Nolan M. Goldberg is a senior counsel in the Litigation Department and a member of the Patent Law Group. As an intellectual property litigator, his practice focuses on patent, trademark, and trade secret litigation and counseling.
Litigants navigating the conflict between U.S. discovery obligations and foreign data protection laws have a new ally, the American Bar Association (“the ABA”). The ABA recently passed Resolution 103, which “urges” that: [W]here possible in the context of the proceedings before them, U.S. federal, state, territorial, tribal and local courts consider and respect, as appropriate, the… Continue Reading
Where U.S. litigation discovery obligations were argued to be in conflict with foreign civil and criminal privacy statutes, many recent opinions found that discovery should proceed under the Federal Rules over the protest of the foreign data custodians. However, in SEC v. Stanford International Bank Ltd, the court departed from this pattern in finding that discovery should first proceed under the Hague convention in the interest of comity. While it is unclear the extent to which this approach will be followed by other courts in the future, the Stanford opinion illustrates that it is possible for litigants and third parties to successfully navigate cross border discovery conflicts even where privacy interests are at stake.
Our April 1, 2010 blog entry discussed the March 8, 2010 Order in Gucci Amer., Inc. v. Curveal Fashion, No. 09 Civ. 8458 (S.D.N.Y.) (the “Order”), compelling the third-party U.S. parent (the “U.S. Parent”) of a foreign bank, to produce documents located at its subsidiary, despite claims that such production was illegal under Malaysian banking secrecy laws. The entry concluded by noting the no-win situation that foreign corporations continue to be placed in by the tension between U.S. courts and foreign law. Subsequent history in this matter further illustrates the seriousness of this predicament.
On March 8, 2010 the SDNY issued the latest opinion addressing the conflict between U.S. discovery laws and foreign blocking statutes. In Gucci Amer., Inc. v. Curveal Fashion, the court compelled a third-party to produce documents located at its subsidiary despite claims that such production was illegal under the Malaysian law. This opinion illustrates the no-win situation that foreign corporations continue to be placed in by the tension between U.S. courts and foreign law, and underscores the importance of raising foreign-law based discovery objections as early and in as detailed a manner as possible in order to maximize the chances of successfully navigating this conflict.