Inside This Issue:
INTERNATIONAL LAW SECTION CALENDAR OF UPCOMING EVENTS
• Nominations of 2009-2010 Section Leaders: Congratulations to Malcolm McNeil (Chair), Constance Kim (First Vice-Chair), Kathy Hao (Second Vice-Chair), Mariana Noli (Secretary), and Qiang Bjornbak (Treasurer).
• Preview Movie Trailer of The Reckoning: The Battle for the International Criminal Court, available in a trailer format now, and the full movie shows on KCET on July 16th at 8:30 pm. This film is an epic, nail-biting account of the ICC’s struggle to prosecute perpetrators—however powerful or concealed they may be—of crimes against humanity as the Court fights to establish its own credibility on the world stage. The film shows the lead-up to the court’s most recent and sensational action, the indictment of Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir on March 4, 2009, for crimes against humanity, and war crimes. Established by treaty in 2002 in response to the mass atrocities that stained the late 20th century, the ICC is the first permanent international criminal court created to seek justice for victims of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. Though, despite its historic mandate by its founding 100-plus nations, the Court was not given a police force or other enforcement arm. Moreover, in pursuing its mission, the ICC faces major obstacles from nations that did not join the treaty.
Like a deft thriller, The Reckoning keeps you on the edge of your seat. Will the prosecutor succeed? Will the world ensure that justice prevails? Paco de Onís, Peter Kinoy and Pamela Yates’ The Reckoning, an Official Selection at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, will be broadcast on KCET on July 16th at 8:30 pm. We plan to hold a short discussion after the preview with the filmmakers by telephone and a live appearance by the internationally known Venezuelan lawyer, Antonio Rosich, who has substantial background with the ICC. This event is a collaboration with P.O.V., PBS’ award-winning nonfiction film series. http://www.pbs.org/pov/reckoning/).
**The screening of this film does not constitute an endorsement of its views by either the LACBA or any of its sections including the International Law Section.**
• Summer Social Networking Reception, June 30, 2009, 5:45-8:00 pm,
Kyoto Grand Hotel and Gardens, 120 S. Los Angeles Street, in the Garden Area on the 2FL, $25 for ILS members—in conjunction with the LACBA Business and Corporations Section.
• International Association of Young Lawyers (AIJA), Annual Congress in Budapest, Hungary, August 24-29, 2009 (www.aija.org).
• International Bar Association, Annual Conference in Madrid, Spain, October 4-9, 2009 (http://www.ibanet.org).
INTERNATIONAL LEGAL UPDATES
• Regal-Beloit Corporation v. Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd. (9th Cir. 2009) 0656831.
Where parties’ agreement for carriage of goods from China into United States by sea
and then by rail included a Tokyo forum selection clause and chose Carriage of Goods by Sea Act to cover carriers’ responsibility during shipment, and carrier subcontracted with railroad whose train derailed in Oklahoma, Carmack Amendment--which provides default rules governing inland rail leg of a shipment between a foreign country and a point in United States—and not COGSA governed carrier’s responsibility for inland rail transport. Tokyo was acceptable forum under Carmack only if parties satisfied applicable requirement under 49 U.S.C. Sec. 10502 or 10709 for contracting out of Carmack’s default venue restrictions. Where contract was exempted from regulation by Surface Transportation Board, Sec. 10709 did not apply, and remand was required to apply Sec. 10502 because a carrier providing nonexempt transportation may contract under Sec. 10709 without offering Carmack protections. Though a carrier providing exempt transportation must proceed under Sec. 10502, which does require such an offer.
• Leduc v. Roman, (2009) CanLII 6838 (ON S.C.).
Clients must disclose information posted on Facebook, Flickr, Twitter and other similar social media sites, even where they have blocked their accounts from public access in responding to discovery requests.
• Guimei v. General Electric Co. (2009) SOS 1765.
E-mail was not valid means of effecting service of process upon Iraqi instrumentality under Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act; e-mail was not a permitted means of service of process under Iraqi laws so an exporter’s attempted service upon an Iraqi instrumentality by such means was not valid service under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.
