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Litigation News | 2022

A Tool to Facilitate Access to Discovery Across the Globe

Kelso Lorne St. Jacques Anderson


  • Discovery Across the Globe: Obtaining Evidence Abroad to Support U.S. Proceedings is published by the ABA Litigation Section.
  • The book explores the process of obtaining discovery in U.S. courts from 26 foreign jurisdictions that are of particular concern to U.S. litigators.
  • Each chapter is written by legal professionals familiar with the specific nation's discovery process, providing information on the legal system, the availability of familiar U.S. discovery tools, and the applicability of multilateral legal frameworks.
A Tool to Facilitate Access to Discovery Across the Globe
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Early in 2020, the ABA Section of Litigation published a timeless volume entitled Discovery Across the Globe: Obtaining Evidence Abroad to Support U.S. Proceedings, which explores the process for obtaining discovery in U.S. courts from certain foreign jurisdictions. In less than 350 pages, the editors of this slender volume manage to marshal key legal sources and identify critical discovery tools that will facilitate a litigator’s desideratum for discovery in certain foreign nations.

Key Nations Identified

Of the more than 197 nations recognized by the United Nations, this book explores discovery mechanisms in 26 nations that are ostensibly of most litigious concern to U.S. litigators. After a two-page introduction by the editors on the raison d’etre for the book—explaining how to obtain discovery under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and The Hague Evidence Convention—the reader is thrust into the legal mechanics of how to obtain documentary and witness evidence in nations from Argentina to Venezuela.

Though the editors do not explain why they chose the 26 nations identified in the book, the reader could, perhaps accurately, surmise that the countries identified are those that are more often the venue for U.S. business interests relative to other nations. Such conjecture is further reinforced by the fact all three editors are practicing lawyers with active cross-border practices. Moreover, all 26 nations include countries from all continents, including emerging economies like India, Brazil, and Hong Kong, and developed economies, including Germany, France, and the United States.

Deftly Organized

Each chapter is written and organized by legal professionals familiar with that specific nation’s process for obtaining discovery. Almost all chapters have an introductory section that explains the legal system in that country and states whether analogous U.S. discovery tools may be used in that nation. The availability of familiar discovery tools used in U.S. courts, such as interrogatories, depositions, and protective orders, is considered and meaningful context is provided to U.S. litigators to better appreciate the nuances involved in procuring discovery in foreign countries.

Most of those familiar discovery tools are surprisingly present in one form or another in the 25 nations outside of the U.S. that are examined in this book. The applicability of the 1970 Hague Convention or other multilateral legal framework in each country is explored in every chapter. To the extent alternative dispute resolution mechanisms exist in a foreign nation, it is considered and presented. Each chapter ends in a synopsis section entitled “Discovery Procedures in …” that summarizes key discovery items discussed in the prior pages, making this volume even more accessible than it already is.

Where Future Editions May Benefit

This book succeeds in providing guidance to cross-border litigators on discovery mechanisms in 25 nations outside the United States. Future editions may want to explore discovery in nations outside of those already explored in past volumes. In addition, the editors may want to consider providing more details in future volumes as to why the nations chosen were selected as nations where cross-border litigation tools may be helpful.

Some fastidious readers may think the absence of explanation for the inclusion of specific nations (and, ergo, the exclusion of others) in this volume may be a shortcoming rather than a tendentious, economical, approach to organizing a reference book. Future volumes may also limit content to specific continents or nations where cross-border litigation is particularly difficult to navigate. Noticeably absent from this volume is discovery detail on the Caribbean and Africa—only Puerto Rico and Nigeria are discussed in this volume. Nonetheless, this volume is particularly useful for those litigators interested in how to conduct discovery and obtain evidence from all G-8 nations, some Asia Pacific (APAC) nations, some nations that comprise Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), and some Latin American nations.

Purchase Today

The book is available for purchase today. Search this and other Litigation Section books at  or by calling 1-800-285-2221.