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…

What did you just say, Mister Data?

Very regularly, clients will email me a batch of documents to have served on an offshore defendant and my staff* and I will get to work putting the paperwork together.  Occasionally, a document will jump off the screen at me and make me scratch my head in wonder.
Continue Reading Hague defendants do not warrant special summonses.

Cherry. Nothing else comes close to such awesomeness.  Maybe Lime in a pinch.

Back in law school, I was always befuddled by those gunner types who insisted that no legal argument could be made without a case citation. The professor would ask a question and these guys (I use that in the non-gender-exclusive sense) would go thumbing through their casebooks and brief notes to find just the right response, because they’d swallowed too much law review Kool-Aid.

Meanwhile, the nuts & bolts fans among us would pull up a browser page and have an answer from Google far more quickly.
Continue Reading Yes, counsel, you can use Google as a *starting* point. Wikipedia, too.