Technology has made many aspects of our lives better. We no longer have to fumble with a map to get directions or break out a phonebook to call a local business. Technology even has the potential to improve service of process. When assessing whether a process server’s workflows are keeping pace with change, consider automation benefits in these seven areas.
1. Ease Of Finding Someone
One of the first areas to investigate when it comes to technology are tools aiding searchability. Not long ago, a process server was lucky if they had both the name and last known address of the person who was being served. If they had only a name, then a phone book may have been their first source to find additional information, followed by the Department of Motor Vehicles, local tax offices, and other institutional places that may have had some record of a party’s last place of residence. Nowadays, most people leave a trail of activity across the internet. Search engines have evolved to the point where pretty much anyone can find some type of information on a person by simply entering their name and general location, phone number, or even their image.
Professionals focused on service of process have tools that go well-beyond this basic internet search. At some organizations, searchability has transcended into what you’d expect from traditional private investigators. Process server vendors are making use of access to vast databases that, when combined with proprietary algorithms, help locate individuals faster and with far greater success than previously possible. Always ask your service of process vendor about search technologies that will be employed.
2. Compliance Supports for Local Rules And Regulations
Federal rules around delivering service of process are well understood. But every jurisdiction has its own set of rules and regulations, and rules are always subject to change. Historically, this sometimes made it difficult to keep track of what constitutes effective service of process in any given location.
With the aid of technology, it’s easier than ever to search for specific regulations governing service of process in a certain jurisdiction. When process server software provides instant access to local rules and regulations for process servers, it can improve service of process quality significantly. The process servers are less likely to become confused or miss important information needed for accurate and complete proof of service.
3. Rule-Based Quality Supports for Record Keeping
Technology has also made compliance easier these days. When a process server is required to check off completed steps using a software app, the need for oversight is dramatically reduced. Law firms and legal practitioners can rest easy knowing that service of process is being carried out effectively and according to the book. Rule-based processes that support workflows help legal matters proceed smoothly for all involved parties. Always ask vendors about the automations in use to support complete and accurate record keeping.
4. Ensuring Order Accuracy and Communicating Progress
Order verification and ongoing progress reporting are two other areas affecting service quality that technology can dramatically improve. With upload capabilities and built-in prompts, platforms at leading vendors quickly ensure complete access to all the legal documents needed to keep a case moving. In addition, communication capabilities are important. Ideally, once a process server is assigned a task, it should be easy to monitor their progress with live updates. As soon as proof of service occurs, the legal practitioner should receive a confirmation alert.
5. Tracking and Scoring Process Server Performance
All process servers are not created equal. A tech-savvy vendor will monitor and assess process servers using performance-based metrics. For example, ABC Legal monitors resolutions and efficiency on a scorecard. This information is useful, because a process server can take on a greater number of jobs only after they have achieved a certain number of successful resolutions, or closed jobs. This provides a level of oversight and encourages quality in work.
6. Creating a Transparent Feedback System
Technology supports communication transparency among process servers, lawyers, and paralegals. A modern vendor will have software that allows all parties to monitor the progress of a case and quickly message each other with questions and clarifications, as well as hand off any additional documents that may be necessary to deliver effective service of process. A platform that supports easy communication across parties makes it easier to ensure timely delivery of legal documents.
7. Strengthening Proof of Service and Speeding Workflows with App Use
Mobile app use can significantly affect proof of service. Some process servers use technology that allows them to use their phones to take photos while on a job to support service completion, access and record information about the service attempt, and use GPS tagging to meet location-based requirements in service of process. All of these capabilities can dramatically affect proof of service and timing.
In addition, apps can make use of guided prompts to support workflow completion and accuracy, thereby minimizing the likelihood for error and streamlining previously cumbersome tasks. Many process servers have found such value in these capabilities that platform capabilities have an impact on the industry’s recruitment and retention of top talent.
For example, ABC Legal’s process server app streamlines the operational side of serving documents and enables process servers to provide data-enhanced proof of service. It makes service easier on the process server – and provides the legal client with the information they need to ensure the success of their cases.
Learn More About How ABC Legal Uses Technology to Simplify Process of Service
An example of technology’s significant role can be seen at ABC Legal, a leader in filing and serving lawsuits that completes about 125,000 service of process assignments each month. ABC Legal continually innovates, using feedback from law firms and process servers to refine its largely paperless processes with absolute transparency and solid workflows for optimal speed and success.
All of ABC Legal’s applications utilize cloud-based software and are compatible with desktops, tablets, and smartphones. ABC Legal makes use of proprietary technology to optimize search, fully document, and provide real-time, complete communication with every serve.
ABC Legal’s technological and solutions-oriented approach to service of process enables parties to save valuable time and resources when it comes to effective delivery of legal documents. To learn more about how ABC Legal can best meet your needs, we invite you to start a conversation or place an order online today.