ZEK maintains a sophisticated practice on behalf of international and domestic clients in 28 USC § 1782 and U.S. Discovery in Foreign Proceedings (“1782” or “1782 Proceeding”).

ZEK’s team of experienced litigators and e-discovery experts are very well versed in the intricacies and strategies involved in a 1782 Proceeding, as well as all the most recent case law and developments in this area. ZEK represents petitioners seeking discovery as well as respondents from whom discovery is sought in such proceedings.

1782 provides a straight-forward legal mechanism for a party who has an interest in a foreign proceeding, such as a litigation or governmental investigation, to make an application to the US federal district courts to obtain discovery from a US person or entity, which discovery will be used in the foreign proceeding.

The party seeking discovery generally files the 1782 application on an ex parte basis. The application is filed in the US District Court in which the US party who possesses the discovery materials and/or information is located. The Court considers a number of discretionary factors in deciding the 1782 application.

ZEK has represented corporations, individuals, receivers and trustees in both offensive and defensive postures in 1782 Proceedings. On the offensive side, 1782 is a very effective tool for participants in a current or imminent foreign legal proceeding or investigation to obtain discovery and evidence from a US based party in aid of the foreign proceeding or investigation, without incurring the time and expenses of a full scale US litigation. Foreign parties can take advantage of the US’s progressive discovery rules, which are often more liberal and expansive than those of foreign regimes, and provides an opportunity to gain material information, which may not be obtainable in a foreign proceeding. For example, a US District Court may issue a subpoena, in response to a 1782 application, to collect information even if the evidence sought may not be admissible in the foreign jurisdiction. ZEK has assisted clients in obtaining crucial information from US parties both via document requests and third-party depositions, which otherwise were not attainable.

ZEK has also represented clients in opposing 1782 applications in instances in which foreign litigants have improperly tried to take advantage of the broad discovery scheme provided under 1782, such as when the information sought is not “for use” in a foreign proceeding, the evidence is readily available in the foreign jurisdiction, the 1782 application is an attempt to circumvent the requirements of the foreign jurisdiction or contravenes policy in the foreign jurisdiction.

Prior to entering into any 1782 engagement, ZEK meets with its client to ascertain the client’s objective in the 1782 proceeding and then devises the most cost- efficient strategy and roadmap to achieve these goals. Key components in devising an appropriate 1782 course of action include a clear understanding of the client’s need to collect or protect information; selection of an appropriate venue and court for the 1782 Proceeding; consultation with the client’s foreign counsel about the impact of the 1782 Proceeding on the foreign action; consideration of negotiating a settlement for the transfer of documents and information at the outset of the 1782 Proceeding or during the pendency of the 1782 Proceeding; consideration of whether a deposition of the US party housing the discovery, in addition to the demand for documents, is necessary and beneficial; and potential costs and benefits associated with retaining a professional document vendor to produce or host pertinent e-discovery and the scope of services to be provided by the vendor. Of course, ZEK litigators are also skilled at defending or obtaining the discovery authorized in the 1782 Proceeding.

ZEK welcomes all inquiries regarding its 1782 practice.