MONTEREY, CA, October 05, 2006 - As adoption of new technology spurs a steady increase in electronic filing and service of legal documents in the American legal system, courts and attorneys still primarily use paper to facilitate their filing and service needs.
To offer litigators more convenience and control within this evolving landscape, LexisNexis U.S., a leading provider of information and litigation support technology and services, today announced it has strategically expanded LexisNexis® File & Serve capabilities to provide attorneys the first and only one-stop online destination enabling attorneys to execute paper filing, paper service, service of process, electronic filing and electronic service. The new site means litigators can manage all their filing, service and service of process needs in one easy-to-use online location and via one vendor regardless of jurisdiction and whether paper or electronic filing is required.
Announced as LexisNexis participates in the California State Bar Association annual meeting in Monterey this week, the new paper-based capabilities complement existing electronic filing and service options that have been available via File & Serve since 1995. The new functionality is initially available in California for filings to any court in the state, service between law firms and service of process upon case parties or witnesses. File & Serve will extend the service to additional states in 2007.
The new File & Serve capabilities will also be offered as part of LexisNexis® Total Litigator – beginning with California courts. Total Litigator is the only single, online destination offering litigators a comprehensive set of tools and services to manage cases at each step the litigation process.
"We believe our new capability is a ‘game changing’ milestone for filing and service because it simultaneously recognizes the prevalence of paper and the increasing use of electronic filing to offer litigators a single, convenient method to more efficiently manage all their filing and service needs regardless of format," said Tobias Hartmann, vice president and managing director for LexisNexis File & Serve. "This new offering exemplifies the LexisNexis Total Practice Solutions strategy of helping attorneys win by providing them with the most complete set of litigation support tools possible – mapped directly to how they work."
"The new File & Serve is intelligible, efficient, economical and far more timely than normal attorney services," said Mary Anne Tay Donaldson, librarian at the LA office of Washington, DC-based law firm Arnold & Porter LLP. As the first client to use the new File & Serve paper filing capability, Donaldson also said, "Lawyers have very high standards and this service is the epitome of quality service with greater control and accountability throughout the entire filing and service process – an ‘intelligent bargain.’"
The broad jurisdictional coverage of the new offering means attorneys with cases in California courts may now upload documents to the File & Serve site and select delivery options such as same day or next-day courier delivery, next-day FedEx, or U.S. Mail. Additionally, File & Serve automatically arranges the appropriate filing or service method – electronic or paper – based on court rules and requirements to ensure attorneys are always in compliance with court orders.
These functions minimize risk of incurring fees or filing or serving past deadlines, while the overall increase in efficiency helps firms grow their business by minimizing time and expense spent on filing and service issues.
For paper filings, File & Serve Litigation Support Centers, located near courts, are staffed with experienced professionals who print and assemble filings in compliance with all applicable court rules and deliver them via LexisNexis courier the same day. In cases where e-filing or e-service is required, File & Serve delivers documents electronically in compliance with court rules. Where electronic delivery is optional, attorneys have the choice of selecting the method they would like to use. As with electronic filing and service, firms charged a standardized transaction fee for each use for paper delivery.
"Law firms no longer need to feel ‘nickeled and dimed’ by disparate attorney services firms who cannot offer the streamlined process, predictable pricing, convenience and geographic coverage that File & Serve now can with unified paper and electronic filing," said Hartmann.
File & Serve is a customized Internet-based service that provides electronic and paper delivery of public and sealed documents filed with the court and exchanged between attorneys. The service is paid for with transaction fees, so there is no charge to courts. File & Serve is used by more than 70,000 court personnel and legal professionals nationwide who file, serve and manage an estimated 21 million documents annually into more than 1 million cases.