At the time of writing, the summer solstice has just passed – we are now well into the hottest, most exciting season of the year. So it’s only appropriate that we have come equipped with some thrilling new stories to steer us into the second half of the year. This month, our front cover spotlight is on Nicholas Ohlson, a practising attorney and founder of Serve Vegas. Over his years of practice, Nick has gained a great depth of insight into the world of process services, which we have been fortunate enough to share in during an exclusive interview. You can find our discussion with Nick on page 14. Our latest edition also sees us speaking with professionals from across the legal sector, from notaries public to legal malpractice and estate planning specialists. July’s featured authors include the likes of Steve Glickman, Elijah Keyes, Mihail Florin Gavrila, Michael Lightowler and Jonathan Hewitt, whose articles can be found in the My Legal Life and Expert Insight sections. I can highly recommend having a read of each of their stories. To round out the month, we have compiled the most high-profile news stories and lawyer moves from across the sector, along with an analysis of M&A and IPO trends. Everything you need to know about the world of law as we head into midsummer is here for you to enjoy at your leisure. We hope that you enjoy this edition. LAWYER MONTHLY©2023 Universal Media Limited Lawyer Monthly is published by Universal Media Limited and is available on general subscription. Readership and circulation information can be found at: www.lawyer-monthly.com. The views expressed in the articles within Lawyer Monthly are the contributors’ own. All rights reserved. Material contained within this publication is not to be reproduced in whole or in part without prior permission. Permission may only be given in written form by the management board of Universal Media Limited. Approx. 302,000 net digital distribution. Oliver Sullivan Editor Lawyer Monthly Welcome to Lawyer Monthly Magazine JULY 2023 EDITION @lawyermonthly @LawyerMonthly @lawyermonthly company/lawyer-monthly Universal Media Limited, PO Box 17858, Tamworth, B77 9QG, United Kingdom 0044 (0) 1543 255 537 Production Team: Emma Tansey, Luke Ostle, Nathan Athersmith firstname.lastname@example.org Sales Enquires: Jacob Mallinder Jacob.email@example.com
Contents 30 34 6 Monthly Round-Up 10 Lawyer Moves FEATURE OF THE MONTH 14 Nicholas Ohlson Overcoming Challenges as a Process Server MY LEGAL LIFE 24 Elijah Keyes Effective Use of Dynasty Trusts 30 Sangeeta Rabadia Succession Planning for Families With Businesses 36 Steven Glickman The Dangers of Legal Malpractice SPECIAL FEATURES 44 A Brief History of BigLaw Oliver Sullivan, Lawyer Monthly 48 Should You Appoint Your Children as Attorneys in Your LPA? Frank Smith, Frank Smith & Co Solicitors 52 How to Build a Law Firm With People-First Values Lisa McKenna, McKenna & Co Solicitors 56 Net Zero: Effective Communications for Law Firms Tal Donahue, Infinite Global Consulting Ltd EXPERT INSIGHT 62 The Apostille and its Importance to International Document Legalisation Mihail Florin Gavrila 70 The Role of a Notary Michael Lightowler and Jonathan Hewitt THOUGHT LEADER 78 Working With PEOs: Employment Law and Workers' Compensation Challenges CB Everett, CBE Law Group 84 Succession Law and Intestacy in Ireland Christopher Lehane, Law Library 88 The Ins and Outs of Vehicle Accidents and Injuries Julie Siegel, Siegel Injury Law, LLC 92 The Threat of Cybercrime in Italy Licia Dal Pozzo, Studio Legale Dal Pozzo TRANSACTIONS 96 What’s Happening in the World of M&As and IPOs?
