Like people in any profession, process servers can run the gamut in terms of how they perform their jobs. On the low end, you may find process servers who are less than honest, while other process servers treat their profession as a calling. Finding those process servers, the elite, who uphold the highest qualifications and standards for themselves and their clients while performing their duties with the utmost professionalism is the ideal. It can, however, be difficult to know where to start when looking for a process server of this caliber. Consider the following questions the next time you're weighing whether to work with a process server.
Do They Understand the Details of Their Job?
Do They Understand the Details of Their Job? Understanding the details of state laws and local jurisdictional regulations is crucial to successfully completing service of process. A process server should, at a minimum, meet the necessary state requirements of the job and remain up-to-date with any rule changes. In addition, a well-regarded process server will possess professional accreditations for specific types of law, such as the NAPPs Services Compliant Accreditation, or will be actively pursuing additional education and training opportunities in the field. If a process server’s experience and training seem sparse, they may not be actively pursuing excellence and ensuring they fully understand current laws in their area. As an example, rules vary by state regarding if a substitute can accept documents in place of the primary party or how to effectively serve process at a business. When a process server does not abide by the necessary rules and regulations, it creates potential for contested service or can result in vacated judgments
What Is Their Level of Experience?
A process server who is new to the profession may be more than capable of meeting your needs. However, as with any trade, experience does make a difference. Elite process servers will often have performance metrics backing them, such as their number of successful resolutions. The best process servers know how to navigate a variety of challenges to deliver legal documents.
What Is Their Reputation?
In the legal community, reputation speaks volumes. No one will want to work with someone who has a reputation for being less than reliable or cutting corners. When you rely on someone else to deliver your important legal documents you expect that delivery will be in accordance with all applicable regulations. It’s necessary to ensure that your case keeps running smoothly. Finding someone with a reputation for getting the job done goes a long way to engender that trust.
In instances where the case doesn’t go as planned, you want someone reliable in the field to ensure success. Your lawsuit depends on the process server’s speed and effectiveness. That’s why it’s so important to find someone with a track record for prompt attention and success.
Do They Offer Additional Services?
If a vendor or process server is capable of only delivering your legal documents and nothing more, you may want to look elsewhere. Service of process isn’t always straightforward and can require investigations, multiple attempts, filing, and more. Having to employ multiple resources to help complete a tricky job can significantly delay your case or even push you past legal deadlines for service of process. The best process servers will be able to:
- Assist with court filing proof of service, if not the initial filing
- Use skip tracing to locate parties, when necessary
- Engage in courthouse research to discover additional information
- Perform background checks
In addition, elite process servers will be able to deliver a wide range of legal documents, including complaints, summons, eviction notices, subpoenas, and more.
How Do They Validate Their Service?
Proof of service should never be left to chance. Professional process servers rely on GPS tagging and time-stamped photo evidence to record each attempt at service of process. Also, ask about technologies that improve accuracy and completeness. As an example, with ABC Legal, guided prompts are built around the process server’s workflows when maintaining records to ensure the information provided is not only accurate but complete. In addition, examine proof of service support. Will the process server always be willing to testify to their actions? Will their workflows policies ensure ironclad proof of service?
Identifying Elite Process Servers
So, now you know the questions to keep top of mind when evaluating a process server:
- Do they understand the details of their job?
- What is their level of experience?
- What is their reputation?
- Do they offer additional services?
- How do they validate their service?
It's time to discuss the best way to get answers. You can always ask these questions of process servers directly by meeting with them or confirming their reputation with a colleague. There’s a chance you might be able to find a review or forum online discussing their capabilities, but the testimonials may not be up-to-date. Getting information in these ways becomes something akin to a job interview, however. Few legal professionals have time for such research in a busy day. And even with an interview, you’ll still have to take the process server at their word, which requires a leap of faith. Fortunately, there is a better way to support proper vetting.
Your Strategy for Ensuring Optimal Service of Process
Don’t leave your process server selection up to chance. ABC Legal is a vendor platform that ensures you always receive top-level service of process. ABC Legal requires process servers to meet the necessary qualifications, compliance checks, and training for their local areas. Backed by rules-based workflows, skip tracing support, guided proof of service, eFiling, and other automations, ABC Legal ensures fast and reliable proof of service every time. In addition, each serve is validated, so you can rest easy knowing that the proof of service will hold up in court. To find out more about ABC Legal and how we match professional process servers with our legal clients, we invite you to start a conversation with us today. Or, simply get started when you place an order.