More than ever, domestic courts are asked to resolve international disputes, often requiring domestic courts to analyze and apply foreign law. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 44.1 sets the basic parameters for raising and determining foreign law issues in federal courts. In Bodum USA, Inc. v. La Cafetiere, Inc., the Seventh Circuit debated the propriety of relying on foreign law experts to aid the court in determining foreign law, even though Rule 44.1 specifically authorizes that practice. Two of the appellate judges argued that published materials such as treatises and foreign law translations were more reliable than expert testimony. This Note analyzes whether that methodology allows American judges to make accurate determinations of foreign laws, which are often written in a foreign language, conceived in a different political system, and established as part of another cultural tradition.
Philip D. Stacey,
Rule 44.1, Bodum USA v. La Cafetiere, and the Challenge of Determining Foreign Law,
Seventh Circuit Rev.
Available at: http://scholarship.kentlaw.iit.edu/seventhcircuitreview/vol6/iss2/5