U.S. law provides litigants with a variety of means to obtain evidence from foreign jurisdictions. The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (the Federal Rules) and rules of state courts may be used if a U.S. court has jurisdiction over the person who is in control of the evidence in question. Section 1783 of tide 28 of the United States Code provides a means for serving a subpoena on U.S. nationals or residents abroad. Litigants may also obtain foreign discovery through letters rogatory as permitted by 28 U.S.C. § 1781 and treaties such as the Hague Convention on Taking Evidence (the Hague Convention). U.S. law also provides litigants, who are before foreign or international tribunals, access to evidence in the United States through letters rogatory, the Hague Convention, and the extraordinarily generous procedure prescribed by 28 U.S.C. § 1782. Varying discovery procedures sounding in international conventions or domestic statutes coexist in the American court system; federal courts are given discretion in crafting the solution which best fits the case at bar. This article serves as a brief review of developments during the year.
Borgen, Christopher J., "Discovery in International Legal Developments Year in Review: 1997" (1998). Faculty Publications. 126.