Fundamental to the due process of law is notice—a requirement that all parties are made aware that a lawsuit could alter their legal rights or duties. Most defendants will be served in person by a process server. But when the defendant is unreachable this way, some creativity may be required, especially when the defendants are only traceable through their actions on the blockchain, an instrument famous in part for its ability to keep its users private. After a hack of almost $8,000,000 of its funds, Liechtenstein-based cryptocurrency exchange LCX AG allegedly traced some of its stolen digital assets to different digital wallets. LCX AG was able to freeze the funds, but with no name stitched into the digital wallet, it still lacked a name and place to pursue legal action. At least, it lacked a physical place. But if LCX AG knew the location of the wallet, then perhaps it could serve the virtual place.
When there is a right, there is a remedy—or so the maxim goes. But when a state infringes upon your copyright, such a remedy may be more difficult to obtain. Just a year ago, the Supreme Court held in Allen v. Cooper that the Copyright Remedy Clarification Act did not abrogate a state’s sovereign immunity, and therefore, absent consent, sovereign immunity prevents suits for copyright infringement against a state. Are there any exceptions to this rule? Are there alternatives causes of action or remedies available? That is the question plaintiffs-appellants posed in Canada Hockey, L.L.C. v. Texas A&M Univ. Athletic Dep’t. And the answer, at least in federal court in the Fifth Circuit, is no, though the Fifth Circuit left open the possibility for recovery in state court.
As the legal profession continues to adjust to the COVID-19 pandemic, even something as normal and regular as a deposition has often become an adventure. Even after accounting for the immediately obvious questions (is in-person too dangerous or not allowed? If conducting a remote deposition, what vendor should I use?) and all-to-common glitches like connectivity issues, new problems continue to pop up, even when seemingly doing the right thing. Take, for example, a deposition in Webber v. Dash, a libel and copyright case in S.D.N.Y. Plaintiffs attempted to depose the defendant, Damon Dash, best known as a cofounder of the hip hop label Roc-A-Fella Records with Jay-Z and Kareem “Biggs” Burke. According to the Plaintiffs, there was a big problem: Dash’s testimony could not be clearly heard. In seeking termination sanctions, the plaintiffs accused Dash of purposefully speaking in a low voice behind the two masks he was wearing. (Dash may have been ahead of the curve, as shortly after the order came down, the CDC started to recommend “double masking”—wearing a cloth mask over a disposable mask—though the court’s order is unclear as to the nature of his two masks.)
In 2017, New York amended its general venue statute. For as long as New York’s Civil Practice Law and Rules has existed, the general venue statute (CPLR § 503(a)) placed proper venue solely based on residence of the parties. Prior to 2017, it read: