What to Look for When Hiring a Process Serving Company

Office administrators and other legal professionals know there are strict rules for serving court papers. So, when they hire a process server for their law firm or corporate legal department, they expect the proper procedural requirements to be followed in a timely and accurate manner, otherwise, their client’s hearings could be delayed, or worse, their cases could be jeopardized. Chances are, you have had a bad experience or two with a process server in the past.

How do you make sure to partner with the right one?

Here are some important factors to evaluate when selecting the right process serving partner. Some might even surprise you.

 

What is a ‘Serve Success Rate’?

The serve success rate is a performance metric in process serving that demonstrates how effective a process server is at successfully serving parties to a case, by the requested service level.

 

SERVE SUCCESS RATES

Have you ever asked a process serving company what its ‘serve success rate’ is?

A high serve success rate indicates a process server is consistently successful in serving case participants, so it is important to ask them.

If a process server fails to indicate their serve success rate — or refrains from sharing this information with you upon asking — that is a red flag. This metric is central to a process server’s effectiveness, and you should want to know what it is. Anything above 90% is good.

BONUS TIP: Any quality process server is accustomed to working day and night, weekdays, and weekends, to track down parties and successfully serve them. If a person is evading service, your process server should be able to skip trace a party that has moved or cannot be located at the address provided, to increase their odds of a successful serve. You should ask your process server if they provide this service, or how they handle evasive parties.

 

SPEED OF SERVICE

In addition to discovering the serve success rate, it is also important to understand the speed of service. Speed of service by a process server encompasses, not only how quickly they can get someone served, but also how quickly they can deliver the Proof of Service to you. For example, it could take 10 days to get someone served, and another 3 days to complete and provide the Proof of Service to your firm – you should understand the average length of time required for both of those efforts for an accurate estimation of speed of service.

Another consideration that will impact speed of service is the service level that is chosen for a process serving order.

Process serving companies typically offer different service levels depending on the urgency and/or timing needed for a service of process to be completed. For example, Rapid Legal offers the following service levels:

Standard (1st attempt within 5 days)

Priority (1st attempt within 1 day)

Urgent (Same Day Attempt, if received by deadline)

Customers can also select Rapid Legal’s On-Demand option which will allow their order to receive immediate processing upon submission. A quality process server will provide fast speed of service and offer different service levels to accommodate the time-sensitive matters of legal professionals.

BONUS TIP: Timely communication from a process server is crucial. A superior process server will keep you in the loop throughout the lifecycle of your process serving order – from when the order was received, to when it was first attempted, to any special notes, and when it was served, as well as when a Proof of Service will be delivered and more. Be sure to ask the process serving company how they ensure timely communication with their customers.

 

SERVICE OF PROCESS PRICING

According to the National Association of Professional Process Servers, most process serving prices fall somewhere between $20 – $100 for a standard level of service (1st attempt within 5 days). Urgent or rush jobs could cost up to 3x more. Process serving costs vary depending on the location of the party being served, number of addresses required to locate the party, service level selected, and more.

While doing your research, it is important to ask the process serving company for a clear price estimate or fee schedule based on your firm’s needs. Let it know if your firm typically needs rush-serves or same-day serves and ask it how many serve attempts it will make at the quoted price. It would also be good to inquire about additional services such as skip traces or stakeouts, and their costs.

As you compare costs for process serving companies, you will likely find some disparity in pricing based on the size and sophistication of the firm. Asking a process server for their serve success rates, speed of service, service levels provided, and other features outlined in this article, will help you decipher which one is right for your organization.

BONUS TIP: Most process serving firms offer bulk pricing for high volumes. If you have a need for 20 serves or more per month, you can likely negotiate a discounted rate for your process serves. The same holds true if you add on other litigation support services.

 

CLIENT SATISFACTION

Process serving companies that take client satisfaction seriously measure and manage it. They regularly survey their customers to gauge how well they are meeting their customer’s needs and engage in ongoing customer service or operational training with their employees. You should ask a process serving company how important customer satisfaction is to them, how they track it (and if they can show proof of satisfaction scores or reports), and what they do when customers are not satisfied.

