Shapiro Arato Bach Wins Section 1782 Appeal in Second Circuit

On January 29, 2021, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed a district court decision ordering discovery from our client Janna Bullock’s family members and an associate. The case arose under 28 U.S.C. § 1782, an important statute in international litigation that permits U.S. courts to order discovery for use in litigation pending before foreign tribunals. Gorsoan Limited, a Cypriot corporation, filed a § 1782 petition seeking discovery allegedly for use in litigation pending between it and Ms. Bullock in Cyprus. The district court denied Ms. Bullock’s motion to quash Gorsoan’s subpoenas. In the Second Circuit, we argued that Gorsoan’s rationale for discovery was pretextual and that any possible “use” in the Cyprus proceeding was speculative. The Second Circuit agreed, holding that Gorsoan had failed to demonstrate “that its purported ‘use’ of the discovery…[was] in ‘reasonable contemplation[.]’” “At a minimum,” the court wrote, “a § 1782 applicant must present…some concrete basis from which it can determine that the contemplated proceeding is more than just a twinkle in counsel’s eye.” Because any “use” of the discovery in the Cyprus proceedings was “too remote to satisfy § 1782,” Gorsoan “failed to meet the requirements of § 1782.” The court reversed the district court’s order and remanded with instructions to quash the subpoenas and dismiss the petition.

Partner Alexandra Shapiro argued the appeal and co-authored the briefs with partner Jonathan Bach and associate Julian Brod.

The decision in Gorsoan Limited v. Sundlun, et al., can be found here.

The opening and reply briefs are available here and here, and the audio of the oral argument is below.