FALL 1999

Professor Byrne


  1. The Letter of Credit Law Seminar focuses upon the application of mercantile law through the interaction of usage of trade, trade codes, case law, and statute. It does so in the context of letter of credit law since this field affords an exceptional opportunity to examine the workings of these sources of law.


  2. The course has been conducted in the past on a tri-partite basis. 1) A series of exercises, including discussion of judicial decisions, are set and discussed with a view toward providing the students with exposure to the entire subject in the context of teaching court decisions; 2) a field trip to New York has been organized in order to permit the students to interact with leading figures in the field; 3) a paper is assigned to enable the students to gain familiarity with a leading edge issue.

  4. General Description. This writing course will provide students with a unique opportunity for an in-depth study of sophisticated payment system in which there is more than U.S. $550 billion outstanding by exploring problems at the forefront of the field in contact with its leading international thinkers.
  5. Depending upon the decision of the class, it can include as a segment visit to meet with leading bankers and lawyers in New York City including:

    *detailed training session by international operation department of money center bank

    *meeting with outside bank counsel for money center bank

    *meeting with President and staff of International Financial Services Association, the trade association for 300 major banks

    *meeting with bond counsel

    Over the past five years, major efforts at the reform of letter of credit law and practice have culminated in 1) a revised UCC Article 5; 2) a U.N. Convention on International Independent Guarantees and Stand-by Letters of Credit; 3) the International Standby Practices (ISP98); 4) the completion of international bank-to-bank reimbursement rules. The revision of UCP500 will commence next year.

    The course will center upon topics at the forefront of these efforts and arrangements will be made for students to have access to the most current materials and to be in contact with the leading international authorities.

    The class is scheduled to meet once weekly on Tuesday from 8-10PM although the number of meetings will be adjusted should time spent on the class field trip, for work and consultation on the paper, and for interviews with leading figures.

    Prerequisites for the course are an interest in commercial law and a desire to study in detail one vital facet of it in contact with the world's leading experts. It is not expected that students will have any specific background in the field.

  6. Outline of the Course

Sources & Definitions

Kumagai-Zenecon Constr. Pte. Ltd. V. Arab Bank Plc
1997 SRL Lexis 152 (CA) (Singapore)

Petra International Banking Corporation v. First American Bank
758 F. Supp. 1120 (E.D. VA 1991)

Banca del Sempione v. Suriel Finance
852 F. Supp. 417 (D. MD 1994)

Banco General Ruminahui, S.A. v. Citibank
97 F.3d 480 (11th Cir 1996)


Exercise No. 1: Identify the Parties

Dibrell Brothers International S.A. v. Banca Nazionale del Lavora
38 F. 3d 1571 (11th Cir. 1994)

Banque Paribus v. Hamilton Industries International, Inc.
767 F.2d 380 (7th Cir 1985)

Leonard A. Feinberg, Inc. v. Central Asia Capital Corporation
974 F. Supp 822 (E.D. PA 1997)

Alaska Textile Co. v. Chase Manhattan Bank
982 F.2d 813 (2nd Cir 1992)


Exercise No. 2: Is this notice Sufficient?

Philadelphia Gear Corporation v. Central Bank
717 F.2d 230 (5th Cir. 1983)

Bombay Industries Inc. v. Bank of New York
32 UCC Rep Serv. 2d 1155 (NY Superior Court 1997)

Hellenic Republic v. Standard Chartered Bank
631 NYS2d 320 (App. Div. 1995)

Rhode Island Hospital Trust National Bank v. Eastern General Contractors
674 A2d 1227 (RI 1996)

Seaconsar Far East Ltd. v. Bank Markazi Jomhouri Islamii Iran
Ct. App. Civ. Div., 30 July 1998

Examination of Documents

Exercise No. 3: Do the documents in the Sinopac sample Comply?

Vass v. Gainesville Bank & Trust
480 SE 2d 294 (Ga Ct. App. 1997)

Vest v. Pilot Point National Bank
1999 Tex App. LEXIS 4998 (Tex. App.)

Oei v. Citibank (Kools)
1997 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3244 (SDNY 21 March 1997)

Glencore International AG v. Bank of China
1 Lloyd's LR 135 (CA) (1996)

Gan General Inc. v. National Bank of Canada
1998 Ont. C.A. LEXIS 890 (Ont. C.A. 1999)

E & H Partners v. Broadway National Bank
Civ. No. B-91-3179 9D. MD. 21 April 1997)

Fraud & Illegality

Instituteo Nacional de Comercialization v.
Continental Illinois National Bank & Trust Co.
530 F. Supp. 249 (N.D. Ill 1982)

AIG Risk Management Inc., v. Motel 6 Operating L.P.
No. 13-97-268 - cv., 1997
Tex App. LEXIS 6405 (Tex. Civ. App. 11 December 1997)

United Bank v. Cambridge Sporting Goods Corp.
360 NE 2d 943 (1976)

Regent Corp. USA v. Azmat Bangladesh, Ltd.
2 UCC Rep. Serv. 2d (LBC)
900 (N.Y. Superior Ct. 1997)

Miscellaneous Issues

3Com Corp. v. Banco de Brazil
F. Supp. 2d 452 (SDNY 1998)

Data General Corp. v. Citizens National Bank
502 F. Supp. 776 (D. Comm. 1980)

Optopics Laboratory Corp. v. Savannah Bank of N? Ltd.
816 F. Supp. 898 (SDNY 1993)

In re Powerine Oil Co. (Committee of Creditors Holding
59 F.3d 969 (9th Cir 1995), Cert. Denied
116 S. Ct. 973 (1996)