Posts in "Blog"

In E-Service We Trust

Blog | March 24, 2017

Have you ever been a victim of unsuccessfully serving or being served with a document via U.S. Mail, Facsimile or E-mail? More often than not, disputes can arise when a party will deny ever receiving service via U.S. Mail, Facsimile or E-Mail. This will result in unnecessary tension (disputes), more work (drafting declarations) and lost time (delaying cases). Avoid these circumstances by designating an Electronic Service Provider (ESP).

Online Case Management & E-Service go hand in hand when it comes to any type of litigation. From standard two party cases to complex mutli-party cases, ESP’s can streamline the process of document management and guarantee secure service. E-Service providers’ maintain all records of documents being uploaded and served. All parties also receive notifications for every document being served.  There is never a time where a transaction is lost or denied for, because all delivery logs are maintained by the E-Service provider.

Should there ever be a concern of confidential documents being viewed by the ESP, please be rest assured, E-Service providers only support the management and exchange of documents. E-Service providers do not access any documents unless specifically requested to do so. If needed, special arrangements can be made so that the ESP is completely locked out from viewing documents.

With that being said, DO NOT ever encounter the uncertainty of serving or receiving a document again. Designating an ESP is the safest way to ensure secure delivery and management of all case documents.

Communication within Litigation

Blog | June 24, 2016

Communication is a serious matter that is often overlooked in the legal practice. Attorney-Client communication should be consistent and secure to keep matters moving forward. If not, it can cause unnecessary tension and delays in a case. There are too many instances when clients cannot reach their attorney or vice versa. There are also situations where the courts and the attorneys do not communicate frequently enough which prolongs litigation.

We can always point the finger and blame one or the other for the lack of communication. However, the proper solution to this issue is improving the channels of communication. Traditionally, an attorney would either send a letter or call their client(s) to provide an update. And, in worst-case scenarios, the client would hound the attorneys for an update if the attorneys were not consistent enough with their status updates. The most impacted area of law experiencing this problem would be any type of Multi-Party Litigation, such as Catastrophic Injury Litigation, Class Actions, Construction Defect Litigation or Multi District Litigation.

In multi-party litigation, the amount of time spent updating each individual client takes about an average of two to five minutes over the telephone. Based on the number of plaintiffs within a case, the amount of time to reach all the clients can take hours, if not days. Please refer to the chart below.

http://www.legaldocumentserver.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Client-Portal-Graph.png

As shown above, the amount of time spent contacting clients is extremely time consuming and counter-productive. Additionally, imagine having to draft and send hundreds of letters to clients, the amount of time and money spent on that would be enormous. One can argue that E-Mail or Fax would resolve the speed of communication, however, it is unreliable and unsecure. Also, judges can rule that the attorney-client privileges have been voided through e-mail due to 3rd party ownership rights and potential security breaches. In order to maintain attorney-client privileges, all communication must be exchanged through a private and secure platform.

With so many professional services becoming On-Demand, the legal industry should be no different. Legal practitioners need to take advantage of the online/mobile platforms to improve the way they communicate with their clients and the courts. Communication can be secure and consistent when utilizing the proper communication platforms, such as Online Client Portals or End to End Encrypted Mobile messaging applications. Avoid unsecure E-Mails and send secure direct messages. Clearly communicate with real-time notifications and maintain private and secure client communication 24/7. The lack of efficient communication needs to stop!

Litigation in the Digital Age

Blog | April 13, 2016

Have you ever heard of the terms E-Filing, E-Service or E-Discovery? If not, here is a quick crash course on what they mean and the impact they have in the evolving practice of litigation. The “E” represents Electronic, and the subsequent word is exactly what it describes. With the use of the internet and cloud based services, attorneys are now able to practice from almost anywhere in the world.

Besides having to occasionally appear in court, most attorneys can litigate remotely with the use of electronic tools. The olden days of producing physical documents is becoming obsolete. Attorneys can streamline litigation via E-Filings, E-Service & E-Discovery. There is no need to print and prepare physical documents to be filed or served any longer. Legal practitioners can simply upload various documents to be filed and served instantaneously. The stressful task of serving voluminous documents to multiple parties before the end of the day can be resolved with a few clicks of a button. Not only does this save a significant amount of time, but it saves a tremendous amount of cost. Additionally, the documents can be securely accessed 24/7 through the online repository.

