Legal Process Compliance
ZEK regularly acts as outside counsel to the levies and restraints and subpoena compliance areas of a number of financial institutions. We provide daily advice on a variety of issues spanning various jurisdictions within each organization’s footprint. Our firm analyzes and provides guidance necessary to comply with both high volume judgment enforcement devices such as writs, restraining notices and levies, as well as problematic federal and state specific court orders and process served by law enforcement agencies, governmental and regulatory bodies and attorneys as officers of the court.
ZEK’s process compliance efforts require a keen understanding of both an arcane area of the law and the business realities of complying with the increasingly larger number of legal process items served on institutions as non-parties to various proceedings. Corporate garnishees, only stakeholders in such matters face potential exposure for either improper restraint, wrongful dishonor or willful disobedience of a court order, each time they receive such process. Under ZEK’s watch no client has ever had to defend a claim asserted either by a creditor or a debtor concerning the bank's interpretation of the reach of process with which it was served.
Because the firm has such a deep seated knowledge of the law, the practicalities of financial institutions’ operation in this area and how courts are likely to react to each particular situation ZEK can handle a huge volume of questions and issues with tremendous efficiency and price advantage. For example, in Florida, one of the states in which we handle such process compliance, judgment enforcement laws are unusual in that they require a garnishee served with legal process to appear by counsel. Thus, in addition to the daily matter specific counseling that ZEK offers to clients, we answer and otherwise ensure compliance with orders issued in connection with writs of garnishment served on clients. Because of ZEK’s expertise, clients’ costs of such compliance are minimal
In the judgment enforcement space ZEK has analyzed the laws of many of the footprint states of its clients and prepared summary surveys for each of them. Because of the size of ZEK’s legal process compliance practice we have also developed a unique understanding of exemptions to which a depositor may be entitled when a bank client is served with a judgment enforcement device. This includes a familiarity with laws regulating Individual Retirement Accounts and state and federally protected benefits.
ZEK is regularly called upon to analyze and counsel both domestic and foreign clients on the arcane and assortment of state and federal laws concerning the extraterritorial reach of legal process served on non-party garnishees. We thus have a robust practice, perhaps unique among law firms, in advising clients concerning compliance with process served by parties to civil litigations and arbitral proceedings pending both in the United States and abroad. ZEK’s advice in the area has served to protect clients from claims of disobedience of such devices.
ZEK also has deep experience is counseling clients concerning response to legal process involving sensitivity or secrecy concerns, such as grand jury subpoenas and other legal process that purport to require production of information protected by the Bank Secrecy Act or other information clients a are generally prohibited by law from disclosing. We routinely and successfully address such issues whether such legal process is served by private or governmental sources.