Merck Sues US Government Over Medicaid Drug Price Negotiation Drugmaker Merck & Co filed suit against the US government on 6 June in an attempt to halt its new Medicare drug price negotiation program contained in the Inflation Reduction Act. government health plan for citizens aged 65 and over. Currently, US citizens pay more for prescription medication than any other country. Merck’s lawsuit marks the first attempt by a drugmaker to challenge the price negotiation program. The company has stated that it is willing to litigate the matter to the Supreme Court level if necessary. The White House decried the lawsuit. “Big Pharma regularly forces Americans to pay many times what they do customers in other countries for the exact same medicines,” spokesperson Karine JeanPierre said in a statement. “We are confident we will succeed in the courts. There is nothing in the Constitution that prevents Medicare from negotiating lower drug prices.” Merck claimed that the new program, implemented as part of the Inflation Reduction Act, violates the FIfth and First Amendmnets of the US Constitution and will force pharmaceutical companies to negotiate drug prices at below market rates. “This is not ‘negotiation.’ It is tantamount to extortion,” the company said in the suit. The Biden administration program aims to save US citizens $25 billion annually by 2023 through price negotiations for drugs paid for by Medicare, the Monthly Round-Up JULY 2023 Dame Sue Carr Becomes First Female Lord Chief Justice in History King Charles has formally appointed 58-year-old Dame Sue Carr as Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, marking the first time the position has been held by a woman in its 750-year history. Carr’s appointment follows the retirement of Ian Burnett in October 2022. She first qualified as a lqwyer in 1987 after studying law at Trinity College, Cambridge, and was first appointed as a judge in 2009, becoming a High Court judge in 2013. She is also former vice-chair of the Judicial Appointments Commission. Though the title of Lord Chief Justice has been set down in law since 1268, justice minister Alex Chalk has told hte BBC that the title could be changed depending on Carr’s wishes. Any formal changes to the title “will not be made in haste and are for a later date”. The main responsibilities of the Lord Chief Justice include representing the views of the judiciary to parliament and government, ensuring the welfare, training and guidance of judges, discussing the provision of resources to the judiciary, and handling the deployment of judges and allocation of work in courts. Carr was told upon application that she was expected to serve for at least four years, during which time she will be charged with tackling outstanding issues including wide-ranging case backlogs and an accelerating push for modernisation across courts and tribunals. The appointment is made by the king on the advice of Chalk and the prime minister, Rishi Sunak, following the recommendation of an independent selection panel. 6 LAWYER MONTHLY JULY 2023
the public, according to a court filing. Trump is the first US president, current or former, to be hit with a federal criminal indictment. The 77-year-old was allowed to leave the court without any restrictions to domestic or international travel, though he will not be allowed to discuss the case with former aide and co-defendant Walt Nauta, who is also charged with six criminal counts in the case. US district judge Aileen Cannon has set Trump’s trial date for 14 August. Jack Smith, the DoJ’s special counsel on the case, promised a speedy trial following the 37-count indictment charging Trump with wilful retention of classified government records and obstruction of justice, but lengthy delays are still widely expected by legal observers due to the complexities of handling highly classified evidence and the likelihood of challenges from Trump’s legal team. US magistrate judge Bruce Reinhart put strict conditions on Trump’s access to materials relevant to the case and ordered his defence lawyers not to release evidence to the media or the public, according to a court filing. The latest order came after a US judge on Monday ordered Trump’s defence lawyers not to release evidence in the classified documents case to the media or MONTHLY ROUND-UP 7 After being arraigned in Miami in federal court on 13 June, former President Donald Trump pleaded not guilty to charges that he unlawfully kept national-security documents when he left office and lied to officials who sought to recover them. Donald Trump Pleads Not Guilty in Classified Documents Case
FTC Sues Amazon for “Tricking and Trapping” Users into Prime Subscriptions The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed suit against Amazon on 22 June, accusing the eCommerce giant of having duped millions of customers into subscribing to Amazon Prime without their consent. In a complaint filed with the US District Court for the Western District of Washington, the FTC alleged that Amazon used “manipulative, coercive, or deceptive userinterface designs known as ‘dark patterns’ to trick consumers into enrolling in automatically-renewing Prime subscriptions”. The FTC claimed that Amazon also knowingly complicated the cancellation process to thwart customers from ending their Prime subscriptions. “Amazon tricked and trapped people into recurring subscriptions without their consent, not only frustrating users but also costing them significant money,” said FTC Chair Lina Khan in a statement. A spokesperson for Amazon said that the FTC’s claims were “false on the facts and the law”, adding that the company looked forward to proving its case in court. “The truth is that customers love Prime, and by design we make it clear and simple for customers to both sign up for or cancel their Prime membership,” the spokesperson said. The complaint comes less than a month after the FTC and DoJ charged Amazon for violation of child privacy laws by keeping recordings of children on Amazon’s Alexa voice-assistant service forever and for undermining deletion requests. Monthly Round-Up JULY 2023 8 LAWYER MONTHLY JULY 2023
SCOTUS Upholds Native American Adoption Law Pentagon Leak Suspect Teixeira Pleads Not Guilty to Federal Charges In a 7-2 ruling, the Supreme Court of the United States rejected non-Indigenous parents' and the state of Texas's challenges to the Indian Child Welfare Act. Jack Douglas Teixeira, a 21-year-old member of the US Air National Guard accused of leaking US military secrets, pleaded not guilty on 21 June to six federal counts of willful retention and transmission of classified information relating to national defence, a court filing showed. Court, hundreds of tribes argued that the ICWA acted in children’s best interests, and that the law treats Native Americans as a political class rather than a racial group. The ICWA was enacted in 1978, prompted by studies indicating that 85% of Native children who were removed from their homes were fostered outside of the Native community. Among other child protection measures for Native children, he ICWA gives preference to members of the child’s family or tribe, or other Native families, over nonuploaded to the WikiLeaks website in 2010. The documents allegedly leaked by Teixeira contained highly classified information on the US’s allies and adversaries, including