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Competex, S.A. v. LaBow

783 F.2d 333 (1986)

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Competex, S.A. v. LaBow

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

783 F.2d 333 (1986)

Facts

LaBow (defendant) lost a substantial amount of money speculating in copper on the London Metal Exchange. LaBow used Competex, S.A. (plaintiff) as a broker, and Competex paid LaBow’s debt. Competex then sued LaBow in the English High Court of Justice and obtained a default judgment for £187,929.82. Competex then filed a diversity action in federal court to enforce the English judgment. After a bench trial, the trial court ruled that the English judgment should be recognized and enforced. The trial court applied the breach-day conversion rule, in accordance with New York law. Under the breach-day conversion rule, a foreign judgment is converted to US currency as of the date of the breach, which the trial court determined was the date that the English judgment was entered. The trial court determined that the conversion rate on that day was £1 = $2.20. However, the pound had deteriorated related to the dollar between the date of the English judgment and the trial court’s decision and continued to deteriorate after that. LaBow filed a motion with the trial court requesting clarification that he could satisfy the judgment in either US dollars or in pounds. The trial court denied the motion, and LaBow appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Newman, J.)

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