News and Updates
BEN & JERRY'S LITIGATION
As previously reported, our firm represented Avi Zinger and American Quality Products Ltd. in their landmark complaint against Ben & Jerry's Homemade Inc. and Unilever for their unlawful termination of the license to manufacture and sell ice cream only because Mr. Zinger refused to capitulate to the BDS-backed demand to cease selling in Judea and Samaria. Recently, we assisted Mr. Zinger in making a deal/settlement with Unilever that entitles Avi and his companies to produce and sell Ben & Jerry's ice cream in Israel (including, of course, Judea and Samaria) under Hebrew and Arabic names. What a victory for Avi and the State of Israel! Mazal Tov and b'teiavon (- Bon appétit).
HUNGARIAN HOLOCAUST LITIGATION
JULY 18, 2022
On July 18, 2022, the D.C. Circuit allowed our clients, a group of four Hungarian Jews, to join an appeal after having their claims against the country over property seized during World War II cut on sovereign immunity grounds. This small, yet significant victory, paves the way for the Survivors to argue that expropriations from stateless persons are not covered by the "domestic takings" doctrine, as articulated by the Supreme Court in Philipp v. Federal Republic of Germany.
After a series of rejections with other counsel, we successfully petitioned USCIS for an R-1 (religious worker) visa.
RENUNCIATION OF U.S. CITIZENSHIP LITIGATION
JUNE 29, 2022
On June 29, 2022, we filed our reply to the government’s opposition in the Suspension of Renunciation Services Litigation (previously reported). We argue that the U.S. government has utterly failed to show how the suspension and delay of renunciation services are necessary to further the governmental interest in battling COVID-19. Citing the recent landmark decision of the Supreme Court, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Org., we advocate the right to voluntary expatriate is “deeply rooted” in American history and “implicit in the concept of ordered liberty,” thus warranting protection of the U.S. constitution. Click here for a copy of the brief. The issues have been fully briefed and we now await a decision from the court.
RENUNCIATION OF U.S. CITIZENSHIP LITIGATION
JUNE 15, 2022
On June 15, 2022, the U.S. government filed its opposition to our motion for summary judgment in the Suspension of Renunciation Services Litigation (previously reported). In its opposition, the government denies that the right of expatriation is fundamental. According to the government, it may impose any limitations on the right to expatriate, including full-blown suspensions and indefinite delays on the services necessary to exercise that right. Moreover, the government insists that it has unfettered discretion to prioritize as it sees fit and that it prefers prioritizing non-immigrant visa services for foreigners over renunciation services for U.S. citizens. Click here for a copy of the opposition.
TRANSITION TAX LITIGATION, CONT...
MAY 23, 2022
On May 23, 2022, we filed the reply brief in Silver v. IRS with the D.C. Circuit. We urged the appellate court to reject the government’s contention that the lawsuit, which challenges the transition tax regs for violating the small business protections of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), is barred by the AIA. The appeal also focuses on Article III standing and statutory standing under the RFA. Click here for a copy of the opening brief; here for a copy of the government's opposition brief; and here for our reply brief. We are now waiting for the D.C. Circuit to schedule a date for oral argument. Stay tuned...
HAGUE SERVICE CONVENTION
We have been recently engaged to assist a U.S.-based law firm serve an individual defendant in Israel under the the Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters, more commonly called the Hague Service Convention.
CROSS-BORDER DEFAMATION LITIGATION
We recently filed our post-trial brief in an almost 4-year case concerning online and cross-border defamation. The case is pending in the Jerusalem Shalom (Trial) Court. A bench trial was held on February 3, 2022 in which four individuals gave testimony and were cross-examined. The newly filed 38-page brief presents our case-in-chief, laying out both the relevant facts and legal authorities to support our client's rights to a good reputation, free speech and privacy. Click here for a copy (Hebrew) of the brief.
FSIA HOLOCAUST LITIGATION
MARCH 15, 2022
On March 15, 2022, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia denied Germany’s motion to dismiss in Ambar v. Germany (see our July 19, 2021 news item below), concluding that the court had jurisdiction to adjudicate the the plaintiffs' claims for restitution against Germany. The court explicitly rejected Germany’s “selective retroactivity” argument which asked the court to recognize the validity of the Anschluss while nullifying the denationalization laws. The court found that such an argument runs counter to the “fundamental principles of justice.” For a copy of the opinion, click here.
