Thursday, February 7, 2013

First American Corp. v. Price Waterhouse LLP case brief

First Am. Corp. v. Price Waterhouse LLP 

154 F.3d 16

PROCEDURAL HISTORY: Appellant domestic and foreign partnerships appealed from the order of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, which found them in contempt of court for violation of an order to provide discovery pursuant to a Fed. R. Civ. P. 45 subpoena, and appellee domestic corporation cross-appealed. Appellant contended service was improper, due process was violated, and the Hague Convention governed discovery.

FACTS:
-Appellant domestic and foreign partnerships appealed from the order that found them in contempt of court for violation of the order to provide discovery pursuant to a subpoena issued under Fed. R. Civ. P. 45.
- Appellee domestic corporation sought review of the order that held appellee could not invoke the principle of estoppel, because there was insufficient evidence to show it relied on any representation that appellants operated as a worldwide partnership.

HOLDING:
The court affirmed the orders, holding that appellee offered no argument that justified reversal.
-The court held that defendant foreign partnership was subject to jurisdiction in New York, because appellee validly served one of defendant foreign partnership's partners in New York pursuant to N.Y. C.P.L.R. 310.

ANALYSIS:
The Hague Convention was not the sole or primary means for discovery in this case, because it was unlikely that there would be a collision between U.S. and foreign law, and if such a conflict did arise, Fed R. Civ. P. 37 would offer appellants adequate protection. The court held that the subpoena at issue was not overbroad.

RULES:
N.Y. C.P.L.R. 310(a) provides that personal service upon persons conducting a business as a partnership may be made by personally serving the summons upon any one of them

CONCLUSION:
The orders that held appellant domestic and foreign partnerships in contempt for their failure to comply with discovery and denied appellee domestic corporation's claim based on estoppel were affirmed. Service on a partner of appellant foreign corporation in New York was valid and did not deny due process. The Hague Convention was not the primary or sole means to obtain discovery, and the subpoena was not overbroad.

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