sensitive details on Ukraine's air defences and Israel's Mossad spy agency. The DoJ noted that each charge of unauthorised retention Natives and non-relatives. A number of tribal leaders issued a joint statement hailing the decision. “We hope this decision will lay to rest the political attacks aimed at diminishing tribal sovereignty and creating instability throughout Indian law that have persisted for too long,” they said. “By ruling on the side of children’s health and safety, the US constitution, and centuries of precedent, the justices have landed on the right side of history.” and transmission of national defence information provides for a fine of up to $250,000, a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, and up to three years of supervised release. Teixeira's family released a statement after the arraignment, saying that they "are hopeful Jack will be getting the fair and just treatment he deserves." In so doing, the court upheld established law that prioritises Native American families in adoption or foster care of Native American children, throwing out claims that the law constitutes a form of racial discrimination. In briefs submitted to the Supreme Teixeira appeared in a federal court in Worcester, Massachusetts, for an arraignment after his arrest in April over the disclosure of US documents related to the Ukraine war and a number of other sensitive issues. He has been held in federal prison in Plymouth County, south of Boston, while awaiting trial. No trial date has been set. Prosecutors claim that Teixeira leaked classified documents to a group of gamers on the messaging app Discord. The leak is considered the most serious breach of US national security since more than 700,000 government documents, videos and diplomatic cables were MONTHLY ROUND-UP 9
Lawyer Moves RECENT APPOINTMENTS FROM ACROSS THE GLOBE Global law firm DLA Piper has appointed Naoise Harnett as a partner in the firm’s corporate practice in Dublin. Harnett, who joins from another law firm based in Dublin, will join the firm’s international insurance sector team, bringing with him more than 15 years’ experience advising Irish and international insurers, reinsurers and intermediaries on major cross-border M&A transactions, court-sanctioned transfers, authorisations and distribution. Following his notice period, he will be the 18th partner in the Dublin office, where the total team of professionals now exceeds 110. Matthew Cole, head of corporate at DLA Piper in Ireland, said: “I would like to welcome Naoise to DLA Piper,” head of corporate at DLA Piper. “Naoise will lead our corporate insurance team in Ireland and join a network of more than 400 global insurance specialists at DLA Piper who are trusted partners to global insurance leaders. “This is an incredibly exciting time for us as we continue to significantly grow the corporate group in Ireland as well as our leadership team. The addition of Naoise will further support that growth strategy and will help us nurture existing, and develop new, relationships with insurance businesses in Ireland and internationally.” Reed Smith has announced the hire of Jamie Ryder as partner in its Entertainment and Media Industry Group and based in the firm’s UAE offices. He joins on 3 July. Ryder’s broad practice is focused on IP, media, sports and entertainment law. He has over 15 years’ experience in drafting and negotiating bespoke commercial agreements for local and international clients, including content acquisition agreements, content production and financing agreements, multi-platform media exploitation agreements and sponsorship agreements. He joins the firm from DLA Piper, where he was partner and head of its intellectual property and technology practice in the Middle East. Ryder represents a number of the Middle East's leading broadcasters and media organisations, in addition to international film studios and rights holders, major event hosting entities and media and telecommunications companies. He has been ranked in Chambers & Partners for over eight years and is listed as a ‘Next Generation Partner’ by Legal 500. Reed Smith’s EME managing partner, Gregor Pryor, hailed Ryder’s arrival. “With our tremendous capabilities in the US, UK, Europe and Asia, we have been looking for the right talent to expand the Entertainment and Media Industry Group in the Middle East,” he said. DLA Piper Adds Partner to Corporate Practice Reed Smith Expands Entertainment & Media Practice Dublin, Ireland DLA Piper UAE Reed Smith Atlanta, USA Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner 10 LAWYER MONTHLY JULY 2023 Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (BCLP) has hired former Dentons US chair Jeff Haidet to its corporate and finance transactions department. Haidet will be based in the firm’s Atlanta office, and his work will primarily concern advising global and domestic businesses on complex transactions, financial structuring, M&A, joint ventures, strategic alliances, industry consolidation and more. With more than two decades’ worth of experience in law firm management as a senior leader, Jeff’s appointment is expected to bolster BCLP as the firm advances its growth strategy. Haidet’s appointment comes as part of a wave of hires also poached from Dentons. Seven partners in total have joined BCLP’s practices in Atlanta and Washington DC. Among the new appointees are leading IP lawyer Song Jung, who has been recognised by multiple legal publications for his work, which has helped to build one of the world’s leading intellectual property practices. BCLP co-chairs Lisa Mayhew and Steve Baumer lauded the arrival of the former Dentons staff, stating that the acquired partners would amplify the firm’s growth strategy. The partners’ experience and technical expertise will serve as a “game changer”, according to the co-chairs. BCLP Gains Dentons US Chairman as Partner
Mayer Brown has appointed Hong Kong partner Hannah Ha to chair the firm’s Asia board effective 1 June, 2023. She succeeds Duncan Abate, who held the role since 2016. Ha previously served as co-leader of Mayer Brown’s corporate and securities practice and on the firm’s partnership board. She built her expertise as a corporate lawyer in Mainland China and Hong Kong’s most highly regulated sectors and is particularly adept at handling merger control issues related to complex, cross-border M&As in China. “Hannah is an outstanding leader of our firm who has been instrumental to the success of both our practice in Asia and the global corporate and securities practice,” said Mayer Brown global chair Jon Van Gorp. “I am delighted to welcome Hannah to the global management committee at a significant moment for Mayer Brown.” Earlier this year, Mayer Brown became the first joint law venture in Singapore since November 2016 when it partnered with Singapore’s PK Wong & Nair. The firm said it planned to double its headcount in the city-state over the next two years. Mayer Brown Appoints New Chair of Asia Board Freshfields has announced that Guilhem Bremond, a bankruptcy and restructuring practitioner, has joined the firm’s global transactions practice and restructuring and insolvency (R&I) team as a partner in Paris. Bremond joins from Paul Hastings, bringing nearly 30 years’ experience across both in-court and out-of-court restructurings, as well as R&I litigation and advising on distressed investments. He will support the growth of Freshfields’ global R&I business, alongside developing and growing the firm’s judicial and debtor capabilities in Paris. Bremond will, in particular, bring full-service debtor side capability in Paris to complement the firm’s creditor side credentials. Bremond is recognised by Chambers Europe as a leading individual and his hire to the Freshfields Paris restructuring team and the global R&I group comes as part of the firm’s growth strategy in the R&I field, reinforcing the firm’s strength in the market. Freshfields’ head of transactions in Paris, Guy Benda, said: “Guilhem is a welcome addition to our strong existing global R&I practice, and global transaction team. Paris is a significant European financial centre, and our full-service debtor and creditor practice is central to our growth strategy in the region. Guilhem will strengthen our capabilities in this area and further our reputation in the market.” Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer Bolsters Corporate Restructuring Team Hong Kong Mayer Brown Paris, France Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LAWYER MOVES 11
For the July 2023 edition of Lawyer Monthly Magazine, we are proud to host an exclusive interview with Nicholas Ohlson – a practising attorney and head of Serve Vegas with a remarkable personal story. Overleaf, Nick takes us through the ins and outs of process service, sharing knowledge that he has gained from being in the thick of the active Las Vegas legal scene. He also takes us through the trajectory of his career in law, from filing paperwork to heading up his own firm. All of his insights, presented in the pages that follow, are worth reading and learning. FEATURE OF THE MONTH
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FEATURE OF THE MONTH 15 About Nicholas Ohlson Nicholas Ohlson is the founder, owner and operator of Serve Vegas. A graduate of UNLV Business School and Boyd Law School, and a Nevadalicensed attorney, Nick brings to bear over 10 years of experience in the legal process serving field. He has worked with some of the largest and most successful law firms in Las Vegas and has served documents on high-profile cases resulting in eightfigure verdicts. About Serve Vegas Serve Vegas is a Las Vegas-based process serving agency. The Serve Vegas team prizes their dedication and reliability, and regularly go beyond process service by providing skip tracing, surveillance and other legal support services aimed at ensuring that clients are in prime position to get the best results. The firm operates a nationwide network of process servers through its affiliates and professional relationships, enabling clients’ papers to be delivered anywhere throughout the US. Contact Nicholas Ohlson Founder Serve Vegas 9811 W. Charleston Blvd., 2-732, Las Vegas, NV 89117, USA Tel: +1 702-209-2140 +1 702-609-0113 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.serve.vegas The effective and timely service of legal documents is often crucial to the work of attorneys. If carried out incorrectly, both the legal case in question and the process server themselves may be placed in jeopardy. In this exclusive interview, Serve Vegas founder Nicholas Ohlson sheds light on the role played by process servers in the legal sector, drawing on his wealth of experience as both an attorney and the head of a fast-growing process services company. Nicholas Ohlson Overcoming Challenges as a Process Server
What is the basic premise of process services, and what role do process servers fulfil? Both the United States Constitution and the Nevada State Constitution contain clauses supporting the rights of all citizens, particularly the right to be aware of one’s involvement in a lawsuit in order for a for the trial to be lawful, i.e. the right to service of process. Service of process protects one’s procedural due process rights, such as the right to be made aware that a lawsuit has been filed against someone. The Fifth Amendment to the US Constitution provides that a person cannot be deprived of his life, liberty, or property without procedural due process. Process servers play an integral part in protecting the rights of individuals. The role of a process server is to put people on notice of lawsuits or other legal proceedings that have been filed against them in our court system. In other words, process servers help to ensure that the due process rights of an individual are protected by serving such individuals with a summons and copy of the complaint filed against them. From your own experience, what matters do process servers typically become involved in handling? As noted, process servers act as a link between the courts and defendants by ensuring that a person who has been sued has been served with a copy of the action against them. Process servers are typically retained to serve civil complaints, which can include civil litigation, tort law, personal injury, breach of contract, family law and other matters. Process servicers are not usually involved in criminal matters. Of course, there are time restrictions and other criteria that process servers must meet. Can you tell us more about those restrictions? Every plaintiff has a limited amount of time, usually 120 days, to serve the defendant with the summons and complaint. This time period is set forth in the Nevada Rules of Civil Procedure, or the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure if the complaint is filed in Federal Court. When it comes to serving legal documents, anybody who is at least 18 years old and not a party to the action can serve a complaint. It can also be served by marshalls or a deputy marshall, or other persons appointed by the court. In Nevada, a professional process server must be licensed with the State before they can collect a fee to serve documents. In Nevada, process servers are governed by the State of Nevada Private Investigator Licensing Board. To become a licensed process server in Nevada, one must: • Be at least 21 years of age; • Be a citizen of the United States or lawfully entitled to remain and work in the United States; • Be of good moral character and temperate habits; • Have not been convicted of: o A felony o Any crime involving moral turpitude or the illegal use or possession of a dangerous weapon; • Undergo a criminal history background check through the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Nevada Department of Public Safety; • Pass an exam with a score of 75% or better (only for individual applicants and qualified agent applicants); • Meet the experience/education requirement of 4000 hours. Regarding both the federal and state rules, what are the consequences if a process server fails to meet the due criteria? If a complaint is not served within 120 days and additional time for service is not requested, a legal action can be dismissed without prejudice. In this event, the plaintiff can initiate a new legal action – provided that the relevant statute of limitations has not expired. If the statute of limitations has expired since the initial action was filed, the plaintiff will not be allowed to refile their lawsuit in the event that it is dismissed 16 LAWYER MONTHLY JULY 2023 If a complaint is not served within 120 days and additional time for service is not requested, a legal action can be dismissed without prejudice.
