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Can i a us citizen, hire a lawyer in india to represent me in a law suit in india of which i am one of the defendant?

Portland, OR |

my family has filed a law suit naming me one as one of the defendants in india, and did not inform me, i found out by accident of this; they have also signed my name illegally in some of the documents. they are not communicating with me, but have sent me the law suit document, with their attorney's name. do i contact their attorney or do i hire an attorney to represent me in the same town?

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Attorney answers 6


I am not licensed to practice in India, so I cannot speak to the laws there - but if you were sued in a different state in the United States, you would want an attorney who is licensed in the state where you are being sued. I would guess that the same logic applies in India.

My response(s) to the question(s) on this website do not create an attorney-client relationship. An attorney-client relationship is not created until a Fee Agreement has been signed. In addition, my suggestions are based on very limited information provided by the Asker and are given based on my experiences and general circumstances. My suggestions may not ultimately be applicable to the Asker's situation because of the limited amount of information provided. No suggestion is guaranteed to be sucessful. Case specifics should not be shared online. You should seek specific legal advice in a private setting. Shannon L. Hall, Attorney at Law (Licensed in Oregon) 245 East 4th Avenue, Eugene, OR 97401 Phone: 541-434-2411, Email:


Call the Indian Counselate and ask them, but logically I think you could

My name is Stephen R. Cohen and I have practiced over 38 years and can be reached at 213-819-1171. I practiced mainly in Los Angeles and Orange County, California. I am not seeking clients from existing relationships with other attorneys, and give only limited advise over the phone (the phone is primarily used to set appointments), these services do not create an attorney client relationship


As the others have noted, I am not a Lawyer in India but if the legal system there is anything like the legal system here then you need your own lawyer and that lawyer should practice in the jurisdiction in which the case has been filed. If your family has named you as a defendant then whatever lawyer they have hired is not on your side. I would consult with someone immediately if I were you. Good luck.

Jeffrey K. Traylor
Multnomah Legal LLC
Portland Divorce Lawyer



I am an Indian Lawyer and I do Agree that you should hire your own lawyer and you should not contact with their lawyer further I would suggest that you ensure your appearance through your counsel ASAP to avoid any ex-parte order by the court.


You are likely a Plaintiff not a Defendant unless your family is suing you. If you are actually a Defendant, it does not seem you have been served process. If you are a Plaintiff and do not want to be one, send a registered letter to the attorney demanding that you be dismissed as a plaintiff. Once you hire an attorney in India you will become part of something it sounds like you do not want to be involved in.

This is not legal advice but a general comment on society. International Law 24/7 hotline +1-202-318-2406 - Dr. Jonathan Levy, PhD calls or emails usually returned within 24 hours.


If you are named a defendant in lawsuit in India and have been properly served, you can and certainly should hire an Indian advocate (lawyer). Our firm handles litigation in India through our Of Counsel in New Delhi. I would be happy to make a referral if you need to find an Indian advocate in another city. It sounds, however, that you have not been properly served. If that is the case, you would have your Indian advocate investigate whether the court thinks you have been served, but should NOT appear in court on your behalf. In a similar matter on behalf of one of our clients, our Of Counsel warned us that his appearing in Indian court would cause the client to waive any claim deriving from lack of notice. This is a similar result as in the US. Sometimes Indian plaintiffs spend months or years trying to serve process on an international defendant.
Your question says that you have been named a defendant. However, as Mr. Levy wisely suggests, the information that you provided makes it sound as if you are named as a plaintiff. If indeed you are a plaintiff and not a defendant, you should follow his advice regarding getting dismissed as a plaintiff. After you have done so, it would also be wise to check with the appropriate court that you have indeed been dismissed.
Feel free to email me to discuss this in detail.

I am providing a general answer rather than specific advice based on Indian law because I am not admitted to practice law in India.  Nothing in this post should be construed as legal advice or as creating an attorney-client relationship.  Do not rely on the opinions expressed in this post without discussing them with your attorney. Legal advice must be tailored to unique circumstances and this post is for general purposes only. 

Stephen Ross Cohen

Stephen Ross Cohen


Hey great call her, even if I can not pronounce her name just ask for Ms. Desh


The legal system in India is based on the common law tradition. It is similar to the UK and in some respect to the US. Some information is missing here: when you say 'I found out by accident of this' I wish to know how you have been informed. It may be possible that under Indian law the fact that you have obtained information about this lawsuit is a proper way to serve process. In addition, from your words ('they are not communicating with me'), it seems also a family dispute. If this is the case, you need to hire an attorney in India. You do not want to risk a default judgment in case you are a named defendant. Notwithstanding the international convention on serving process, any means can be acceptable for a court - even in India - provided that you have sufficient information about the lawsuit and the venue. I concur with Mr. Levy and Ms. Desh. I would take their advice and hire an attorney as soon as possible. Best.

This reply is offered for educational purpose only. You should seek the advice of an attorney. The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than an educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the undisclosed individual asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of New York. Responses are based solely on New York Law unless stated otherwise. Pursuant to Internal Revenue Service guidance, be advised that any federal tax advice contained in this written or electronic communication is not intended or written to be used and it cannot be used by any person or entity for the purpose of (i) avoiding any tax penalties that may be imposed by the Internal Revenue Service or any other U.S. Federal taxing authority or agency or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein.

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