Our attorney, Jeffrey Davis, was recently involved in a lawsuit involving two complex issues: A high-profile defendant (Antonio Brown) and the evasion of service. How do you file a lawsuit against someone when you cannot find them? In this case, it took partnership, coordination, and expert legal maneuvering to ensure justice was served for our client.
In this recent case, the defendant was well-known retired NFL free agent Antonio Brown. The case highlighted the many hurdles our legal team overcomes when fighting for the rights of our clients, including following proper legal procedures. It is also a cautionary tale about the consequences of attempting to evade the legal process.
Antonio Brown was accused of assaulting a truck driver hired to transport his belongings from California to Broward County here in Florida. This was after Brown parted ways with the Oakland Raiders. However, the lawsuit took an unexpected turn when attempts to serve Brown proved arduous.
The Importance of Service
In the legal realm, the act of delivering court documents to the opposing party is known as “service.” It is a crucial step in ensuring that all involved parties are informed of the legal proceedings, receive all necessary paperwork, and have an opportunity to respond. Proper service is fundamental to upholding the principles of fairness and justice in legal disputes.
Despite Antonio Brown’s celebrity status and active presence on social media, locating him for legal service became a formidable challenge. Attorneys, including our own Jeffrey Davis, were confronted with the obstacle of serving legal documents to an individual seemingly adept at avoiding such processes.
The Tactics of Evasion of Service
Individuals often employ various tactics to evade service when faced with legal troubles. They may feign absence, refuse to answer their doors, or deliberately avoid their usual haunts. In extreme cases, people might alter their appearances or relocate to different states, effectively disappearing from the radar.
The Consequences of Evasion of Service
While evading service may offer temporary relief, it comes with significant consequences. Not only does it frustrate the courts, but it also hampers the efficient preparation of a defense. In the legal arena, time is of the essence. Avoiding service only prolongs the inevitable, potentially leading to unfavorable judgments.
Challenges Faced by Process Servers
Process servers, tasked with delivering legal documents, often find themselves engaged in a game of cat and mouse with evasive individuals. Our legal team collaborated closely with a process service in Georgia, the state where Brown was eventually located. In the case of Antonio Brown, the process server in Georgia made multiple attempts to serve him, highlighting the persistence required to ensure due process. Eventually, our process server was able to locate and serve Brown and captured the encounter on video.
The video footage captured Antonio Brown throwing the legal paperwork on the ground. This act, while seemingly defiant, provided irrefutable proof of service. Brown’s subsequent decision to abstain from attending the trial further facilitated the legal process for our clients. We were able to prove that Antonio Brown was made aware of the legal proceedings but was choosing not to meet deadlines or attend scheduled hearings. The judge ruled in our favor, holding Brown responsible for his actions and awarding damages.
If you are injured by a high-profile individual, our office is happy to offer a consultation to discuss the circumstances. If you feel that the defendant will be elusive, our team can put together a network of professionals to ensure your rights are protected and defended.