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Abati Legnami (Italy) v. Fritz Häupl
Italy Supreme Court
17 Y.B. Comm. Arb. 529 (1992)
Abati Legnami (defendant), which was an Italian company, and Fritz Häupl (plaintiff) were parties to an arbitration agreement. A contractual dispute arose between the parties. On August 11, 1991, Abati Legnami received instructions to appear for arbitration before the Vienna Commodity Exchange less than 30 days later. In Italy, the month of August was considered the annual summer holiday, and many businesses and offices were closed until September. Further, most judicial time limits and deadlines were suspended annually from August 1 to September 15, and therefore little legal business occurred in Italy during this period. The arbitration tribunal issued an award in favor of Häupl. Häupl filed an action to enforce the arbitration award in Italy before the Milan Court of Appeal, which granted enforcement. The court of appeal held that adequate notice was provided to Abati Legnami and that activities such as commercial arbitration should not be paused merely because in Italy, where Abati Legnami was located, a monthlong vacation was widely observed in August. Abati Legnami appealed to the Italy Supreme Court, arguing that the court of appeal ruled in error.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning
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