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The American legal system allows litigants to compel the production of far more evidence before trial than many other systems. And it does not limit this power to proceedings taking place within the United States. Instead, pursuant to statutes like 28 U.S.C. §  1782 or CPLR 3102(e), litigants can ask American courts to compel discovery for use in proceedings abroad. Although 28 U.S.C. §  1782 is not the only statute that permits discovery for…
Although I handle a wide variety of commercial disputes in my practice, one type of dispute that I do not work on is disputes over patents and trademarks. Specialized IP litigators handle those disputes. To learn more about that work, and how it differs from my own, I spoke with Alexandra Scoville, an attorney at Schmeiser, Olsen & Watts LLP in Albany, New York, about her practice as an intellectual property litigator. Why should…
I have represented employers and employees in disputes alleging discrimination and harassment.  These cases are challenging for numerous reasons: the parties often have very different understandings of the facts, the damages are difficult to estimate, and the subject matter requires sensitivity. But, as with any case, I believe that hard work and a detailed understanding of the facts and law helps clients protect their legal position and increases the likelihood of a just result. Below,…
I’ve been fortunate enough to visit Australia a few times, and it is a fascinating country that serves as an interesting counterpoint to the United States. It is another former British colony that adopted the common law system, but modified it in ways that distinguish it from America. To learn more about litigation in the state of Victoria in Australia, I recently spoke with Meghan Warren, a litigator at Burke & Associates in Melbourne.…
Part of my work involves reading court decisions to keep abreast of how judges decide the types of cases I handle. Below, I share some thoughts on recent decisions. Courts May Limit Discovery in “Unjust Enrichment” Cases Plaintiffs can sue to recover money, even without a contract, by alleging that recovering money is necessary to prevent “unjust enrichment” by the defendant.  In those claims, a plaintiff must establish that the defendant was enriched at her…
Ethiopia is the second most populous country in Africa, with over 114 million people and one of the fastest growing economies in the world. But a lot of Americans are unfamiliar with its legal system and the practice of law in the country. Finding someone to help explain litigation practice in Ethiopia was a little different than finding attorneys for some of my other interviews. This is because, unlike many other countries, attorneys in…
Clients often have strong feelings about their opponents. The defendant may be a corporation that stole millions of dollars in a fraud or the plaintiff may be a rogue employee who is lying through their teeth. And when a client hires an attorney, the client may expect the lawyer to show no mercy to the evildoer on the other side of the case. But lawyers in commercial disputes frequently grant courtesies to opposing counsel. For…
In an earlier post, I interviewed Li Qishi about litigation in China. During our interview, I learned about China’s procedure for exchanging evidence at a hearing before trial and about its use of jurors in commercial disputes. I was intrigued about these subjects, so I spoke to Ye Fang, a partner at Jingtian & Gongcheng in Beijing about his experience with commercial trials in China. Why should you continue reading this post about…
Part of my work involves reading court decisions to keep abreast of how judges decide the types of cases I handle. Below, I share some thoughts on recent decisions. Arbitration May Be More Cumbersome and Expensive Than Litigation Arbitration is traditionally considered to be a cheaper alternative to court litigation. But its filing fees are often much higher than court equivalents, and the lack of published decisions often makes arbitration difficult to navigate. These challenges…
Some jurisdictions provide specialized courts that focus on commercial disputes. These courts provide judges with experience in issues that frequently arise in commercial disputes so that litigants are comfortable that the judges understand the matters they present. They also follow special rules that were written specifically for commercial disputes. But not all litigants prefer commercial courts, nor do all commercial disputes qualify to be heard in them. Why should you continue reading this post about…