John J. Halloran, Jr., P.C.

SDNY Grants Discovery to the Republic of Kazakhstan under 28 U.S.C. 1782

On June 22, 2015, U.S. District Judge Sidney H. Stein of the Southern District of New York denied a motion to (1) vacate an order issued by District Judge Kimba M. Wood on March 30, 2015, that granted the Republic of Kazakhstan leave to obtain discovery from a law firm pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1782; and (2) quash a subpoena duces tecum that had been served upon the law firm pursuant to Judge Wood’s order. In denying the motion, and allowing discovery to go forward, Judge Stein held that the statutory prerequisites of 28 U.S.C. 1782 had been met, and the discretionary factors outlined by the Supreme Court in Intel Corp. v. Advanced Micro Devices, Inc., 542 U.S. 241, 264 (2004) weighed in favor of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Of particular interest, Judge Stein held that the Republic of Kazakhstan, a sovereign state, had legal standing as an "interested person" to seek discovery pursuant to Section 1782. The court held that the legislative history of Section 1782, along with the policies that animate Section 1782 – i.e., to encourage reciprocity by foreign governments – supported a determination that a sovereign state may use section 1782 to seek discovery as an "interested person." In reaching this determination, Judge Stein relied upon In re Ecuador, No. C-10-80225 (N.D. Cal. Dec. 1, 2010) (Chen, J.). See In re Application of Republic of Kazakhstan, 15 Misc. 0081 (SHS) (S.D.N.Y. June 22, 2015). Read PDF >>