for lack of proper service. When a plaintiff has retained the services of an attorney, if the attorney does not make reasonable efforts to hire a process server and serve the defendant with the summons or complaint, that attorney can be subject to discipline by the State Bar of Nevada and/or a complaint for malpractice by their client. You mentioned before that knowledge of these rules and of case law is important to being an effective process server. Are there any other skills or competencies that you would draw upon as part of this role? Something that has helped us tremendously is being native to Las Vegas. I and most of my staff members are native to the area, so we have a lot of local contacts. For instance, one benefit of being located in Las Vegas is the fact that a lot of people come here – people within the United States and even internationally. We have large conventions here, and we have strategically worked with law firms across the country when they have had international defendants come here for these conventions. For instance, when the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is in town, we know that certain international vendors are going to be there with a booth, and we are able to serve process on them knowing that they are going to be present. There have been two different years when we were able to serve someone there, and because they have been served in Nevada, this creates jurisdiction and it makes Nevada court more likely to be the proper venue for the case to be heard. Right now, the World Series of Poker is in town, and we are getting phone calls about working with law firms or plaintiffs that have filed a complaint against someone who is going to be present. We have served participants in the World Series of Poker on legal matters in the past. FEATURE OF THE MONTH 17 Las Vegas has always been a hotspot for businesses to come for conventions and for individuals to visit, and it has put us in a very choice position to serve them while they are here. We are currently pursuing service on an individual who is at the World Series of Poker – a low-level player buying into some of the smaller games – and we are coordinating with the plaintiff and their attorney to ensure that they get served. What sort of obstacles do process servers often encounter that could potentially jeopardise their ability to fulfil their role? In this current environment, especially coming out of COVID, video doorbells have become extremely common. We are on camera when we walk onto the property, so understanding the rules helps us in being able to navigate that and serve documents. It appears that the
18 LAWYER MONTHLY JULY 2023 courts have also understood some of our issues, because service in this area is not being challenged as much. When we go to the door and ring the video doorbell, the first thing we do is confirm that this is the defendant's residence. More often than not, they want to know who we are, and our approach at the door determines our success in serving documents without having them evade. We will ask "Is this the Johnson residence", for instance, and they will often confirm that – which helps us, because documents can be served at the defendant's usual place of abode. By confirming that they live there, even if the person on the video doorbell does not want to let us in, we can establish that it is the residence of the defendant. We then explain who we are and what we are there to do, and it is important that if they still refuse to come to the door, we still announce service and that we are drop-serving the documents at their door. This only occurs if they refuse to cooperate, but a lot of the time, this is what process servers face on their approach. COVID was very difficult for us; we would be wearing our PPE and masks, we would ring the doorbell and step back, trying to put people at ease. Some people were deeply affected by the pandemic, and it made our job more difficult. But we learned, and adapted our approach. Now if we know someone is home, we can see if they have a vehicle in the driveway and run that license plate to see if it is registered to the defendant. We can include that in our paperwork. Beyond that, we have the ability to run database searches and get their phone number. Often, if we have made multiple attempts at a door and it is clear someone is home and does not want to come to the door, we can run one of those database searches and call them. More often than not, we can get them to cooperate with service. Of course, we document all of those efforts in our affidavit that is filed with the court, so the court can see that we made all reasonable efforts, that the defendant knows there has been a complaint filed against them and that we are trying to put them on notice. The biggest obstacle that process servers face is the fact that we deliver bad news. Getting people to cooperate with that while being very respectful and understanding that they may have concerns about answering their door to a stranger is essential. If you had to give a piece of advice to a less experienced process server, what would it be? Every jurisdiction is going to have specific rules to follow. Understanding what the rules are is going to make the difference in getting the documents properly served. If the process server does not understand the rules and are not getting those documents served pursuant to the relevant rules of civil procedure, it is going to make the attorney's life difficult. My team’s goal is to do everything possible to ensure the lawyers, or their paralegals, are not wasting time and money litigating procedure issues like service of process. Getting the documents served right the first time is key, because once someone has been served and put on notice, and realised that they are part of a lawsuit, it is less likely that you are going to be able to serve them again. Very often, people are not eager to receive bad news and cooperate with someone who is going to make their life difficult by filing a lawsuit against them, which is why it is key to understand the jurisdictional