Just getting the address right is only half the battle, y’all.

A huge hat tip to my friend and fellow law blogger, Ted Folkman, for his Case of the Day post last week about Peanuts Worldwide v. The Partnerships and Unincorporated Associations Identified on Schedule A (N.D. Ill. 1:23-cv-02965).* He very deftly connected the dots

(Hat tip to Ted Folkman, for whom Gurung v. Molhatra is a White Whale. This issue is one of mine, for similarly frustrating reasons.)

Remember that legal analysis hierarchy they told us about as 1L’s? In order of authority:

  • Precedent (binding and then persuasive, giving obiter dicta less
  • At least once or twice a month, when I deliver the bad news that service on an offshore defendant will cost several thousand dollars and take several months– if not a couple of years— a prospective client will decide that the better way to go is to seek an order for alternative service, usually

    I don’t have an FAQ page on this blog, but if I did, the very first question out of the gate would be “How do I cut that translation cost down from $50,000 to a more manageable figure?”

    It really is a shock to a litigator’s system– especially that of a patent litigator– when they’re told that the documents they have to serve in Germany or China or Mexico will cost them five (or six!) figures to translate. Those countries’ declarations to Article 5(3) of the Hague Service Convention require translation. Period. And most other countries require it too, with no exception or variance as to what gets translated and what doesn’t. It means everything. Continue Reading The time to save money on translation is *before* filing.

    (TL;DR… publication is a horrible, terrible, woefully insufficient means of service, and the Supreme Court said so way back in 1950.  It should only be used as a last resort, and even then, only when there’s a reasonable chance that it’ll actually notify anybody that a case is afoot.)

    A story flooded my news feed last Friday… US Judge Orders a Mexican Drug Cartel to Pay $1.5 Billion to Victims’ Families.  A default for a billion and a half bucks ($4.6B after it’s trebled) is almost real money in this day & age, so I got curious about the procedural posture of the case.  Because I live in civ-pro, several questions popped into my head, first among them being “who got sued?” (with a bit of incredulity).
    Continue Reading Publication, 4(f)(3), and Mexican Cartels

    As a general rule, I don’t talk to litigants.  Even if their lawyer consents or hops on the call with us.  Sure, the litigant is the guy paying my fee, but his lawyer is my client, and I’m not about to get in the middle of their relationship.  Besides, it’s always a terrible idea to give a litigant control over something that is a lawyer’s ethical obligation.
    Continue Reading Run away when the litigant says this…