As for the discovery phase in litigation, E-Discovery is a bit more complex in terms of its use. The process of discovery still remains the same, but the way in which evidence is produced and reviewed has drastically changed through electronic means. Imagine an entire storage room full of documents needing to be reviewed, this would usually take tremendous amounts of resources and time to review all of them. However, with the use of E-Discovery, documents can be scanned and reviewed through an electronic tool that can search and decipher certain keywords or phrases. There is still some leg work that needs to be done, but once the documents have been digitized, the electronic tools will do the rest. Attorneys can now examine massive amounts of documents without having to physically sift through each one.

Litigation in the digital age is completely different from what it used to be a decade ago. To think that attorneys had to manually handle these tasks is a difficult thought. It doesn’t matter the size of the firm, any litigation firm can take advantage of these time and money saving tools. When handling  a new case, make sure to do your due diligence and find the right litigation support provider to help you with your filing, serving and discovery needs. It will surely make a world of difference.

Technology In The Legal Industry

Blog | February 6, 2015

Change is inevitable, and although the legal industry is slow in adopting new technology, it’s only a matter of time until it is fully embraced.  It’s a well known fact that the legal industry struggles to integrate new technology, however, it’s not the technology itself that is being resisted, but it’s the training process that comes with it.  Most legal technology does not take into consideration the immense amount of time lawyers already spend on researching and applying law.  Practicing law is no simple task, so when new technology is presented, the last thing legal practitioners want to do is spend more time on something else.  Legal technology needs to provide more user-friendly systems that are aligned with the intuition of a legal professional.

For instance, litigation technology such as online case management and electronic document exchange should be a very straightforward process.  When something as simple as managing and exchanging documents online requires training that means the system is counter-intuitive.  When serving documents online has too many steps, it’s no better than serving a document in the traditional matter via U.S. Mail, Courier Service or Facsimile. Instead of trying to bundle various features into one platform, attorneys would be better served if they can execute a simple task of serving a document with the least amount of steps.

The following is a simple three step process that Online Case Management & E-Service providers should provide:

  • Step 1: Login with username & password
  • Sept 2: Select case on dashboard to view/serve documents
  • Step 3: Select file(s) to upload and serve

Some may say the above is idealistic, however, that is the reality of what legal practitioners prefer.  There should be no need to jump through hurdles to complete such a simple task. Technology is meant to simplify and streamline processes, not make them more difficult. Time is money and nobody has time to waste, especially legal practitioners.

Complex Civil Courts, Los Angeles Allow Attorneys to Select E-Service Provider of their Choice

Blog | January 8, 2015

The Judges at the Complex Civil Courts, Los Angeles have approved Legal Document Server, Inc. to be selected as an E-Service provider in litigation. There are no longer any court restrictions, attorneys are now permitted to select an E-Service provider of their choice.

Streamlining the document exchange process in litigation has never been easier through Legal Document Server’s online case management system. Legal Document Server offers the most competitive rates and time saving features for users to be more productive. From arbitration to standard two party cases and complex multi-party litigation, Legal Document Server can manage and serve documents to cases of any size.

Quality check is an integral part of Legal Document Server’s process. Unlike other providers’, LDS thoroughly examines all documents to ensure they are complete. Legal Document Server’s online case management system is not only superior in its process, but it is extremely user-friendly for first-time users. In order to ensure that all users are properly trained to utilizing the system, LDS provides 24/7 technical support.  Users can be rest assured that Legal Document Server will be readily available for troubleshooting, and any other inquires.

Legal E-Service has been typically used for complex multi-party litigation, however it is becoming more common for arbitration and even standard two party cases.  There are numerous advantages to designate a legal eService provider in any type of legal matter as it has been proven to expedite the process of litigation and significantly reduce the unnecessary costs associated with it.

To learn more about the 2015 California Rules of Court, please visit http://www.courts.ca.gov/cms/rules/index.cfm?title=two&linkid=rule2_251

2015 California Rules of Court – Electronic Service

Blog | January 7, 2015

Rule 2.251. Electronic service

(a) Authorization for electronic service

When a document may be served by mail, express mail, overnight delivery, or fax transmission, the document may be served electronically under Code of Civil Procedure section 1010.6 and the rules in this chapter.

