Delaware Law Office
of Larry D. Sullivan, Esquire

A Weblog?
The column to the right, is a news/editorial/comment column. It is a weblog, also know as a blog.

The weblog thing comes from, which offers us a convenient way to manage the posting, administratively. You don't really need to know all of that, but we have included this explanation so that you won't be confused by the term "blog".

Another important topic here is that since the column includes editorials and comments, you can be sure that we are just exercising our free speech rights as guaranteed by the Constitution and as not yet abridged by a reactionary opportunistic vocal minority.

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Saturday, March 15, 2003

Tricks of the Trade

By Private Investigator Michael T. O'Rourke

Question: I am a paralegal with an attorney specializing in civil litigation. We frequently receive cases involving Internet trade. We would like to serve the owner of a web site a summons and complaint. How can I determine who owns a particular web site and a service address?

Answer: Domain name registration information is now maintained by a host of individual registrars. The search is commonly known as a ?Whois? search. To determine the correct registrar, begin with a search on Network Solutions, Inc.?s website ( Most web sites are listed here. Network Solutions generally will provide the correct registrar. The remainder of the domains are on one of the following:





I prefer; the site is user friendly and provides you with useful information. The Registrant?s name and address, a name of an administrative contact, the administrative contacts address and phone number, fax number, a name of a technical contact, the technical contact?s organization name, address, phone number, and facsimile, the date the web site originated, an expiration date, and the date, and time of the last update to the site, are listed in an easy to read format.

Once you have identified the individual, or organization, and a last known address, you are poised to identify the contact information for all defendants. If the defendant is a corporation, contact the Division of Corporations in the state of origin.

I always start with the State of Delaware, Secretary of State, Division of Corporations (302-739-3073). Dial ?0? and ask the live operator for the Corporations seven (7) digit Corporate ID. Once obtained, ask to be transferred to the automated system. Using your telephone keypad, follow the prompts, and receive the Registered Agent information. (To locate individual officers, please refer to Gail Wagner's question which had been answered in October's Tricks of the Trade.)

You may utilize the Sheriff of New Castle County, or a special process server to effect service of process. Refer to Del Law Title X s.s. 3104 if the defendant is out-of state.

Det. Michael T. O'Rourke is a Member of the National Association of Investigative Specialists, The National Association of Professional Process Servers, and Sustaining member of the Delaware Paralegal Association.

A Court Certified Special Process Server, and a Licensed Private Investigator in DE and PA. Michael specializes in Insurance Defense and Criminal Defense. He invites your questions to:

Loss Solutions, Inc.
824 N. Market Street, Suite 425,
P.O. Box 368,
Wilmington DE 19899-0368.
(302) 427-3600.

Or you may e-mail him at

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Oops. Are they really locked in? Or is this high security building a hoax?


How safe are we, when the most secure Delaware facility for the criminally insane can't keep its main security control panel up and operational? Some of you may remember that this was the same facility that had a 12 foot high security fence held together by twist-ties (some of which have now been fixed/removed). Nah! Don't worry. They are going to train the security guards to maintain the computer programming that controls all the doors and access. I am sure it will all come out right. Not.

things to do, places to go

If you're in, or around Delaware, and you have some spare time, there are a few people who would like you to consider sharing some of it with them.

Wednesday night, it's the University of Delaware hosting Spy vs. Spy: Down and Dirty in the Espionage Trenches, part of the Spies, Lies and Sneaky Guys Global Agenda lecture series at Clayton Hall, starting at 7:30. A "former major general of the Soviet KGB" and a "former chief of counterintelligence for the CIA" will share a little history, from two somewhat different perspectives.

The Delaware State Police are looking for recruits for their Citizens' Police Academy, which runs for nine weeks on Thursday nights from 6:30 to 9:30 in Georgetown, and starts on March 20th. (On the same page is information about Delaware's Medal of Honor Ceremony, to be held on March 25th.)

Delaware's Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) is looking for volunteers to help plant beach grass on March 22. This is the fourteenth annual one-day planting drive sponsored by the organization, aimed at protecting Delaware's coastline.

On April 3rd and 4th, Widener University School of Law and the Mid-Atlantic Environmental Law Center join together to present Environmental Citizen Suits at Thirtysomething: A Celebration & Summit. The Keynote speaker for the event is Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. Contact the school for more details concerning the cost of attending. (There is a charge for the reception Thursday night, but it's difficult to ascertain if registration is required for the presentations during the day on Friday.) CLE credits are available for Pennsylvania and Delaware attorneys, but students, alumni, and members of the public are welcome also.

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

how secure is ssl?


