Saturday, May 17, 2014

Somportex Lmt v Philadelphia Chewing Gum case brief summary

Somportex Lmt v Philadelphia Chewing Gum (3rd Cir 1971)
o   Background:
§ P Somportex (English co) sued D (American co) in England
§ D conditionally appeared in English court (ie submitted to the court’s jurisdiction, except to any objections that you make to the jurisdiction), but decided not to file a defense
§ Default J against D; P came to U.S. federal court to enforce it
§ D argued that the English judgment should not be honored
o   Issue: Should the judgment of the English Court be enforced? (YES, due to Comity)
o   Reasoning:
§ Comity
·         If the foreign judgment appears to have been rendered by a competent court, etc, then courts of other countries should honor it
·         Comity should be withheld only when its acceptance would be contrary or prejudicial to the interest of the nation called upon to give it effect
§ Jurisdiction
·         Through D’s initial conditional appearance it had its chance to defend itself against an unfavorable judgment and decided not to; D shouldn’t get a second chance
§ Due Process
·         The English procedure comports with PA’s standards of DP
·         the fact that the judgment was obtained by D’s default does not dilute its effectiveness (note: not all courts agree with this, b/c they think that D never got his “first bite” at the apple)
o   In the absence of fraud or collusion, a default judgment is as conclusive an adjudication as when rendered after answer and complete contest in the open courtroom
§ Damages
·         PA law doesn’t grant damages in cases such as this
·         However, the variance with English law does not “tend to clearly injure the public health, etc” of PA
·         So the English damage award does not offend PA’s pub. policy

1 comment:

  1. Somportex Lmt v Philadelphia Chewing Gum (3rd Cir 1971)
    o Background:
    § P Somportex (English co) sued D (American co) in England
    § D conditionally appeared in English court (ie submitted to the court’s jurisdiction, except to any objections that you make to the jurisdiction), but decided not to file a defense
    § Default J against D; P came to U.S. federal court to enforce it
    § D argued that the English judgment should not be honored
    o Issue: Should the judgment of the English Court be enforced? (YES, due to Comity)
    o Reasoning:
    § Comity
    · If the foreign judgment appears to have been rendered by a competent court, etc, then courts of other countries should honor it
    · Comity should be withheld only when its acceptance would be contrary or prejudicial to the interest of the nation called upon to give it effect
    § Jurisdiction
    · Through D’s initial conditional appearance it had its chance to defend itself against an unfavorable judgment and decided not to; D shouldn’t get a second chance
    § Due Process
    · The English procedure comports with PA’s standards of DP
    · the fact that the judgment was obtained by D’s default does not dilute its effectiveness (note: not all courts agree with this, b/c they think that D never got his “first bite” at the apple)
    o In the absence of fraud or collusion, a default judgment is as conclusive an adjudication as when rendered after answer and complete contest in the open courtroom
    § Damages
    · PA law doesn’t grant damages in cases such as this
    · However, the variance with English law does not “tend to clearly injure the public health, etc” of PA
    · So the English damage award does not offend PA’s pub. policy

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