Wednesday, December 20, 2017

E-filing: Effective 1/1/18 the State Court is doing away with the public service contacts that each attorney sets up and maintains for themselves.


What you need to know

  • When this change is made, A single public service contact will be set up for every attorney based on the email address currently found in the roll of attorneys. (Is yours current? Check here.)
  • You will not be able to replace or detach this public service contact if it is attached to a case by someone else.
  • The public service contact(s) that you have set up for yourself currently won't go away. They will just become "private", meaning only you or someone in your firm can attach them to cases. This means you can still use those contacts to direct service to a different email address or take advantage of the administrative copies. 
  • The advantage of this change is that you will always be able to find a service contact for any attorney registered to e-file in the State.
  • The disadvantage is that others may attach the public service contact that the State set up for you to a case. Since you can't directly edit that contact or set up administrative copies on it, you may have less control over how you receive service.

What happens to the contacts currently on the Public Service List?

All contacts currently on the Public Service List will be made private, but will not be changed in any other way:
  • They will not be deleted from your e-filing accounts. You still control these contacts in every way except that you can't make them public.
  • They will still be attached to any cases where they were previously attached to.
  • They will still be available for you or anyone in your firm to attach to any cases in the future.

Strategies for managing your service as we see it:

Regardless of which approach you take, it is very important that you, or the person filing on your behalf be diligent about attaching your preferred service contact to every case as soon as possible to avoid others attaching your public service contact. 


Strategy 1: Use the private service contact that you control as your preferred service contact

Set up a private service contact, using any email address you choose and using the administrative copies feature to make sure your assistants receive copies.

Advantages: 
  • You control the primary address used for this service contact.
  • You can set up an administrative copy list.
Disadvantages:
  • If someone attaches the State's public service contact to a case first, you’ll get the documents they file at the address from the roll of attorneys, so you must still monitor that address carefully.
  • You can’t detach the public service contact from a case if someone else has added it, so even if you have attached your private contact, you may get a duplicate copy of service through the public contact.
How to do it:
  • For new cases, make sure you always specify which service contact you want to be attached to the case when it is accepted.
  • For existing cases, Doxpop has a tool that allows you to attach your preferred private service contact to every open (pending) case where you are the attorney of record. That prevents people from adding the wrong contact to a case that has been dormant for a while. Learn more here.

Strategy 2: Use the State's public service contact as your preferred service contact

Let the contact set up by the State be your only contact and then use filters/rules in your email reader to make sure copies get distributed to your assistants as needed.

Advantages: 
  • Eliminates duplicates in the Public Service Contact list.
  • Works well alongside similar tools for handling orders.
Disadvantages:
  • Requires a search of the public list to attach to each case.
  • Unable to set the service contact to automatically attach to a new case once accepted. 
  • Requires a full-featured email reader such as Gmail (free) or Outlook (part of MSOffice suite.)
  • Requires learning how to use filters & rules. Don't worry we can help! Check out our resources here and contact Doxpop Customer Support for assistance. 
How to do it:
  • Set up filters or rules in your email to distribute service to the right people in your office.
  • You must still remember to make sure you attach the service contact to your cases. If you let others do it for you, you will have no way to detach yourself when you file a withdrawal.
Whatever you choose, Doxpop is always here to help walk you through these changes. If you have any questions contact support@doxpop.com or call us at 1-866-369-7671. 

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