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United States: Supreme Court Rules Victims of State-Sponsored Terrorism May Recover Punitive Damages under Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act

(June 2, 2020) On May 18, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held that the Republic of Sudan could be held liable for $4.3 billion in punitive damages related to state-sponsored acts of terrorism that occurred in 1998. (Opati v. Republic of Sudan, No. 17-1268 (May 18, 2020).) Case History In 1998, al-Qaida orchestrated simultaneous […]

United States: Appellate Court Orders Dismissal of Palestinian Suicide Bomb Case on Procedural Grounds

(May 27, 2020) On April 14, 2020, the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit determined that civil claims against the Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization (the Palestinian defendants) by victims of a suicide bombing could not withstand a procedural challenge to personal jurisdiction. (Shatsky v. Palestine Liberation Org., No. 17-7168, […]

United States: House of Representatives Adopts Temporary Procedure for Voting by Proxy

(May 18, 2020) On May 15, 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives adopted H. Res. 965, which provides for voting by proxy during the coronavirus pandemic. The resolution allows a single House member to serve as a voting proxy for up to 10 fellow members and establishes a protocol for this new process. The resolution […]

United States: President Signs Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act

(Apr. 24, 2020) On April 24, 2020, President Donald Trump signed into law H.R. 266, alternatively referred to as the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act. This act provides $310 billion in supplemental appropriations to a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan program created through the CARES Act and earmarks $50 billion to bolster […]

United States: Executive Branch Recommends Revocation of China Telecom’s License to Operate as an International Common Carrier in the United States

(Apr. 23, 2020) On April 9, 2020, the executive branch filed a recommendation to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to revoke and terminate China Telecom (Americas) Corporation’s authorization to operate as a common carrier in the United States. The recommendation was the product of collaboration between the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, Defense, State, and […]

United States: Supreme Court Dismisses Claims Against Border Patrol Agent for Constitutional Violations in Cross-border Shooting Death

(Mar. 31, 2020) On February 25, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court announced a 5–4 opinion holding that a U.S. Border Patrol agent was not liable for claims of Fourth and Fifth Amendment violations stemming from a cross-border shooting death of a 15-year-old Mexican national. (Hernández v. Mesa, No. 17-1678 (Feb. 25, 2020).) Case History In […]

United States: President Signs Families First Coronavirus Response Act into Law, Making Available Emergency Supplemental Appropriations

(Mar. 19, 2020) On March 18, 2020, President Trump signed into law H.R. 6201, also known as the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Some of the act’s key provisions include free coronavirus testing, paid sick leave for qualifying individuals, and expanded food assistance and unemployment benefits. Under the act, some businesses are required to provide […]

United States: Supreme Court Clarifies Standard for Determining Child’s Country of Habitual Residence, Affirms Return of Child to Italy

(Mar. 5, 2020) The U.S. Supreme Court recently endorsed a “totality of the circumstances” test for determining a child’s habitual residence under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Convention). The Court also held that a trial court’s determination of habitual residence is entitled to deferential appellate review and should […]

International: International Finance Corporation Faces Renewed Lawsuits Regarding Financing for Coal-fired Power Plant in India

(Feb. 27, 2020) Following last year’s landmark win in their case before the U.S. Supreme Court, the plaintiffs in Jam v. International Finance Corporation (IFC) are still searching for remedy—and legal clarity—in their lawsuit regarding environmental damages caused by the construction and functioning of the Tata Mundra Plant in India. The search for remedy has […]