Serve by E-Mail System Offers Easy and Efficient Rule 2.516 Compliance

I was recently introduced to a company called eService Software Solutions. They offer an online solution called Serve by E-Mail which handles your compliance with the new Florida Rule 2.516, or as is more commonly known, service by e-mail or e-service. I love the ease and practicality of this service, so I wanted to share it with you guys. 

The first thing that really stood out to me about Serve by E-Mail is that it functions as a stand alone service offered through a website. This is a really great feature because it doesn’t matter what practice management solution your firm uses, or if you don’t use one. You don’t need to worry about a plugin “playing nice” with your existing system. Also, it doesn’t require an Outlook plugin so it is especially beneficial for practices that may be using a cloud e-mail service such as GMail.

One huge plus for me is the ability to serve pleadings by e-mail when you are out of the office or away from your work computer. You can login to the service from any internet browser (think: iPad!) – think about the flexibility this offers. We can now e-file things in circuit court via the Filing ePortal, we can submit courtesy copies to judges via eCourtesy, and now we can service those same pleadings by e-mail – all from the freedom of your favorite electronic device. You no longer need access to a copy machine, a postage machine, or even a fax machine.

Another benefit to this service is that it helps you comply properly with the Rule. As you may know, the Rule requires specific language be included and controls the size of outgoing files. This can be problematic if you have numerous people sending service e-mails who may forget to use the proper language, or who may not realize their file sizes are too large. This service will ensure that all of your outgoing service e-mails will be uniform, contain the legally required language, and look professional. It will also ensure that e-mails aren’t sent with oversized attachments.

How does it work?

The Serve by E-Mail system is very straight forward to use and even the least tech savvy attorney or staff member should be able to walk themselves through it relatively easily. If extra help is needed, there are video tutorials for each option and support is always available.

The first time you are serving a pleading for a case, you simply click on “New Case” and fill in the form, it will ask you for information such as your name and e-mail, the name of the document, court, case number, case style and the recipient e-mails. You can include as many recipient e-mail addresses as you need. Simply fill in all the fields, attach your pleadings on the bottom, and hit “submit”. You will receive a confirmation message indicating that your documents have been served, and you will also receive a CC of the e-mail that has just been sent. That e-mail is your proof of service and can be printed for the file or saved to your practice management program.

The next time you want to serve something in the same case, you simply choose “Case Search” to locate the case and it will bring up a service form with the information prefilled.  Also, the system maintains a “Service Log” which allows you to pull up a log of all documents served – this can be sorted by case number, attorney name, etc. This is particularly helpful if you want to verify when something was served, or simply need a log of all documents served on a particular case.

eService Software Solutions is also in the process of incorporating an incoming service function. This option will monitor an e-mail address for incoming documents and add them to a log, similar to the “Service Log”, which will be searchable/sortable and viewable. The e-mail address can be one you provide, or one provided by eService Software Solutions for your use. The really nice thing about this is that no one can delete or move them, so the served documents don’t get lost. They are also adding additional form templates to their form wizard, which will allow you to create standard forms, such as notices of appearance.

This is an all around great product for attorneys and staff alike. I’ve spent many nights sitting around waiting for an attorney to finalize a document so I can serve it before leaving the office… I can even remember a few crazed runs to Kinkos to copy/fax something when I was on the road… while this new email service rule still feels like a burden to many, this solution can really take the pain away and make life so much easier. If your attorney still isn’t embracing eFiling and eService, they are really missing out!!

You can learn more about the Serve by E-Mail system on eService Software Solutions Website. You can also contact them to set up a free demonstration of the Serve by E-Mail system so you can see for yourself how easy and convenient e-mail service compliance can be. Once you are ready to sign up, simply visit their sign-up page and enter Referral Code FRP25 to receive a great discount specifically for my readers!

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