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One of the odd quirks about serving an offshore defendant is the very routine possibility that plaintiff’s counsel could be contacted by the defense before a foreign authority notifies anyone that service has even been effected.   A hypo, to illustrate… Dieter from Düsseldorf signs a contract with Pete from Peoria to supply Pete’s company with machine parts.  Everybody knows that German manufacturers are incredibly efficient– while their machine parts are of outstanding quality– and Pete…
A few weeks back, a personal injury lawyer in Memphis* called to ask how he could serve a defendant in Switzerland.**   I told him that the Swiss have a fairly straightforward view of the Hague Service Convention, and that there was only one effective way of getting the job done: an Article 5 request to the right Cantonal Central Authority.  No muss, no fuss, you get a proof back in a matter of two…
It’s been a while since Civ Pro class, so here’s a quick FRCP refresher.  A claim for relief– which is to say, just about any complaint filed in federal court– has to be short.  And plain.  See Rule 8. Rule 8. General Rules of Pleading (a) Claim for Relief. A pleading that states a claim for relief must contain: (1) a short and plain statement of the grounds for the court’s jurisdiction, unless the court…
A client emailed me recently with a question that she already knew the answer to, but needed a little affirmation regardless.  The answer to this one is so stunningly simple as to warrant a “hey, am I crazy here, or what?” message, sort of like trying to remember if your wife likes creamy or crunchy peanut butter.  No, really, I should remember, but self-doubt creeps in and jumbles the whole adventure. Her perfectly reasonable question,…
Anybody who knows me well… knows my political leanings.  They’re no secret, but they’re usually immaterial to this blog so I leave them out of commentary almost entirely.  Full disclosure– I’m a labor Democrat, as evidenced by my first job after college, staffing a  labor Democrat in the United States Senate.*  It should surprise precisely no one that I disagree with the sitting president on just about everything.  So a couple of weeks ago, my…
We just got back from a ten-day CLE conference in Paris, the timing of which was rather unique.  Not only did it fall on the centennial of the Armistice, but it also marked the third anniversary of the horrific terrorist attacks of November 13, 2015.  Most of the carnage of that evening took place in the 11th Arrondissement, Paris’ most densely populated district.  The Bataclan– in the 11th.  The Comptoir Voltaire– in the…
PARIS — To my great disappointment, I cannot attend the ceremonies today at the National World War I Museum in Kansas City.  In April, 2017, the museum’s commemoration of the U.S. entry into the Great War was fantastic, and today will, I imagine, be even more touching and momentous– I’m sad to miss it.  Yet what better place to be on the centenary of the Armistice than in Paris, the capital– and the heart– of…
DEN HAAG, NEDERLAND– Two years ago, I sat in this very room at Hometown Coffee & More, sweating the fact that I was about to launch what I hoped would be the key to my business.  As I clicked “Publish”, this blog was born.  And what a ride it’s been.  Without a whole bunch of guidance and encouragement from some amazing lawyers and other professionals, this wouldn’t have been possible.  Some thanks are…
This afternoon, I will have the great pleasure of lecturing in Paris on UMKC’s CLE Abroad program,* along with my good friend and colleague Micah Wells.  Micah is one of those legal entrepreneurs you’re always hearing so much about, but with a decidedly unique arena: economic development across Africa.  He really is a juggernaut, and to be listed on the same bill with him is a high honor.  Y’know how James Bond’s boss, M,…
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 amount of money to be made, but most trial lawyers are firmly rooted in the middle class.  Doing well, but not spectacularly so, unless that one big unicorn of a case comes along.…