Anti-Suit Injunctions

AuthorJeffrey Berryman
At the outer extreme of judicial innovation in the f‌ield of interlocu-
tory injunctions has been t he anti-suit injunction. This injunction is
designed to prevent a plaintiff f rom bringing a suit in another country.
It is the product of globalized litigation and the fact t hat in many dis-
putes there exists a potential for liability against numerous defendants
in a number of jurisdictions. The usual legal mechanism for resolv-
ing these jurisdictional problems lies in the area of conf‌l ict of laws
and the doctrine of forum non conveniens. However, many jurisd ictions,
notably many European civil law countries and, for a while, Texas, do
not follow similar conf‌lict rules. Plaintiffs have been draw n to these
jurisdictions in the belief, often justif‌ied, that they w ill receive some
procedural advantage (e.g., access to jury trial, different forms of proof
such as strict liabil ity rather than negligence, advant age of a contingent
fee structure) — or that because of the gre ater availability of punitive
damages, the compensat ion granted will be signif‌icantly higher than
if they had continued to proceed in a more natura l forum. In response,
defendants have sought an anti-suit injunction, ordering t he plaintiff
to discontinue its suit in the foreign jurisdiction. For a court, adjudicat-
ing on such an issue is ext remely problematic. At one level it appears as
if the domestic court is being a sked to pass judgment upon the capacity
of a foreign court to administer justice. Thi s issue transcend s the liti-
gants and raise s questions concerning comity between n ational courts.

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