BONUS TIP: Read online reviews and client testimonials for the process serving companies you are interested in. Ask colleagues or business associates if they are familiar with any of the firms you are evaluating, and if so, what their feedback is for those firms. You can even ask the process serving company for customer referrals to speak with as part of your due diligence process for a selecting a vendor.

 

HOW RAPID LEGAL CAN HELP

Since 1994, Rapid Legal has been redefining the litigation support service industry. Place a process serving order with Rapid Legal and have your documents served anywhere in the U.S. using our nationwide network of process servers. Our people and technology work together to maximize court filing acceptance and return court-stamped documents and proofs fast, and reliably. Learn more about how Rapid Legal delivers unmatched process serving and more here.


Productivity Tip Save Time with Manage Cases

Productivity Tip: Save Time with Manage Cases

Productivity Tip Save Time with Manage Cases

Are you taking full advantage of all that Manage Cases has to offer within your Rapid Legal account?

 

Manage Cases saves you time as you are able to place a new order on existing cases without having to re-enter the case information.

 

All it takes is three easy steps:

 

  • Once you are logged into the Customer Portal, click on “Manage Cases”.

  • You can filter the cases with activity within the last 90 days (default view) by typing the Case Name or Case Number in the search box. The list of cases will be filtered as you type in your keywords or numbers.

  • When your case appears, click on “Place Order” to create a new order on this case without having to re-enter the case information. You can also click on the + icon next to the case name to see orders and documents associated with the case.

Feature eFile eDelivery/eSubmit
PDF delivery of documents to Court’s Case Management system Yes Yes*
Receipt of Filing Within minutes Usually within 2 business days
Integrates with court policies Yes No*
Single log-in Yes No; separate login per court
Email notifications Yes Yes
Fees An electronic filing service provider (EFSP) pays all fees in advance and sends a single itemized invoice at the end of each transaction Varies (depending on court, usually convenience fee + credit card processing fee). A credit card is required for each filing
Payment Methods Credit card, eCheck/ACH Credit card only
 *Requires court clerk to input into court case management system

It’s really that simple!

 

In Manage Cases, you are also able to view, print, and download case details, associated orders and documents.

 

For more details, view our full user guide on Managing Cases and Documents.

 

Need more assistance on Manage Cases or placing an order? We’re here to help.

 

-The Rapid Legal Team

operations@rapidlegal.com

800.366.5445

 

P.S. For a limited time, you can schedule a complimentary 15-minute call with a Rapid Legal Account Manager today to get a COVID-19 court update and more.


5 Tips on How to Avoid Remote Work Burnout

We take a closer look at why “Working From Home” has become “Living At Work” and how to avoid the pitfalls.

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, surveys showed that only about 29% of Americans were able to work from home, and 43% were working from home part-time or more. Starting in late March, with stay-at-home orders across the nation, that number skyrocketed, enabling more than 63% of workers to realize their #WFH dreams, whether or not they were ready. Working from home is attractive because it is usually associated with flexibility, work-life balance, saving commute time and other commute-related expenses. And if they are a parent – spending more time with children is also a perk.

However, according to recent data from NordVPN, which tracks when users connect and disconnect from its service, workers are now clocking an average of 3 more hours per day than they were when they worked in an office. Workers reported being stressed, overworked, and burned out.

Huda Idrees, the chief executive officer of Dot Health, a Toronto-based technology startup, confirms that her employees are working, on average, 12-hour days, up from 9 hours pre-pandemic. “We’re at our computers very early because there’s no commute time,” she said. “And because no one is going out in the evenings, we’re also always there.”

Another reason why workers are feeling stressed is due to the economic impacts of the pandemic. Many workers know of family, friends, or coworkers who have been recently laid off. Although they are grateful and relieved to have their jobs still, some feel a tremendous amount of burden having to prove their value. This results in trying to be available at all hours, having the “always-on 24/7” on-call mentality. For working parents, this pressure, coupled with the added responsibility of taking care of children at home and other household duties, results in a tremendous amount of stress. In addition, parents of school-aged children also found themselves suddenly homeschooling for the first time.

