With nearly a hundred years of cumulative experience in litigation cases, our management team is extremely well-versed in the rules of filing and service. Service is such a critical component of litigation that our Managing Partner, Philip Becnel, included a chapter on the rules of service in his book, Introduction to Conducting Private Investigations.
Every court jurisdiction has its own rules of service, but generally speaking, most subpoenas require personal service on the witness, while the rules of service for summonses generally give some leeway to serve through a proxy at the defendant’s abode. Another major difference between summonses and subpoenas is that summonses can typically be served extra-jurisdictionally, while subpoenas (with some exceptions) can only be enforced when they are served within their own jurisdictions. Serving subpoenas extra-jurisdictionally requires first “domesticating” them at the local court. Knowing the intricacies of the rules of service—when, where, who, and how to serve—is so important because botching service can cause missed filing deadlines and other catastrophes.
Most people do not dodge service—but those who do dodge can be exceedingly difficult to catch. Our philosophy is that we first give people a chance to be good citizens and accept service without subterfuge, but once they dodge us we pull out all the stops to serve them. Industrious and creative, we know that quick action and clever ideas are often needed to track down hard-to-serve defendants and witnesses.