Alex Lawrence spoke to Law360 about the Second Circuit’s rulings surrounding an increasingly important discovery tool for litigants tracking down documents for legal proceedings abroad.
In addition to ruling that there is “no per se bar” in section 1782 of the U.S. code against using the statute to reach documents outside the U.S., the Second Circuit also became the first circuit court to rule it has jurisdiction over a party targeted in a Section 1782 proceeding so long as the information sought is connected in some way to activity in the relevant district. “This is significant for foreign corporations like multinational banks that have a foothold in New York,” Alex said. “Just showing they have a branch in New York will not be enough to open them up to 1782 discovery. There must be a nexus between the contacts with the forum and the discovery sought.”
Alex also noted that the ruling on the extraterritoriality point is likely to have a far-reaching impact since banks and other financial institutions can now be ordered to produce documents that, though created abroad, can be obtained in the U.S. through a computer. “This is good news for parties seeking broad 1782 discovery and unhappy news for targets of 1782 discovery that maintain their documents overseas.”