Jurisdictional Discovery in Transnational Litigation: Extraterritorial Effects of United States Federal Practice
Journal of Private International Law, Vol. 7, 2011
34 Pages Posted: 13 Jan 2011
Date Written: January, 12 2011
Jurisdictional discovery is a largely unknown, uniquely American device that combines two of the more internationally problematic aspects of United States civil procedure, namely an exceptionally broad view of extraterritorial jurisdiction and an expansive approach to pre-trial discovery. The mechanism – which is widely available and often used in cases where the defendant challenges the jurisdiction of the court – comes into play before the court’s jurisdiction over the defendant is even established and allows plaintiffs to ask defendants to produce a vast array of documents and information that can be used to justify the plaintiff’s claim that jurisdiction in this court is proper. This article describes the device in detail, distinguishing it both practically and theoretically from methods used in other common law systems to establish jurisdiction, and discusses how recent US Supreme Court precedent provides international actors with the means of limiting or avoiding this potentially burdensome procedure.
Keywords: Civil procedure, United States, discovery, jurisdiction, comparative, transnational, pleading, extraterritorial
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