Here’s some breaking news today that’s just come out in Law 360; Justices have been asked to rule on arbitration discovery question.
The U.S. Supreme Court was asked Monday to decide whether U.S. law allows federal courts to order discovery for private commercial arbitration abroad, in a case brought by an aerospace parts maker seeking information for a $12.8 million U.K. arbitration over an engine fire.
The parts maker, Servotronics Inc. is challenging the Seventh Circuit's September decision rejecting its petition under Section 1782 of the U.S. Code for permission to subpoena Boeing to turn over documents for an arbitration brought by Rolls-Royce PLC in London. Section 1782 allows federal courts to order entities in their districts to turn over evidence to be used in certain foreign proceedings.
The Seventh Circuit three-judge panel wrote "Private foreign arbitrations, in other words, are not included."
I have said a great deal on this subject before regarding s1782 where people use US Discovery laws to get data in arbitrations. There has long been a split between different court circuits in the US and now it is going to the Supreme Court. This is going to be an interesting one to follow for sure. Watch this space and I will report more on this soon.
For more on U.S.C. § 1782, see my posts below:
The question of whether the statute can be used with respect to private commercial arbitration has inspired intense debate and discussion among both the courts and the arbitration community, with many commentators noting that the issue is ripe for the high court to resolve. If the justices were to take on the case and side with Servotronics, Section 1782 could prove important in private commercial arbitration since U.S. courts generally allow for more broad discovery than international arbitration tribunals.