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Victory Update: Foreign Parties Can Use U.S. Court To Obtain Documents Located Abroad

October 15, 2019
Firm Memoranda

Since 1964, an American federal statute—28 U.S.C. § 1782—has empowered the United States courts to permit discovery from persons who “reside” or are “found” in the United States for use in judicial and arbitral proceedings outside of the United States.  However, whether an applicant can use Section 1782 to obtain documents located abroad has been an unsettled issue in the Second Circuit.  Last week, the Second Circuit in In re del Valle Ruiz resolved this issue by confirming that “there is no per se bar to the extraterritorial application of § 1782” and affirming the lower court’s decision allowing two American participants in foreign proceedings (both represented by Quinn Emanuel) to obtain extraterritorial discovery from a New York-based banking entity.  The decision in this case resolves significant uncertainty regarding the scope of discovery available under the statute, and reaffirms the utility of Section 1782 as a discovery device for litigants in jurisdictions with more limited evidence-gathering procedures. 

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If you have any questions about the issues addressed in this memorandum, or if you would like a copy of any of the materials mentioned in it, please do not hesitate to reach out to:

David S. Mader, Partner
Phone: +1 212-849-7148 

Lucas Bento, Associate
Phone: +1 212-849-7552

Alexander Wentworth-PingAssociate
Phone: +1 212-849-7584