As an attorney, does your state allow you to serve documents by email?
The service of documents between counsel remains a dominant task in legal proceedings.
Whether it’s in the United States or Canada, attorneys have to serve documents to each other according to the rules of civil procedure of their jurisdiction (State, County, Province…).
This usually involves traditional delivery methods such as process servers, couriers, registered mail, or in-person handoffs.
The reason why these methods are valid is due to the fact that, for a very long time, they were the only ones affording a reliable proof of service (proof of delivery).
In this digital age, it’s not uncommon to see more and more courts leaning towards electronic alternatives to paper-based communication.
Accordingly, civil procedure rules across North America have evolved to allow attorneys to serve documents via email (e-service), provided certain criteria to be respected.
Lexop’s mission is to help law firms save valuable time by rethinking the way they serve, share, collect, and sign documents. One of our key features is Certified Email ™, allowing users to serve documents via email and instantly get a proof of service that is court-admissible.
To that end, we often get asked whether email service is valid. We therefore created an interactive map (see below) that identifies the provisions for each jurisdiction regarding the service of documents and proceedings by email for State and Federal Courts in the US and Canada.
We did not cover County courts which may each have their own policies and rules regarding service – and possibly diverging from State courts’ general rules of procedure.
This research is solely for information purposes and does not constitute a legal opinion.
Interactive map – Please click on a state/province below to display its civil procedure rules regarding electronic service of documents (e-service).
We encourage our customers to always verify the rules of procedure governing their jurisdiction. Lastly, there are some States for which our research has not yet been completed. We will update this map along the way.