rules and do the job correctly the first time. In addition to that, it is important that a new process server is trained on how to be safe. It can be a dangerous job, and I personally train all of my process servers on the rules. One of these is that we never go into someone's home. Sometimes we are invited into the residence, and it is important for us not to put ourselves in a vulnerable situation like that. It is also very important to keep our distance from that person in case they become irate. It is not our job to explain the paperwork; process servers are very rarely attorneys (I am one of the few attorneys that runs a process serving business). It is not our job to give legal advice, even though people on the door may ask for us to explain things. It is also important for process servers to keep their phones on them at all times. As an owner of a process serving company, when I see that a defendant has the potential to be dangerous – they have a criminal record, or the plaintiff lets us know that they are hostile (which occurs
FEATURE OF THE MONTH 19 a lot in divorce cases) – I almost always send a pair of people. When it comes to someone newly getting into the business, it is very important to prioritise safety and make sure that the process servers are familiar with the rules so that they do not make the litigation process more difficult for the attorney or their staff. Have you seen any significant changes in the process serving field during your time in practice? Like most professions, process serving has had to evolve along with modern technology. Technology such as GPS mapping and the internet have made being a process server much easier in recent years. The Courts are starting to recognise that most people are easiest, and reliably, found on the internet. As a result, Courts in Nevada have recognised the importance of social media and have begun allowing defendants who are adept at dodging service to be served via Facebook Messenger and Instagram. We have even had orders allowing service through email. Every situation is different, but the manner in which someone can be served is something that is starting to change in our industry. We are seeing that more frequently in family law cases, where it is undisputed that a social media page belongs to a defendant. Still, we are only able to serve those documents by the order of a judge. The Nevada Rules of Civil Procedure have evolved as well over the years. In 2019, the Rule concerning the amount of due diligence that we need to serve someone through publication was changed. Service through publication means that, if we have done everything we can to find a person, the documents of a legal matter can be run through a publication for a period of two weeks, satisfying the process. Most states allow this. What we are starting to see in Nevada and other states is that we are now needing to complete these formerly alternative methods of service as part of our regular due diligence, which is certainly something new.
20 LAWYER MONTHLY JULY 2023 How did you get your start in law and process services? I was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada. In 2011 I found myself filing paperwork at a law firm as I started to attend some classes at the College of Southern Nevada. My brother worked at this law firm – he was actually the one paying me to file paperwork and clean up some large files for some large cases that were going on. He had the idea of starting a process serving company, and I did not even know what one was. Nevada is one of the very few states that require that someone have 4,000 hours of experience before they can even apply for a process serving license. When applying, you also have to show your tax returns, your W2s. They also require you to take a test and carry a certain amount of insurance. The reason I bring that up is because the process to take the license took some time. I worked under the direction of attorneys and a process serving company for two years to get my hours and experience, then applied for the license. The private investigation licensing board reviewed my application after I had completed my hours. I was able to get my license and grow my business. The process serving job was very convenient while I was going to school. I was able to serve documents between classes, at odd times, after hours, etc. For many years I was either in class or serving documents. While I was attending business classes at the College of Southern Nevada, I was applying what I was learning in those classes to the business I was growing. I later went to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and pursued a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. My journey followed the same suit: I was able to study business and business principles while growing my company and starting to hire employees as the workload got greater. I only worked
by referral – I never did any advertising or made a website. The paralegals and attorneys I had done good work for referred me to colleagues in the business. In my junior year of my undergrad of business school, I made the decision to go to law school, and that same story continued. I got married before I was accepted into Boyd School of Law in 2018, and my wife quit her job to come and work for me. She has been a great new addition to the business. In the first semester of law school, year one, it was a requirement to take Civil Procedure, so I learned more about the history of service of process and how that applied. Many of the law courses that I took, when it came to civil procedure or criminal procedure, I would apply and implement as I built my business. I took a Law Practice Management course in my first year of law school, and I have been able to apply and implement those principles too. What is it that motivates you to achieve success for your clients? Currently, my legal practice consists mostly of personal injury cases. There are many PI attorneys who value their relationship with medical providers more than they care about their own client. Additionally, PI attorneys in many