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Miles & Stockbridge Files Amicus Brief In Support Of Moroccan Judgment

February 5, 2020 GMT
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Thomas M. Wolf and Joseph M. Rainsbury, Miles & Stockbridge
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Thomas M. Wolf and Joseph M. Rainsbury, Miles & Stockbridge

RICHMOND, Va., Feb. 4, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Miles & Stockbridge, a leading business law firm in the mid-Atlantic region, announced today that it has filed an amicus curiae brief before the United States Supreme Court in support of the petition for certiorari by Maghreb Petroleum Exploration, S.A., and Mideast Fund for Morocco Limited.

The brief addresses the Fifth Circuit’s opinion in DeJoria v. Maghreb Petroleum Exploration, S.A., 935 F.3d 381 (2019), refusing to recognize a foreign judgment in an American court, and argues that the reluctance of American courts to enforce foreign judgments undermines America’s promotion of the rule of law abroad. The full text of the filed brief can be found here.

“The Fifth Circuit’s opinion in DeJoria v. Maghreb Petroleum Exploration, S.A. reflects poorly on American justice,” said Thomas M. Wolf, a principal and trial lawyer in the Richmond office of Miles & Stockbridge. “If allowed to stand, the opinion announces to the world that, with enough money and influence, an American judgment debtor can change the law retroactively and avoid having to pay a huge overseas judgment.”

The brief was written by Wolf and Joseph M. Rainsbury, also of the firm’s Richmond office.

Background

The Fifth Circuit case involved an attempt by Moroccan investors to domesticate a judgment obtained against Texas multi-billionaire John Paul DeJoria, an entrepreneur and co-founder of Paul Mitchell hair products and The Patrón Spirits Company.

Investors claimed that DeJoria had defrauded them in an ill-fated project to develop oil reserves in Morocco. Although properly served, DeJoria declined to participate in the Morocco proceedings. The Morocco court heard evidence on damages and entered a $123 million judgment against DeJoria. DeJoria then used his resources and influence to lobby the Texas Legislature to retroactively change the law relevant to the case.

Brief Overview

Wolf and Rainsbury addressed the following in the brief:

Reasons for Certiorari

Wolf and Rainsbury argue in the brief that the Fifth Circuit should grant certiorari for three reasons:

About Miles & Stockbridge

Miles & Stockbridge is a leading law firm with more than 220 lawyers and seven offices in Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Virginia. The firm’s lawyers help global, national, local and emerging business clients preserve and create value by helping them solve their most challenging problems. For more information, please follow Miles & Stockbridge on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

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SOURCE Miles & Stockbridge