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Naming And Serving Corporate Defendants

Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Published in: Business      

Transcripts - Naming And Serving Corporate Defendants

  • 1. PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY FUND IN BRIEF MALPRACTICE AVOIDANCE NEWSLETTER OREGON LAWYERS FOR NAMING AND SERVING tabase: CORPORATE DEFENDANTS aboutus/index.htm. Users can do an “exact words” search, a “sound-alike” search or an “extended search in any word order.” Naming and serving the correct corpo- An “extended search in any word order” rate defendant can be a hit or miss proposi- should be used when you are unsure of tion if you’re not careful. The following is a the business name. This type of search will case in point. return names of business entities when Assume Sue Client is a pedestrian that is they contain the words spelled exactly as struck by Joe Driver. She retains you as her keyed in any order and in combination attorney, and you determine that Joe was with any other words. In addition, words working and was driving an ABC Widgets that have similar meanings or similar truck at the time of the collision. Sue has sounds are included in an “extended” very little time left before the statute runs search. Comparable online searches can be on her personal injury claim. You decide to conducted on other state web sites. file against Joe Driver and ABC Widgets. If you want to search using other pa- You now face two challenges: naming rameters, consider an online subscriber and serving the correct corporate defen- service such as Westlaw,, dant. As a first step, you ask a member of Lexis-Nexis, or your staff to call the corporation division AutoTrack XP, All and research the “ABC Widgets” name and three offer training to new subscribers. Ser- registered agent. No problem, right? Usu- vices and fees vary and may include per- ally not, but what if the corporation divi- search charges. sion records showed several potential As an alternative, you may wish to matches to your defendant’s name? For ex- hire a public records research firm to con- ample: ABC Widgets, Inc., ABC Widgets duct your searches. Uni-Search, Inc. spe- Company, M.C. Jones, d.b.a. ABC Widgets, cializes in searching, filing, and retrieving etc. Which one is correct? Can you rely on public documents in all 50 states. Contact the clerk at the corporation division to UniSearch via the Internet at make the match for you? Has the clerk com- or call their Oregon of- municated that multiple or similar names ex- fice at 503-399-9500 or 1-800-554-3113. ist? How did you phrase your search re- quest – generically or specifically? It's always critical to get accurate infor- mation. Naming and serving the wrong Unfortunately, the clerk helping you corporate defendant may jeopardize your may not realize that more than one “match” client’s legal rights and result in a malprac- is possible. One solution is using the tice claim against you. Remember the man- Internet to research the information you tra: check, double-check, and re-check. need. Beverly Michaelis The best resource for researching cor- PLF Practice Management Advisor porate entities in the state of Oregon is the Secretary of State’s Business Registry Da- Jane Paulson, Paulson Law Firm DISCLAIMER This newsletter includes claim prevention techniques that are designed to minimize the likelihood of being sued for legal malpractice. The material presented does not establish, report, or create the standard of care for attorneys. The articles do not represent a complete analysis of the topics presented and readers should conduct their own appropriate legal research.

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