I, KARINA KRASNOVA, being duly sworn, depose and say:
1. I am an attorney duly licensed to practice law in the Russian Federation. My registration number is 78/857.
I have been licensed by the Appellate Division, 2nd Judicial Department of the Supreme Court of the State of New York as a legal consultant from Russia pursuant to Section 53(6) of the Judiciary Law of the State of New York, as limited by Part 521 of the Rules of the Court of Appeals, and in accordance with the rules of the Court. I am often called to testify in the United States courts as an expert on Russian laws.
2. My clients consist of individuals of all nations who need expertise in Russian law.
3. I thoroughly reviewed the case at bar, in particular, Defendant’s affirmation, stating that Russian court, not American has jurisdiction of the case at bar.
4. In my professional opinion, the statements in Defendant’s declaration have no basis in fact, nor law of the Russian Federation.
5. As evidenced from the case file, Defendant owns property in the state, and is a party to many contracts and agreements that are executed in the state.
6. Defendant's reliance on Arbitration Courts in Russia is unfounded. According to Article 27 Part 2 of Arbitration Code of Russian Federation (“APK”) Arbitration Courts’ jurisdiction is limited to resolving economic disputes and cases where disputants are organizations, incorporated entities, unincorporated for-profit entities, or sole proprietors. Accordingly, APK art. 129 Part 1 Para. 1 requires the Arbitration Court to dismiss any case that is outside the Arbitration Court’s jurisdiction.
7. Any other case is adjudicated in the court of general jurisdiction. (Article 22 Part 1 Paragraph 1 of Civil Procedure Code of Russian Federation (“CPC”) If several courts have concurrent jurisdiction, the choice of forum belongs to the plaintiff (CPC Art. 29 Part 10). Accordingly, the plaintiff properly chose a forum where he felt his rights will be properly adjudicated.
8. In my professional opinion, the description of the Russian Federation’s court system provided in Defendant’s affidavit has no bearing on the case at bar.
9. Adversary’s contentions regarding the statutes of limitations are disputable. CPC art. 199 and 200 allow the plaintiff to seek judicial intervention regardless of whether the statute of limitation has expired or not. The statute of limitation clock starts to run from the moment the plaintiff discovers an injury. For notes and obligations that either have no “pay-by” date or are callable on demand, the statute of limitations clock starts to run when the creditor demands fulfillment of the obligation.
10. Proving this case in a Russian court seems doubtful and improbable. CPC art. 71 provides that a Russian courts will consider a documentary form of proof that is authentic and relevant to the case, such as: corporate resolutions, contracts, agreements, business correspondents, faxes, emails, and other documents in digital or graphic representation. Documentary proof is offered either as an original or as an authenticated copy. Original documents are offered only when: such documents are demanded either by law; by agreement between the parties; when the case is impossible to resolve without originals; or when copies of the originals differ in content. A document obtained in foreign jurisdiction is accepted as proof if its authenticity is not challenged and it is properly authenticated. Foreign document do not need to be authenticated if they are subject to a treaty between foreign state and Russian Federation. Because the main documents pertaining to this case are located in the United States, and Russian Federation and the United States have no treaty concerning mutual legal assistance, requesting those documents couple with legalization, authentication and other formalities appear impossible. Because of this, proper adjudication of this case is impossible which runs counter to the policy of Russian courts. CPC art. 2 lays out this policy which is correct and timely resolution of civil disputes protection rights and interests of citizens and organizations. Civil courts are there to strengthen the rule of law, prevent the violation of citizen’s rights and help shape a respectful opinion toward courts and the rule of law.
11. Hague Convention on Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil or Commercial Matters as of March 18, 1970 is signed only by the United States. Russian Federation is not a signatory to this convention, which makes it impossible for Russian courts to request necessary documentary proofs from outside Russia.
12. Defendant insists that Plaintiff pays Defendant’s costs for this litigation, such as salary and travel costs. These contentions have no basis in the Labor Code of Russian Federation which guides the relationship between an employer and employee.
13. According to Article 18 of the Constitution of Russian Federation personal rights and freedoms determine the content, meaning and application of laws and determine justice. Russian court, for reasons described above is unable to provide an effective adjudication of injuries caused to the Plaintiff. Therefore, Defendant’s contentions about change in jurisdiction are counter not only to the Civil Procedure Code of Russian Federation, but to the Constitution itself. And that is unacceptable.
14. Accordingly, in my professional opinion, Russian court may not effectively and efficiently adjudicate this case. According to Russian law, filing suit in an American Court is lawful, well-founded and the only right choice.
Attorney at Law