How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Thomas Judge Your Own Question
Thomas Judge
Thomas Judge, Solicitor Advocate
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 32824
Experience:  Award winning lawyer with over 15 years experience
Type Your UK Law Question Here...
Thomas Judge is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Someone in the U.S. is trying to sue me in the UK that

Customer Question

Hi. Someone in the U.S. is trying to sue me in the UK for damages that occurred due to a criminal case against me. I pleaded guilty to the crime of assault and have completed my volunteer hours in the UK. The plaintiff has now sent my lawyer a complaint for damages. My lawyer has asked me whether I want to accept service or not. I am based in the UK and these laws apply in the U.S. (California) - what happens if I do not accept service via my lawyer?
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: UK Law
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Also the assault took place in the U.S whilst i was visiting last year. I am a UK citizen with no ties to the U.S.
Expert:  Thomas Judge replied 5 months ago.

If you do not accept service through your lawyer then they will endeavour to sue you personally, probably with the use of an enquiry agent. I would be minded to contact your holiday insurance company to determine whether they would be liable under the circumstances. The fact that you are a UK citizen does not prevent them from bringing a potential claim.

Expert:  Thomas Judge replied 5 months ago.

although the area of law is complicated. They will need to show that you have a connection to the US.

Expert:  Thomas Judge replied 5 months ago.

what is your connection to the US?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I went down the route of my insurance company however they did not cover this type of claim. My connection is that I work for a company who is based in the U.S. The legal entity of my company is European based and the U.S company is a separate entity. I have only travelled to the U.S. twice for business since working there. I have been working with them for almost 10 years. The incident occurred in my personal time on a weekend and had nothing to do with my place of work. What I am worried about also is can they involve my place of work for this civil case? My company knows of my wrong doing last year however given my past record and tenure no action was taken against me by my company. I do not want to jeopardise my job in anyway because of this civil case.
Expert:  Thomas Judge replied 5 months ago.

I see. So there is a connection to the US. Isn't your US lawyer advising?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
My US lawyer is not experienced in civil law however he has spoke to a civil lawyer and suggested that my employment in Europe does not have a connection to the U.S as they are two separate entities and the fact that I don't travel to the US regularly, as I mentioned I've only been twice for business over the past 10 years. In the complaint they have mentioned my company I work for and that I do business in US. Also he advised some of the claims made against me are not applicable as I was charged with a misdemeanour offence not a felony.
I have contacted a handful of lawyers in the US and they have advised me to accept service and try and reach a settlement however my criminal lawyer did advise they would advise this course of action as they want the work and money, a lot of money. I have been told these cases if they do go to court can amount of large amounts of money.
What I need to know if how can they serve me in the UK? can they come via my employer as I cannot risk losing my job? If I need to go the US in the future, will not accepting service affect my travel?
I've already paid a lot of money for the criminal case which has been resolved and paid the plaintiff his losses as a result of this however given what they are asking for in the civil case I have a lot of money to lose, money which I do not have. I just want some honest advice something which I have not received so far from the US lawyers. Lawyers in the UK say they cannot help with this type of case.
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Hi Thomas. What are your thoughts on this?
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Hi Thomas. Can you advise based on my reply above?
Expert:  Thomas Judge replied 4 months ago.

Sorry I have been thinking about your issue. What are they seeking in the civil case? He would basically as stated above need to show the US court that they have jurisdiction over you - they would attempt to do this over the fact that you work for a company with a US interest. You should really it seems find a lawyer with offices in both the UK and US to assist - particularly if the claim is for a significant sum of money.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
They are seeking damages of $50,000 for various complaints they have put through. I have found a civil lawyer in the US who has advised that civil cases always start at a high figure and tend to come down significantly. Also if I don't accept service they would need to serve me via the Hague Convention to get to me in the UK. I just need closure of this case as it has been stressing me out since it has come to light over the past few weeks.
In your opinion given the info above would it be easy enough for them to get jurisdiction over me as I work for a US company? Does that pass as having a connection in the US? I mean I could have relatives in California - would that pass as a connection? Also would someone in the US go through this much trouble to get to me in the UK in your experience?
Expert:  Thomas Judge replied 4 months ago.

I can see the force of making it as difficult as possible.

Related UK Law Questions