instances will collect more money than their clients. Obviously, these sorts of practices are bad for clients, as well as the practice of law in general. As an attorney, I believe that the client's needs come first. We are legal counsel and they entrust us with handling their case properly and diligently. Many times, a personal injury victim will need to speak to an attorney for the first time in their lives. It is our job, as attorneys, to make their experience as painless as possible while at the same time protecting their rights and obtaining compensation for their injuries. My philosophy as an attorney is to always put the client first and prioritise their needs above all else. Clients also have a lot more going on than just the case that I am involved with, so taking that into consideration and giving them a benefit of the doubt is important to me. What are your plans for developing your practice and your firm this year? I have been in school and running my business for a decade. I am happy to report that we work with some of the best attorneys and litigators in Las Vegas. We have earned a very good reputation, so there is no shortage of work. Our business has been more profitable each year, and we are on track to achieve the same this year. My staff is the best and FEATURE OF THE MONTH 21 More About Nicholas Ohlson As an attorney, I believe that the client's needs come first. We are legal counsel and they entrust us with handling their case properly and diligently. they have stood by my side while pursing my law school dream, so I am excited to make the business more profitable so that we can all be more successful. I graduated from law school in May 2022 and passed the July 2022 Bar Exam on my first try. My intention for 2023 is to grow and develop my process serving business and do many things I have never done. I have never had a functioning website or logo – I have never done any paid advertising. I am in the process of tackling some of those things now to take my business to the next level. Now that I am a licensed attorney, I have the ability to work on cases with the attorneys I previously referred them to, learning the trade and practice from some of the best in town. A benefit to my position as an attorney is having worked in the field for a decade, meaning that I am familiar with the litigators who are getting their clients great results, and now I get to work directly alongside them in family law, business litigation, contract law and other fields. For the rest of 2023, I am going to continue to develop my business and branding while referring cases to other excellent attorneys in our area. Contact Nicholas Ohlson Founder Serve Vegas 9811 W. Charleston Blvd., 2-732, Las Vegas, NV 89117, USA Tel: +1 702-209-2140 +1 702-609-0113 Email: email@example.com www.serve.vegas
Each month, Lawyer Monthly Magazine has the privilege of interviewing the brightest and most ambitious movers in the legal space. In these conversations we dig into their areas of expertise, learning more about their practice and the stories behind their pursuit of excellence. Another three exceptional authors are featured in the My Legal Life section this month. Here, in exclusive interviews with Steve Glickman, Elijah Keyes and Sangeeta Rabadia, we discuss the striking development of their careers to date and their particular areas of specialisation – from the threat posed by legal malpractice to the effective use of dynasty trusts and succession planning for business-owning families. MY LEGAL LIFE
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Elijah Keyes Starting simply, what is a ‘dynasty trust’ and who is it meant to serve? A dynasty trust is a type of irrevocable trust designed to provide long-term financial management, asset protection and wealth preservation for future generations in a family. It is created to serve the interests of an individual or family, aiming to maintain and transfer wealth to future generations while minimising loss to divorce, creditors and estate taxes. The key feature of a dynasty trust is its duration, which can last for multiple generations. In California, the maximum term of a dynasty trust is often about 90-100 years after creation, but other US states have longer terms, sometimes in perpetuity. The beneficiaries of a dynasty trust typically include the settlor’s (the creator’s) children, grandchildren and subsequent generations. By utilising a dynasty trust, the grantor can ensure that the assets within the trust remain protected from estate taxes, creditors and potential divorces or lawsuits that beneficiaries might face. My Legal Life Effective Use of Dynasty Trusts Distinct from trusts solely intended to protect the creator, dynasty trusts are unique in allowing wealth to be preserved across multiple successive generations. We hear from experienced estate planning attorney Elijah Keyes in this article, which takes an in-depth look at dynasty trusts. What benefits do they have to offer trustees, and what are the potential complications that should be taken into account? MY LEGAL LIFE 25 What distinguishes dynasty trusts from other forms of estate planning, and what are the benefits of using one? Most estate planning is used to avoid probate courts. We use revocable trusts to avoid probate court proceedings to transfer assets after the death of a loved one. We also use general durable powers of attorney and advance health care directives to appoint representatives when a person loses capacity in order to avoid the requirements of a court-appointed agent call conservator or guardian. However, dynasty trusts are used to protect future generations after the creator’s death, not the creator. It is used to protect future generations in three specific ways: Protection in the Event of Divorce: More than 50% of marriages end in divorce. California has significantly higher divorce rates than the rest of the US. If assets are left directly to a child who later goes through a divorce, the spouse may receive half of the money and use it to purchase a brand-new car to drive away from the divorce court!