BEN & JERRY'S LITIGATION
MARCH 3, 2022
Our firm was an integral member of the legal team representing plaintiffs Avi Zinger and American Quality Products Ltd. in their landmark complaint against Ben & Jerry's Homemade Inc. and Unilever United States, Inc. filed today in New Jersey federal district court. Click here for the copy of the complaint. See also Avi Zinger's article "Why I'm Suing Ben & Jerry’s," available here.
FSIA HOLOCAUST LITIGATION
JULY 19, 2021
We have filed our Opposition to Germany's motion to dismiss in Civ. Case Ambar et al. Fed. Rep. of Germany, Case no. 1:20-cv-3587, pending in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. In its Motion, Germany revived Nazi legislation enacted at the time of its 1938 illegal invasion and seizure of Austria in an attempt to defeat a claim by a Holocaust victim’s family to recover compensation for a valuable real estate asset in East Berlin. In our Opposition we expressed outrage at Germany’s sordid tactics, saying that Germany has “unclean, bloody hands,” asking” the Court “to countenance its illegal seizure of Austria, just so that it can label Salo Feuerwerk as one of its own.” Under American law as well as under Austrian and international law, we show that the illegal occupation of Austria could not have made Salo a German, when Salo was not even residing in Austria at the time of Germany’s conquest of Austria. In the words of the family’s Opposition, if the court finds that Salo was “anything other than a German national, Germany’s domestic takings defense will collapse and vanish like some from the crematoria at Mauthausen and Auschwitz. Then, and only then will justice be done.”
RENUNCIATION OF U.S. CITIZENSHIP LITIGATION
JUNE 17, 2021
Our firm, on behalf of the Association of Accidental Americans, a French non-profit society, together with 20 “accidental Americans,” today filed a 45-page Memorandum opposing the U.S. Government’s motion for summary judgment on plaintiffs’ landmark lawsuit challenging as unconstitutional the State Department’s $2,350 fee for the voluntary renunciation of U.S. citizenship. Plaintiffs have also filed a cross-motion for summary judgment, asking the court to rule that the right to voluntarily renounce U.S. citizenship is a fundamental right. A copy of our Opposition and Motion can be found here.
TRANSITION TAX LITIGATION
APRIL 24, 2021
On March 29, 2021, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia recently granted the government's motion for summary judgment in connection with our administrative challenge to the regulations promulgated by the so-called Transition Tax (1:19-cv-247). Click here for a copy of the Memorandum Opinion and Order. On April 23, 2021, we submitted a motion for reconsideration under Rule 59(e) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Click here for a copy of the motion for reconsideration. Stay tuned for updates on this important matter.
GILTI TAX LITIGATION
APRIL 23, 2021
Our firm has recently filed a supplemental memorandum in the GILTI tax litigation (1:20-cv-1544), now pending in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. The memorandum was submitted pursuant to the court's order, requesting that the parties brief the court as to the effects, if any, of the recent March 29, 2021 decision in the Transition Tax litigation. A copy of the brief can be found here. In both lawsuits (GILTI and Transition Tax), Plaintiffs argue that the Transition Tax and GILTI regulations violate the law in a variety of ways, including the fact that the final version of the regulations failed to contain a "regulatory flexibility analysis," required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), a U.S. law that requires federal agencies to review regulations for their impact on small businesses.
DECEMBER 10, 2020
We have just commenced a lawsuit against the Federal Republic of Germany on behalf of the heirs of Holocaust survivors. In 1941, the Third Reich stole the plaintiffs’ grandfather’s apartment building that he owned in East Berlin. The expropriation was done as part of Nazi Germany's genocidal program against Jews. The lawsuit has been brought under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act and makes claims for violations of international law. Click here to see a copy of the Complaint which has been filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.
FIFTH, FIRST AND EIGHTH AMENDMENT LITIGATION
DECEMBER 9, 2020
Our firm has commenced a lawsuit on behalf of and advocacy group and overseas U.S. citizens against the State Department over an allegedly unconstitutional fee Americans must pay to renounce their citizenship. The lawsuit alleges that establishing, then raising the fee to $2,350 violated the First, Fifth, and Eighth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, as well as the Administrative Procedure Act and international law. Click here for a copy of the complaint which was filed in the United States District Court of the District of Columbia.
FEDERAL ADMINISTRATIVE AND TAX LITIGATION
JUNE 15, 2020
Our firm has filed a lawsuit challenging the extensive set of regulations issued by the United States Department of Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service that interprets the complex international tax provisions of Code section 951A, a/k/a GILTI. The lawsuit, which is pending in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, asserts that the IRS failed to comply with the Regulatory Flexibility Act, the Paperwork Reduction Act, and the Administrative Procedure Act. For a copy of the complaint, click here.
