The Supreme Court Rules on the Proper Interpretation of Section 1782: Its Potential Significance for International Arbitration – Vol. 14 No. 3

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Author: Hans Smit*

Published: April 2004

United States
Practice and Procedure



Since its revision in 1963, Section 1782 of Title 28 of the United States Code has engaged the persistent interest of courts, practitioners and commentators. This interest has led to conflicting decisions and views. The most recent instance is the decision of the Ninth Circuit in Intel Corporation v. Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.

In this case, Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD), a U.S. based corporation, filed with the European Union Commission a complaint alleging violation of European Union antitrust rules by Intel, also a U.S. based corporation. Relying on Section 1782, AMD then sought evidence located in the United States relating to the conduct complained of. This request raised the following issues: (1) is AMD an “interested person” in the sense of Section 1782; (2) are the proceedings before the E.U. Commission proceedings before “a foreign or international tribunal;” (3) must the information sought be discoverable or admissible under the law of the foreign or international tribunal; and (4) should the district court, in exercising the discretion given by Section 1782, grant the request?

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*Stanley H. Fuld Professor of Law, and Director, Center for International Arbitration and Litigation Law, Columbia University.