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Suing in the United States as a Non - U.S. Resident

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דירוג מאמר:

Filing a lawsuit is not something that should be undertaken lightly. Sometimes, however, it is the only way to vindicate legal rights.  While the U.S. legal system is among the most developed in the world, enforcing those rights are not necessarily a simple matter.

Legal rights can be derived from state and/or federal law, each of which are governed by different procedural rules. It is critical not only to fully understand those rights and obligations, but to also determine in what forum and jurisdiction to bring a lawsuit.

I live in Israel but want to pursue legal action in the U.S. -
What can I do?

There are many reasons people will need to avail themselves of the U.S. judicial system. Whether it is a failed business dealing, real-estate issue, family matter or something else, taking legal action is not an easy step and should not be taken lightly. Conversely, it also should not be avoided if it is the only way to address an injustice. 

The U.S. judicial system is available to everyone, including non-resident, non-U.S. citizens. While lawsuits may be brought without the guidance of counsel, it is not advisable and highly unusual to do so.  Moreover, finding the right lawyer is a critical step in efficiently and effectively prosecuting your case.   A litigant should expect to take the following initial steps before commencing litigation.

  • Identify and interview lawyers who are competent in the underlying subject matter of the intended litigation and licensed in the jurisdiction where it will be pursued.  Retaining skilled counsel familiar with the jurisdiction, the judiciary, and the local practices is important.
     
  • Discuss the facts underlying your case.  This will give the attorney an opportunity to assess the merits of the case in a legal context and provide you with an informed assessment of potential outcomes.
     
  • Discuss all expectations. This includes the anticipated budget for legal services and costs attendant to litigation.  Attorney’s fees vary greatly depending on the type of lawsuit, prevailing rates in the jurisdiction, and the experience of the attorney.  Fees are usually negotiable and depend on a variety of factors. For example, blended rates are available where some litigation functions can be handled by junior attorneys at lower rates while other matters left for more senior attorneys; some cases are suitable for flat or fixed fee arrangements and others may be taken on a contingent basis.
     
  • Discuss all legal options in lieu of litigation. Many times, pre-suit demands or alternative means for dispute resolution (i.e. arbitration or mediation) will be better options, or at least should be preliminarily explored in advance of litigation.
     
  • If litigation is imminent, then the attorney is expected to keep the client regularly informed about the progress of the litigation and prospects for early resolution. The vast majority of cases do not reach trial. Rather, they are either settled or dismissed. There are often multiple points in a litigation where there is potential for pre-trial resolution.  An attorney should actively seek opportunities to facilitate a resolution and to limit a client’s continued expenditure of time and money.   

At DTKGG we serve as your point of first contact, and liaison to assist with all aspects of your legal claim. Our U.S. desk is intimately familiar with the U.S. legal landscape and has deep contacts in the United States across many legal disciplines. Our attorneys are fluent in Hebrew and English and are licensed in multiple U.S. jurisdictions.

  We look forward to assisting you!

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