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Legal papers served by email

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10th Jan 2006 | 10:54


This is a significant case, even if it is only directly relevant to maritime arbitration. The precedent is likely to be applied in other cases where the status of email as written communication is in doubt.

Note that the last paragraph of the article says:

Scottish court actions cannot be served by email. In England, email service is possible but only when there is written consent to this from the other party in advance, according to the Civil Procedure Rules. Accordingly, if a British business receives a court action "out of the blue" by email, it could generally argue that service has not been affected.

Even so, this underlines the responsibility of employees to treat email as seriously as they do the dead tree post.

I wonder when legal papers will first be served by IM :-)

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Comments {8}


from: knell
date: 10th Jan 2006 11:02 (UTC)

or by text message. "lol m8 c u n court".

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(Deleted comment)

Tony Finch

from: fanf
date: 10th Jan 2006 13:40 (UTC)

Sounds fun, but I can't find it on the Grauniad's web site.

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from: liadnan
date: 10th Jan 2006 11:08 (UTC)

It is important to emphasise it applies only to arbitration, not litigation, where email service has very clear rules in the CPR.

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from: jhnc
date: 10th Jan 2006 18:43 (UTC)

Malaysia permits text message divorce

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from: nonameyet
date: 10th Jan 2006 20:26 (UTC)

> Bernuth did not respond to the email – or to any of the
> others that followed during the arbitration proceedings
> – despite High Seas’ lawyers logging delivery receipts
> for all of the messages.

> In this case, said the Judge, the email address had been held
> out as Bernuth’s only address and emails sent to that address
> had been logged as delivered.

I wonder whether this is an SMTP 'OK' or a message delivery notification email ?

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from: kelvix
date: 10th Jan 2006 22:32 (UTC)

I've seen quite a few legal letterheads printed with the partners' names and so on, with the instruction that service is not accepted by email. I don't know the litigation ins-and-outs though...

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The Wandering One

from: maxleon
date: 14th Jan 2006 00:09 (UTC)

Some jurisdictions in the US allow certain types of papers "pre-served" electronically for the purposes of expedience, however the actual acknowledgement of paper delivery is always required for legal purposes.

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