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5 things to consider when choosing an electronic filing service provider

Choosing an ESFP to meet your firm’s needs

Since March 2016, electronic filing (“eFiling”) has been either required or permitted in 10 counties of California. By the end of 2016, eFiling will be available in almost half of all counties in the state.

Reliably filing your important documents electronically in these counties requires a certified electronic filing service provider (EFSP). Choosing a single provider for your firm has a number of advantages — all of your documents are stored in one place, your training costs lessen, and you have a single point of contact for all of your support and accounting needs. That makes choosing an electronic service provider a big step for your firm.

But what are the most important factors to consider when choosing an EFSP for your firm?

#1 Do they offer a comprehensive range of services?

Many eFiling service providers offer only a very limited range of electronic services — filing in a handful of counties and electronic service (eService). That means you need an alternative provider every time you need to send a courtesy copy (common for larger filings), serve process in-person at the beginning of a case, or to file in a county that still requires physical filing.

One Legal is the only certified eFiling service provider that offers a comprehensive, statewide set of legal support tools. In addition to eFiling and eService, with a One Legal account, you can add on additional physical services within our workflow as you file.

#2 Do they offer exceptional customer support?

At One Legal, we’ve worked with more than 30,000 California legal professionals for more than a quarter of a century. That experience means we understand exactly how important your documents are to you, and what it takes to boost your filing acceptance rate.

That’s why we’ve built the most comprehensive support and customer success platform you’ll find. With One Legal you get:

  • A dedicated Account Manager
  • California-based support staff available via phone or email throughout the day
  • Unique, step-by-step tutorials within our workflow that guide you as you file.
  • Access to a range of California MCLE-accredited training materials.

#3 Do they have in-depth experience of filing in California?

When it comes to filing in California’s superior courts, there’s a patchwork of local rules that documents need to satisfy. Many new EFSPs offer a one-size-fits-all system. To ensure that your filings are accepted, however, you need an EFSP that understands the specific nuances of each of California’s courts.

At One Legal, we have more than 25 years experience handling sensitive court filings. With staff based across the state and a dedicated team in constant communication with the courts, you can be sure we’ll let you know what you need to do to ensure a successful filing. It’s just one of the reasons we’ve been voted California’s top court filing service by readers of “The Recorder” every year since 2013.

#4 Do they offer simplified billing?

While eFiling makes the filing process substantially faster, it also means additional fees. For example, in courts using the eFileCA system, you’ll receive at least four charges: court filing fees, an eFileCA fee to cover the cost of the court implementing the system, a court convenience fee that accounts for credit card charges, your EFSP fee, and potential charges for service of process.

Most EFSPs will charge your credit card directly for each of these transactions — leading to a complicated array of charges that could prove difficult to reconcile. One Legal is different. We pay all of the fees upfront on your behalf and then send you just one, simple, and itemized invoice.

#5 Do they accept the payment method of your choice?

Most EFSPs are restricted to offering just a few payment options based on court requirements. For example, many only accept Visa or Mastercard.

One Legal, however, pays all fees up front on your behalf, then send you one neat invoice. This process allows us to open more payment options to customers, including many firms’ preferred method: American Express.

What else matters to you when choosing an electronic service provider?

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