(Subd (a) amended effective July 1, 2013; previously amended effective January 1, 2007, January 1, 2008, and January 1, 2011.)

(b) Electronic service by consent of the parties

(1)Electronic service may be established by consent of the parties in an action. A party indicates that the party agrees to accept electronic service by:

(A)Serving a notice on all parties that the party accepts electronic service and filing the notice with the court. The notice must include the electronic service address at which the party agrees to accept service; or

(B)Electronically filing any document with the court. The act of electronic filing is evidence that the party agrees to accept service at the electronic service address the party has furnished to the court under rule 2.256(a)(4). This subparagraph (B) does not apply to self-represented parties; they must affirmatively consent to electronic service under subparagraph (A).

(2)A party that has consented to electronic service under (1) and has used an electronic filing service provider to serve and file documents in a case consents to service on that electronic filing service provider as the designated agent for service for the party in the case, until such time as the party designates a different agent for service.

(Subd (b) amended and relettered effective July 1, 2013; adopted as part of subd (a); previously amended effective January 1, 2007, January 1, 2008, and January 1, 2011.)

(c) Electronic service required by local rule or court order

(1)A court may require parties to serve documents electronically in specified actions by local rule or court order, as provided in Code of Civil Procedure section 1010.6 and the rules in this chapter.

(2)Except when personal service is otherwise required by statute or rule, a party that is required to file documents electronically in an action must also serve documents and accept service of documents electronically from all other parties, unless:

(A)The court orders otherwise, or

(B)The action includes parties that are not required to file or serve documents electronically, including self-represented parties; those parties are to be served by non-electronic methods unless they affirmatively consent to electronic service.

(3)Each party that is required to serve and accept service of documents electronically must provide all other parties in the action with its electronic service address and must promptly notify all other parties and the court of any changes under (f).

(Subd (c) adopted effective July 1, 2013.)

(d) Maintenance of electronic service lists

A court that permits or requires electronic filing in a case must maintain and make available electronically to the parties an electronic service list that contains the parties’ current electronic service addresses, as provided by the parties that have filed electronically in the case.

(Subd (d) amended and relettered effective July 1, 2013; adopted effective January 1, 2008 as subd (b); previously amended effective January 1, 2010, and January 1, 2011.)

(e) Service by the parties

(1)Notwithstanding (d), parties are responsible for electronic service on all other parties in the case. A party may serve documents electronically directly, by an agent, or through a designated electronic filing service provider.

(2)A document may not be electronically served on a nonparty unless the nonparty consents to electronic service or electronic service is otherwise provided for by law or court order.

(Subd (e) amended and relettered effective July 1, 2013; adopted as subd (c) effective January 1, 2008; previously amended effective January 1, 2011.)

(f) Change of electronic service address

(1)A party whose electronic service address changes while the action or proceeding is pending must promptly file a notice of change of address electronically with the court and must serve this notice electronically on all other parties.

(2)A party’s election to contract with an electronic filing service provider to electronically file and serve documents or to receive electronic service of documents on the party’s behalf does not relieve the party of its duties under (1).

(3)An electronic service address is presumed valid for a party if the party files electronic documents with the court from that address and has not filed and served notice that the address is no longer valid.

(Subd (f) relettered effective July 1, 2013; adopted as subd (d) effective January 1, 2008; previously amended effective January 1, 2011.)

(g) Reliability and integrity of documents served by electronic notification

A party that serves a document by means of electronic notification must:

(1)Ensure that the documents served can be viewed and downloaded using the hyperlink provided;

(2)Preserve the document served without any change, alteration, or modification from the time the document is posted until the time the hyperlink is terminated; and

(3)Maintain the hyperlink until either:

(A)All parties in the case have settled or the case has ended and the time for appeals has expired; or

(B)If the party is no longer in the case, the party has provided notice to all other parties that it is no longer in the case and that they have 60 days to download any documents, and 60 days have passed after the notice was given.

(Subd (g) relettered effective July 1, 2013; adopted as subd (e) effective January 1, 2011.)

(h) When service is complete

(1)Electronic service of a document is complete at the time of the electronic transmission of the document or at the time that the electronic notification of service of the document is sent. If an electronic filing service provider is used for service, the service is complete at the time that the electronic filing service provider electronically transmits the document or sends electronic notification of service.

