Volkswagenwerk Aktiengesellschaft v. Schlunk, 486 U.S. 694 (1988). June 15, 1988, to be precise– thirty years ago today.
On the anniversary of the oral arguments last March, I wrote a bit more, but today is the anniversary of the opinion, written by Justice O’Connor, with all nine agreeing about the result (if not the specific holding). In short: if you have to serve a defendant in another Hague Service Convention country, and if the Convention applies,* you have to abide by it. Period.
It’s the bedrock of my practice, and it’s fun to be one of the few people who know it and work with it regularly.
* Don’t know the defendant’s address? Don’t worry– the Convention doesn’t apply. But then you’ve got bigger problems than a treaty. So, email? Maybe.