When a question of foreign law arises, the burden is on the party relying on foreign law to raise the specific legal issues governed by foreign law and to provide the district court with the information needed to determine the meaning of the foreign law.  The district court has an independent duty to determine the meaning of foreign law only when the issue is thus properly raised and supported.  Otherwise, the district court may rely on other law, usually the forum’s law, to determine the issue.  Here, since plaintiff neither raised the issue of whether Italian law governed accrual of the claim for limitations purposes nor provided the district court with information on Italian law governing that subject, the district court did not err in applying California law instead.  Plaintiff could not cure the error by submitting materials on Italian law for the first time on appeal.

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (McKeown, J.; Donato, J., concurring); August 29, 2018; 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 24538