(2)If a document is served electronically, any period of notice, or any right or duty to act or respond within a specified period or on a date certain after service of the document, is extended by two court days, unless otherwise provided by a statute or a rule.

(3)The extension under (2) does not extend the time for filing:

(A)A notice of intent to move for a new trial;

(B)A notice of intent to move to vacate the judgment under Code of Civil Procedure section 663a; or

(C)A notice of appeal.

(4)Service that occurs after the close of business is deemed to have occurred on the next court day.

(Subd (h) amended and relettered effective July 1, 2013; adopted as subd (b); previously amended effective January 1, 2007; previously relettered as subd (e) effective January 1, 2008; previously amended and relettered as subd (f) effective January 1, 2011.)

(i) Proof of service

(1)Proof of electronic service may be by any of the methods provided in Code of Civil Procedure section 1013a, except that the proof of service must state:

(A)The electronic service address of the person making the service, in addition to that person’s residence or business address;

(B)The date and time of the electronic service, instead of the date and place of deposit in the mail;

(C)The name and electronic service address of the person served, in place of that person’s name and address as shown on the envelope; and

(D)That the document was served electronically, in place of the statement that the envelope was sealed and deposited in the mail with postage fully prepaid.

(2)Proof of electronic service may be in electronic form and may be filed electronically with the court.

(3)Under rule 3.1300(c), proof of service of the moving papers must be filed at least five court days before the hearing.

(4)The party filing the proof of electronic service must maintain the printed form of the document bearing the declarant’s original signature and must make the document available for inspection and copying on the request of the court or any party to the action or proceeding in which it is filed, in the manner provided in rule 2.257(a).

(Subd (i) relettered effective July 1, 2013; adopted as subd (c); previously relettered as subd (f) effective January 1, 2008; previously amended effective January 1, 2007, January 1, 2009, July 1, 2009, and January 1, 2010; previously amended and relettered as subd (g) effective January 1, 2011.)

(j) Electronic service by court

The court may electronically serve any notice, order, judgment, or other document issued by the court in the same manner that parties may serve documents by electronic service.

(Subd (j) relettered effective July 1, 2013; adopted as subd (e); previously amended effective January 1, 2007; previously relettered as subd (g) effective January 1, 2008, and as subd (h) effective January 1, 2011.)

Rule 2.251 amended effective July 1, 2013; adopted as rule 2060 effective January 1, 2003; previously amended effective January 1, 2008, January 1, 2009, July 1, 2009, and January 1, 2010; previously amended and renumbered as rule 2.260 effective January 1, 2007, and as rule 2.251 amended and renumbered effective January 1, 2011.

The Advantages of Designating a Legal E-Service Provider

Blog | March 5, 2014

Legal E-Service

The process of litigation has come a long way since the early 2000’s.  With the use of technology, specifically the world wide web, litigation can be streamlined without being confined to an office.  In this article, the use of Legal E-Service will be discussed to show how it has significantly improved the process of litigation.  What originally took days to complete can now be completed instantaneously from anywhere in the world via the internet.

Before the widespread use of the internet, the process of filing and serving documents during litigation required various actions.  The most noticeable difference was that you needed to produce physical documents, and then arrange for a courier to pick them up to physically file and serve. Legal practitioners now have the ability to simply upload documents to an online case management system to file with the court and serve multiple litigants all at the same time.

To facilitate case management, document retrieval and case organization, parties can utilize the services of a Legal E-Service provider to store and deliver court filed and discovery related documents through a secure website to facilitate expeditious, efficient and economical communication by and amongst counsel.  The Court, at its option can also use the E-Service provider and it’s system for these purposes as well to communicate with counsel of record. The courts can also review case documents by simply logging on to the online case management system.

Digging through large stacks of paper is no longer necessary.  The process of filing and serving during litigation can all be done electronically through a Legal E-Service provider.  Not only does this expedite the process of litigation, but it significantly reduces the costs affiliated with it.

Legal E-Service v. Traditional Document Exchange

Blog | February 20, 2014

Since the inception of litigation, much has changed in terms of the rules for serving documents to parties involved in a case.  Traditionally, document exchange within litigation would require calling upon a courier service to pick up and physically serve the parties.   As the forms of communication advanced, the postal service and express shipping carriers became the norm.  Today, e-mailing and faxing have become wide-spread as a new means of serving documents.

