Case of the Day: Galloway v. Flexstar Technology

The case of the day is Galloway v. Flexstar Technology (D. Colo. 2012). Galloway claimed that while he was an engineer at Seagate Technology, he provided an affidavit for use in a lawsuit against Seagate stating that Seagate had wrongfully failed to disclose evidence of its reliance on another firm’s technology in developing its own products. Galloway later went to work for Flexstar. But after the New York Times reported the contents of the affidavit, Galloway claimed that Flexstar and some of its officers and directors, including Joel Russ, conspired to terminate his employment in retaliation for his involvement in the lawsuit against Seagate.

Russ lived in Sweden. Galloway failed to serve him with process, and the magistrate judge ordered him to serve Russ by a given date or to show cause why the claim against him should not be dismissed. Galloway explained that he had begun the process of service through Sweden’s central authority, but that service had not been effected yet. The magistrate judge recommended dismissal of the claim, and Galloway appealed to the district court judge. The judge rejected the magistrate judge’s recommendation. He noted that the 120-day time limit for service of process in Rule 4(m) was inapplicable to defendants abroad, and that there was no evidence of neglect on Galloway’s part. The judge allowed an additional sixty days to effect service.

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