Transnational Litigation Planning

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.

Ah, Umbria in the fall.

Because of this blog, I get a significant number of calls and emails from pro se litigants, with varying sorts of questions.  Ordinarily, I tell them I can’t advise them directly, but if they’ll have their lawyer call me, I’d be happy to help.  Some reply with thanks and a simple “thanks, Aaron, I’ll do that.”

Others reply with an expletive-riddled rant that lawyers are leeches draining the financial life out of hardworking people and why don’t we just all walk off a cliff somewhere.  I don’t mind telling them to go away.

But there’s a third type of response that bothers me greatly (saddens me, really) because it’s so unnecessary.  One such inquiry pinged in this morning, just as I was brushing my teeth. 
Continue Reading Take the case– and let us worry about treaty requirements.

Federal Courthouse, Sioux City, Iowa. I worked in that building for three years back in the Ice Age. (GSA Image)

Y’all, if you know you’re going to be removed, just initiate the case in federal court to begin with.  It’ll save everybody involved a whole bunch of time and headache.

Lots of plaintiffs’ lawyers gasp when I say that.  They look at me like I have three heads.

  • “Are you nuts?”
  • “Oh, you’re a comedian now?”
  • “Clearly, you’re an idiot.”

I certainly understand why they react that way. 
Continue Reading Go federal at the outset.

“Worried People,” Pedro Ribeiro Simões, via Wikimedia Commons

Plaintiffs’ attorneys are universally motivated by a single factor: making their clients whole. As a result of that, tortfeasors are held accountable– and hopefully they correct harmful behavior– and the world is made a better, safer place.  Sure, there’s a seemingly massive

The Rock of Gibraltar… guaranteeing access to the Mediterranean since 1704.  USAF photo.

In 2016, I posted “Five Essential Things All Business Owners (and Their Lawyers!) Should Know Before Signing Global Contracts” with real people– and preventing lawyerly goof-ups– in mind.  But lately, I’ve realized that some elaboration is necessary.