[Christopher A. Whytock is a Professor of Law and Political Science, University of California, Irvine, School of Law.]This post is part of the HILJ Online Symposium: Volumes 54(2) & 55(1). Other posts in this series can be found in the related posts below.
In Ending Judgment Arbitrage, Professor Shill claims that non-U.S. plaintiffs “routinely” practice a three-step strategy called “judgment arbitrage”: (1) selection of a foreign country to litigate the merits and obtain a favorable judgment; (2) selection of a “receptive” U.S. state to obtain judicial recognition of the foreign judgment; and (3) selection of a more “protective” U.S. state to obtain enforcement against defendant’s assets there (p. 470 & Figure 3). Shill argues that this practice is a problem, and uses law market theory to argue that new federal legislation is needed to solve it.
Shill has written a fascinating article. To the extent judgment arbitrage exists, I agree that it would pose problems for both litigant fairness and interstate competition. In addition, Shill’s extension of law market theory to the law of foreign judgments is a valuable contribution.
But Shill does little to show that judgment arbitrage actually exists, and he clearly fails to demonstrate that the practice is “routine” or otherwise significant enough to require a response from the United States Congress. In fact, the article does not identify a single real-world example of judgment arbitrage. Given that judgment arbitrage is highlighted in the article’s title, the focus of its law market analysis, and the raison d’être of its legislative proposal, this is a significant omission.
[Christopher A. Whytock is a Professor of Law and Political Science at UC Irvine School of Law]
I do not think the Court’s opinion in Kiobel means that ATS litigation in federal courts is going away any time soon.
First, make no mistake, the “presumption against extraterritoriality” applied by the Court in Kiobel is a new creation that is likely to give rise to...
[Chris Whytock is a Ph.D. candidate at Duke University and will join the faculty of the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law in the fall. He has kindly agreed to lend his timely analysis of the Sinochem opinion to Opinio Juris readers]
On March 5, 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court announced one of its rare decisions on the doctrine...