Enforcing Judgments Against Chinese Defendants, in O’Melveny’s US-China Litigation Newsletter

by Courtney Gould Miller
March 14, 2014

Litigating in US courts can be intimidating for anyone, but for a Chinese client it’s down right scary. As a result, much of my work involves explaining to Chinese clients how US litigation works and what will be expected of them. When faced with a US lawsuit, many Chinese companies and individuals would prefer to ignore it and hide by accepting a default judgment they never intend to pay. This is because unlike in many other countries, the US and China do not have an agreement to enforce judgments from the other’s jurisdiction. But, as many Chinese defendants are learning, this isn’t the free pass it seems. Chinese defendants may want to continue to visit and do business in the US, and the default may bar them from entering the country. And US courts aren’t willing to let foreign defendants out of paying their judgment, particularly when they have  availed themselves of US markets. Now, US courts are taking seemingly drastic measures to be sure Chinese defendants pay judgments against them.

To make US litigation more understandable to Chinese clients, O’Melveny has started to publish quarterly newsletters explaining confusing aspects of US law and recent case developments. My article appears in the inaugural issue, all about creative remedies US courts are taking to enforce  judgments and, as a result, why Chinese defendants may decide to fight plaintiffs in US courts under US rules.  You can read the full article and newsletter here.

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What do you think about these court decisions?  Should Chinese litigants have to play by US rules, or are US courts overstepping to circumvent diplomacy?

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