circumstances under which a federal court may enjoin foreign judicial proceedings that threaten to undermine federal judgments confirming and enforcing foreign arbitral awards.


Third Circuit

Krishanthi v. Rajaratnam

The court declined to dismiss the complaint in a class-action suit brought by survivors of terrorist bombings in Sri Lanka.


OSS Nokalva, Inc. v. European Space Agency

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals held that the IOIA grants only limited immunity consistent with the contemporary understanding and application of the FSIA.


Forestal Guarani S.A. v. Daros Int'l, Inc.

A court of appeals recently determined that where one party's country of incorporation has opted out of the CISG and the other party's has not, a court must first decide which forum's law applies to determine whether a contract must be in writing.


Animal Sci. Prod., Inc., et al., v. China Nat'l Metals & Minerals Imp. & Exp.

A district court shed light on the scope of the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act (FTAIA), set a new definition for the term “importer,” and clarified the statutory and common-law sources of immunity available to foreign states.


Resco Products, Inc. v. Bosai Minerals Group Co.

The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania recently became the first court to stay an action pending the resolution and final report of a World Trade Organization (WTO) proceeding.


European Chem. Mktg. B.V. v. The Purolite Co.

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania has held that the parol-evidence rule doesn't apply to contracts governed by the U.N. Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG).


Amaprop Ltd., v. Indiabulls Financial Services Ltd.

A federal judge in the Southern District of New York disregarded two Indian antisuit injunctions and ruled that a dispute between a Cayman Islands company and an Indian company must proceed to arbitration.


Pons v. People's Republic of China

The plaintiffs sued the People’s Republic of China (PRC), seeking to recover on bonds issued in 1913 by the PRC’s predecessor government.


Sacirbey v. Guccione

With its decision in Sacirbey v. Guccione, the Second Circuit has concluded a chapter in the lengthy dispute between Muhamed Sacirbey, a U.S. citizen, and the Bosnian government of which he was a former leader.


Admart AG v. Stephen and Mary Birch Foundation, Inc.

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals has curtailed the ability of district courts to modify an arbitral award rendered under the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards.


Pronova Biopharma Norge v. Teva Pharm.USA, Inc.

Magistrate Judge Mary Thynge of the District of Delaware recently rejected a challenge to impose substantive procedural rights on letters of request for international judicial assistance pursuant to the Hague Evidence Convention.


Sixth Circuit

Seton Co. v. Zhejiang Mingxin Leather Co.

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan has held that a contractual dispute-resolution provision stating that disputes “may” be subject to international arbitration is mandatory, not permissive.


Chanel, Inc. v. Zhibing and Chanel, Inc. v. Zhizhong

A federal district court in the Sixth Circuit has confirmed that foreign defendants may be served via email if the defendants are known to receive and read email and no physical address is available.


Eighth Circuit

United States v. Lomeli

The court of appeals affirmed the district court and held that the doctrine of specialty clause in the United States-Mexico Extradition Treaty was not violated by the use of criminal history in determining the defendant's sentence.


Ninth Circuit

Cuellar v. Joyce

The Ninth Circuit reiterated the law of International Child Abduction under the Hague Convention, stating that poor living conditions and medical care, as well as potential psychological harm, were sufficient to trigger the “grave risk” exception.


Bauman et al. v. DaimlerChrysler Corp. et al.

The Ninth Circuit employed "agency theory" to find jurisdiction over a foreign company as a result of that company's ties to its American subsidiary.


Dependable Highway Express, Inc. v. Navigators Insurance Co.

The Ninth Circuit addressed the limits of international comity where the very existence of an arbitration clause selecting a foreign forum was in dispute.


New Regency Productions, Inc. v. Nippon Herald Films, Inc.

The Ninth Circuit held that an arbitrator had a duty to investigate potential conflicts when he accepted employment, during the course of the arbitration, with a company that was then involved in negotiations with a party closely connected to a party to the case.


Eleventh Circuit

Tennessee Health Mgmt. Inc. v. Johnson

The issue in this case was whether a party was bound to an arbitration agreement that was signed on that party’s behalf by a third party.


