Yogendra Singh via Unsplash.

Author’s Note: This is far from a scholarly criticism– it is a nuts & bolts look at how this thing should go down.  Preface:

Frankly, I think electronic service is the only way to get these scofflaws served.

Continue Reading Don’t know where your defendant is? You still have to *look* for them.

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk… he’s still very big over there. A bit like George Washington, Abe Lincoln, and FDR all rolled into one in the local zeitgeist.

[Ten years ago, I had the great pleasure of visiting the Republic of Turkey on a CLE adventure.   A dozen lawyers (some with their families!) had an amazing time hitting seven cities in ten days… and meeting some truly wonderful people.  In a nod to that country’s wishes, I’ll spell it Türkiye* from here on out.]

Service of process in Türkiye is subject to the strictures of the Hague Service Convention. Continue Reading How to Serve Process in Turkey (Türkiye*)

Offloading medical supplies in the waning days of the 1989 revolution. U.S. Air Force photo.

For most of my childhood, Romania was one of those countries that adventurous travelers wanted to see… we just couldn’t go there because it was behind the Iron Curtain, a Soviet puppet state ruled by a ruthless dictator.  That changed dramatically in December, 1989,* when the world got to watch that dictator, Nicolae Ceaușescu, removed from power and his Communist regime toppled.  Three decades on, Romania is not only democratic, but a member of the European Union and NATO, literally the front line between the Ukrainian War and the west.  I could go on, but this is about civil procedure, so… Continue Reading How to Serve Process in Romania

(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…

Worst starting hand in Hold ‘Em.  You draw this… just fold it, man.

(See the author’s note below for clarification on which Hague Convention!)

A Hague Service Request, commonly known in the United States as a “USM-94” but also used in Canada, can be at once straightforward and daunting.  On the surface, it’s really just a fill-in-the-blank form.  But the devil is in the details, and when hell breaks loose in Georgia, the devil deals the cards.  It’s not as easy as it might seem, for a whole bunch of reasons.* Continue Reading How to Fill Out a Hague Convention Request