Comparing Section 1782 with Other Cross-Border Discovery Methods—Letters Rogatory, Diplomatic/Consular Channels and Other Avenues - Chapter 2 - Obtaining Evidence for Use in International Tribunals Under Section 1782
In this chapter we compare Section 1782 with other methods of obtaining cross-border discovery in aid of foreign litigation. Consideration of other discovery methods is important to understanding Section 1782's leading position in the overall scheme of obtaining discovery in the U.S. for use in foreign proceedings. To make the study, one need not go far outside the statutory “neighborhood” because the two adjacent statutory provisions, 28 U.S.C. §§ 1781 and 1783, provide a basis for comparison.
28 U.S.C. § 1781 governs the transmission of “letters rogatory,” either inbound — from “a foreign or international tribunal” to the United States Department of State — or outbound, from “a tribunal in the United States” to a “foreign or international tribunal.” Among other things, this gives effect to existing treaty mechanisms (such as the 1970 Hague Convention on the Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil or Commercial Matters) that enable foreign litigants to seek evidence using the powers of United States courts. But these procedures are by no means Section 1782's equal.