It goes without saying that everyone makes mistakes. This applies no matter whether someone is a doctor, lawyer, process server, teacher, or even the president of a country. Mistakes are an inherent part of our human nature. While it is true that Oklahoma process servers can certainly make their fair share of mistakes, sometimes it is the clients (i.e., attorneys, businesses, private individuals, etc.) who place misguided blame onto hardworking process servers. There are many ways in which a process server can handle the situation, and how an Oklahoma process server does so can make a huge difference for everyone involved.
Let us assume that a process server has received a set of papers to serve on an individual. After taking all of the necessary steps, he or she serves the papers on the person. After filing out the return of service and sending it back to the client with a copy of the papers served, the Oklahoma City process server gets a phone call. The attorney on the other end asks, “Why did you deliver those documents to the individual? I never gave you those documents. Why didn’t you serve the documents I gave you?” Of course, the attorney says this despite the fact that the papers the process server delivered were the exact same ones he or she received from the law firm, and they even had the person’s name on them.
How else could the process server have acquired those documents? Which process server goes around searching out other documents in a case to serve on a defendant/respondent that the process server does not need to serve? Obviously, an Oklahoma process server would have no need to serve unnecessary documents.
What has most likely happened in this situation is quite obvious: the lawyer did not give the process server the right papers and/or changed her mind about having the services performed. Then the attorney wanted to unnecessarily project the blame onto the process server and thus deflect it from herself. Perhaps the attorney works for a large firm and is afraid of getting into trouble for her mistake. Thus, by saying the process server was at fault, she can try to circumvent the blame and minimize the damage done to her career.
There are many ways to successfully and diplomatically handle this matter. One of them involves having the process server calmly explain to the client that he or she had no access to any other papers, and only served what the attorney provided. Besides, why would Oklahoma process servers want to serve unnecessary papers? However, if the attorney is determined to deflect the blame from herself, this is unlikely to yield satisfactory long term results.
Another approach the Oklahoma process server can try involves offering to redo the serve. This, while it requires extra work on the part of the process server, may help the client save face and thus use the same process server’s services again. This approach also eliminates any arguments. Of course, this method also comes with numerous drawbacks.
Doing the serve again for free might also affirm in the client’s mind that she was right to initially make such an assertion. In addition, it will cost the Oklahoma process server more time and effort. This time and effort could prove to be especially taxing if the serve took a long time to complete, and the process server may resent having to redo it for free. Indeed, no process server wants to have to continually redo serves he or she already successfully completed over and over again for the same client. Depending upon the client, perhaps another approach might prove to be more suitable.
A combination of these two approaches can also prove to be effective. The process server in Edmond, Oklahoma can diplomatically explain that he or she served the correct papers in a timely fashion. Then, without allowing the situation to turn into an argument, he or she could simply offer to serve the papers the attorney or other client wants one more time. Provided the case did not take an exceptionally long time to serve, this allows the attorney to save face, eliminates harmful debates and arguments, and might help the process server keep the client for future business. However, some process servers will undoubtedly strongly disagree with this approach.
A process server could easily contend that he or she is a licensed professional who deserves to receive pay for the work he or she did. After all, the attorney made the mistake, so why should the Oklahoma process server have to pay for it by doing extra work for free? Does the attorney perform services for free? Additionally, who is to say that the client will even use the same process server again? These are all excellent contentions, and they deserve serious consideration.
Oklahoma process servers who find themselves in this situation should consider several things, which are noted as follow:
- How much other work does this client give the process server?
- Is this client a referral from another big client?
- Is this lawyer likely to go and tell many others about the “poor service” he or she received?
- Is it better to receive the pay in the short run and possibly risk isolating the client in the long run?
Obviously, process servers have to consider many different things when deciding which approach to take. Either way, the process server should, at the very least, receive pay for the successful serve he or she already did. That should be non-negotiable, unless those serving as Oklahoma process servers believe it is better to simply forego the money altogether.
Oklahoma Judicial Process Servers www.OklahomaJudicialProcessServers.com takes great pride in helping clients from around the world. Our staff has, on very rare occasions, faced situations similar to this one, and the client is not always right. However, if a process server want to find success in the long term, taking a polite, diplomatic approach is always best. After all, clients are only humans, and they, too, are just as vulnerable to making mistakes as other human beings who serve as process servers.