Wilson v. Island Seas Investments, Ltd.

The plaintiff-appellant brought causes of action for negligence, vicarious liability, and fraud against a foreign resort and its owners, located in the Bahamas.


United States v. Marquez

The defendant appealed his conviction in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida of violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) on the grounds that his extradition from Spain violated the rules of specialty and of dual criminality.


Quail Cruises Ship Mgmt. Ltd. v. Agencia De Viagens CVC Tur Ltda.

The Southern District of Florida recently ruled on multiple motions to dismiss brought by defendants in an international dispute.


Osorio v. Dole Food Co.

From 1957 until 1977, the Dow Chemical Co. manufactured a chemical compound known as dibromochloropropane (DBCP) and sold it to the Dole Food Co., who used the chemical to cultivate its Central and South American banana plantations.


CI International Fuels, Ltda. v. Helm Bank, S.A.

The Southern District of Florida recently denied a motion to remand filed by the plaintiffs in a matter of first impression in Florida and the Eleventh Circuit.


Tancu v. Celebrity Cruises, Inc.

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida granted the defendant's motion to compel arbitration based on the terms of a collective-bargaining agreement (CBA) incorporated into the plaintiff's sign-on-employment agreement (SOEA).


Chemische Fabrik Budenheim KG v. Bavaria Corp. Int'l

Plaintiff Chemische Fabrik Budenheim KG (CFB) filed an objection to a U.S. Magistrate Judge's recommendation regarding the plaintiff's application for attorney fees and prejudgment interest.


District of Columbia

McKesson Corp. v. Islamic Republic of Iran

Judge Richard Leon’s decision may mark the end of another chapter in this seemingly never-ending lawsuit.


Cruise Connections Charter Management 1, et al. v. Royal Canadian Mounted Police, et al.

Cruise Connections signed a contract with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) to provide three cruise ships in Vancouver harbor to house security personnel in return for $54 million.


Certain Underwriters at Lloyds London, et al. v. Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, et al.

The D.C. District Court granted the defendants’ motions to dismiss because the LCRA, settlement agreement, and executive order revoked any exception to sovereign immunity, so it lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the Libyan defendants.


STATE COURT CASES


Florida

Roman v. Atlantic Coast Construction and Development, Inc.

The appellate court affirmed a trial court order requiring a nonsignature party to a contract to arbitrate.


Lloyds Underwriters v. Netterstorm

The court found that a state restriction on arbitration, pursuant to a provision in the McCarren-Ferguson Act, did not apply to contracts in the international insurance business.


First Automotive Serv. Corp. v. First Colonial Ins. Co.

The court upheld an arbitration award of attorney fees based on the bad-faith exception to the "American Rule."


Hawaii

Ayala-Villanueva v. United States

Petitioner Wilsonis Ayala-Villaneuva moved to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. The court rejected the argument.


North Dakota

Sarkis v. Lajcak

The plaintiff sued the defendants Office of the High Representative (OHR) for Bosnia and Herzegovina and Ambassador Miroslav Lajcak in his official capacity as the High Representative for wrongful termination.


Pennsylvania

Silverman v. China National Native Produce & Animal By-Products Import & Export Corp.

The plaintiff, who was injured by a defective aerial fireworks shell on July 4, 1994, commenced an action in 1995 against various parties, including China National Native (Tuhsu) as the purported manufacturer of the shell.


NON-U.S. CASES


David Rubin et al. v. Euro Finance SA et al.

The English court of appeal recognized an exception to the traditional rule precluding the enforcement of foreign judgments.


Searing Industries v. United States

The court held that the department of Commerce’s recent about-face in its calculation method for antidumping investigations was permissible and that it could employ two different approaches to the same calculation for administrative reviews versus investigations.


Methanex Corp. v. United States of America

A tribunal has rejected claims by a Canadian company, Methanex, challenging California’s decision to ban gasoline produced with methyl tertiary-butyl (MTBE).


CMS Gas Transmission Co. v. Argentine Republic

An arbitral tribunal has ruled against Argentina in an important case arising out of that country's recent economic crisis.