All Posts By

Bernhard Schmeilzl

German LawLitigation in Germany

So much for Legal Tech in Germany

German Supreme Court rules that German lawyers must keep a docketing system (deadline planner) in paper form at all times A central professional task and duty of any lawyer is to diligently calculate, monitor and adhere to all relevant deadlines (which in German are called "Fristen"), be it court dates to submit briefs, limitation periods or other deadlines. In order to prove that a document has been sent out in time, paralegals in German law…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
June 4, 2019
German Corporate LawGerman Law

German Antitrust Law and Merger Control Rules

Basic Rules of German Antitrust and Merger Control by the German Federal Antitrust Division (Bundeskartellamt) In Germany, the Bundeskartellamt (Federal Antitrust Division) is responsible for supervising and enforcing German competition laws and regulations. Among other tasks, the main responsibilities are merger control within Germany, prevention of illegal German cartels and collusion between major economic players, as well as consumer protection in Germany. Merger Control in Germany The German Antitrust Division (Bundeskartellamt) assesses the effects a potential…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
May 27, 2019
German Corporate LawGerman Law

Individual Custom Software and German Law

How not to become really unhappy with your custom software "Made in Germany" Checklist of Legal Issues around creating Custom Software in Germany If you are planning to have custom software created for your company in Germany, you should first consider a few important things. Here's a checklist from the perspective of German IT law expert Stephan Hendel: What is individual or custom software? Individual or custom software is software that has been created for…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
May 24, 2019
Austrian Inheritance LawAustrian Probate

Fast Track Probate in Austria: Delivery Procedure

How to access Austrian assets if the deceased was domiciled outside Austria? Austrian law offers two very different probate procedures, the comprehensive Verlassenschaftsverfahren (full Austrian probate) and the much simpler Ausfolgungsverfahren. Which of the two routes must be taken depends on the circumstances of the case. The requirements for the Ausfolgungsverfahren, i.e. the Austrian fast track probate process are explained in the post How to Access Assets in Austria. Now, please do not take "fast…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
May 16, 2019
Civil actionGoing to courtLitigation in Germany

German Litigation Consultants and Forensic Experts

Do German Civil Procedure Rules Permit Witness Preparation? The first thing every US litigator must understand when it comes to German civil and criminal cases is that in a German courtroom there is no jury. At all! This fact alone eliminates much of the courtroom drama, acting and psychological witness examination techniques which are commonly used under United States procedure rules. In the absence of a jury, there is no need for psychological litigation consultants…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
March 1, 2019
Austrian ProbateEuropean ProbateGerman Probate

One Single Grant of Probate for all of Europe. Really?

What is a "European Certificate of Succession"? If someone dies who owned assets in more than one European country, a central question is whether the executor(s) or the inheritor(s) must take out separate grants of probate (letters of administration) in each European country where the deceased has held assets. Or whether there is the option of applying for one single Grant which could then be used to administer the respective estates in all European countries? Where…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
February 28, 2019
German ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance LawGerman Tax LawInternational Probate

German Inheritance Tax Forms

Where to download the official German Estate and Gift Tax Forms If an estate comprises German assets or if a beneficiary to an estate is resident in Germany, then German inheritance tax ("Erbschaftsteuer") must be paid. Depending on the circumstances of the case, this German estate tax is levied either on the entire global estate of the deceased or at least on the portion of the estate which was gifted to the beneficiary who is…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
February 25, 2019
Civil actionCriminal LawGerman Tort LawGoing to courtLitigation in Germany

Medical Malpractice Lawsuits in Germany

How to sue a German Hospital or Physician for Medical Malpractice If you believe that you or a loved one suffered an injury caused by medical negligence (medical mistakes) in Germany, the first step is to stay calm -- as difficult as that may be -- and to try and collect as much factual information as possible without immediately declaring all out war on the medical staff or the hospital. Why? Because once you openly…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
February 20, 2019
Conveyancing GermanyGerman ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance LawProperty in Germany

German Land Registry and the “Grundschuld”

Why Germans often leave a Mortgage (Grundschuld) entered in the Land Registry Records even if the underlying bank loan has been fully repaid? The German word for mortgage is "Grundschuld", which is the most commonly used form of a German security interest in land, i.e. real property lien (Grundpfandrecht). The relevant German statutes are s. 1113 et seqq. German Civil Code. Such a Grundschuld is created by notary deed whenever the German property owner wishes…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
February 20, 2019
German ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance LawInternational Probate

How to get out of a German Community of Heirs

What is a German Erbengemeinschaft (Community of Heirs)? Under German succession laws and probate rules, if there is more than one heir (Erbe), these co-heirs (Miterben) automatically form a so called Erbengemeinschaft (community of heirs), see section 2032 German Civil Code. We have explained the legal nature of the German Erbengemeinschaft in this post here. Such a community of heirs can be compared to a business partnership where assets (i.e. the estate of the deceased) are…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
February 8, 2019