The error I'm getting seems to suggest that there may be an issue with the serialization policy file. But if that is true then why doesn't it fail on my local machine?
You should see a log entry saying that the serialization policy file could not be loaded. That log entry only appears once when you do the very first GWT-RPC request.
If your production deployment does not meet GWT's standard assumption on how to load that file you can override RemoteServiceServlet.doGetSerializationPolicy().
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