CROSS-BORDER PRE-JUDGMENT RELIEF
MAY 24, 2020
We have been engaged to draft and file two cross border pre-judgment lien applications in Israel in connection with two different lawsuits pending in foreign (non-Israeli) jurisdictions. To learn more about these types of proceedings, click here.
FEDERAL ADMINISTRATION AND TAX LITIGATION
MAY 15, 2020
The firm represents a U.S. taxpayer resident in Israel in a landmark administrative law case against the U.S. Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Department of Treasury challenging the legality of regulations issued under the 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act concerning the so-called Transition Tax (IRC Section 965). The lawsuit, which is pending in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia on Plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment, asserts that the IRS failed to comply with the Regulatory Flexibility Act, the Paperwork Reduction Act and the Administrative Procedure Act when the Service proposed the Transition Tax Regulations and adopted the final regulations. The statutes in question were designed to protect small businesses against burdensome federal regulations. The litigation was filed to vindicate the rights of small businesses which have been all but ignored by the Treasury Department and the powers that be in Washington, D.C.
HAGUE EVIDENCE CONVENTION
APRIL 30, 2020
We are currently litigating four Hague Evidence Applications in Israel in connection with a lawsuit pending in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.
LITIGATION IN THE SDNY
Our firm has been engaged to defend against a breach of patent license lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
VICTORY ON APPEAL
The Appellate Division for the Second Department (New York) granted an appeal filed and argued by Mr. Jeffrey Michels. In his appeal, Mr. Michels succesfully argued that the trial court made serious errors of law concerning the admissability of certain evidence. The Appellate Division granted the appeal and ordered a new trial. For a copy of the opinion, click here.
CONGRATULATIONS TO NOAM SCHREIBER
SEPTEMBER 12, 2019
Congratulations to Noam Schreiber for his admission to the New York Bar.
ZELL ARON & CO. ENGAGED TO ASSIST IN CROSS-BORDER DISCOVERY
AUGUST 15, 2019
Our firm has been engaged to assist in cross-border discovery pursuant to the Hague Convention on the Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil or Commercial Matters in relation to a case pending in a state court in the United States.
ENFORCEMENT OF FOREIGN JUDGMENT
JULY 1, 2019
Zell Aron & Co. have been engaged to enforce in Israel a multi-million dollar money judgment from a U.S. federal court.
TRIUMPH OVER THE BDS MOVEMENT
APRIL 9, 2019
On January 25, 2019, Zell, Aron & Co. filed a lawsuit against Airbnb challenging Airbnb’s decision to remove listings of accommodations owned by Jews in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) on the grounds that it constitutes an “anti-Jewish Discriminatory Policy” that violates both the federal Fair Housing Act and California law. Harow et al v. Airbnb, Inc., 3:19-cv-00395-JCS. A copy of the complaint is available here. As a result of the lawsuit, Airbnb agreed to reverse its controversial decision to de-list accommodations in Israeli towns and settlements located in Israel administered Judea and Samaria. Under the settlement, Airbnb will allow listings from all such Israeli towns and settlements.
For Airbnb’s official press release regarding the settlement, click here.
FEDERAL SECURITIES LITIGATION
APRIL 9, 2019
The firm was successful in dismissing in its entirety a securities claim against the producer of a foreign feature film co-production in U.S. federal court. Click here for a copy of the decision.
U.S. SPORTS GAMBLING LAW
APRIL 2, 2019
Our firm has been attained to advise a European client on the current state of sports gambling law in the United States following the precedential decision of SCOTUS in Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, 138 S.Ct. 1461 (2018), which struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, 28 U.S.C. § 3702, as unconstitutional.
U.S. IMMIGRATION LAW
MARCH 5, 2019
We recently assisted an Israeli corporate client and its principal in applying for an E1 treaty-trader visa to the United States.
ISRAELI NATIONAL LABOR COURT RULES IN FAVOR OF OUR CLIENTS
FEBRUARY 28, 2019
In 2012, several former employees of a start-up company filed a lawsuit in Israel alleging that the company and its founders promised the employees stock. As previously reported, after elongated discovery and a lengthy trial, the court dismissed the plaintiffs' case, adopting our legal argument that promises for stock options must be definitive and detailed, otherwise they are unenforceable. The employee appealed to the National Labor Court, Israel's highest court for labor matters. The court accepted our position and affirmed, thus ending a landmark litigation.
