An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Apples are not only healthy but also trendy. However, this article is not about Polish apples (I would like to mention though to our non-Polish readers that Poland is the biggest exporter of apples in the world, and our apples have recently become the basis for political struggle and spontaneous manifestation of patriotism.) The Big Apple (of course New York) is in the news again. Only a month ago, a pilot mandatory mediation program introduced by the Commercial Division in the New York County Supreme Court entered into force. Because Manhattan is associated with everything modern in the western world and a place where trends are created, we should watch this development closely.
Conciliatory proceedings (art. 184 and the subsequent articles of the Code of Civil Procedure) are a very useful tool. Their primary function as foreseen by the legislature is to allow the feuding parties to settle before the court, and thus amicably, without the need to institute time-consuming and expensive litigation. A court settlement is a solution beneficial both to the parties as well as the overburdened common courts. Hence, the symbolic, fixed fee for a motion for a call for settlement (40 zl) and much lower requirements related to such motion. Continue Reading
Due to the continuing prevalence of electronic surveillance (covert listening) in the public and business sphere, as well as in the work of the investigation authorities, frequent discussions are taking place on the legality of eavesdropping and the disproportionate rights of various services to use this method in their operations. Continue Reading
The Republic of Poland has won a BIT (Bilateral Investment Treaty) dispute with American investors. The dispute referred to the disreputable Plasma Fractionation Laboratory (in Polish: “LFO”), the scandal that took place at the end of the last decade. The judgment is available online at: http://www.italaw.com/sites/default/files/case-documents/italaw3192.pdf. Winning in good style, all claims were dismissed, and the costs awarded exceed $1,200,000 U.S. dollars. K&L Gates has had the pleasure and honor of representing the Republic of Poland in this matter. Several reflections have come to my mind based on this judgment. Continue Reading
I was waiting for a helping of fried cod in one of the countless restaurants scattered along the seafront, when my eyes caught a sign on the wall. It read something like: “Customers all want to be served quickly, cheaply and well. Unfortunately, we can deliver only two of these things at the same time. Service can be either good and quick, but not cheap. It can be good and cheap, but not quick. It can be quick and cheap, but not good”.
One can smile, but there is a lot of truth in it. The rule applies not only to the frying pan, but also to most other services, tangible or intangible, including legal services and administration of justice. Continue Reading
In my last post on the criminal liability of legal persons, I promised to write a few more words about the prerequisites of this liability, procedure of adjudication and possible penalties. For now, it is knowledge that you need to familiarize yourself with for a “just in case” scenario. As I wrote, the criminal liability of legal persons is currently of marginal importance, despite the existence of the relevant laws, but may be “discovered” for budgetary reasons (high fines), socio-political (end of tolerance for white-collar criminals, etc.) The question about punishability should be addressed to individuals. But directing this question to a legal person might also make sense in Polish law. So how should legal persons be punished? Continue Reading
The Guidelines on Party Representation in International Arbitration (“Guidelines”) is a new initiative of the International Bar Association (IBA). The success of the earlier forms, the so-called soft law, in particular the Guidelines on Conflicts of Interest and the Taking of Evidence in International Arbitration has undoubtedly encouraged IBA to prepare the new guidelines. This time, they refer to the rules for representation of a party in international arbitration. Continue Reading
A legal person, known in earlier times as a moral person (from the Latin persona moralis) has become, at least under the modern criminal law, its opposite – an “immoral” person, who may be subject to criminal liability. Continue Reading
Several weeks ago, the media widely discussed the charges of corruption upon award of public contracts for the computerization of several state institutions. As usual, there were publicly discussed detentions, declarations announcing an absolute combating of corruption and information on the so-called developmental nature of cases. Penal proceedings in these matters are definitely pending and the courts are likely to receive future indictments. It is worth having a closer look at the phenomenon commonly referred to as corruption from the point of view of penal liability. Of course, the main crime is bribery, for which are liable both the person giving the bribe and the person accepting it, with the latter often demanding the bribe earlier. However, the list of corruption crimes is longer. It also contains bid rigging, namely tender organizers or participants making arrangements as regards the conditions of the tender, submission or non-submission of bids and in the case of submission of bids, as regards their contents, in particular the price offered. Bid rigging not only applies to tenders held pursuant to the public procurement law but also to private tenders held by those entities not covered by the public procurements system. Continue Reading