Now that many of us have worked from home for at least a couple of months and experienced some of the stresses firsthand, it’s time to take a closer look at how we can avoid burnout and achieve greater harmony working from home. Here are a few practical tips:

  1. Create New Rituals and Routines.

“All our life, so far as it has definite form, is but a mass of habits — practical, emotional, and intellectual.”- William James, psychologist and philosopher

Humans are creatures of habit. Having routines is physiologically essential and beneficial to how we function. Previously, before heading into the office, one might go to the gym first, drive their kids to school, or grab a cup of their favorite coffee to start the workday. Now that schools and some gyms remain closed, there’s currently no commute time so workers are waking up later than before. It might be nice getting a little extra sleep, but this actually shortchanges us from the “buffer” time that we used to have for ourselves before work to help us transition into the “work mode.”

It might be a little hard to do at first, but try to wake up the same time as you did before, and use what would have been your old commute time to ready yourself for the day. This does not mean checking email or doing anything work-related. Perhaps this could be time well-spent doing something you enjoy – whether it’s brewing your favorite tea or coffee, doing some gardening, or listening to music – anything that you find enjoyable to help you start the day strong and sustain that energy for the remainder of the day.

  1. Take Breaks and Schedule your Lunch Hour.

 

Schedule short mental breaks away from the screen throughout the day and schedule your lunchtime. While it’s tempting to throw in a load of laundry or empty the dishwasher in between conference calls, multitasking actually stretches your workday longer, and it may also cause you to lose focus. If you must schedule in 15 –20 minutes each day to complete a household chore by all means, do it! But planning it and scheduling it on your calendar allows you to be in control of the time you allot towards it and not lose sight of the most important things you need to work on.

“Breaks” may mean different things to different people, so do what you need to recharge throughout the day, whether that means taking care of things around the house, taking the dog for a walk, chatting with a friend on the phone, or spending a few minutes with a hobby. Always keep in mind that the end goal is to be more energized and productive towards your work product. Be honest with yourself in that the breaks you schedule for yourself is to help you recharge, not procrastinate.

  1. Communication and Transparency is Key.

 

Having said the above, this third suggestion, communication & transparency, is probably the most important.

One executive for a California-based CRM company shares how he communicates expectations with his remote team and coworkers:

“Schedule your day and let your coworkers know how you schedule your day. I try to keep my meetings in the morning since I work with a lot of people in European time zones. This way, everyone knows that my mornings are full of meetings, and so if someone is trying to get a hold of me, there isn’t any second-guessing of why they are not hearing back from me right away. They know that I’m in meetings. Sharing calendars helps with this as well.”

Also, because there is the added pressure for workers to demonstrate they are available and working, some have reported that chat or other collaboration tools sometimes actually bring on more added stress of always having to be “on” and “available.” In reality, there could be other immediate pressures or issues you need to tend to in the background. For example, kids could be having a meltdown or an argument in the other room and you need to play referee. Handle it and don’t feel like there’s a need to fib about it. When tactfully done, it leads to better communication and transparency.

 

When it comes to being truthful and transparent, the CRM executive tells his team: “You shouldn’t feel like you can’t ever have your chat status show you as being “away” or “idle.” Working from home is making both aspects work together and not have one or the other control your life. Because if you choose to let one aspect control you, the stress will pile up, hindering productivity and performance. Being idle on chat may mean that you’re on the phone, going to the restroom, getting a snack, etc. Those all happen when you’re in the office too, so have a meaningful conversation with [your manager or direct reports] that being on “idle” does not mean you are slacking off work.”

 

At the end of the day, we’re all human. Humans working – through a pandemic – at home. If we dare to show this side of us (while, of course, remaining professional), it encourages our coworkers also to share and do the same. And when we share, we can empathize and be flexible with each other, ultimately building trust and respect.

  1. Set Boundaries and Expectations.

 

How many of us have had that annoying coworker that plays music at their cubicle too loud? Or that friendly but too-chatty coworker who interrupts your work and focus throughout the day? Only now, there’s isn’t HR you can complain to because you live with these new “coworkers”!