Any California divorce attorney will tell you that when individuals inherit money, it can easily become ‘commingled’ or mixed with their community property. This can occur if both spouses' names appear on the accounts, or even when assets are placed in a revocable trust that is in both names. It is extremely unromantic to prepare and have both spouses sign a pre- or post-nuptial agreement allowing your child to secure inherited assets. If a child’s inheritance is left in this trust, it will be segregated and will likely survive a divorce. In fact, giving assets to a dynasty trust might also give a child a viable excuse to not mix the trust asserts with a spouse. If mom and dad set it up in the dynasty trust, then it can remain that way. This can alleviate the pressure placed on a child by an emotionally immature spouse to intermingle or mix their assets after marriage. Protection from Litigation: Everyone is susceptible to being sued – a car accident with claims exceeding insurance coverage, a slip-and-fall on your property, a failed business transaction, etc. When gifting assets directly to a child, they are titled in the child’s name. If the child loses a lawsuit, all of that money could be lost.Assets given in a dynasty trust enjoy a very high level of asset protection. To access assets in the dynasty trust, a plaintiff must first win the lawsuit and then file a separate court action against trust distributions. Legal fees and the trust's structure become real obstacles. The dynasty trust erects a significant barrier between the collection and the child’s inherited funds. When designing a dynasty trust, we often limit the purposes for distribution to a beneficiary. We deviate from the common practice where a trustee is instructed to provide for a beneficiary’s health, education, maintenance and support. Certain California court cases have confirmed that payments for healthcare and maintenance are more prone to lawsuits, so we avoid them in certain circumstances. Estate Tax Protection: The dynasty trust is designed to apply the generationskipping transfer tax to assets passing into the trust. This tax exemption allows assets passing through the dynasty trust to be passed to a child’s children (the grantor’s grandchildren) without paying estate taxes at the child’s death. For example, $2 million left to a child and invested well could be worth $16 million or even more when the child dies. Estate taxes would give a big chunk of it to the government. Leaving that $2 million to a child in a dynasty trust instead likely prevents the $16 million that is in that trust from being subject to estate taxes when the child dies. In many situations it can pass in total to the grandchildren. How do the laws governing dynasty trusts vary from state to state? What are the key regulations in your own jurisdiction? Each state has different probate and trust laws. California’s laws do not allow asset protection trusts or dynasty trusts to be created to protect your own assets. Another person, like a parent, uncle, or even a family friend can create a dynasty trust for a child. But a child cannot create one for themselves. Also, California allows a beneficiary to be the sole trustee of a dynasty trust at a certain age. Many other states require a co-trustee because of certain trust laws and practices. 26 LAWYER MONTHLY JULY 2023 The laws governing marital property are also different in many states. Most of the US follows a separate property standard, where each spouse owns his or her own earnings. California and six or seven other states follow a different theory – absent an agreement to the contrary, a spouse’s earnings are shared with the ‘community’, meaning owned 50% by the other spouse. A dynasty trust will provide the same protection against loss in a divorce in every state but provide more powerful protections in the community property states, as the laws tend to favour sharing assets between spouses. Additionally, the laws regarding executing a judgment against a dynasty trust are different in each state. California tends to be more permissive towards collecting assets from a trust. Certain other states allow many trusts to resist most types of creditor intrusions. What is the process involved in setting up a dynasty trust? A dynasty trust is created by a contract signed by the settlor, just like any other trust document. The settlor must have a clear understanding of the nature of the trust and the reasonable consequences Assets given in a dynasty trust enjoy a very high level of asset protection.
to have sufficient mental capacity to sign. A dynasty trust is normally created in one of two situations: First, when clients are creating an estate plan to control their assets and decisions at death, a dynasty trust can be created to receive gifts from parents. The trust largely stays dormant until funded with assets from the parents’ ownership, family trust, or even insurance. The dynasty trust can also be used to receive gifts from other family members. A grandparent or aunt who wants to give to a child can instead give to a dynasty trust created by the parents. Centralising the control minimises the expense and complication of future administration. The other situation occurs when gifts will be made to a child now. This often occurs in conjunction when planning to transfer family wealth or a family business, or even when planning to avoid estate taxes. The dynasty trust is used as a gift recipient to make final gifts to the trust but prevent a loss of control. Often the child is not a trustee until reaching a certain age, preventing the child from making irresponsible or rash decisions. The dynasty trust trustee maintains the assets and directs that they be used for the child’s benefit without threatening the family’s wealth or business plan. MY LEGAL LIFE 27 make longstanding documents like dynasty trusts effective by influencing the behavior of children. Some options include requiring the trustee to hire skilled attorneys and CPAs as advisors, including a professional co-trustee to serve alongside the child, or even requiring permission to withdraw assets from a third party. How can the insight of an experienced estate planning attorney prove beneficial in the establishment or managing of a dynasty trust? Dynasty trusts are designed for multigenerational tax avoidance by restricting direct ownership by a child. But this ownership structure has significant side-effects that make them effective and useful in many more situations. It is important for an estate planning attorney to intimately understand how a dynasty trust works and the key details and exceptions so they can be safely applied in as many situations as possible. One example – a child with a severe drug habit should not receive direct gifts. A Are there any notable legal pitfalls relating to dynasty trusts? How can these best be prepared for and overcome? The most significant pitfall is in a child or other beneficiary understanding the purpose and benefits of the dynasty trust. Children need to understand the trust’s benefits and proper operation so they do not accidentally defund the trust, effectively voiding all the protections. Significant effort should be made to At the core, each trustee should be a trustworthy and intelligent adult.