Six years after the entry into force of Decree n°2009-1524 of December 9, 2009 referred to as the “Magendie” Decree, the appellate procedure is about to be significantly amended. Indeed, Decree n°2017-891 of May 6, 2017 relating to pleas of lack of jurisdiction and appeals in civil matters, published in the Official Gazette on May 10, 2017, brings about substantial changes to this procedure.
Such changes, which are primarily aimed at speeding up the appellate procedure and limiting court congestion, introduce strict rules that must be followed to avoid serious pitfalls such as invalidation, inadmissibility or nullity which may in the worst case scenario entail the sudden and final end of the appellate proceedings.
This article addresses the main procedural innovations brought about by the reform, such innovations to become effective on September 1, 2017.
Can legal privilege under US law prevent the enforcement of a preparatory inquiry in futurum (literally for the future) ordered in France?
Under French law, preparatory inquiries in futurum are designed to establish or preserve evidence, most of the time in connection with a future trial. Their implementation may be hindered by several barriers, including business secrecy, professional secrecy, employees’ right to privacy, or else the interference with the specific procedure called saisie-contrefaçon (i.e. search and seizure to document and establish infringements of IP rights).
In a decision issued on November 3, 2016, the Cour de Cassation (French Supreme Court) ruled on the tricky issue of how to accommodate the protection of professional secrecy and the right to evidence in an international context.
SOULIER AARPI, represented by Mr. André Soulier assisted by Ms. Stéphanie Yavordios, recently received a favorable decision from the Cour de Cassation (French Supreme Court) in a dispute concerning, in particular, the conditions in which court bailiffs enforced an ordonnance sur requête (i.e. a court order on ex parte motion) issued on the basis of Article 145 of the French Code of Civil Procedure.
The Cour de Cassation was asked to determine (i) whether disputes over the enforcement of preparatory inquiries ordered as a result of an ex parte motion fell within the jurisdiction of the juge de la rétractation (i.e. the judge having jurisdiction to withdraw a court order or decision), and (ii) whether the presence of some agents of bailiff firms during the inquiries – whereas the presence of such persons had not been expressly authorized by the court order – was likely to affect the validity of the such inquiries.
By judgment dated March 17, 2016, the Cour de Cassation firstly held that disputes over the enforcement of preparatory inquiries do not fall within the jurisdiction of the juge de la rétractation. It also held that the presence of agents of bailiff firms during the preparatory inquiries does not affect the validity of such inquiries insofar as the court bailiffs perform personally the assignments that have been entrusted to them by the court.
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