Electronic service (E-Service) has quickly become the predominant means of document service in discovery intensive cases. This is due to the noticeable advantages it provides to litigators with regards to managing such cases. Once the parties have consented to E-Service, there are two methods by which litigators can electronically serve their discovery requests and responses: direct emails and via E-Service providers.

The first of these methods, email, is the more common of the two. Serving discovery requests and responses via email bears a strong resemblance to traditional means of document service. Instead of printing and mailing to each party’s physical address, litigators can email their documents to the addresses provided by the parties when they consent to E-Service.

E-Serving through a court-approved E-Service provider is the second method by which litigators can E-Serve their discovery documents. E-Service providers offer an even more streamlined process than direct emails. If the parties have chosen a E-Service provider, serving documents is as simple as uploading them once and clicking the “serve” button. Additionally, all case files will be securely stored and accessible 24/7 through the providers online repository.

Both methods save time and remove confusion surrounding discovery deadlines thanks to instantaneous transmission and time stamps. However, these modes of E-Service are not equal. Between the two, E-Serving through a court approved E-Service provider offers significant advantages that direct emails do not. The most important being the ability to verify the service of documents through the providers logs and delivery system. E-mails can get lost, and disputes can arise when parties claim they never received an e-mail. E-Service providers also offer larger file size limitations and online document repositories to review all files in one place.

E-Service has come a long way since its inception and some California Superior courts have made it mandatory to utilize an E-Service provider for cases deemed complex. It is only a matter of time until E-Service becomes more widespread throughout the judicial system. If you would like more information on the specific advantages of using a court-approved E-Service provider, please contact us at (800) 687-5003 or support@legaldocumentserver.com and we can help you take the next step to simplifying your case management.

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