Show Some Respect: International Privacy and Comity Concerns May Become More Important in Foreign E-Discovery Disputes

Twenty-five years ago in Aerospatiale v. District Court of Iowa the United States Supreme Court admonished lower courts that international comity compels them to “take care to demonstrate due respect for any special problem confronted by the foreign litigant on account of its nationality or the location of its operations, and for any sovereign interest expressed by a foreign state.” And for the last twenty-five years, courts generally have not heeded that advice, giving short-shrift to the idea that foreign privacy or data protection laws must be enforced if the result is to limit discovery of relevant information. At the urging of lawyers and several influential organizations, that could finally be changing.