Sovereign Immunity and Anti-Terrorism Judgments

We have been successful in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in defeating efforts to execute upon the patents and trademark registrations of 20 Cuban enterprises and research institutes, as well as upon the Republic of Cuba’s certification mark for Cuban cigars, in satisfaction of a $200 million default judgment against the Republic of Cuba. In Jerez v. Republic of Cuba, No. 09-466, 2013 WL 4578999 (Aug. 29, 2013), Chief Judge Richard W. Roberts issued a decision holding that, as the court asked to execute the judgment on property in the District of Columbia, he could examine the jurisdiction of the Florida state court that had issued the default judgment. Chief Judge Roberts then held that the Florida court lacked jurisdiction under the U.S.’s Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, and its judgment was therefore unenforceable. In his ruling, Chief Judge Roberts upheld the earlier decision of United States Magistrate Judge Alan Kay, also of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, whose 41 page opinion is reported at Jerez v. Republic of Cuba, 777 F. Supp. 2d 6 (D.D.C. 2011).