The secure sockets layer (ssl) standard defines a commonly used method of allowing secured transactions on the internet during electronic commerce. SSL is being tested in a Delaware District Court. Not whether the technology works, but rather who owns the right to use it, and to charge others for its use. One trial ended today with a jury verdict in favor of the defendants, but another begins on Wednesday.

identity theft and bureaucracy

Identity theft is a problem. Sometimes it's more of a problem for the victim then he or she may realize. An MSNBC article called The Dark Side of Identity Theft points to what may happen when a fake identity is used during an arrest.

us postal email

I came across an interesting discussion regarding the US Postal Service today. It struck me that we place a lot of faith in the delivery of mail. A lot more than we do in email.

The mail goes through. Well, most of the time, the mail gets delivered when and where it is supposed go correctly. Sometimes there are problems. But, the postal service is trying new things to improve their service.

So, when a thread over at Webmasterworld began with the question, "Can you go to jail for filtering email," I thought that it was an interesting query. Especially when it was followed up with, "The answer is YES if it has an USPS Electronic Postmark."

Exactly what does a USPS Electronic Postmark do for us? Might it impose a potential liability upon an ISP filtering mail on behalf of their client? Will the use of US postal emails help to reduce unwanted commercial email?

They're interesting questions, and I think that the Webmasterworld thread may have come close to an answer. But, it's an uncharted territory. When a letter is delivered to your door, it doesn't leave the possession of a mail carrier. Electronic delivery relies upon a stream of travel outside of the control of the postal service. There's no physical space tied to a sender's address, and a receiver's address. Would someone who wanted to send and receive email with electronic postmarks have to register with the post office?

I have more questions than answers myself. I might just have to contact the Post Office for more information, and see what their responses about filtering, and about registration might be. The idea of encryption and digital authentication, backed by statutes for criminal liability for illegally tampering with a postmarked email are interesting. What other implications might the service have?

Governor Minner Rebukes Veteran Volunteers

Who are you going to call, on the eve of war;

In times of economic shortfalls;

In times of another ongoing war on terrorism striking at our country's infrastructure;

In times when funding is being cut from our schools, even though our top-heavy district structure draws needed millions of dollars from our ability to hire teachers by having many times more administrators than is appropriate... and over-paying them;

In times when we have to pay to bribe employers to stay in Delaware;

In times when the Governor has decided that it is time to cook the goose that lays the golden egg ... by raising the filing fees and franchise taxes on corporations so that our State will lose part of its advantage in a competetive market allowing other States to attract our corporate supporters;

In times when the Governor is recommending uncoupling our State estate tax from the federal estate tax, which will in effect raise our estate tax;

In times when the statutorily required legal support for our mentally ill is being funded at as if it were 1985 - - regardless of inflation and a quintupled caseload.

In these times, our current administration has refused an offer of free help from our own veterans.

Even though the framework has been established in State Law (20 Del.C. Sec. 301-308), and even though our Reserve and Guard units are being activated and sent overseas, this Governor's administration has decided that it is not necessary nor appropriate for us to plan for a no cost option to have trained veterans supplement our remaining Delaware National Guard in the event of an emergency inside the State of Delaware.

So, when is the appropriate time to plan? When is the appropriate time to organize and update our training? After we have a catastrophic event? When the phone lines are down? When the cell phone circuits are clogged?

Who better to organize to assist our citizens in times of emergency than people who have been trained to function within an organized unit under adverse conditions? What better price than free? What is there to lose?

Why would our administration refuse this free option in search of one that may or may not be coming down the federal pike; one that will cost money and be manned by untrained and unorganized folk who don't even exist yet?

What are you thinking!?

Who are you going to call?

Sunday, March 09, 2003

would bell recognize the phone today?


When you read an article like one in Wired called Future PDAs: Savvier Tour Guides?, you really do have to wonder if Alexander Graham Bell would recognize the device that he first successfully used in a laboratory on March 10, 1876.

reparations in tulsa


There's an interesting article appearing in Findlaw's Writ section about a lawsuit over a race riot in Tulsa in 1921. The case appears to have a decent chance of success, or at least a chance of a settlement. It also raises the question of what impact the litigation might have upon other reparations' cases. If anything, it forces us to consider the concept of an equitable tolling of a statute of limitations in this context.

living in a windows world?


Larry asked me on Saturday about Linux, and what I thought of using it in the Law Office.

We talked about what it would take to get used to a new operating system. How he would have to find new applications that did what his windows based programs do, and learn how to use those. I mentioned how newer releases of Linux have gotten easier, and easier to install, and that there was a large base of people who have adopted the software and help others to support it. We both like the idea of an open source software community a great deal.

Rather than setting Linux up in the office, we decided that it might be a good idea for each of us to test machines at our homes. Having a Linux box kid-tested may be the greatest way of learning how well it will work in the office. It's also interesting seeing how others have adapted to using the operating system, like Pennsylvania Attorney Kevin L. Ritchey.

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