Lawrence W. Newman has been a partner in the New York office of Baker & McKenzie since 1971, when, together with the late Professor Henry deVries, he founded the litigation department in that office. He is the author/editor of 4 works on international litigation/arbitration.
Michael Burrows, Formerly, Of Counsel, Baker & McKenzie, New York.
Increasingly, business relationships extend over international borders and involve individuals and business organizations from more than one country. In some cases, parties find themselves litigating a given commercial dispute simultaneously in the courts of the United States and those of a foreign country. When parties are litigating parallel proceedings and the foreign court renders a judgment before the court in the United States, an interesting and complex issue is whether the prevailing party abroad may plead the foreign judgment as preclusive of the action or issues in the United States action. This issue was addressed in a recent decision by Judge McKenna in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Alfadda v. Fenn, 1997 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8340 (S.D.N.Y. June 13, 1997) (hereinafter “Alfadda II”). This article reviews the Alfadda II decision in light of this and other issues commonly faced in transnational litigation.