 

Communicate boundaries and expectations with those you share your living space with, such as your spouse, children, or roommate. Assign roles and responsibilities and create ground rules ahead of time by discussing these hard questions together:

  • What are our work hours?
  • Who will tend to the kids if they need attention or help with something?
  • Whenever possible, have a separate, dedicated working space. If your working space is in an open area shared with others, layout ground rules on what noises, activities, and distractions are acceptable.
  • If family pets become disruptive, who will help tend to them?
  • Who will prep meals? Who will help with clean up?
  • If there isn’t another adult available, communicate with children ahead of time, and explain what they need to do if they need your help. Create visual signs to show your availability (i.e., “On a Call – DO NOT DISTURB,” etc.) and perhaps designate pockets of time on a written schedule so they know when they can have your attention throughout the day.
  1. Unplug at the End of the Workday.

 

As mentioned earlier, without commute times, workers are waking up later, but also staying up later, further blurring the lines between work and home and likely adding to the burnout. Interestingly enough, although wake-up times have shifted later, NordVPN found that peak email time has crept up an hour earlier to 9 a.m. versus 10 a.m. pre-pandemic, indicating workers are likely not allowing a buffer of personal time before jumping right into work.

Employees are also logging back in late at night. Surfshark, another VPN provider, has seen spikes in usage from midnight to 3 a.m. that were not present before the coronavirus outbreak. To combat this, try going to bed the same time as you did before the pre-pandemic days, allowing yourself enough sleep each night to recharge. Getting enough rest is essential so that you can start the next morning fresh and on the right foot.

Remember setting boundaries? Resist the temptation to respond to that email at 2 a.m. (unless of course, it’s an emergency, but again, communicate those expectations with your team ahead of time), or even scanning through email with your phone as you lay in bed. Doing so prevents your brain from entirely “shutting down.” Some studies show blue light is harmful to your eyes and disrupts your sleep cycle. Instead, try out some of these healthy habits and routines:

  • Physically distance yourself from work during your usual “clock-out” times
  • Go to bed at a decent hour
  • Wake up earlier, even with no commute time
  • Take a few minutes to plan your day BEFORE you check email (as that ONE email could sometimes derail your entire plan for the day) – become proactive and not reactive
  • Designate a specific time during the day to review and respond to non-urgent email

By implementing some of these tips, you will create the physical and psychological boundaries needed to differentiate between “home” and “work,” allowing for better focus and less stress. We all want to do a good job, and being proactive in preventing stress and burnout will allow you to achieve that more easily.


San Diego eFiling Cheat Sheet

COURT WEBSITE: www.sdcourt.ca.gov

LOCAL RULES: http://www.sdcourt.ca.gov/portal/page?_pageid=55,1117634&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL

MANDATORY EFILING CASE TYPES: Provisionally Complex Case Types (One Legal only)

PERMISSIVE EFILING CASE TYPES: Civil Limited, Civil Unlimited, Probate

EFILING DEADLINE: 11:59 p.m.

FORMATTING REQUIREMENTS: Bookmark documents with exhibits. All documents electronically filed must be in a text searchable format, i.e., OCR. The court is unable to accept documents that do not comply with these requirements, or documents that include but are not limited to digitized signatures, fillable forms, or a negative image. eFilers are required to enter all parties listed on the document being filed, if the party is not already a part of the case. (If the filer is submitting a new complaint, ALL parties must be entered.) If all parties are not entered, the transaction will be rejected.

COURTESY COPIES:

  • If a hearing is set within 48 hours of documents filed, litigant to provide hard copies of documents in court with the eFiling Transaction ID noted in the upper right-hand corner of the first page of the document.
  • Exhibits to be considered via a Notice of Lodgment shall not be attached to the electronically filed Notice of Lodgment; instead, the submitting party must provide the assigned department with hard copies of the exhibits with a copy of the Notice of Lodgment that includes the eFiling Transaction ID# noted in the upper right hand corner.
  • For Construction Defect cases assigned to D62, refer to the department’s Policies & Procedures on the court’s website for further details regarding courtesy copies.

