Playing the Sovereign Card: Defending Foreign Sovereigns in U.S. Courts

ABA Litigation Journal

Vol. 43, Number 2 | Winter 2017

In this article, Laura Ferguson and Charles McAleer* review the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA), which applies special rules to foreign sovereigns in the litigation process, and discuss the challenges of representing a foreign state client. "Over its 40 years, the FSIA has evolved into a significant, complex statutory scheme for adjudicating claims against foreign states in U.S. courts," Ferguson and McAleer wrote. "In an increasingly interrelated global legal and financial system, foreign governments and their agencies and instrumentalities face renewed legal risks that require careful and proactive planning." The authors specifically discuss key considerations for lawyers defending foreign states, including determining FSIA coverage, the discovery process, seeking dismissal, and enforcing judgements under the law.  

*Former Miller & Chevalier attorney