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Showing posts from September, 2007

When to Litigate a Penalty?

I'm not sure I know the answer to that. It does not seem like defendants are having much luck proving their case in Court. The latest big penalty comes in Inn Foods, Inc. The gist of this case is that one person's preliminary pricing may well be another person's double invoicing scheme. Also, there is a textbook example of piercing the corporate veil involved in the case. There is not much in the way of interesting or novel legal analysis to be had from the case. However, the fact that the result is a $7.5 million penalty for fraud is lesson enough. I have no idea what happened behind the scenes. But, one has to wonder whether there was some point at which this could have been settled for a lesser sum. It is entirely possible that the company involved could not absorb even a settlement amount and decided to bet the farm on litigation. Again I don't know and don't doubt that the lawyers laid out all the options. Sometimes, there are no good options. I am

Feeling Remiss

I am feeling bad about not posting in a while. Believe me when I say that. I would, however, feel worse about not getting work done for actual clients. I'm sure you understand. In the meantime, please read my most recent article for the NCBFAA CCSContact on-line magazine. This time, I made it to the front page. Enjoy.

More NAFTA Truck News

I did not want to become an advocate for Mexican trucking. Really. I just passed on the news that after 13 years, the NAFTA requirement to permit Mexican trucks on U.S. roads was about to be implemented. Then, I updated the post to note that a measure had been introduced in the Senate to block the trucks. Now comes the news that the Senate has voted to block appropriations necessary to support the pilot program. If signed into law, this would effectively stymie Mexico's efforts to provide international transportation services outside the border region. Jeez. I get that this is a populist issue that can be spun as pro-safety, pro-jobs, and pro-environment. Personally, I am pro all those things. I also get that NAFTA as a whole is not particularly popular at the moment. But, can we take a step back and look at this legally? The U.S. (via President George H. W. Bush) agreed to let the trucks in. Are we going to live up to our word? Maybe not. If not, there will be consequences. T

Keep On Truckin'

At the U.S.-Mexican border, there is usually a lot of shifting cargo from one truck to another. This is because Mexican truck carriers have been prohibited from operating more than 25 miles into the United States. That means that the Mexican carrier often turns the goods over to a domestic carrier who finishes the delivery. This has lead to the development of a lot of distribution center businesses along the southern border. Back in 1994, the U.S. agreed to eliminate this obvious choke point in the supply chain by giving Mexican trucks the right to make deliveries throughout the U.S. in the same way Canadian trucks do. It's right there is the agreement as part of Chapter 12 which states, at Article 1202 : Each Party shall accord to service providers of another Party treatment no less favorable than that it accords, in like circumstances, to its own service providers. The treatment accorded by a Party under [the above] paragraph means, with respect to a state or province, treatme

Larry Speaks (and Writes)

Chicago-area compliance people, I'll be speaking at the International Trade Club of Chicago on September 21. The title is "NAFTA and Other FTAs - Internal Controls for Compliance." More information and registration is available here . Also, I will be in London for the ABA Section of International Law Fall Meeting October 3-6. My job is to moderate a panel on outsourcing and trade laws. Here is the brochure blurb: Buying Trouble: Avoiding Purchasing and Outsourcing Traps in Customs, Trade and Export Laws Tracks: Customs/Trade, Corporate/Finance, Corporate Counsel Corporate outsourcing of manufacturing and services is growing rapidly. Many American and European companies have expanded their purchasing horizons to include unfamiliar suppliers and service providers in possibly unfamiliar countries. Companies new to international procurement, including companies outsourcing production and service functions previously done in-house, face a complicated array of legal qu