LIMITATIONS ON FILINGS: Notwithstanding any other provision of law or this rule, the following may not be eFiled:

  • Name Change Petitions (Safe at Home).
  • Civil Harassment TRO/RO
  • Workplace Violence TRO/RO
  • Elder Abuse TRO/RO
  • Stand-alone exhibits
  • Transitional Housing Program Misconduct TRO/RO
  • School Violence Prevention TRO/RO
  • Out-of-State Commission Subpoenas
  • Undertaking/Surety Bonds
  • Requests for Payment of Trust Funds
  • Notice of Appeal of Labor Commissioner
  • Abstracts, Warrants
  • Settlement Conference Briefs (to be lodged)
  • Confidential documents lodged conditionally under seal
  • Interpleader actions pursuant to CC2924j

Note: Notices generated by the Court’s case management system are mailed via U.S. Mail rather than electronically served to all parties.

This information is up-to-date as of January 1, 2020

Download PDF

eFiling Insights and Tips

Courts across California are steadily migrating to eFiling for all types of cases.

Most recently in Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Superior Court (LASC) began mandatory eFiling for most Civil cases with over 50,000 case transactions processed in the first 60 days.  Clearly, it’s a trend that legal professionals need to be aware of and prepared for.

While the majority of eFile cases are successfully filed on an initial attempt, Rapid Legal has noticed the following pattern of rejection causes that Law Firms and Legal Professionals should give particular attention to when attempting an eFiling:

Party’s name does not match the party’s name listed on the initial lead document
For example: If plaintiff name on the caption of the complaint shows “Jane C. Doe”, then it must be entered to match throughout the eFiling. If defendant name is “John Doe, an individual” it must also be entered to match, including “an individual.”
Incorrect case type selected
The case type must match the selection on the Civil Case Cover Sheet. (When eFiling in LASC, also note the need for the Civil Case Cover Sheet addendum)
Incorrect document type selected
If the document is for a “judgment,” then that specific category must be selected. Following that selection, then choose the document title within that category.

California Court’s currently offering eFiling include Fresno, Los Angeles, Orange, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara. A more extensive list of eFile Courts supported by Rapid Legal can be found here; California eFile Courts

Rapid Legal’s Concierge Service is also available as a “white glove” solution for any order you would prefer to not have to compliance check, digitally process and/or troubleshoot on your own.


Los Angeles Superior Court Surpasses 30,000 eFilings in the First Few Weeks

Are you ready for the Court’s next mandatory deadline on January 2, 2019?

Since the launch of eFiling for Limited Civil on November 13, 2018, followed by the launch of eFiling for Unlimited Civil on December 3, over 30,000 cases have already been digitally filed.

We are proud to report that Rapid Legal was fully integrated with the LASC on the first day the platform launched and has served as the Electronic Service Provider of choice for thousands of eFilings in the first few weeks.

While the Court’s overall eFiling rollout has been impressive, there has been a high number of rejections in the early weeks as the court and eFilers become accustomed to the new system and requirements. We strongly recommend Law Firms and Legal Professionals give particular attention to the following areas causing many of the rejections to date:

Party’s name does not match the party’s name listed on the initial lead document
For example: If plaintiff name on the caption of the complaint shows “Jane C. Doe”, then it must be entered to match throughout the eFiling. If defendant name is “John Doe, an individual” it must also be entered to match including “an individual.”

Incorrect case type selected
The case type must match the selection on the Civil Case Cover Sheet.
Incorrect document type selected
If the document is for a “judgment,” then that specific category must be selected. Following that selection, then choose the document title within that category.

Rapid Legal’s Concierge Service is also available as a “white glove” solution for any order you would prefer to not have to compliance check, digitally process and/or troubleshoot on your own.

Looking ahead to immediately after the holidays, take note that Limited Civil and Unlimited Civil cases will become mandatory on January 2, 2019.


California Court Holidays 2019

The California courts will be closed in observance of the following holidays:

 

  • New Year’s Day: Tues, Jan 1
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day: Mon, Jan 21
  • Lincoln’s Birthday: Tues, Feb 12
  • President’s Day: Mon, Feb 18
  • César Chávez Day: Mon, Apr 1
  • Memorial Day: Mon, May 27
  • Independence Day: Thur, July 4
  • Labor Day: Mon, Sept 2
  • Columbus Day: Mon, Oct 14
  • Veterans Day: Mon, Nov 11
  • Thanksgiving Day: Thur, Nov 28
  • Day after Thanksgiving: Fri, Nov 29
  • Christmas Day: Wed, Dec 25


Rapid Legal® Adds the Los Angeles Superior Court as its 19th eFiling Court System in California

As of December 3, law firms and legal service professionals face major changes in Los Angeles Superior Court filing procedures. Rapid Legal services are helping the legal community comply with the Court’s new mandatory eFiling requirements.

