eService Live!

I just filed some appeal-related documents in Broward County, and the Portal asked me about email addresses for eService. I was able to add attorneys by looking them up by bar number, by registered user name, and add supplemental e-mail addresses to the default — which was a good thing, because the email address listed for one of the parties was different from the one on my certificate of service and on the e-mail notice previously filed in the case. The system also gives the user the option to update or add email addresses for him- or herself when filing. The system remembered the changes I made for the first document when I went in to file a second document. Two weeks ago when I filed the notice of appeal, none of this was an option.

I had already served the documents before filing this once, but from now on, I will wait to see if eservice is available. The system sends a copy of the email to the sending attorney as well, with the filed document, to act as a receipt. Like many, I will be so happy to see the need for creating those “Service of Court Document” emails go by the wayside.

The Last Piece of the eFiling Puzzle: Automatic eService

Exciting news for Florida Litigators — in the not too distant future, separate email service will be replaced with service by the Court’s eFiling portal. The technology folks anticipate the eFiling Portal will be ready to provide service sometime in mid-September. This will apply to both trial courts and appellate courts. So be on the look out for administrative orders and/or a rule change regarding service of documents in state court.

Until it is officially rolled out, parties will still have to follow current rules on service by email.

Second District eFiling Guidance

The Second District Court of Appeals this week started accepting voluntary electronic filing of appeals via the state eFiling portal. The Court has also issued several Administrative Orders to make the process go more smoothly. In AO 2013-2 [.pdf], the Court is requiring all electronic appendices to be fully text-searchable, and indexed or bookmarked. And really, this will make life so much easier for the judges and staff attorneys who are reading your brief and appendix. When it’s easier for them to find your record references, it will also be easier for them to understand your argument.

Filing through the ePortal also means that the former requirement to email a text copy of your brief to the Court has been terminated. See AO 2013-3 [.pdf]. What is not clear, however, is how this will affect the workflow for the judges at the Second DCA. That court is infamous for preparing summaries of briefs that pull together one party’s argument and line it up next to the other party’s. It will be interesting to hear how the judges adjust their process.