HUMAN RIGHTS LITIGATION
DECEMBER 7, 2018
As previously reported, in October 2018 our firm argued before the D.C. Circuit of Appeals in a case of first impression, concerning the applicability of the Administrative Procedure Act and due process to foreign nationals who claim to have been erroneously on a TSA No-Fly List. While electing not to raise the issued in SCOTUS, the firm is pursuing the case in federal district court against multiple governmental defendants. Click here for a copy of the decision. We will keep you updated with developments.
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW LITIGATION
DECEMBER 6, 2018
Our litigation team has just put together and filed a petition with the Israeli Court of Administrative Matters pursuant to Israel’s Freedom of Information Law, on behalf of a U.S. oil exploration corporation.
TRADE SECRET LITIGATION
NOVEMBER 12, 2018
Our firm has been engaged as defense counsel to represent a hi-tech start-up and its founders against a complaint
filed in an Israel district court. The start-up company and the founders are being accused of misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of contract and fiduciary duties.
OCTOBER 30, 2018
Our firm represents a foreign hospital in an attempt to collect on an outstanding debt from a former patient. The case involves complex questions of law typical to cross-border litigation, such as personal jurisdiction, forum non conveniens, judicial estoppel and res judicata.
INVESTMENT AND BUSINESS LAW
OCTOBER 16, 2018
Zell, Aron & Co. closed a multi-million dollar investment in a national fast food restaurant chain.
ORAL ARGUMENT IN THE D.C. CIRCUIT OF APPEALS.
OCTOBER 15, 2018
Mr. Zell presented oral argument before the D.C. Circuit of Appeals in a landmark case concerning the applicability of the Administrative Procedure Act and due process to foreign nationals who claim to have been erroneously placed on a TSA No-Fly List.
ENFORCEMENT OF FOREIGN JUDGMENT
JUNE 12, 2018
We have been engaged to assist in the enforcement of a foreign judgment issued in California pursuant to Israel's Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act.
MAY 1, 2018
Zell Aron & Co. have been engaged as lead counsel to the upcoming “Soul Doctor“ musical in Israel.
GOVERNMENT GRANTS ALIYA STATUS
APRIL 28, 2018
After years of litigation, the Ministry of Interior finally granted our client and his family Aliya status. The client, although Jewish from birth, was denied aliya by the MoI due to his alleged affiliations with Christianity, a sufficient ground for denying aliya under Israeli immigration law. Only a motion for contempt of court got the MoI to decide on the matter which it finally did in our client's favor.
VICTORY- EMPLOYMENT LAW, STOCK OPTIONS
APRIL 12, 2018
In 2012, five former employees of a hi-tech start-up company filed a law suit in the Tel-Aviv District Court claiming stock/stock options in the company based on alleged promises that were made to them back in 2000/2001. After elongated discovery and a lengthy trial, the court dismissed the plaintiffs' case, adopting our legal argument that promises for stock options must be definitive and detailed, otherwise they are unenforceable.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT GRANTS OUR MOTION TO DISMISS
FEBRUARY 25, 2018
The United States District Court for the District of Delaware has granted our motion to dismiss a claim against our client for trade secret misappropriation. In its 21-page memorandum, the District Court accepted our argument that the case should be dismissed for forum non conveniens grounds and held that if the plaintiff wishes to pursue its claims, it should bring the case in Israel. Click here for a copy of the decision.
ISRAEL FATCA LEGISLATION
JANUARY 2, 2018
On August 8, 2016, our firm filed an amended petition to the Israeli Supreme Court sitting as a High Court of Justice against the new FATCA law adopted by the Knesset on 12 July, 2016. In the petition, we challenged the constitutionality of Israel's FATCA law on behalf of Republicans Overseas Israel pursuant to which Israeli banks are obligated to collect personal banking information of U.S. persons and transfer that information automatically to the IRS via the Israeli Tax Authority. Initially the Court enjoined implementation of the law, but ultimately allowed it to go into effect without explaining why. On 2 January 2018, after a delay of 16 months, the Israeli High Court of Justice finally issued its full, precedent-setting 41-page decision. While concluding that the law indeed infringes on basic human rights, especially that of privacy, the Court determined that the law passes constitutional muster because of threatened retribution by the United States against Israeli banks, insurance companies and pension funds and a possible cataclysmic impact on the Israeli economy. Click here for a copy the full decision.
