USA! USA!: Home Court Advantage in Philadelphia Discovery Dispute.

We have spent many a megabyte warning of the perils of e-discovery and, some of you have even been subjected to our e-discovery seminar.  What we have found over the years, is that the concept of e-discovery can be hard to grasp, certainly for US insurers and most definitely for foreign insurers (especially those located in London…not to name names or anything).

In the case of Trueposition v. LM Ericsson, Judge Kelly of Philadelphia’s federal district court was confronted with the question of whether, as the defendant suggested, a French company could argue that it should not be subjected to onerous US discovery obligations, but rather the less onerous (in terms of scope of discovery) but more complicated (because lawyers would have to get permission to conduct certain types of discovery from the French Ministry of Justice) Hague Convention on the Taking Evidence Abroad in Civil or Commercial Matters.  Judge Kelly rejected the defendant’s claim and instead ruled  that US discovery rules applied.  The court specifically ruled that the US had a greater interest in having its rules applied than the French government did.  One doubts that French court would have reached a similar conclusion.  But the important lesson to draw is – if you do business in the US, you’d better ensure that you understand the nature and scope of e-discovery.

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