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China: New Law on Mediation

(Sept. 9, 2010) China's National People's Congress Standing Committee promulgated the Law on People's Mediation on August 28, 2010; it will be in force as of January 1, 2011. The Law has 35 articles divided among six chapters, which cover such subjects as mediation committees, mediators, mediation procedures, and mediation agreements. The Law defines “people's […]

United States: South Dakota Court Vacates Jury Decision Because of Juror’s Internet Search

(Oct. 20, 2009) The South Dakota Supreme Court has upheld a trial court decision to vacate a jury verdict because of a juror's Internet search regarding the defendant in the case. After receiving a summons and questionnaire for a wrongful death case, a juror used Google to find out information about the case's defendant, a […]

Australia: Recommendations for Improving Access to Justice

(Oct. 8, 2009) Calling access to justice “central to the rule of law and integral to the enjoyment of basic human rights,” as well as “an essential precondition to social inclusion and a critical element of a well-functioning democracy,” Australia's Attorney-General, Robert McClelland, launched the government's A Strategic Framework for Access to Justice in the […]

Iran: Ruling on Foreigners’ Lawsuits Against Iranian Nationals in Iranian Courts

(Sept. 10, 2009) In July 2008, in response to a question from Iran's Minister of Justice, the Guardian Council announced that in some cases foreign nationals cannot benefit from a statute of limitations for litigation when they file lawsuits in Iranian courts. The Guardian Council is an institution established under Iran's Constitution to examine the […]

Nigeria: Bill Making Electronic Materials Admissible in Court Proposed

(July 15, 2009) It was reported on July 13, 2009, that the Nigerian senate is considering adoption of the Bill for an Act to Amend the Evidence Act, which would make electronic and computer-generated materials admissible in court. (Sufuyan Ojeifo, Text Messages to Become Admissible in Court, THISDAY, July 13, 2009, available at The […]

United States: Kansas Supreme Court Holds Attorney Post-Trial Contact with Jurors Permitted

(June 15, 2009) The Kansas Supreme Court has ruled that an attorney may interview jurors following a trial and that a trial court may recall a jury and order a new trial if it finds that jury misconduct occurred. In a medical malpractice case, the jury returned a verdict for the plaintiff. After the trial, […]

United States: Ohio Supreme Court Rules Electronic Filing Insufficient to Preserve Appeal

(Feb. 24, 2009) The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that electronic filing of a notice of appeal is an insufficient method for filing an appeal, thus requiring dismissal of the appeal. Two plaintiffs in asbestos litigation in Ohio sought to appeal a trial court's summary judgment dismissal of their cases. The trial court handling the […]

Russia: Supreme Court Lifts Confiscation Clause

(June 2, 2008) On May 18, 2008, the Supreme Court of Arbitration of the Russian Federation, the highest judicial body in the country to resolve commercial disputes, announced its ruling regarding the application of article 169 of the Civil Code, which allows confiscation in the state's favor of revenues from transactions running counter to the […]

Austria: Damages for Pain and Suffering

(Jan. 2, 2008) In a decision of September 27, 2007 (Oberster Gerichtshof [Supreme Court], Sept. 27, 2007, docket no. 2 Ob 135/07b, at Bundeskanzleramt Rechtsinformationssystem [BKA/RIS]), the Austrian Supreme Court affirmed a trial court decision that had awarded ¿35,000 (about US$51,550) for the mental anguish suffered by the 14-year-old survivor of the tortuous death of […]