Thursday, September 12, 2019

Case of the Day: Islamic Republic of Pakistan v. Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61780 (D.D.C. Apr. 10, 2019)

Summary:

The government of Pakistan petitioned to take discovery of a DC-based international law firm pursuant to 28 U.S.C. s. 1782, in order to obtain materials relevant to the corruption investigation of one of the law firm's clients, a Turkish company operating in Pakistan. In addition to the investigation, the Turkish corporation was involved in an investor-state arbitration against the government of Pakistan. The Turkish company resisted document production, the government lost the arbitration, and the government filed for annulment. The defendant law firm opposed, arguing the investigation was a bad faith, political harassment campaign.

The court largely rejected the defendant law firm's arguments. The court found the investor-state arbitration was sufficient grounds for 1782 discovery, and declined weigh the propriety of the Pakistani investigation. The court denied the request for production of the materials that the defendant claimed to not have, but ordered the defendant to respond to interrogatories asking where the materials are located.

Takeaway:

What's remarkable is how this case is not all that different from any other 1782 discovery litigation, although the defendant is a law firm. There may be additional background that does not appear on the face of this opinion, but the law firm never attempted to raise any point about attorney client privilege.




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