About a year ago I had the opportunity to speak about process serving at an industry legal conference. The first slide in my deck was a drawing of a horse. I asked the audience how many used a process server who delivers documents by horse. Of course no one raised their hand. My next slide was a picture of a smart phone and I asked how many use a process server who has smart phone field technology deployed. A few hands went up but not more than 10-15% of the room.
I explained that the smart phone and associated web browser technology were the first wave of new technology in process serving in nearly a century when Scott Levine (president of JJL Process) introduced them several years ago. The first since the automobile replaced the horse as the primarily method of transportation for process servers. I commented that five years from now, 95% of the law firms in the room will be using a process server who has smart phone and web browser technology.
Process serving companies can be divided into two groups – those that are embracing the new technology and those that fight it. Those that embrace it have deployed smart phone and web browser technology to create a complete and instantaneous electronic circle between the process servers in the field, the process serving company and the law firm. This allows for some amazing innovations:
-Real-time transparent information shared with law firm clients via password-protected web-based portals (rather than secret information only known to the process serving company).
-GPS-verified, time/date stamped smart phone photos of every service attempt evidencing the service location at time of service (rather than having no independent evidence).
-Feasibility scoring of the time between each service attempt to identify unrealistic over-performance and cross-checking that all server attempts are within legal days and hours (rather than running the risk of unfeasible potentially “sewer service” routes or illegal hours for service).
-Increased good service percentages by mandating the best practices of the top field servers such as casting a wide net with morning, afternoon, evening and weekend attempts (rather than going to the same place on the same day and time).
-Daily electronic updates sent to law firm offices eliminating the need for manual data entry of court date and service information — saves time, money and reduces errors.
-All good serves entered into smart phones apps by process servers immediately relayed to the law firm by the process server’s mainframe (rather than finding out sometimes days later that a defendant has been served).
-Beyond all of these innovations, the new technology has very positive compliance implications, but that is for my next blog posting.
We started off with the horse and ended with some of the amazing developments in new process serving technology. What does a horse have to do with process serving?