Author: Mariah Gravley

Best Practices for Lawyer Networking

Many think that success in the legal profession happens by working hard, high billable hours, and serving clients. While it is true that these are all important things that will help launch a successful career, more and more attorneys are realizing that knowing how to generate business in a digital world through networking best practices. Below are tips for networking in our modern society, according to the National Law Review.

Online Networking Practices
The majority of attorneys obtain business through in-person connections and word-of-mouth referrals. However, after the world experienced the COVID-19 pandemic shut downs, in-person events became non-existent; now as the world reopens, these events are limited. Such scenarios make it more difficult for attorneys–both newly minted ones and those growing their firm–to build their book of business without these interactions. Lead generation, where third party companies that market your firm bring you potential clients for a fee, is important, but shifting this and networking over to be mainly online can be a difficult task.

Tips for Gaining Clients
Below are several types of ways you can get your firm’s online networking game on track.
● Client referrals: Perhaps one of the simplest, quickest, and cheapest ways to bring in new clients is through the creation of a client referral program. Doing so will help maximize the potential for a repeatable referral process. Attorneys should be sure that any client referral program complies with any bar rules and have clear guidelines for others to know about the program as well as its benefits and eligibility.
● Client reviews: Similar to word-of-mouth referrals, client reviews–which are often done online on third-party sites or your firm’s website itself– have a strong impact on potential clients. Your law firm (and its attorneys) should encourage clients to leave positive reviews to help others find you more easily.
● Testimonials and case studies: A pillar of law firm marketing, case studies and testimonials provide detailed information about a successful case, including examples and actionable takeaways. A potential client may come across a testimonial or case study that is similar to their circumstances and may prompt them to contact (and retain) the firm.
● Content creation: Firms can leverage subject matter knowledge by writing content that answers general legal questions, address common concerns, share client success stories, or even discuss a recently decided case that came down from the court. Whether in written or video form, content creation is critical to lead generation.

For help with service of process, including international process, contact us here. 

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Hague Convention: Child Abduction

Child abduction is a serious issue, particularly when it happens on an international level. It is estimated that every 40 seconds a child is abducted or goes missing in the United States. Globally, about 8 million children are abducted each year. The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (“Hague Abduction Convention”) is a multilateral treaty providing a streamlined and quick method to return a child from one member country to another who has been abducted internationally by a parent. The Hague Abduction Convention became enforceable as of December 1, 1983. The primary purpose of the treaty is to preserve the “status quo” custody arrangement that was in place immediately before a purported abduction occurred by a parent. The treaty only applies to children under 16 years of age and as of 2021, there are 101 parties to the convention.
Only Procedural Remedy
It is important to understand that the Hague Abduction Convention does not change any substantive rights of the parents or the child. Instead, the treaty mandates that a court in which the Hague Abduction Convention action is filed should only determine the country in which the custody dispute should be adjudicated and not consider the merits of any underlying custody battle. Importantly, the allegedly abducted child is returned to the member state and not specifically to the parent seeking the return of the minor. The Hague Abduction Convention requires that all countries party to the treaty act expeditiously in all proceedings that seek the return of a child and that their institutions use the quickest procedures available with a final decision that happened within six weeks of the initiation of the legal matter.
Understanding Wrongful Retention or Removal
The Hague Abduction Convention defines retention or removal of a child as “wrongful” when:
● When the rights of custody are breached by a person, institution, or any other body under the law of the state where the child was a habitual resident immediately before the retention or removal; and
● At the time of the retention or removal the custody rights were exercised or would have been but for the child’s retention or removal.
Child custody rights may stem by operation of law, by a judicial or administrative decision, or by an agreement by the parties that is legally binding under the laws of the country of habitual residence. The retention or removal of a child is wrongful when it is done without the consent of the other parent, in disregard of the rights of that parent.
For more information on the Hague Abduction Convention, click here.

 

For service on a defendant through the Hague, contact us today.

