January 28, 2015
With increasing frequency, companies are being hauled into foreign courts and international arbitral tribunals to litigate significant and high-stakes cases. But these same companies often face an uphill battle obtaining the evidence in discovery they need to prosecute or defend their claims. In many of these cases, companies and individuals within the United States possess evidence relevant to these foreign proceedings. An infrequently used federal statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1782, provides a powerful tool for obtaining discovery from these U.S.-based witnesses, but navigating its contours can be challenging.
Gibson Dunn is widely recognized as the preeminent law firm in the Section 1782 field, having pioneered new strategies and having obtained unprecedented results on behalf of its clients, including in connection with its representation of Chevron Corporation. Through a number of Section 1782 discovery proceedings, Gibson Dunn successfully uncovered and proved that a multi-billion dollar environmental contamination and remediation judgment issued against Chevron in 2011 by an Ecuadorian court was obtained by fraud. Join Gibson Dunn for a presentation followed by a Q&A period to discuss strategies and applications of Section 1782, as well as developing trends and best practices.
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Scott Edelman — Mr. Edelman is a partner in Gibson Dunn’s Century City office, and Co-Chair of the firm’s Transnational Litigation Group. He is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, and has first-chaired numerous jury trials, bench trials and arbitrations, taking well over 20 to final verdict or decision. He has received a Clay Award as “Lawyer of the Year” from California Lawyer and has been recognized as an “Attorney of the Year” by The Recorder. Mr. Edelman has been repeatedly named by Chambers USA as a Tier 1 Leading Media and Entertainment Litigation Lawyer in California; by the Hollywood Reporter as one of the top 100 “Power Lawyers”; by Daily Variety as one of Hollywood’s top litigators;and by The Best Lawyers in America® in the category of Entertainment Law: Motion Pictures & Television. He was also named a California “local litigation star” in Media and Entertainment Litigation in the 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 editions of Benchmark Litigation.
Avi Weitzman — Mr. Weitzman is a partner in Gibson Dunn’s New York office. Since joining Gibson Dunn in 2012, Mr. Weitzman has been involved in a number of high-profile international litigations, including under Section 1782. Most recently, in November 2014, Mr. Weitzman successfully obtained hundreds of hours of videotapes for use in defamation and environmental proceedings in the Bahamas pursuant to Section 1782. Prior to that, Mr. Weitzman was a member of the Chevron trial team in its RICO lawsuit arising out of the fraudulently obtained Ecuadorian judgment against Chevron. From 2005 to 2012, Mr. Weitzman served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York, primarily in the Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force and the Organized Crime unit. As a federal prosecutor, Mr. Weitzman tried 12 federal criminal jury trials to verdict. He was one of the prosecutors overseeing Operation Perfect Hedge—the Government’s unprecedented efforts to combat insider trading on Wall Street—and successfully defended the Government’s use of wiretaps to prosecute Raj Rajaratnam, for which Mr. Weitzman received the Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award. In 2013, Mr. Weitzman was named one of five “Rising Stars” in the United States by Law360 in the White Collar category. Mr. Weitzman was also named a 2014 “Rising Star” by the New York Law Journal.
Claudia Barrett — Ms. Barrett is an associate in Gibson Dunn’s Washington, D.C. office. She has substantial experience in complex civil litigation matters and has represented national and multi-national companies in a wide variety of civil disputes in various federal and state courts and before arbitration panels. Ms. Barrett has substantial experience with Section 1782, having successfully obtained discovery from various technical U.S. experts who submitted reports to an Ecuadorian court in the Chevron case, and continues to work on various Section 1782 proceedings.
Colin Fraser — Colin Fraser is an associate in Gibson Dunn’s Los Angeles. He currently practices with the firm’s Litigation Department. His practice focuses on complex business litigation and transnational litigation. He has significant experience litigating in the U.S. claims relating to alleged tortious activities in foreign countries and defending against the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments. Mr. Fraser also has prosecuted various actions brought under 28 U.S.C. § 1782 in federal courts around the country to obtain discovery for use in proceedings in the U.S., South America, and international arbitrations.