One of the recurring themes in German-American legal relations is the culture clash of US style discovery and German style data protection. Therefore, I read with great interest that the American Bar Association (ABA) passed a resolution on the topic. Here it is – the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association resolved on February 6, 2012:
“That the American Bar Association urges that, where possible in the context of the proceedings before them, U.S. federal, state, territorial, tribal and local courts consider and respect, as appropriate, the data protection and privacy laws of any applicable foreign sovereign, and the interests of any person who is subject to or benefits from such laws, with regard to data that is subject to preservation, disclosure, or sought in discovery in civil litigation.”
The resolution is backed up by a detailed report of the ABA’s Section of International Law, that very usefully summarized the issues from a US perspective. At the Beck Blog, Axel Spiess has written about the subject in the context of e-discovery.