It is not uncommon for plaintiffs based in the United States to bring claims against foreign parties in U.S. federal courts to obtain a favorable venue and avoid any bias in foreign courts in favor of local defendants. A recent decision by Judge Brinkema in the EDVA involving a contract dispute between a U.S. company and a Saudi Arabian shipyard and the Saudi Ports Authority, however, demonstrates the limits of that strategy.

On December 5, the Richmond Division of the Federal Bar Association hosted a Lunch and Learn panel for chapter members, area practitioners, and a special guest — the Honorable Robert E. Payne. The panel, titled “Procedural Pitfalls for Civil Practitioners in the Eastern District of Virginia: Insights from Senior Judge Robert E Payne,” was co-moderated by Tim St. George, a former Richmond Division chapter president and law clerk to Judge Payne, and David Anthony. Tim and David, both partners at Troutman Pepper, have special experience handling cases in the E.D. Va. and understand the unique rules, risks, and pitfalls for litigants practicing in this division.

On October 18, Judge Rebecca Beach Smith of the Eastern District of Virginia approved a $70 million settlement in an antitrust case, with more than $23.3 million awarded to the plaintiffs’ attorneys. This case helpfully illustrates the factors courts in the Fourth Circuit analyze when considering class action settlements and showcases the sizable fees plaintiffs’ attorneys can obtain. The case is In re Zetia (Ezetimibe) Antitrust Litigation, No. 2:18-md-02836-RBS-DEM.

Oatlands Historic House in Leesburg, VA was built in 1804 and is recognized as one of the finest federal-period country estate homes in the country. The home and approximately 400 surrounding acres were donated to the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1965, and the property is managed by Oatlands, Inc. (Oatlands) under a series of co-stewardship agreements with the National Trust.

As we posted here and here, a defining aspect of practice in the EDVA’s rocket docket is the ability to quickly obtain preliminary relief. A recent decision by Judge Leonie Brinkema again illustrates how swiftly the court can move. GW Acquisition Co., LLC v. Pageland Limited Liability Co., Case No. 1:23-cv-1207, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 181048 (Oct. 6, 2023).