March 08, 2018 Top Story

Court Expands Use of U.S. Discovery for Foreign Proceedings

Discovery is not limited by the type of relief sought or to a particular foreign action

Andrew J. Kennedy

Litigants now have an enhanced resource to obtain discovery for foreign litigation. The federal statute allowing U.S. discovery for use in a foreign legal proceeding is not limited by the nature of relief sought in that proceeding and does not require limiting the use of such discovery to a specific foreign action, according to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in In re: Accent Delight International, Ltd.

The dispute arose from the international sale of famous artworks. Two British Virgin Island (BVI) Companies alleged that an art dealer defrauded them in connection with their purchase of 38 artworks, including paintings by Picasso, Da Vinci, and Van Gogh. The BVI companies thought that the dealer, Yves Bouvier, had been negotiating on their behalves with private sellers. They alleged that Bouvier had instead inflated prices of the art by failing to disclose the role of Sotheby's, from whom he had purchased art, in order to obtain inflated margins of approximately $1 billion.

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