We had reported earlier that Porsche had struck a deal with some of the New York hedgde fund claimants to discontinue their US actions. In return, Porsche had agreed not to invoke the statute of limitation if the actions were filed again in Germany. According to press reports, 25 funds, including Viking Global,Tiger Global, Royal Capital, Glenhill Capital and Greenlight Capital have now filed claims in the order of EUR 1.4 billion against Porsche SE.
Legal Tribune Online’s daily press survey summarizes the reactions to yesterday’s Google judgment and provides links where the articles are not pay-walled. The reaction is mixed: Süddeutsche say that the court brings the idea of responsibility to bear on the internet (“Die Richter etablieren das Prinzip Verantwortung im Internet.”) and finds that the court does not place undue burdens on Google. taz is critical of the fact that the control about what is found on the net is now handed to those who feel insulted (“Netz der Beleidigten”) and objective standards may be undermined.
Frankfurter Allgemeine champions plurality of opinion within the paper: Reinhard Müller in politics is happy to see that Google did not get away with the excuse that it was only the machine who did it, whereas legal correspondent Corrina Budras (“Überzogenes Feingefühl der Richter”) believes that the judges were too pussy-footy and Zeitgeist-ridden. The average internet user fully understands that search terms are the path to a result, but not the result itself, she says, and the court did over-react.
This morning, the Federal Supreme Court (Bundesgerichtshof) has held Google liable for a functionality of its search engine, the autocomplete function. The claimants had requested that Google ceased the publication of autocomplete results that suggested “fraud” or “Scientology” as additional search terms when the claimants’ names were searched. Google will now have to stop the publication of such “predictions” if and when it has become aware that automatically created predictions infringe the rights of third parties.
In October 2012, I asked the question and pointed to a lecture by professor Mathias W. Reimann, who promised to have the answers: “Why Americans Make Better Global Lawyers”. The lecture was to be delivered at the Max Planck Institute in Hamburg as the 13th Ernst Rabel Lecture. I promised that I would follow up on the topic, but I must ask my readers to wait until January 2014, when the manuscript is scheduled for publication in The Rabel Journal of Comparative and International Private Law (RabelsZ). In the meantime, Gian-Reto Schulthess picked up the question, and reached the conclusion that Americans may make better gobal lawyers, but Europeans make better international lawyers.
P.S.: Professor Reimann states, on his website: “Please note: Prof. Reimann does not use email.” There are days on which I envy him.
You may always have suspected this: Eating together increases the overall value of the outcome of negotiations. But now, you have Harvard’s stamp of approval on your gut feeling. Continue reading
As previously reported, Holger Härter, Porsche’s CFO at the time of the attempted Volkswagen take-over, is facing criminal charges for his conduct in the transaction. The first trial is coming to a close now. The Stuttgart public prosecutor’s office (Staatsanwaltschaft) accused Härter and members of his finance team of having misrepresented the exposure under the option agreements to BNP Parisbas when they negotiated Porsche’s credit line and hence obtained credit by deception (Kreditbetrug; Sec. 265b German Criminal Code, Strafgesetzbuch). This is a criminal offence, even if the bank did not suffer any credit – merely having put the bank at risk suffices.
The Economist’s Prospero Blog features an interview on forensic maths - Coralie Colmez, the author of “Math on Trial: How Numbers Get Used and Abused in the Courtroom” speaks about the use of maths and statistics in a legal context. Most of her examples are drawn from criminal law, but the issues she raises are relevant to everyone who uses maths and statistics in a courtroom or in settlement discussions. Continue reading