Friday, January 7, 2011

Registered Process Server or Sheriff's Department?

Most people will only file a small claims lawsuit or any type of lawsuit for that matter, once in their lifetime. Many people don't know at the outset that court documents must be served on the opposing party (more commonly known as the defendant or respondent) named in their case. Service of Process on the defendant is MANDATORY in all courts in the United States of America. Many people don't know this until they reach the Clerk's window at the court house. Many people ask the Clerk, "How do I get my documents served." In Sacramento, California, the Clerk's response is always "The Sheriff can serve your documents." or "Go to the Sheriff's Department."
What the Clerk doesn't say to the unsuspecting plaintiff (the person filing a lawsuit) is that the Sheriff's office has much higher priorities than serving court documents. Process serving is more than likely the absolute lowest priority of the Sheriff's Department. The Sheriff of any county or city has a first priority of addressing crime ie; keeping the people who live, work and visit their jurisdiction safe from unsavory and criminal elements. Because process serving is not the first priority, or even close to the first priority of any Sheriff's Department, when a plaintiff forks over hard earned cash to the Sheriff's Department to serve their court documents they should be told up front, "We may, or may not get this served for you. We will absolutely not attempt to serve your documents before 8:00 am nor after 5:00 pm, nor on weekends or holidays." Most plaintiffs think that the Sheriff will show up to serve documents wearing that stylish Sheriff's department uniform, maybe throw an ice cold scare into the defendant, that will ultimately guarantee their documents get served. I wish you could see me sadly shaking my head... not so. The Sheriff's Department can no more guarantee service than anyone else who takes it upon themselves to serve process.
The Sheriff can't arrest someone for evading service. In my experience, the Sheriff doesn't expend a great deal of energy getting a serve completed. Here in Sacramento, they go out once, the initial attempt. If they can get it served then, great, if not, they'll contact you and tell you, "We couldn't get your documents served". Where does this leave the plaintiff you ask? Well, it leaves the plaintiff out of whatever money they spent paying the Sheriff to serve their documents. It also leaves them dipping into their cash again, hopefully to pay a Registered Process Server to get their documents served. Process Servers serve documents, period. They may offer a few other services that go hand in hand with process serving, but Registered Process Servers serve legal documents pertaining to a court action. As a result, a Process Server worth his or her weight is very well versed in the rules that govern process serving in their state, and they know a few tricks or three that enable them to serve defendants who actively evade service.
When a Registered Process Server tells you they will serve your documents, they are already prepared to visit the defendants location at least 2 times, the first time, maybe no one is home, the 2nd time, hopefully the serve is completed, definitely the server will get an indication whether or not the defendant is evading, which means the Server will utilize one of those tricks I spoke about earlier to affect service. Here in California Registered Process Servers must exercise due diligence, we have to make repeated attempts to serve documents personally before we can look at other means of service. Diligence is vague and rests with the Judge in the case, but the unwritten number of diligent attempts is 4 -5 attempts, at different hours, on different days. So, the question is, are you comfortable with the Sheriff's Department running around your town or city, performing diligent attempts to get your documents served, or would you prefer to have a Registered Process Server take care of that, so that the Sheriff's Department can focus on it's higher priorities?
When accepting payment for services of any kind, the service being provided should be the highest priority of the service provider. In most California Counties, Sheriff's Departments have stopped providing process serving because of budget restraints, and strained resources. The question becomes, what is more important, fighting crimes and apprehending criminals or serving court documents?

Corporate Lawyers - Important Role in Commercial Litigation

The large sectors of industries, commercial and corporate structures of countries as in the UK have several legal issues that bind them from time to time. There are several companies in each sector that leads to increased competition. And in a slight case of infringement of each other's territory results in bitter court cases and long drawn legal struggles for justice and judgment.
This also makes the role of corporate lawyers and solicitors extremely crucial and vulnerable at the same time. These men and women are extremely talented legal professionals with a wide experience and knowledge of every aspect of corporate law.
Aspects of Corporate Law
There are several aspects of the corporate sector that may lead to a legal struggle. There are management related aspects which include the shareholders and the stockholders. There are management and employee rifts and cases for claims.
Then there are the company creditors and those with whom the company may be sharing financial interests. At times a company may also be stuck in bitter corporate feuds with partnering companies. And then there are legal issues pertaining to mergers, collaborations and takeovers as well. in case of the latter there are legal issues that need sorting out over financial settlements and power sharing ratios.
Companies may also at times be involved in legal controversies over public litigations. There are corporate lawyers who have to represent companies when there is a complaint or case lodged by a consumer on some grounds of dissatisfied experience with a product or service; there are various such issues which need to be resolved on a regular basis.
Corporate Lawyers and Solicitors
There are several legal roles that corporate lawyers and solicitors perform on behalf of their companies. These duties includes consultation regarding some of these following aspects among mnay others.
tax payments and issues
financial resources
profits and losses
legal issues of mergers and takeovers
intellectual property rights and patents
closing and negotiation of deals
paperwork and details
regional laws and international corporate laws
employee appointment and dismissal terms and clauses
These are only some of the aspects of corporate law that are undertaken by commercial litigation lawyers and solicitors on behalf of their hiring companies. Though there are usually a full time employment and a in house department for legal matters in every large corporation it is not uncommon to hire outside assistance and counsel as well if it is required.
There are different types of legal departments that are a part of companies depending on their stature as well as the nature and extent of their legal work. There are teams of senior and junior company lawyers that may be found in large or multinational corporations.
And there are also one man led department in medium companies. In case of smaller companies that do not wish to maintain a full time division owing to the rarity of legal issues there are corporate legal firms to their counsel.