Few people realize the obstacles in serving defendants abroad. Laws governing who may serve a defendant internationally differ by country. What laws apply to service in your country, often times do not apply internationally. In the U.S.A., lawyers needing to serve an international defendant are told to research the long arm statute. However, these regulations do not always tell the attorney critical information. These laws fail to mention that the proof of service may only be notarized at a U.S. Embassy to be valid in a U.S. Court. These laws also fail to inform the lawyer that scheduling an appointment at the U.S. Embassy to obtain the notary of the required document can cause significant delays. Moreover, further delays may arise if an American is not able to notarize the document at an Embassy as non Americans sometimes have longer delays in scheduling appointments at many U.S. Embassies. And further still, international laws that govern service of process completely fail to consider the norms of the culture living abroad. The laws in the U.S.A. facilitate access to American styled homes making service possible. However, Italian homes are often times in apartment buildings with significantly restricted access, making service much more complicated than the long arm laws recognize. Of course there are also a number of other issues to be aware of when serving internationally and considering the laws of the foreign country. For example, Italian lawyers are barred from serving a defendant personally. American lawyers frequently make the mistake of hiring an Italian lawyer to serve their defendant only to learn later that the proof of service is invalid. The defendant will likely be even more conscientious when attempting to avoiding service with a failed attempt. The best advice we can give is to find a lawyer in your defendant’s territory that is also an attorney originally from your country.