For this week’s assignment, please succinctly answer or respond to the following five questions or case reviews.
1. A Saudi Arabian government-run hospital hired American Scott Nelson to be an engineer. The parties signed the employment agreement in the United States. On the job, Nelson reported that the hospital had significant safety defects. For this, he was arrested, jailed, and tortured for 39 days. Upon his release to the U.S., Nelson sued the Saudi government for personal injury in the U.S. courts. Can Nelson sue Saudi Arabia in the U.S. courts as a result of this situation?
2. Chateau, a Canadian winery, contracted over the phone to buy 1.2 million wine corks from Sabate USA, the U.S. subsidiary of Sabate France. The parent company shipped the corks from France to Canada, along with a pre-printed invoice. The invoice contained a forum selection clause providing that any dispute would be heard in a French court. When Chateau realized that the corks altered the taste of its wine, it sued Sabate in California for breach of contract. Chateau argued that the forum selection clause was not part of the original deal. Furthermore, it had an enforceable oral agreement with Sabate USA, which was governed by the CISG because both Canada and the United States were signatories. Did the CISG govern the dealings between Chateau and Sabate USA? If so, did the contract between Chateau and Sabate USA have to be in writing? Was the forum selection clause enforceable against Chateau? Please answer each of these questions briefly with explanation.
3. The Instituto de Auxilios y Viviendas is an agency of the government of the Dominican Republic. Dr. Marion Fernandez, the general administrator of the Instituto and Secretary of the Republic, sought a loan for the Instituto. She requested that Charles Meadows, an American citizen, secure the Instituto a bank loan of $12 million. The contract between Meadows and the Instituto provided that, if Meadows obtained a loan on favorable terms, he would receive a fee of $240,000. Meadows secured a loan on satisfactory terms, which the Instituto accepted. He then sought his fee, but the Instituto and the Dominican government refused to pay. He sued the government in United States District Court. The Dominican government claimed sovereign immunity. Comment on whether or not (with explanation and rationale) Meadows would be able to sue the Dominican government in the U.S. courts.
4. The Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) provides that American courts generally cannot hear suits against foreign governments. Describe the two possible exceptions to this rule.
5. Explain what the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) is and discuss the three basic principles on which it was founded. What body is responsible for enforcing GATT?
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