While some people know of a Hail Mary in the religious sense, for those of you who are football fans, you know a Hail Mary is an attempt to throw a long pass down the field, in the few remaining seconds of a game, in a last-ditched effort to win the game and beat the reigning champions (anyone else thinking of Flutie right now?). In a recent Montana case, a process server threw a Hail Mary of sorts when he served the summons and complaint to an officer manager. In Montana Professional Sports, LLC v. National Indoor Football League, LLC, 180 p. 3d 1142 (Mont. 2008), the process server attempted to serve the summons and complaint to the National Indoor Football League (NIFL) using the address on record at the secretary of state’s office. A woman in the office claimed to be the office manager and told the process server she could deliver the papers to the intended recipients. As it turns out, this office manager was not employed by the NIFL - she was employed by a company owned by the president of the NIFL. The court found that the process server’s inadvertent Hail Mary gave adequate notice and thus constitutes proper service.
-Christine F. Halbrook