Personal Jurisdiction Over Foreign Parties in US Courts: New Developments

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European businesses view being sued in the United States as a major business risk, and they traditionally percieve the U.S. courts to be very liberal in assuming jurisdiction over foreign parties. Recent decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court appeared to be more restrictive.  They were widely reported over here, in particular Daimler AG vs. Bauman earlier this year. In today’s guest post, Peter S. Selvin summarizes the recent cases and reports that the lower courts do not always follow the trend.

While the U.S. Supreme Court has recently cut back on the power of US courts to exercise personal jurisdiction over non-US parties in civil litigation, certain federal appellate courts nevertheless continue to issue surprising decisions that buck this trend.  Continue reading

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Art Law: Bavarian Legislative Proposal “Unlikely to Succeed”, Minister Says

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The Bavarian legislative proposal dealing with art restitution rlaims will be on the agenda of the Upper Chamber (Bundesrat) of the German parliament this Friday. Ahead of the session, Thomas Kutschaty, the Minister of Justice for North Rhine Westphalia went on the record in an interview yesterday with news magazine FOCUS, stating that the Bavarian would “certainly not be approved” in parliament in its current form. Kutschaty on the one hand voiced constitutional concerns and on the other hand criticized the Bavarian approach on the burden of proof. It would be almost impossible, he said, of the heirs of Nazi victims, to provide evidence as to the ownership of lost art. Like many critics, however, he has – so far, at least – remained silent on the alternatives he would propose.

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Art Law: U.S. Litigation in the Gurlitt Case Against Bavaria, Federal Republic of Germany

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One of the posts here on the Gurlitt case was entitled Litigation is Coming Closer in Gurlitt Case. Nicholas O’Donnell reports in the Art Law Report today that the first case has indeed been brought -  by David Toren in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against the Free State of Bavaria and the Federal Republic of Germany.  Nick’s post contains a summary of the facts, a discussion of the jurisdictional issues under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act and a link to the complaint.

 

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Sports Arbitration: Munich Court Finds Arbitration Clause Invalid in Pechstein Case

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The Munich District Court (Landgericht München I) issued a judgment today which, if confirmed upon appeal, could have a significant impact on sports arbitration in Germany. Today’s decision came in proceedings brought by German speed skater Claudia Pechstein against the International Skating Union (ISU) und its German member, Deutsche Eisschnelllauf-Gemeinschaft (DESG) for damages suffered as a result of a doping ban. Pechstein’s damages claim was dismissed, but the Munich court found the arbitration clause contained in the athletes’ agreement between Pechstein and both the ISU and DESG to be invalid. Continue reading

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Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements – A U.S. Perspective

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Last week’s guest post by Pietro Franzina discussed the proposal of the EU Commission, recently adopted, that the EU should become a party of the Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements. Today, Ted Folkman provides the U.S. perspective on the Convention on his blog, Letters Blogatory, following up on an earlier post on the different proposals on how to implement the Convention in the U.S. system of state and federal courts. Ted, in short, believes that the Convention should be adopted and that in the real word, the differences between the rivalling approaches will not be felt.

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Frankfurt Investment Law Workshop, March 14/15, 2014: The Global Financial Architecture

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The Merton Centre for European Integration and International Economic Order, University of Frankfurt, the School of Law, University of Glasgow and the Max Planck Centre for Comparative Public Law and International Law join forces for the 2014 Frankfurt Investment Law Workshop on March 14 and 15, 2014. The workshop on “International Investment Law and the Global Financial Architecture” will explore the role of international investment law in the current reorganization of the global financial architecture. Hear from the organizers: Continue reading

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Update: Delisting Made Easier – Federal Supreme Court on Change of Market Segment for Listed Companies

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In November 2013, we had reported on the Federal Supreme Court’s (Bundesgerichtshof)  change of direction on delistings.  In the Frosta judgment, the court gave up its previous position, as developed in the 2002 Macroton case, that delistings triggered the duty of the corporation itself or its majority shareholders to make a mandatory offer to buy out the minority shareholders. Professor Dirk Zetzsche reviews the new legal environment for going-private transactions  in Germany in an English language article, “Going Dark Under German Law – Towards an Efficient Regime for Regular Delisting.” Here is the abstract: Continue reading

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Forum on Fraud, Asset Tracing and Recovery – Geneva, March 27/28, 2014

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On March 27/28, 2014, the Forum on Fraud, Asset Tracing and Recovery organized by C5 is being held in Geneva. I have the pleasure to be on a panel with Peter Burckhardt of Schellenberg Wittmer, Zurich and to present on taking of evidence abroad in civil fraud and asset tracing cases.

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