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Proposal to limit attorney e-service email addresses clears the FCTC

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laptopAttorneys would be limited to a total of three email addresses to receive electronic service in court cases, under a proposal being advanced by the Florida Courts Technology Commission. Current rules allow attorneys to designate up to three email addresses per case, regardless of the number of cases they have.

The FCTC on November 4 approved the recommendation forwarded by its Portal Subcommittee the previous day.

Supreme Court Clerk John Tomasino, who headed a subcommittee workgroup that made the proposal, pointed to the workgroup’s finding that, “Allowing attorneys to have an infinite number of email addresses causes difficulty in determining the routing for service, places strains on case management systems, and causes uncertainty for attorneys serving other attorneys.”

Judges have also complained that they and their assistants spend an inordinate amount of time finding the right email address when they have to contact an attorney.

So instead, the workgroup “came up with the framework unanimously that we should do away with the concept of a per case proceeding basis [for designating email addresses] and instead come up with an idea…of up to three email addresses for court proceedings, which apply across the board [to all of an attorney’s cases],” Tomasino said.

If an attorney fails to designate an address, then the attorney’s official email address required to be on file with The Florida Bar would be used to complete service of court documents.

The motion, approved unanimously by the FCTC, sends the issue to the FCTC/Rules of General Practice and Judicial Administration joint subcommittee to determine any necessary changes to procedural Rule 2.516.

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