June 01, 2017

iWitness: How Foreign Companies’ Online Activities Can Increase Exposure to U.S. Litigation

Yuri Mikulka and Caleb Bean

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Your client is a multinational company with headquarters in Shenzhen, People’s Republic of China, and subsidiaries in Los Angles, Detroit, and New York. You represent the company’s Los Angeles–based subsidiary in an unfair competition litigation action in federal court, and discovery is heating up. You receive an urgent message from your client that the opposing counsel has delivered a subpoena duces tecum to the L.A. subsidiary that seeks testimony and documents from the Chinese entity in connection with the unfair competition case. What is your reaction? Your reaction may be to politely inform the opposing counsel, “nice try, but the service was invalid because the Chinese entity must be served by means of the Hague Service Convention. But the opposing counsel insists that the service was valid. Who’s correct?

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