A sailor unloads the mail, Yokosuka, Japan, 2006. (U.S. Navy photo.)

In order for the Hague Service Convention (HSC) to govern the legal formalities of notifying defendants of claims against them, you’ve got to know where the defendant can be found.  An address is critical to service anywhere, on any defendant, but it can be particularly challenging when it comes to serving U.S. servicemembers stationed abroad– as well as when it comes to serving their dependents* or civilian support staff stationed with them.  It’s especially daunting when those folks live on a U.S. military installation in Germany or Italy or Japan or… any number of other far-flung locales. 
Continue Reading Hague addresses: APO and FPO don’t qualify.

Credit Suisse, one of the biggest banks in Zurich.  Which is saying something.  Dietmar Rabich / Wikimedia Commons / “Zürich (CH), Paradeplatz — 2011 — 1381” / CC BY-SA 4.0

I’ve seen a huge spike lately in the number of divorce attorneys calling about serving subpoenas on offshore banks.  The routine story: Spouse A (usually the wife, but not always) has learned that Spouse B (usually the husband, but not always) has tucked a few thousand dollars into some offshore account, usually in one of several countries that are famous for stringent banking secrecy laws.  Switzerland, the Cayman Islands, and the Channel Islands are those that come to mind, but protecting depositors’ privacy is fairly universal in the industrialized world.  As such, the calls haven’t been limited to the famous banking havens.Continue Reading Divorce, Money Hidden Offshore, and The Hague

Richard Burton & Elizabeth Taylor, "Divorce His, Divorce Hers", 1973. Public domain (image pre-1977 without assertion of copyright).
Richard Burton & Elizabeth Taylor, “Divorce His, Divorce Hers”, 1973.  Public domain (image pre-1977 without assertion of copyright).

Serving process abroad touches virtually every aspect of civil litigation.

It happens all the time.  I’ll give a lecture or mention what I do at a bar association event, and the colleague I

A couple of years ago, I ran into a law school classmate at a happy hour hosted by our local bar association.  “Hey, you handle service of process in other countries, right?”  Yeah, I answered.  Quite a bit of Hague Service Convention stuff.

“Great.  Let me ask you a question…”

He was handling

My parents divorced around the time I finished high school.*  The court ordered Dad to provide support to Mom for both me and my sister as long as we were full time students, even in college.  I finished my bachelor’s degree about the same time my sister finished high school, and the old man decided

[Originally published at vikinglaw.us]

Your client is a G.I.— a grunt, a leatherneck, a swabbie, or a flyboy.  While he was stationed overseas, he met a girl who he thought was the love of his life.  After a whirlwind romance, they got married, and she followed him stateside.

Eventually, things went south.  For whatever

[Originally published at vikinglaw.us]

A particular quirk arises in serving a defendant if he or she is a U.S. servicemember stationed abroad.  For the most part, I explain to clients that such an objective is a tough one, so they might have to simply wait until the defendant returns to the United States.   [This