The traditional avenues still remain viable means of exchanging documents in litigation.  However, a new and revolutionary means of managing and serving documents is developing, and increasingly becoming the new standard.  The birth of Online Case Management and Electronic Service is by far the most efficient form in securely serving and managing documents online.  Legal practitioners and support staff now have the ability to manage and serve documents instantaneously.

Coordinating with couriers, making copies, preparing labels, using postage, and entering incorrect e-mail addresses/fax numbers is no longer necessary.  Online Case Management & E-Service providers have eliminated these expensive and wasteful procedures by improving the entire process.  Serving documents to multiple parties can now be done by simply uploading the document(s) to the online system.  From there the E-Service provider will verify the file and serve the documents immediately to all parties in the case.

Why spend time and money on labor to serve documents, when all of this can be done instantaneously through an Online Case Management & E-Service system?  Time and money will not only be saved immediately, but costly mistakes will also be reduced.  Worrying about documents reaching a party on time or scrambling to serve a document before the deadline is a thing of the past.  By utilizing an Online Case Management and E-Service provider, legal practitioners can serve documents with a few clicks of their mouse from anywhere in the world.

Attorneys and support staff now have the ability to do more with their time and save even more money for their clients.  Set aside the anxiety of not serving documents on time and always rest assured that the documents will be accessible 24 hours a day and 365 days a year.

Streamlining Construction Defect Litigation

Blog | February 17, 2014

main-imageConstruction Defect litigation may be deemed complex, however, that shouldn’t hinder the process of filing & serving documents.  With the implementation of a Case Management Order/Stipulation, construction defect litigation can be organized and proven to expedite the resolution of a case.  Additionally, by designating a legal E-Service provider within the CMO/Stip as a means of serving documents can further alleviate the complexity of construction defect litigation.

Imagine having to scramble on the day of a deadline to serve documents (via U.S. mail) to multiple parties, this happens more frequently than not.  In view of this unfortunate circumstance, what if you were capable of serving all parties with a few clicks of a button?  Well, now you can simply do so by designating a legal E-Service provider to do the work you shouldn’t have to.  Parties from 2 to 100 can be served instantaneously through an online case management system.  Not only will this save you time, but it saves you the resources (labor) that can be better used for much more pertinent work.

Change can be difficult, but it is inevitable.  As a result, the next time you are about to engage in construction defect litigation, consider designating an e-service provider if you haven’t already done so.

For more information about Online Case Management & legal E-Service, please feel free to contact Legal Document Server, Inc. at (800) 687-5003 ext. 1 or via e-mail at support@legaldocumentserver.com.

Selecting the Right Legal E-Service Provider in Complex Litigation

Blog | February 16, 2014

When involved in complex multi-party litigation, designating the most efficient litigation support service provider is vital; such as a legal E-Service provider. Having to communicate and exchange documents with multiple litigants can be complex within itself.  In view of that, streamlining this process is extremely beneficial to maintain the forward progression of complex litigation.

To determine the right legal E-Service provider, the following features should be included into the system and services:

Legal E-Service System

  1. Upload and serve multiple documents simultaneously
  2. Automatic case meta data integration per upload
  3. Receive upload confirmation instantly
  4. Preview/download documents directly from service notification link
  5. Service notification should provide the document title, serving party name, date, and time
  6. Receive a copy of service notification & Electronic Service List to verify service of litigants
  7. SSL Certification for secure transmissions

Online Document Management System

  1. Fully electronic content management functionality delivered through the modern, easy to use interface
  2. Industry standard folders to make data organization familiar and easy
  3. Locate documents by entering keyword(s) in the search bar*
  4. Designate “favorite” documents or folders to your account for instant access*
  5. Sort documents by name, date of upload, uploading party and even size
  6. Preview and print documents directly within platform
  7. Securely upload and download documents instantly
  8. Data storage on multiple data centers for full redundancy
  9. 24/7 monitoring for data security and accessibility

Forgo ever having to doubt or wait on documents being served on time.  Legal E-Service providers streamline the process of complex litigation by eliminating the setbacks of document exchange.  The savings on time and money by utilizing a proper legal E-Service provider will be realized at an exponential rate.