STUDENT DISCIPLINARY LAW
DECEMBER 27, 2017
In a student disciplinary proceeding in which we represented the student in the initial proceeding and the appeal, the University's appeal board handed down a favorable opinion, reversing the lower panel's sentence.
MARC ZELL SPEAKS AT FICC'S BUSINESS SEMINAR
NOVEMBER 1, 2017
Marc Zell features as guest speaker at Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce's Estonian Delegation Business Seminar. Mr. Zell's presentation focused on the developments of Estonian-Israel business relations and how e-residency has facilitated doing business in the EU.
OCTOBER 29, 2017
We have been retained by a Fortune 500 corporation for legal advice in connection with its Israeli activities.
OCTOBER 30, 2017
Zell Aron & Co. has been retained by a foreign real-estate investment corporation to file an ancillary Israeli proceeding to freeze local assets.
SEPTEMBER 17, 2017
We have just been retained by a non-profit organization to represent it in a copyright infringement claim.
PHARMACEUTICAL & COMMERCIAL LAW
SEPTEMBER 6, 2017
The Firm has been retained by a prominent medical equipment manufacturer to advise it in the establishment of a North American distribution infrastructure and preparation of relevant documentation, including sub-distribution agreement, private label agreement and related regulatory matters.
INTERNATIONAL SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS
SEPTEMBER 3, 2017
The Firm has prepared a detailed memorandum addressing the eligibility of a non-U.S. citizen non us resident spouse to receive survivor benefits under U.S. Social Security law.
PUBLIC INTERNATIONAL LAW/FEDERAL JURISDICTION
AUGUST 31, 2017
Representing six non-governmental organizations in a BDS (Boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel) lawfare case filed in a federal district court in Washington, D.C., the firm, along with the other defendants in the case achieved a total dismissal of the case, with prejudice, due to the that the federal court lacked subject matter jurisdiction on the grounds of the political question doctrine.
AUGUST 20, 2017
In a case of first impression, Zell Aron & Co. has filed an appeal before the Hebrew University Disciplinary Appeal Panel arguing that the provisions in the Student Disciplinary Bylaws utterly fail to meet the standards of the rule of law.
CROSS BORDER INSOLVENCY
AUGUST 15, 2017
The Firm is acting for a debtor in a cross-border insolvency proceeding, raising complicated questions of private international law and the extra-territorial effect of a United States discharge order.
GOVERNMENT RELATIONS PRACTICE
JULY 23, 2017
The Firm has recently upgraded its government relations practice to include assistance to foreign governments, corporations and certain individuals in connection with cutting edge matters around the globe.
INTERNATIONAL GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS
AUGUST 10, 2017
Zell Aron & Co. has recently been retained by a major U.S. defense contractor to represent it before the Ministry of Defense in a post award bid protest.
SUCCESS IN UNIVERSITY DISCIPLINARY ACTION
JULY 22, 2017
After two intense evidentiary hearings, our litigation team has seen the fruits of its labors. In a university disciplinary procedure, we successfully represented a student who was accused of plagiarism and cheating. The superintendent acquitted the student from two out of the three charges and, adopting out position, criticized the university in the way it handled this case and others like it.
NEW CORPORATE CLIENT
JULY 20, 2017
Zell Aron & Co. has been recently retained by one of the world's largest providers of actuarial and related products and services to perform corporate and intellectual property services in Israel.
ACTION IN US DISTRICT COURT
MAY 18, 2017
Our firm has recently been retained by a tele-medicine start up company to act as defense counsel on its behalf. The company has been sued in the United States District Court, District of Delaware, pursuant to the newly enacted federal law Defend Trade Secret Act. Our litigation team has recently filed its legal brief challenging the jurisdiction of the court and the convenience of the forum.
JUNE 20, 2017
The Firm successfully represented an applicant for a non-immigrant visa to the United States following an initial rejection by the U.S. Consular officials.
LITIGATION AGAINST MAJOR NEWSPAPER
MAY 1, 2017
Our team has recently filed a complaint against a major Israeli newspaper outlet on behalf of a former service provider, alleging breach of service contract. The complaint was filed in the Magistrate Court in Jerusalem, Israel.
BANK TAKES THE HEAT
APRIL 1, 2017
In the modern age where bank are being viewed more and more as regulators and less as private business, it is all the more important for banks' actions to be held under scrutiny. In a recent case, our litigation team has filed a complaint in the Tel-Aviv Magistrate Court against a major bank in Israel for its behavior towards one of its customers.