Armco, Inc. v. United States, Court No. 80-9-01435.

CourtU.S. Court of International Trade
Writing for the CourtRICHARDSON
Citation520 F. Supp. 1220
Docket NumberCourt No. 80-9-01435.
Decision Date04 August 1981
PartiesARMCO, INC. and CF&I Steel Corporation, Plaintiffs, v. The UNITED STATES, Defendant, Ah Ju Steel Co., Ltd., et al., Intervenors.

520 F. Supp. 1220

ARMCO, INC. and CF&I Steel Corporation, Plaintiffs,
v.
The UNITED STATES, Defendant, Ah Ju Steel Co., Ltd., et al., Intervenors.

Court No. 80-9-01435.

United States Court of International Trade.

August 4, 1981.


520 F. Supp. 1221

Freeman, Meade, Wasserman & Schneider, New York City (James M. Brachman and Beth Ring, New York City, at the oral argument and Jack Gumpert Wasserman and Beth Ring, New York City, on the briefs) for plaintiffs.

Daniels, Houlihan & Palmeter, Washington, D.C. (N. David Palmeter and Martin J. Lewin, Washington, D.C., at the oral argument and on the briefs) for intervenors.

Rivkin, Sherman & Levy, New York City (Saul Sherman, New York City, at the oral argument) for Daniels, Houlihan & Palmeter.

RICHARDSON, Judge:

This is a contested motion by plaintiffs, Armco, Inc. and CF&I Steel Corporation, for an order disqualifying the attorneys for intervenors, Ah Ju Steel Co., Ltd., et al., of Korea, from representing their clients in this action, which challenges the United States International Trade Commission's (ITC) negative determination of injury in an antidumping proceeding steel nails from Korea.

On April 13, 1979, the Department of Treasury commenced an antidumping proceeding against certain steel wire nails from Korea pursuant to the Treasury Department's authority under the "trigger price mechanism". Under the then applicable antidumping statute the Treasury Department on April 17, 1979, advised the ITC that it had substantial doubt that an industry in the United States was being or is likely to be injured by reason of the importation into the United States of allegedly dumped merchandise. In transmitting this matter to the ITC, the Treasury Department stated: "Some of the information involved in this case is regarded by Treasury to be of a confidential nature. It is therefore requested that the Commission consider all the information provided for its investigation to be for the official use of the ITC only, not to be disclosed to others without prior clearance from the Treasury Department."1

On April 20, 1979, the ITC commenced an investigation to determine whether there was a "reasonable indication" that an industry in the United States was being or is likely to be injured by reason of the importation of the steel wire nails. On May 4, 1979, at a public hearing held by the ITC in this investigation, N. David Palmeter, a member of the firm of Daniels, Houlihan & Palmeter (Daniels' firm) appeared and testified on behalf of intervenors in this action.

Martin J. Lewin, an attorney presently with the Daniels firm is participating in this litigation. Lewin was employed by the ITC as a staff legal assistant from December 11, 1978, to January 11, 1979, when he became an Attorney Adviser to Commissioner Paula Stern, an economist, and continued such employment until June 1, 1979, when he joined the Daniels firm. He stated that while he was Attorney Adviser to Commissioner Stern during the preliminary investigation, he sent resumes to several Washington, D. C. law firms active in the trade area, and on May 9, 1979, he was interviewed at the Daniels firm, which was his first contact with the firm apart from his scheduling the interview.

May 10, 1979, according to Lewin's affidavit, he received an offer from said firm which he immediately accepted. On the same day he informed the Commissioner

520 F. Supp. 1222
and it was agreed he should not assist her or otherwise participate in any aspect of any matter before the ITC in which the Daniels law firm was involved. He said that "To the best of my recollection, my involvement in the inquiry consisted of a brief review of some initial material available to the ITC prior to the ITC's public hearing.... I have no specific recollection of the contents of the material reviewed." Lewin also stated that "I had no further involvement whatsoever with the inquiry and did not discuss any aspect of the matter with the Commissioner, her staff or any member or employee of the ITC."

May 17, 1979, the ITC unanimously determined that there was a "reasonable indication" of injury or likelihood of injury to a domestic industry by reason of the importation of certain wire nails from Korea.

May 19, 1980, the Department of Commerce determined that certain wire nails from Korea were being sold in the United States at less than fair value within the meaning of section 731 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. § 1673).

July 23, 1980 the ITC in a 3 to 2 decision made a Final Determination that there was neither material injury nor threat of material injury to American industry resulting from the importation of Korean nails. Plaintiffs appealed said Final Determination to this Court.

February 27, 1981, Martin A. Lewin, on behalf of the Daniels firm, counsel to Korean nail intervenors, signed and filed with this court, a motion for access to confidential documents in the investigation which led to the Final Determination under review by this court, under a protective order. Lewin's signing and filing of this motion in this litigation, prompted plaintiffs' to move for Lewin's disqualification, in view of his prior employment as Attorney Adviser by Commissioner Stern of the ITC,...

To continue reading

Request your trial
2 practice notes
  • Ah Ju Steel Co., Ltd. v. Armco, Inc., Appeal No. 82-1
    • United States
    • United States Court of Customs and Patent Appeals
    • 10 Junio 1982
    ...granting the motion of appellees, plaintiffs below, to disqualify the law firm representing appellants, intervenors below. 2 CIT 45, 520 F.Supp. 1220 (1981). We The material facts in this case are not in dispute, and are adequately set forth in the opinion below, familiarity with which is a......
  • Rennie v. Hess Oil Virgin Islands Corp., Civ. Nos. 94–82
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of the Virgin Islands
    • 18 Septiembre 1997
    ...and personal participation required his disqualification. His law firm was also disqualified. The Court in Armco Inc. v. United States, 520 F.Supp. 1220 (CIT 1981) also found personal and substantial involvement, and disqualified an attorney who had previously worked for the United States I......
2 cases
  • Ah Ju Steel Co., Ltd. v. Armco, Inc., Appeal No. 82-1
    • United States
    • United States Court of Customs and Patent Appeals
    • 10 Junio 1982
    ...granting the motion of appellees, plaintiffs below, to disqualify the law firm representing appellants, intervenors below. 2 CIT 45, 520 F.Supp. 1220 (1981). We The material facts in this case are not in dispute, and are adequately set forth in the opinion below, familiarity with which is a......
  • Rennie v. Hess Oil Virgin Islands Corp., Civ. Nos. 94–82
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of the Virgin Islands
    • 18 Septiembre 1997
    ...and personal participation required his disqualification. His law firm was also disqualified. The Court in Armco Inc. v. United States, 520 F.Supp. 1220 (CIT 1981) also found personal and substantial involvement, and disqualified an attorney who had previously worked for the United States I......

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT