Procedure and Private International Law

Wendy Collins Perdue, University of Richmond


These volumes consider a range of procedural issues that have particular salience for international litigation. The first volume begins with a set of chapters addressing where litigation should proceed when there is more than one court that can or is adjudicating a dispute. The rules of judicial jurisdiction, addressed in a separate collection in this series, establish which courts will have authority to hear a case. However, in disputes involving parties or transactions touching on more than one country, there will almost certainly be more than one court that may be able to assert jurisdiction.

The availability of multiple fora introduces the potential for simultaneous litigation involving the same dispute in different courts, as well as the possibility that although suit is pending in only one court, the chosen forum may not be optimal - at least from the perspective of one of the litigants or the court itself. There are a variety of rules and approaches that have been developed to deal with these problems, including the doctrines of forum non conveniens, lis alibi pendens, and anti-suit injunctions. In addition, ex ante, parties to a transaction may also use a forum selection clause.

The volumes then turn to the issues of service of process and discovery, both of which can be particularly challenging in the cross-border context. It next considers class actions and the aggregation of claims. Although class actions were once the exclusive province of the United States, other countries have increasingly begun to adopt procedures allowing for the aggregation of claims from multiple parties. The final section examines the challenges for lawyers practicing in multiple jurisdictions who must navigate different regimes of legal ethics and professional responsibility.