On March 22, 2021 the U.S. Supreme Court granted Servotronics’s petition for writ of certiorari to review the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit’s decision in Servotronics v. Rolls-Royce PLC, 975 F.3d 689 (7th Cir. 2020) and resolve the current divide among circuit courts as to whether 28 U.S.C. §1782(a)’s discovery procedures are available for private arbitration proceedings. The statute allows a party before a “foreign or international tribunal” to circumvent the traditional procedural burdens of the Hague Convention and obtain discovery of witnesses and documents in the United States by petitioning a federal district court. Circuit courts disagree, however, as to whether a private arbitration panel is a “tribunal.” Servotronics’s petition puts before the court whether a private arbitration is considered a “tribunal” under §1782.
The court’s intervention may provide much needed clarity to a legal issue that has seen increasing debate in recent years as private arbitration in foreign forums has been on the rise. Servotronics’s petition has the attention of many eager for a resolution amidst circuit discord, and has resulted in two amicus briefs to date. Brief for Int’l Inst. for Conflict Prevention & Resolution as Amicus Curiae Supporting Petitioner, Servotronics v. Rolls-Royce PLC, No. 20-794 (U.S. Jan. 5, 2021); Brief for Atlanta Int’l Arbitration Soc’y as Amicus Curiae Supporting Petitioner, Servotronics v. Rolls-Royce PLC, No. 20-794 (U.S. Jan. 11, 2021).