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 →
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.
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.