Pierre Grosdidier in Bloomberg BNA: U.S. Discovery Trumps French Blocking Law


U.S. stockholders can get the discovery they seek from a French corporation accused of breaching its fiduciary duties in transactions with a U.S. video game publisher, because the ‘‘expansively broad’’ French blocking statute does not adequately ‘‘identify the nature of the sovereign interests in nondisclosure of specific kinds of material,’’ the Delaware Court of Chancery ruled Feb. 21 (In re Activision Blizzard, Inc. Stockholder Litig., 2014 BL 47162, Del. Ch., No. 8885- VCL, 2/21/14).

Vice Chancellor J. Travis Laster’s opinion said that even though the blocking statute makes it illegal in France to ‘‘request, search for or communicate’’ information ‘‘for the purposes of establishing evidence in view of foreign judicial or administrative proceedings,’’ the statute is rarely enforced and simply amounts to ‘‘France’s preference for its own methods of litigation...’’

Pierre Grosdidier, Ph.D. told BNA Feb. 28, ‘‘Ultimately, if you come to the U.S., you accept U.S. laws, you make money in the U.S., you conduct business in the U.S., it’s like you learn in kindergarten, if you want to play the game, you’ve got to play the game by the rules.’’ Grosdidier, of Haynes and Boone, LLP, Houston, published an in-depth look at these issues Jan. 31 in his article The French blocking statute, the Hague Evidence Convention, and the case law: lessons for French parties responding to American discovery, currently available on the firm’s website.

Excerpted from Bloomberg BNA, March 14, 2014. To read the full article, click on the PDF linked below.


Reproduced with permission from The United States Law Week, 82 U.S.L.W. 1302 (Mar. 11, 2014). Copyright 2014 by The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. (800-372-1033) 

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