The Peace Palace, Den Haag (The Hague), Netherlands.
The Peace Palace, Den Haag (The Hague), Netherlands.  The Hague Law Blog was launched in the Hague.  Because where else?

About the Blog

You really don’t want to have to learn a whole new area of law in order to satisfy procedural requirements in a single case.  The Hague Law Blog is here to make your life as a lawyer just a little bit easier, and hopefully, provide an entertaining look at an often inscrutable, seemingly dry area of the law: transnational litigation (a fancy name for issues that cross borders in a lawsuit).

Whether you’re a litigator or a transactional lawyer (in England, they’d say either a barrister or a solicitor), sooner or later you will run into a cross-border challenge—we promise.  Bankruptcy, divorce, criminal defense, adoption, probate, commercial, personal injury, insurance, tax… all of them eventually involve some party or issue in another country.

We aim to clear up misconceptions surrounding those challenges and make the governing doctrines of law a bit less murky by offering concrete practice tips.  The lion’s share of the issues we handle are covered by one of several Hague Conventions (there are more than just one), but we will cover non-Hague issues as well—challenges that aren’t mitigated by a treaty relationship.

We don’t mind questions, and we don’t mind giving away the recipe to our Secret Sauce.  Just like every other area of the law, it isn’t really a secret.  Rather, this area is complex enough to require a bit more particularized knowledge than a lawyer might have time to gain.  Let this blog be a resource to you, and if you don’t find the information you’re looking for, give us a shout and we’ll try to put together a post about it.  In all likelihood, the post will be a bit cheeky, because that’s our style.  Just about all of our posts will be cheeky, irreverent, and peppered with humor… but we promise, never mean, never judgmental, and hopefully never offensive or inappropriate. Honestly, we’re not building rockets with this practice area.  But we are building a vehicle of sorts—one that can be awfully temperamental if the tune-up isn’t just right.  Above all, you don’t have to do it yourself anymore.

Welcome to the community.  Please subscribe and keep in touch.

About the Firm

At Viking Advocates, LLC, we have two overriding reasons for doing what we do:  (1) protecting our clients [who are nearly all lawyers] and (2) making the practice of law more efficient and accurate.  We do that by providing transnational litigation support, which is to say that we handle the stuff in litigation that crosses borders.  Obscure stuff, common stuff, boring stuff, frustrating stuff… in any case, stuff that lawyers don’t come across very often (and might rather hand off to somebody else).

Some examples:

  • Drafting a contract with a foreign party?  Watch out for landmines (we’ll tell you where they’re buried, and help your client prevent a dispute altogether).
  • Need to serve a defendant in China?  If it can be done, we’ll get it done for you.
  • Need to map out a strategy for your litigation?  We’ll help with forum selection, development of a trial theory, and a plan of attack when international doctrines create roadblocks.
  • Need to figure out how to tell a client that suing a foreigner will cost more than it’s worth?  We’ll help you break the bad newswith some reasoning to back it up. 
  • Need to serve a subpoena in Germany?  Sorryyou can’t do that.  But we can help you get the evidence—we’ll just have to go about it a different way.
  • Need to enforce a big judgment overseas?  Yeah, buddy.  Let’s get it done.

To be sure, our services are offered solely to attorneys on a consultation basis (one exception: business owners in the Kansas City area and across Missouri).  But this blog is available to non-lawyers as well, and we encourage thoughts and questions from everybody.  It is also here to provide a foundation of knowledge for lawyers to serve their clients more effectively.

About the Author/Editor/Chief Sherpa

Aaron_web-011I’m Aaron Lukken.  I wasn’t always a lawyer.  My kid sister and I spent a few years abroad as Army brats, and I worked in politics for a while after college.  After meandering from job to job in my late twenties, I finally found a home at the phone company, of all places.  With a decade of telecom sales experience under my belt, I decided at 37 to finally go back and do what I had always intended… study law.

But even at the start of law school, the idea of a generalized practice never really made sense to me.  I wanted something specific, and something that could draw on all the travels of my youth; the only area of the law that was really appealing to me was at the international level.  Of course, I also heard the siren call of the courtroom as a 2L, and discovered that litigation was as exciting as geopolitics and international law.

With a whole bunch of luck—and an amazingly supportive wife—I managed to launch a little niche firm smack in the middle of the map… Viking Advocates, LLC in Kansas City (that’s in Missouri, thankyouverymuch).  My practice combines treaty analysis with litigation strategy; I truly have the best of both worlds.

When I’m not pondering the intricacies of cross-border legal doctrines, I’m either trying to separate heavy objects from their gravitational moorings in the YMCA’s powerlifting room, or contemplating our next overseas adventure with my wife, Peggy (an expert in conflict management and dispute resolution).  Together we have a small civil & domestic mediation firm serving clients in the KC region, she serves as my office manager, and recently re-launched her conflict consulting practice.  Our overbearing and demanding boss is a tabby cat named Minnie, after Professor Minerva McGonagall.

Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn (and be sure to tell me you saw this!).