Service of Process Abroad

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.

Photo by Dave Adamson on Unsplash

Litigation is a bit like football– the helmet & pads version we play here in North America, not the one where the use of hands is forbidden (seriously, guys?).

Much of the academic side of the game is in strategy, thinking fifteen minutes down the road, managing the clock, keeping your QB protected and your linemen well-rested.  But sometimes, there’s just no strategy possible, like when three seconds are on the clock, it’s 4th and goal, and you’re down by 5.  There’s precisely one acceptable move, and that’s simply to go for the end zone.  There’s a whole lot of comfort in that.  Even though it might seem like a daunting situation, all you can do is just execute.

In much of what I do, there’s simply no strategizing possible.  There’s precisely one acceptable move, and that’s a Request pursuant to Article 5 of the 1965 Hague Service Convention.  Many HSC member-states are what I like to call “Five-O countries” because they object to Article 10 alternative methods, so you’re left with Article Five Only. There’s a whole lot of comfort in that.  Even though it might seem like a daunting situation, all you can do is just execute.Continue Reading Five-O countries and the (counterintuitive) comfort of zero options.

Photo by Rick Jamison on Unsplash

Friends, we’re not building rockets here– but we are building a ship of sorts, and a leaky vessel means the cargo may not make it to its destination.  Likewise, a leaky approach to procedural rules can thwart an otherwise strong case just as it gets underway.

Serving process in Antigua and Barbuda is subject to the strictures of the Hague Service Convention, regardless of which U.S. or Canadian venue is hearing the matter.  A&B is a stunning pair of islands in the Caribbean– formerly a British colony and still part of the Commonwealth of Nations, and thus part of the common law tradition that we know so well on the North American continent. As such, service of process is viewed quite similarly, without much fanfare. Unfortunately, there is a fair amount of uncertainty in the islands’ view of the Convention, so I can only recommend a single road to effective service.

You’ve got three ways start that road:Continue Reading How to Serve Process in Antigua and Barbuda

Photo by May Gauthier on Unsplash

Lawsuits against various TikTok entities– in particular its parent company, ByteDance Ltd.– have come at a steady trickle over the past several years.  Lately, though, we’re seeing a dramatic surge, as individuals and state attorneys general seek redress over potential privacy violations stemming from the platform’s use and alleged data harvesting by the Chinese government.  The steady trickle is turning into a swift current.Continue Reading How to Serve TikTok, via Wikimedia Commons.  The height of irony, this credit.

We’ve seen a big uptick lately in disputes over cryptocurrency platforms– many of which are legit, and many of which are complete scams.  The sudden (though, come on–  not realistically unexpected) bankruptcy filing of FTX last week promises to kick the issue into overdrive.  To be sure, this is not yet another obligatory Sam Bankman-Fried post.  It really was scheduled two weeks ago.
Continue Reading Cryptocurrency suits and service abroad

Photo by Kirk Slow on Unsplash

At least two or three times a month, I’ll get a call or email that starts off like this:

“Hi, Aaron.  I need to serve two defendants in Canada– an entity and an individual.  Can you help us out?”

First question out of my mouth (after saying “you betcha”):  Is it a trucking case?

“Yeah.  How’d you know?”
Continue Reading Trucking injury cases and service in Canada

Spalentor City Gate, Basel, Switzerland.

Personal injury cases surrounding the Syngenta-manufactured herbicide Paraquat have been ongoing across the continent in recent years, most alleging that plaintiffs contracted Parkinson’s Disease due to exposure to the chemical.  I set aside discussion of the merits of the various cases (I’m a procedural guy, and only rarely have a chance to get involved in substantive elements of a suit), but a huge story broke this morning in The Guardian that makes me think more suits are likely in the near and long-term future.  (See “Secret files suggest chemical giant feared weedkiller’s link to Parkinson’s disease” and see also the manufacturer’s statement regarding press surrounding the cases, current as of this writing.) 
Continue Reading How to Serve Syngenta

Colonia Tovar, Aragua, Venezuela. Photo by Jorge Salvador on Unsplash

I say all the time that we’re not building rockets here.  But we are building a ship of sorts, and a ship that can’t keep water out means cargo doesn’t make it to its destination.  Serving process in Venezuela is subject to the strictures of the Hague Service Convention, regardless of which U.S. or Canadian venue is hearing the matter. 
Continue Reading How to Serve Process in Venezuela

Tblisi City Assembly. Mostafa Meraji, via Unsplash.

[Ahem… we’re talking here about the European nation with Tbilisi as its capital– not the American state between Alabama and the Atlanta Atlantic Ocean.]

As of January 1, 2022, the Hague Service Convention is in effect for the Republic of Georgia, so service of process there is subject to the strictures of the Hague Service Convention.
Continue Reading How to Serve Process in Georgia

(Author’s note… we’ve just returned from two weeks in Scotland, and were to have posted this on September 16th, but held publication until after the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II.  We were in Edinburgh, a mere hundred miles away, when she passed on September 8th, and Edinburgh’s rainy, gray evening seemed appropriate.  This is not an obituary, but publication is held until after the ceremony out of respect.)  
Continue Reading “Where?” is the most important question: The United Kingdom