Service of Process

James Franco

Gossip blogs are frankly not the most accurate sources upon which to base one’s due diligence.

Jura Zibas of Wilson Elser, one of James Franco’s lawyers, noting in a court filing that an attempt to serve her client at an address gleaned from an online celebrity gossip site was laughable.

(As it turns out, the address was wrong, and Franco’s lawyers successfully had the case dismissed.)

‘What do you mean I’ve been sued?’

Facebook has an important role in modern society, specifically sharing baby/cat pictures and facilitating high school reunion planning. Oh, and disappointing amateur investors.

Now, in at least one case, the government will use Facebook to serve defendants.

The decision reflects the growing faith in the reliability of electronic messaging, taking jurisprudence further down the path started when courts began recognizing email service. On the other hand, Facebook’s messaging kind of blows. I constantly find messages in my inbox days after they were sent.

I assume service is effected by uploading a picture of the filing and tagging it “You”….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “A Sure Way to Unfriend Someone — Serve Them Through Facebook”

To date, defendant has evaded personal service and cannot be located in Belgium, Spain, or in any country in Europe.

– U.S. District Judge James Mahan failing to grasp the obvious hurdles involved with a lawsuit brought by Teller (of Penn & Teller) against another magician.

(You can see video of the trick below.)

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Teller Silenced In Court By Elusive Defendant”


* For those of you who prefer oral, a new service. For free. [Robert Ambrogi’s Lawsites]
* If you’ve never believed in God, now is the time to believe in Judgment Day. [The Notion]
* The very funny and talented Melissa Lafsky, aka Opinionista, will now be writing for Eat the Press, the HuffPo fiefdom of another lawyer-turned-writer, Rachel Sklar. We wish Melissa well! [Eat the Press / Huffington Post]
(And may we note Melissa’s passing resemblance to hot SVU detective, and genetically blessed daughter of Jayne Mansfield, Mariska Hargitay.)
* A consumer takes on a computer behometh. Today a kiosk, tomorrow the fame and fortune of the “Dude, you’re getting a Dell!” guy. [Newark Star-Ledger]

lindsay lohan subpoena service of process.jpgLast Friday, at the Annual American Cinematheque Awards ceremony (honoring George Clooney), scandal-prone starlet Linday Lohan was slapped with a subpoena. And it happened on the red carpet.
Was Lindsay being haled into court for her hideous keyhole-front halter gown, made of restored 14th-century chain mail, and trimmed with packaging twine? Actually, no.
Lindsay was being served with a subpoena to appear as a witness in a case involving her mother, Dina Lohan, who is being sued for breach of contract by two music producers and managers. TMZ.com reports:

It all started after the actress was approached by a woman who Lindsay assumed was an autograph seeker on her way out of the event. Lindsay said to the woman “You’re my first autograph!” to which the woman promptly answered “You’ve been served.” According to witnesses, Lindsay then dropped the paperwork and chased after the process server. No word on whether she caught up to the process server.

We’re wondering two things. First, what kind of shoes was Lindsay wearing? Second, why did she run after the process server? Was she hoping to return the subpoena to her?
If so, it was misguided thinking on Lindsay’s part. Service of process is governed by the same rule as the second-grade playground: “No backsies.”
P.S. As you can see from the photo, Lindsay Lohan is just like a Biglaw attorney — she never leaves home without her Blackberry. [Ed. note: Or is that a Treo? See the comments. We haven't had a Blackberry in years (which is both a good and bad thing).]
Lindsay: You Got Served [TMZ.com]
Lindsay Gets Served! A Shocking Red Carpet Summons!!! [PerezHilton.com]
Lindsay Lohan Served With a Subpoena — On the Red Carpet! [WSJ Law Blog]

road rage.jpgLawyers aren’t that different from the rest of the country — or, for that matter, from characters on Melrose Place (may it rest in peace). When their hearts get broken, they do some pretty crazy and stupid things.
We recently reported on a former New York litigator who forged a judge’s signature after a messy divorce. And now a Baltimore litigator, to avoid getting served with divorce papers, rammed his car into the process server:

Barron Stroud Jr., a commercial litigator, had just dropped off his daughter at a Clarksville, Md., daycare center last Aug. 11 when process server James Benjamin approached his car. Benjamin told police he knocked on the driver’s window, but Stroud ignored him. Benjamin said he then moved in front of the car and banged on the hood, when Stroud drove forward, hitting him in the legs. Benjamin said he took a step back, and Stroud drove into him again before fleeing the scene.

According to The Sun of Baltimore, Howard County Circuit Court Judge Lenore Gelfman said that because Stroud was in the midst of a breakup with his wife at the time, he must have known why someone was so aggressively seeking his attention; otherwise, he would have called police or stopped to find out why a man was banging on his car. He will be sentenced in October.

While we obviously can’t condone such violence, we can’t help but admire Stroud’s lawyerly chutzpah. Trying to avoid service of process by running over the process server is kinda awful, but kinda brilliant.
Inadmissible [New Jersey Law Journal]