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 3, 2018 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — Rapid Legal has added the Los Angeles Superior Court (LASC) as one of the 19 California eFiling court systems it serves. The company’s implementation mirrors the LASC’s mandatory December 3, 2018, deadline for Civil Limited cases and its pending January 2, 2019, deadline for Civil Unlimited cases.

Rapid Legal’s CEO, David Nill, shared “We are extremely pleased to be one of the first attorney service providers to recognize how the digital transformation of court systems across the state is enabling cases to be handled with far greater efficiency by the courts and related parties. With over five years of experience as a certified eFiling Service Provider across 18 other California counties, we are well positioned to help our clients comply with all aspects of the LASC’s newly mandated eFiling requirements.”

To submit an LASC eFiling with Rapid Legal, customers can simply go to their Rapid Legal customer portal and select “Los Angeles” from the drop-down menu. All other aspects of the submission process remain the same. For those not currently registered with Rapid Legal, a secure account can be established in minutes on the company’s website.

Rapid Legal’s VP of Operations, Henry Negrete, said, “We recognize the legal community will be dealing with a learning curve due to the Los Angeles Superior Court’s new eFiling procedures that are rolling out over a very short period. Hundreds of our customers have already been working with us during the Court’s voluntarily eFiling period, which began on November 13, to ensure their offices are fully prepared for this major process change.”

Rapid Legal’s prominence as an eFiling provider across California is bolstered by its experience in working with Law Firms and Courts to develop a solution that offers an easy-to-use portal with 24/7 court filing availability, knowledgeable phone support, and a hassle-free satisfaction guarantee.

In addition to Los Angeles, some of the other 19 California counties where Rapid Legal is eFiling certified include Fresno, Orange, San Francisco, and Santa Clara. The company also offers a full range of physical court filing and service of process services across the state.

About Rapid Legal

Rapid Legal® is a leading court filing and process serving provider in the legal services industry. Utilizing its innovative LegalConnect® Software as a Service (SaaS) platform, Rapid Legal enables law firms and legal service professionals to operate a more efficient business, reduce their risk profile, and deliver a higher level of service to their clients. Legal documents delivered by Rapid Legal are executed timely and accurately, and are always backed by a no-hassle satisfaction guarantee. Rapid Legal is headquartered in Chino Hills (Los Angeles), California, and has been serving the legal community for over two decades.

To learn more, call us at 800.366.5445. Follow Rapid Legal on Twitter (@RapidLegal) and like us on Facebook.

Media Contact:
John Vernagus
909.664.9575
jvernagus(at)rapidlegal(dot)com


Solo and Small Practice Trends in the Legal Industry: the Vogue of Teamwork

Law practitioners who go it alone, or even those who are part of a small firm, face a number of unique challenges. Attorneys in larger firms have resources at their disposal that a small practice or a solo practitioner just don’t have. Solo practitioners and small practices, unsurprisingly, make up the vast majority of the legal profession. Data gathered by the American Bar Association shows that a full 49 percent of lawyers were solo practitioners in 2016 alone. Another 26 percent were members of law firms with 20 attorneys or less. That’s about 3 out of every 4 legal professionals in the United States that don’t have access to the resources of a massive law firm.

Yet despite that, these enterprising legal professionals have found innovative ways to compete against those monster law firms that grab all the headlines. There are some well-established trends that have emerged as a result. While these trends might have initially been born out of necessity, many, such as teamwork and collaboration, have become so well-established that they have become no longer the exception but the rule.

 

Providing Peace of Mind to Clients

Small practices and especially solo practitioners have all had to field questions from prospective clients regarding their ability to handle complex cases. Individuals often worry that a practice won’t have enough lawyers to handle all the issues of a case or that their solo practitioner becomes debilitated and their case will fall apart. No client is going to want to put their trust in a legal firm that appears to be too small to be effective.