• Vaughn v. LJ International, Inc. (2009)_Cal. App. 4th_ (Case No. B208192).
Prefiling requirements that grant or deny standing establish a procedure for compliance, but resulting decision as to presence or absence of standing to bring an action is characterized as resolving a substantive right. As a permission to sue provision is governed by the internal affairs doctrine, a British Virgin Islands statute requiring approval from the high court of that jurisdiction before a shareholder may sue derivatively governed shareholder’s standing to bring his derivative claims against an entity incorporated in the Virgin Islands and its directors. Governmental interest choice of law test is inapplicable to a derivative action.
• Yamaha Motor Company, Ltd. v. Superior Court (Connors) (2009) _Cal. App. 4th_ (Case No. G041255). Japanese manufacturer can be served under California law simply by serving the Japanese manufacturer’s American subsidiary; when service is valid under state law on the American subsidiary of a foreign manufacturer, there is no need to serve papers in accord with the Hague Service Convention.
• Guevara v. Republic of Peru, et al. (11th Cir. 2006) 468 F. 3d 1289.
Foreign state’s offer of a reward in exchange for information enabling it to find and apprehend a fugitive falls within the “commercial activity exception” to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. In its analysis, the Eleventh Circuit discussed FSIA’s general grant of immunity for foreign governments, which is subject to certain exceptions, including the “commercial activity” exception. 28 U.S.C. Sec. 1605(a)(2).
The court examined the language of FSIA at 28 U.S.C. Sec. 1603(d) regarding the meaning of “commercial activity” and the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Republic of Argentina v. Weltover, Inc. (1992) 504 U.S. 607, 612 (An activity is “commercial” when a foreign government acts as a private player, rather than a regulator, in a market. Further, because the FSIA provides that the commercial character of an act is to be determined by examining the nature of the act, rather than its purpose, the Court required an examination of the motive behind the action, and whether it is the sort of activity in which private parties engage in “trade, traffic, or commerce.”).
• Saudi Arabia v. Nelson (1993) 507 U.S. 349.
“Exercise of the powers of police and penal officers is not the sort of action by which private parties can engage in commerce.” Governmental offers of reward money for information is a public, governmental act which should be immune from suit under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.
• Supermarket Legal Services Coming to the U.K. (May 15, 2009, Law.com blog by Carolyn Elefant).
Under the Legal Services Act of 2007, nonlawyer entities, including shops and grocery stores, will be able to sell legal services, or at least retain an ownership interest in those firms providing services. As the date for implementation of the Legal Services Act draws closer, some lawyers have concerns about their future. Barrister Craig Holt, chief executive of QualitySolicitors.com, says that “the solicitor profession faces being all but wiped out by a government seemingly intent on robbing the public of access to good quality, local legal advice.” But others regard the new system as a way to offer more competition and benefits to consumers. There is discussion of outsourcing legal services overseas and providing advice by phone and over Internet sites, once rules are more relaxed.
Legal Services Act: http://www.justice.gov.uk/publications/legalservicesbill.htm)
Join the International Law Section: Fill out your personal information and select International Law Section to become a member.
Become an International Law Section Reporter!
The International Law Section Executive Committee is pleased to announce our inaugural Reporters Program.
Led by Communications Chair Malcolm McNeil, the program provides an opportunity for rising stars in international law practice to get involved in LACBA International Law Section activities. By signing up to report on a CLE program, you can contribute as an author or an editor for the International Law Section e-Newsletter. This is a great chance for attorneys developing their international law legal career to work directly with leaders of the international community and to get published.
Sign up today! Contact Malcolm McNeil at MMcNeil@foxrothschild.com
Get Involved with Standing Committees:
Communications: Contact Malcolm McNeil.
Membership and Outreach: Contact Qiang Bjornbak.
Programs: Contact Malhar Pagay.
ILS 2008-2009 Section Officers:
Chair – Jeff Daar, firstname.lastname@example.org.
First Vice-Chair – Malcolm McNeil, MMcNeil@foxrothschild.com.
Second Vice-Chair – JJ Weston, email@example.com.
Secretary – Qiang Bjornbak, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Treasurer – Emily Spear, email@example.com.
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