Section 1782 and Evidence-Gathering Tools
Sequor Law is frequently called upon to bolster cross-border investigations and to represent foreign litigants and other interested parties in need of evidence located in, or reachable from, the U.S. Drawing on years of experience using a variety of evidence-gathering tools, few firms can match Sequor Law’s ability to deploy the right tool for its clients’ cases with as much success.
Sequor Law is a leader in the use of 28 U.S.C. § 1782, known colloquially as “Section 1782”. This federal statute allows foreign litigants and interested persons to request judicial assistance from U.S. federal courts to obtain evidence for use in a proceeding in a foreign or international tribunal. Section 1782 is highly relevant to a wide array of legal practitioners, as federal courts have concluded that evidence obtained through Section 1782 may be used in civil, criminal, probate, bankruptcy, marital, administrative, and regulatory cases.
An alternative to other cross-border discovery mechanisms such as letters rogatory and diplomatic or consular channels, Section 1782 can be pursued directly by the litigant or interested party without the involvement of the foreign court or tribunal or of the governmental authorities making up the traditional channels.
A successful Section 1782 applicant obtains access to U.S.-style discovery in the form of site inspections, requests for production of documents, or deposition testimony under oath. Typical Section 1782 subpoena targets include businesses (including affiliated companies and subsidiaries), financial institutions, professionals such as lawyers and accountants, brokers, escrow agents, art galleries and auction houses, former employees, and many more.
This incredibly powerful tool can usually be pursued on an ex parte basis (at least initially) and does not require the applicant to prove that they have exhausted their domestic evidence gathering tools in the foreign case or, significantly, that the evidence will be admissible in the foreign proceeding.
Finally, Sequor Law’s professionals also have extensive experience with treaty-based evidence-gathering mechanisms, including mutual legal assistance treaty (MLAT) requests, requests made under the Hague Evidence Convention, letters rogatory, and letters of request.