How to Serve Someone Outside of Your State

If you need to serve someone or a company a lawsuit outside of your state, it is important to know how to do that properly. Service outside of the plaintiff’s state is more frequent than you may realize. Process servers estimate that up to 25% of their service requests originate from out of state. While out-of-state service requires a bit more work on the end of the service processor, having the company or individual served is completely possible. Below are some basic details regarding how out-of-state service works.
Before Getting Started
First, you need to ensure that service can be legally attempted and effectuated out of state. Depending on the type of case, you may be required to file in the state in which the defendant lives or resides. If you are not sure as to the proper way to file your lawsuit, consult with an experienced attorney.
Second, you need to find a processor to carry out service on a corporation or individual who is domiciled out of state. It is crucial to understand that each state, and even each county within the state, has its own rules regarding the civil process of service. Some cases require a plaintiff to seek permission from a governing body or the sheriff’s office prior to serving the papers. Some places may require attempts via certified mail prior to engaging a process server.
Third, it is crucial to know whether or not personal service is mandated, if the legal documents can be posted, or if service can happen to a substitute party. The rules may also require you to file the original stamped documents or electronically. Aside from these general rules, the specific court may have particular documents that must be used.
What constitutes effective and legal service is dependent upon three key issues:
● The type of lawsuit;
● Where the lawsuit was originally filed; and
● The state in which the documents must be served.
Some General Process Rules
Below is a simple list that outlines states that forbid service of process on Sundays or holidays:
● Florida: no service on Sunday
● Maine: no service on Sunday
● Massachusetts: no service on Sunday
● Minnesota: no service on Sundays and Holidays
● New York: no service on Sunday or upon a person who keeps Saturday holy
● Rhode Island: no service on Sunday
● South Dakota: no service on Sunday
● Tennessee: no service on Sunday, except when by Court Order
● Texas: certain restrictions for service on Sunday, depending on the documents
● Virginia: no service on Sunday
● West Virginia: no service on Sunday
For more information on specific requirements for serving lawsuits in a particular state, visit the
Rules of Civil Procedure by State. In addition to doing so, check with the court in which the legal
documents were filed to research if there are any specific requirements of which you are
unaware.

Service of Process Support
If you need to serve a lawsuit on an out-of-state defendant, or simply need litigation support,
contact Ancillary Legal today. Our team has vast experience with providing full-service legal
support domestically and internationally, including service of process.

Need to depose a witness located in the United Kingdom? What U.S. Lawyers Should Know.

If you need to depose a witness located in the United Kingdom on behalf of one of your American clients, there are several things you should know. Below is a basic primer on the process, what to expect, and what pitfalls to avoid.
Subpoena or Agreement of Testimony
Lawyers who are wanting to depose a witness and/or obtain production of documents from a witness or entity in England and Wales by either:
● Having a voluntary agreement; or
● Compulsion under a subpoena order;
Notably, a voluntary deposition can be on the terms that the parties agreed to including what law and procedure apply. If the parties are unable to come to an agreement, then a court-ordered deposition must adhere to the applicable rules of English law and practice.
Submission of Letter of Request
If the parties are unable to come to an agreement, then the party seeking to depose the foreign witness must petition the American court to issue a letter of request to the UK High Court for the deposition of a witness under the Hague Convention on the Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil or Commercial Matters (“TEACC”). A letter of request should have details of the claim and identify the possible witnesses, details of evidence sought, as well as any documents the witness is required to produce. These letters must be drafted with care, ensuring compliance with English law and rules, so that they are not rejected.
Application to High Court
Once the letter of request has been issued and sent to a UK Court, an English lawyer must then petition the High Court in London for an order to effectuate the letter and appoint an examiner responsible for the supervision of the deposition. An examiner is a neutral, approved by the High Court, who performs a quasi-judicial role in the matter. While a foreign lawyer or consular may be an examiner, an English lawyer is typically preferred. Any of the examiner’s fees and expenses are paid by the party seeking to take the deposition.
A court order will include the specific documents that must be requested and may include the questions sought to be asked of the witness. The application to the High Court may be made with or without notice to the other party and the potential witness. If made without notice, the party
and/or witness has the opportunity to object and apply to dismiss all or part of the High Court’s order.
International Litigation Support

If you need to serve a lawsuit on a foreign defendant, or simply need international litigation support to include deposing a witness in the UK, contact Ancillary Legal today. Our team has significant experience and can support all your domestic and international litigation needs.