This case involves a Bolivian company known as Compaņia de Inversiones Mercantiles S.A. ("CIMSA") and Mexican companies known as Grupo Cementos de Chihuahua, S.A.B. de C.V. and GCC Latinoamerica, S.A. de C.V. (collectively "GCC"). Plaintiff - Appellant CIMSA brought a district court action in 2015 pursuant to the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. § 207, to confirm a foreign arbitral award issued in Bolivia against Defendant - Appellee GCC. The action has been prolonged by ongoing litigation abroad and obstacles to effectuating service. The underlying dispute arises out of an agreement under which CIMSA and GCC arranged to give each other a right of first refusal if either party decided to sell its shares in a Bolivian cement company known as Sociedad Boliviana de Cemento, S.A. ("SOBOCE"). GCC sold its SOBOCE shares to a third party after taking the position that CIMSA failed to properly exercise its right of first refusal. In 2011, CIMSA initiated an arbitration proceeding in Bolivia. The arbitration tribunal determined that GCC violated the contract and the parties' expectations. The arbitration tribunal later awarded CIMSA tens of millions of dollars for GCC's breach.
GCC initiated Bolivian and Mexican court actions challenging the arbitration tribunal's decisions. A Bolivian judge, holding a position similar to that of an American trial judge, rejected GCC's challenge to the arbitration tribunal's decision on the merits. A Bolivian court, acting in a capacity similar to that of an American intermediate appellate court, reversed and remanded. On remand, the matter was temporarily assigned to a different trial judge, who granted GCC's request for relief before the original trial judge could return from a planned vacation. While these remand proceedings were occurring, however, Bolivia's highest court reversed the Bolivian appellate court and affirmed the original trial judge. But as a result of the simultaneous remand proceedings, Bolivia's highest court also issued arguably contradictory orders suggesting the second trial judge's ruling on the merits remained in effect. GCC filed a separate Bolivian court action challenging the arbitration tribunal's damages award. That case made its way to Bolivia's highest court as well, which reversed an intermediate appellate court's nullification of the award and remanded for further proceedings. The parties continue to litigate the damages award in Bolivia.
Invoking the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (the "New York Convention") ...