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When international trade and investment increase, so does the need for satisfactory means of dispute resolution. Dispute resolution in national courts requires that litigants consider not only the likelihood of a favorable judgment but also the ability to collect on that judgment. In cases where the defendant’s assets lie in another jurisdiction, collection is possible only if the second jurisdiction will recognize the first jurisdiction’s judgment.

In the international arena, enforcement of United State judgments overseas is often possible only if the United States court rendering the judgment would enforce a similar decision of the foreign enforcing court. This reciprocity requirement places emphasis on the United States law regarding recognition and enforcement. United States courts have been customarily liberal in recognizing and enforcing foreign judgments.

After reviewing the status of the law on recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments in the United States, this Article discusses prior attempts at providing uniformity and international acceptability. This Article considers “uniform” state legislation, multilateral treaties, bilateral treaties, federal legislation, federal common law, and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Each has advantages and disadvantages depending on the factors considered most important in a given circumstance.

Unfortunately, the outlook for positive change is not promising. The lack of clear connection between enforcement of foreign judgments in United States courts and enforcement of United States judgments overseas is likely to continue to frustrate attempts at uniformity in United States law.