Bridges Offers Tips for Litigating Outside the United States

In a February 17, 2016, article for Inside Counsel, Shook, Hardy & Bacon Partner Trevor Bridges summarizes "Five Things to Know About Litigating Outside the U.S.," highlighting "a few salient differences between legal procedures in different jurisdictions." In particular, he discusses

  • the prevalence of blocking statutes that prohibit gathering information and evidence for use in foreign judicial proceedings;
  • the need to monitor dockets and prepare model defenses for the short response deadlines employed by many civil law systems;
  • the importance of fast, reliable and accurate translations during the work process;
  • the ability to conduct ex parte meetings with a presiding judge in many jurisdictions outside the United States or European Union;  
  • the use of court-appointed neutral experts.

"Do not assume you can interview witnesses and gather evidence without first understanding local laws," Bridges notes, among other things. "The court usually places much greater weight on the opinion of the court-appointed expert. This is not a perfect system, as court-appointed experts often lack the experience and expertise needed on a given topic, something which is often reflected in the scope and depth of their analysis, and sometimes even the accuracy of their opinions."