Introductions and a quick recap of Crystallex [guest post]

This is a guest post by David Goodwin.

Howdy! I’m David, and I’m a state appellate public defender in New York. As Matt mentioned last week, I will be taking care of this place while the master is away,* doffing my defender persona and donning my nerd-about-all-things-Third-Circuit guise. (Whether this particular donning and doffing is covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act is, of course, an open question.) I will try to keep up with the oncoming storm of POs, with posts generally appearing in the evening.

As I write, however, the Third Circuit has just released a 45-page opinion in Crystallex International v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, the latest installment in a long-running international dispute that generated another PO back in January 2018. This new decision addresses a question explicitly left open by the prior opinion: whether Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A.  (“PDVSA”) is an “alter ego” of its parent country whose assets could be used to satisfy an arbitration award entered against Venezuela in favor of plaintiff Crystallex, under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act and Fed. R. Civ. P. 69(a).

The short answer: on these facts, yes. “Indeed,” Judge Ambro writes, “if the relationship between Venezuela and PDVSA cannot satisfy the Supreme Court’s extensive-control requirement, we know nothing that can.”

I suspect Matt knew this one was coming. Well timed.

Expect a detailed summary later today, along with a roundup of the impressive who’s-who of attorneys who argued the appeal.

*: I originally wrote that I was “pitch hitting” on Matt’s behalf. Alas, I suffer from a rare disorder called athletometaphorophobia: the fear of screwing up casual sports allusions. By extension, Judge Ambro’s page-5 comment about the CITGO sign outside of Fenway Park is met with a smile and a nod, both intended to communicate that I am definitely an in-the-know American who understands sportsball and its enthusiasts.