Inside This Issue:
INTERNATIONAL LAW SECTION CALENDAR OF UPCOMING EVENTS
• The International Law Section's Executive Committee meets on the second Wednesday of every month, alternating between LACBA's offices downtown and Fox Rothschild in Century City. The Executive Committee will meet next on March 10, 2010, 6 p.m. at Fox Rothschild, 1800 Century Park East, #300, Los Angeles. Everyone is welcome.
• March 16, 2010, 2:30 p.m.--Careers in International Law Pathways. UCI School of Law - MPAA Room 130. Presented with the State Bar of California-International Law Section, the American Bar Association's International Law Section, and LACBA's Business & Corporations Law Section.
• March 22, 2010, at 5 p.m. – Trends, Opportunities and Challenges of Exporting to China. Earn two hours of CLE credit.
• April 8, 2010, 12:30 p.m. – International Arbitration and Litigation. University of West Los Angeles Law School. Cosponsored by the American Bar Association Section of International Law and Black Women Lawyers of Los Angeles.
• International Trademark Association, 132nd Annual Meeting, Boston, Massachusetts, United States, May 22 to 26, 2010 (www.inta.org).
• International Association of Young Lawyers (AIJA), 48th Annual Congress in Charleston, South Carolina, August 24 to 28, 2010 (www.aija.org).
• International Bar Association, Annual Conference in Vancouver, Canada, October 3 to 8, 2010 (www.ibanet.org).
• Please join us on Facebook at International Law Section / Los Angeles County Bar Association.
INTERNATIONAL LEGAL UPDATES
• In re Omar Fuentes Martinez on Habeas Corpus (2009) 46 Cal.4th 945 – International Court of Justice (ICJ) consular notification decision did not require consideration of successive habeas petition. The California Supreme Court would not reconsider a defendant's habeas corpus claim that he had been prejudiced as a result of a denial of his right to consular notification under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, after the ICJ issued its decision in Avena and Other Mexican Nationals (Mexico v. U.S.) finding that 51 death penalty defendants’ rights to consular notification had been violated and directing the courts of the United States to review their convictions and sentences for prejudice without applying procedural default doctrines. The supreme court explained that it had already effectively complied with the ICJ’s directive in considering the defendant’s previous petition. Furthermore, the U.S. Supreme Court had rejected the position that either Avena or a related Presidential Memorandum preempted state procedural default doctrines.
• Bauman v. DaimlerChrysler Corporation (9th Cir. 2009) 07-15386 – Where Argentinean residents sued German corporation in California under Alien Tort Claims Act for human rights violations allegedly committed by corporation's subsidiary in Argentina during the 1970s military regime, and plaintiffs argued that the continuous and systematic contacts of corporation's American subsidiary in California should be attributed to corporation, district court properly dismissed for lack of personal jurisdiction because parent did not exert control that was so pervasive and continual that American subsidiary could be considered an agent or instrumentality, and because American subsidiary was not sufficiently important to the parent corporation such that parent corporation would have undertaken to perform substantially similar services in subsidiary's absence.
• Cassirer v. Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection (9th Cir. 2009) 06-56325 – Expropriation exception of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act applies when claim is made against a foreign state that is not the entity that expropriated the property in violation of international law. Advertising and promotional activity, purchase and sale of goods and services, and exchange of artwork with persons and entities, all within the United States, constituted "commercial activity in the United States" for purposes of the 28 U.S.C. Sec. 1605(a)(2) exception.
• Vivendi SA v. T-Mobile USA Inc. (9th Cir. 2009) 08-35561 – District court properly dismissed on forum non conveniens grounds a French corporation’s suit alleging that a German corporation and a Polish billionaire colluded fraudulently in Europe to wrest control of a Polish wireless telephone company from the French corporation. Court was within its discretion to grant little deference to foreign plaintiff’s choice of forum where plaintiff had engaged in forum shopping. District court’s conclusion that private interest factors, when weighed against public interest, favored dismissal was not an abuse of discretion where all the conduct underlying the plaintiff’s claims occurred overseas, and all the witnesses but three resided in Europe.
• Applied Medical Distribution Corporation v. The Surgical Company BV (9th Cir. 2009) 09-55155 – District court abused its discretion in denying anti-suit injunction that would have prevented defendant from pursuing a suit in Belgium for statutory termination damages allegedly available under Belgian law since such action would effectively nullify parties’ contractual forum selection and choice-of-law clauses. To extent domestic action is capable of disposing of all issues in a foreign action and all issues in foreign action fall under parties’ contractual forum selection clause, the issues are meaningfully "the same"; district court applied incorrect legal standard by requiring all issues to be "identical." District court relied on clearly erroneous factual determination that defendant’s Belgian claims, other than goodwill indemnities, were available apart from termination because all of defendant’s claims depended upon termination of parties’ agreement, and therefore all "aris[e] out of th[e] Agreement" and were subject to the forum selection clause.
• Guessous v. Chrome Hearts, LLC (Cal.App. 2 Dist. 2009) – Filing of a lawsuit in a foreign country is not protected activity under anti-SLAPP statute. A Delaware fashion company's act of filing of a lawsuit in France against a French company was not protected activity under the anti-strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) statute. Thus, a breach of contract and declaratory relief action alleging that such a lawsuit violated a covenant not to sue was not covered by the anti-SLAPP statute. This result was determined by the plain meaning of the anti-SLAPP statute, which stated that it referred to causes of action implicating the right of petition or free speech "under the United States or California Constitution." Neither Constitution granted a United States citizen the right to petition a foreign government.
• Yukos Oil Company v. Russian Federation Hearing in the European Court of Human Rights. The European Court of Human Rights’ hearing on the case took place in Strasbourg on January 14, 2010, after more than 6 years of litigation. The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) is an independent judicial body under the auspices of the Council of Europe, which has 47 member states, including the Russian Federation. Background information on the case is available at: www.TheYukosLibrary.com.
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 Jason Cirlin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ILS 2009-2010 Section Officers:
Chair – Malcolm McNeil, MMcNeil@foxrothschild.com.
First Vice-Chair – Constance Kim, email@example.com.
Second Vice-Chair – Kathy Hao, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Secretary – Mariana Noli, email@example.com.
Treasurer – Qiang Bjornbak, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Get Involved with Standing Committees:
Communications: Contact Jason Cirlin at email@example.com.
Membership and Outreach: Contact Qiang Bjornbak.
Programs: Contact Malhar Pagay.
New Initiatives/Strategic Policy: Contact: Rita M. Lauria at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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