Brief Fact Summary. An action under the Sherman Act against Hartford (D) was filed by the California (P) on the ground that Hartford Fire Insurance Co. (D) and other London-based reinsurers (D) had allegedly engaged in unlawful conspiracies to affect the market for insurance in the United States, but the reinsurers (D) sought to dismiss this allegation under the principle of international comity.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. Jurisdiction may be exercised over foreign conduct since no conflict exists in a situation where a person subject to regulation by two states can comply with the laws of both.
Issue. May jurisdiction be exercised over foreign conduct since no exist in a situation where a person subject to regulation by two states can comply with the laws both?
Held. (souter, J.) Yes. Jurisdiction may be exercised over foreign conduct since no conflict exists in a situation where a person subject to regulation by two states can comply with the laws of both. The Sherman Act is applicable to foreign conduct meant to produce and in fact produce some substantial effect in the United States. Even assuming that a court may decline to exercise Sherman Act jurisdiction over foreign conduct, international comity would not prevent a U.S. court from exercising jurisdiction in the circumstances alleged here. Since there is no irreconcilable conflict between domestic and British law, the reinsurers (D) may not invoke comity. Affirmed.
Lauritzen set forth several factors which, alone or in combination, are generally conceded to influence choice of law to govern a tort claim, particularly a maritime tort claim.View Full Point of Law
Discussion. â€œComity of nationsâ€ is defined by Black’s Law Dictionary, p. 242 (5th ed. 1979) as â€œ(t)he recognition which one nation allows within its territory to the legislative, executive, or judicial acts of another nation, having due regard both to international duty and convenience and to the rights of its own citizens or of other persons who are under the protection of its laws.â€ The Congress did not express any view on the question of whether a court with Sherman Act jurisdiction should ever decline to exercise such jurisdiction on grounds of international comity, an issue that the Court declined to address in this case when it enacted the Foreign trade Antitrust Improvements Act of 1982 (FTAIA). Justice Scalia advocated that a nation having some basis for jurisdiction should nonetheless refrain from exercising that jurisdiction when the exercise of such jurisdiction is unreasonable when he endorsed the approach of the Restatement (Third) of Foreign Relations Law.