Parties often take judgment enforcement for granted in the United States as a result of decades of reinforcement from the Full Faith and Credit Clause. As the world becomes increasingly globalized, however, corporate defendants may only have nominal holdings within the United States, with the majority of their assets held abroad. Plaintiffs may then be in for a rude awakening when they bring their U.S. money judgments abroad, for such judgments are routinely unenforceable. China has proven no exception, and foreign judgments are rarely, if ever, enforced there. The problem is compounded by the fact that trade between the United States and China increases every year, leading to a likely corresponding increase in cases where U.S. money judgment creditors are left holding the bag. This Comment briefly explains the reasons for why U.S. money judgments often go unenforced abroad—a strange confluence of principles of federalism, comity, and Erie doctrine— and discusses recent cases of judgment unenforceability against Chinese parties. More importantly, however, the Comment seeks to provide professionals with practical advice in how to plan ahead when transactions involve foreign parties.
Judgment Unenforceability in China,
19 Fordham J. Corp. & Fin. L. 201
Available at: http://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/jcfl/vol19/iss1/4