October 23, 2014
Part of the transcript is below. Click HERE for the full text.
Good morning, everyone, and welcome. We are here for
oral argument on the pending motions in this case. As you
know, the complaint in the case was filed in October 2013, just
a little over a year ago. Plaintiffs allege that the United
Nations and entities affiliated with the United Nations caused
a cholera epidemic, beginning in October of 2010, in Haiti, and
they bring claims for negligence and related claims against the
United Nations and associated entities and individuals of the
United Nations. They have sought to serve those entities, the
The United Nations defendants have resisted service,
and we are here for oral argument really on just the issue of
whether this Court should deem service to have been made and
the related issue of whether the action should be dismissed, as
the United States Government has argued, on the ground of
United Nations immunity, that is, under the applicable legal
governing authorities, whether the United Nations and the other
defendants are immune both from service and from the lawsuit
itself, the claims in the lawsuit. So we are here to address
specifically those issues.
On October 17th, I indicated I would give plaintiffs
and the United States 15 minutes each for argument. I don’t
have red and yellow lights like the Second Circuit does, so
I’ll just cut you off when you’ve reached your time, unless I
don’t want to. Then I’ve also allowed each of three groups of
amici to speak for ten minutes each, first, the amici FANM and
Haitian Women of Miami and the Haitian Lawyers Association,
then a group of international law scholars and practitioners,
and finally a group of European law scholars and practitioners.
I’ve read all the papers, so you don’t really have to repeat
what’s in the papers, but you’re welcome to highlight any
issues that you’d like to raise, and I’ll question you as
So, unless there are any preliminary matters — oh,
yes, there is one pro hac vice motion on behalf of Muneer
Ahmad, and that application is granted.
MR. AHMAD: Thank you, your Honor.
THE COURT: So we will begin with the original
movants, counsel for plaintiffs, Ms. Lindstrom?
MS. LINDSTROM: Thank you, your Honor.
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