It’s therefore crucial to the survival of small practices and solo firms to forge closely-knit professional networks that branch out far from the confines of their offices. Lawyers in big firms can go down the hall or up a few floors to find what they need easily, but with so many legal practitioners in small-scale or solo firms, it’s become a firmly-established trend to seek out colleagues from different practices when specific expertise is needed.

 

All in the Same Boat But With Different Paddles

The adversarial and, frankly, highly competitive nature of practicing law can certainly seem at odds to a trend like teamwork and collaboration across law firm boundaries. It’s time, though, to put such a common misconception to bed. Professional courtesy has always encouraged such relationships in the legal field. Besides, being involved in a winning case reflects positively on every lawyer or law firm involved a rising tide lifts all boats after all.

The only true issue that could prevent this type of teamwork is a logistical one. Thankfully, fee-splitting arrangements are easy enough to negotiate when several different firms work on one case. Additionally, establishing good working relationships within a network of small-scale practices means that referrals are shared between all members of a network, ensuring that everyone gets what they need when a client needs access to specialty law practitioners.

 

If You Can’t Beat ‘Em…

3 out of 4 legal professionals in the United States can’t be wrong. In fact, small-scale and solo practitioners have become so successful in adapting to this trend that many attorneys that leave their mega-firms and strike out on their own adopt these methods immediately.

Teamwork and collaboration build strong small-scale professional networks. It provides the confidence to the clients of these small firms and cachet to small firms looking to build a positive reputation for themselves. Is it any wonder how solo and small practice firms have adopted teamwork?


Solo and Small Practice Trends in the Legal Industry: Serving to Protect

In today’s digital age, it’s never been more important to keep data security in mind. Instances of identity theft, wire fraud, corporate espionage, and even geopolitical destabilization efforts have all been on the rise lately, thanks to computer hackers breaching supposedly secure databases and absconding with damaging information.

Nowhere is data security more important than in the legal field. Protecting client and office data from catastrophic accidental loss or purposeful breach has easily become a primary focus for the solo and small law practice community, especially as small firms increasingly transition to paperless offices. With such crucial data now being warehoused in locations, such as cloud storage facilities, that are naturally more susceptible to breach and loss, small-scale firms are taking action to keep client and office data out of the wrong hands.

 

Protection from Theft and Loss

There are few nightmare scenarios worse than the accidental loss of a law firm’s digital resources. This can take any number of forms, including the kinds of human error that can lead to inadvertent data deletion to so-called acts of God such as floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, or anything else that can wipe a server farm off the face of the Earth. The key to surviving such a calamity is to dedicate time and energy into backing up these crucial databases regularly. Online backup systems are one of most prevalent options, thanks to advancements in modern connectivity technologies.

Meanwhile, purposeful data breach and theft is another major issue that smaller firms have found ways to combat. While no online system is completely secure — there are always vulnerabilities that enterprising hackers can exploit — law offices have been minimizing their exposure by instituting much more stringent security protocols. Simple firewall programs and anti-virus software can help to keep systems secure, and supplementing these basic systems with malware sweepers and better password discipline add further levels of security that can easily spell the difference when it comes to keeping your data under lock and key.

 

Providing Security Without Sacrificing Convenience

Modern data systems, such as paperless systems that eliminate having to deal with hard copies, are designed to provide high levels of convenience. Sometimes this convenience can jeopardize the security of this data, especially once it leaves your law firm and goes on somewhere else. Legal support providers such as document delivery services can often be the weakest link in the chain if their security measures don’t meet your own firm’s high standards.

Not all support providers are created equal, of course. Some, like Rapid Legal, take data security as seriously as they value providing convenient, accessible service to their partner firms. Rapid Legal’s around-the-clock availability doesn’t come with the price of reduced security; as a certified Electronic Filing Service Provider with the state of California, Rapid Legal meets stringent standards that ensure the security of your electronically-submitted court documents and service of process orders are only accessed by those with the proper authorization.

By all accounts, it’s a jungle out there, and the world of data security is only going to get more wild as we progress. Partner with a skilled and experienced electronic data management service provider like Rapid Legal if you want the best on your side.