Justia Commercial Law Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in International Law
Otos Tech. Co. Ltd. v. OGK Am., Inc.
The company sued, in New Jersey, for breach of contract, conversion, and embezzlement, based on defendant's retention of checks worth $587,775.05. Defendant asserted counterclaims based on termination of an employment contract. While the lawsuit was pending, the company brought an identical action in South Korea. In 2005, a South Korean court entered judgment for the company in an amount equivalent to $587,755.05 plus post-judgment interest. In 2006, the U.S. district court entered judgment for the company, $587,755.05 on the conversion claim, and for defendant, $910,000 on the counterclaim. The U.S. district court declined the company's request that a turnover order include a setoff, reasoning that setoff would result in double recovery. The Third Circuit affirmed, but remanded pending enforcement of the Korean judgment. Defendant paid the Korean judgment. The district court rejected an argument that the Korean judgment should be equalized with the American judgment in the amount of $205,540.05, the difference between the American judgment ($587,755.05) and actual payments adjusted by currency devaluation ($382,215). The Third Circuit affirmed, characterizing the claim as an attempt to satisfy the Korean judgment for a second time.
White Pearl Inversiones v. Cemusa, Inc.
The district court dismissed a complaint asserting breach of contract, breach of a covenant of good faith and fair dealing, breach of a settlement agreement, promissory estoppel, equitable estoppel, quantum meruit, unjust enrichment, constructive trust, accounting, reformation of contract, and several types of fraud in connection with agreements for "street furniture." After extensive discussion of whether the plaintiff, a sociedad anónima formed in Uruguay, was the equivalent of a corporation formed in the U.S., and the fact that the contract called for application of the law of Spain, the Seventh Circuit affirmed. The court concluded that, while the defendant did not treat plaintiff well, no rule of law entitles every business to a profit on every deal.
Sahaviriya Steel Ind. Public Co.Ltd. v. United States
In November 2001, the U.S. Department of Commerce issued an anti-dumping duty order on certain hot-rolled carbon steel flat products from Thailand, found that the company was selling the subject merchandise at less than normal value and assigned a dumping margin of 3.86%. In 2006 the order was partially revoked, as to the company, but remained in effect with respect to other exporters and producers. Commerce received a complaint that dumping had resumed and initiated changed circumstances review (CCR), despite the company's assertion that it lacked authority to so. The Court of International Trade (CIT) dismissed the company's suit for an injunction in 2009. Commerce reinstated the order with respect to the company; CIT affirmed. The Federal Circuit affirmed, holding that Commerce reasonably interpreted and acted on its revocation and CCR authority under 19 U.S.C. 1675(b, d) as permitting conditional revocation and reconsideration.
Philos Technologies, Incorpora v. Philos & D, Incorporated, et al
Plaintiff, an Illinois corporation, filed suit for conversion against a corporation based in South Korea and individuals. Although the defendants were served, there was no formal response. The individual defendants sent a letter asserting that they had no connection to the corporation and requesting dismissal. Several months later the court entered default judgment in the amount of $2,916,332. About a year later the defendants filed appearances and a motion to vacate for lack of personal jurisdiction. The district court denied the motion. The Seventh Circuit reversed and remanded. After noting that jurisdiction can be contested in the original proceeding or in a collateral action, the court concluded that the motion was not untimely. The letter did not constitute an appearance by the individuals and the corporation was not capable of making a pro se appearance. The defendants have submitted affidavits concerning whether they had "minimum contacts" with Illinois that must be considered by the court.
Canadian Wheat Bd. v. United States
In 2003 the Department of Commerce, responding to a petition by the domestic wheat industry, found that Canadian wheat had been sold in the United States at less than fair value and issued an anti-dumping order. A North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) binational panel remanded and Commerce found that the dumping had not materially injured the domestic industry. The NAFTA panel affirmed. Revocation of the anti-dumping order stated ârevocation does not affect the liquidation of entries made prior to January 2, 2006â and instructed Customs to liquidate earlier entries at the rate in effect at the time of entry. The Trade Court granted an injunction against liquidation of those duties and held that the Canadian Wheat Board was entitled to return of deposited unliquidated anti-dumping duties. The Federal Circuit affirmed, first holding that the Trade Court had jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. 1581. The case did not involve unauthorized review of a NAFTA panel decision, but Commerce's implementation of the decision. Characterizing the decision to not return anti-dumping duties as "bizarre and unfair," the court stated that retaining the duties cannot be valid if the underlying order is invalid. Return of the duties does not constitute a retroactive remedy.