I, a citizen and resident of the EU, wrote a biography of a British citizen who resides in England, and I published it on a popular online encyclopedia hosted in the United States. The subject of the article has credibly expressed an intention to sue me for libel over the article and has implied that this suit would be brought in an English court.
I'm not looking for an opinion on the legal merits of the case, nor advice on what I should do. I'm just curious about the general legal rules and procedures that would be involved in this sort of scenario and how I can expect these procedures to unfold. In particular:
- Can the subject actually sue me in England, or is it possible to sue only in the EU country I posted the article from, or in the US where the article is actually hosted?
- If the subject can and does sue in England, what happens exactly? Am I correct in presuming that I will be notified of this by mail and asked to enter a defence? If so, what happens if I ignore the matter? Will a default judgment against me necessarily be entered, or will the court duly consider the plaintiff's case, perform the bare minimum investigation/reasoning necessary to determine which arguments of theirs are (un)sound, and so possibly rule in my favour?
- If I do choose to respond, can I hire an England-based lawyer to handle everything remotely, or can I be compelled to physically attend the court in England?
- If the court rules for the plaintiff and awards damages, can this judgment be enforced in the EU, or would it apply only in the UK?
- If the court rules in my favour, would I recoup my legal fees?