Memo to foreign defendants: If you want to avoid service of process by concealing your foreign address from the plaintiff, don’t hire a US lawyer to enter an appearance in the action. The case of the day, Gramercy Insurance Co. v. Kavanagh (N.D. Tex. 2011), is a case in point. Gramercy sued Kennedy and others seeking a declaration that it was not obligated to indemnify the defendants under a guaranty. The defendants were British. The defendants’ lawyer (who represented Kennedy as well as the others) refused to give Gramercy’s lawyer Kennedy’s address for service of process purposes. So on Gramercy’s motion, the court authorized alternate service on Kennedy’s lawyer under Rule 4(f). The moral of the story: if you want to insist on putting the plaintiff through its paces and forcing the plaintiff to effect service of process under the Hague Convention, don’t appear in the US case.
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