The State Bar seeks public comment on proposed amendments to Rules and Proposed New Rules Regarding Electronic Service and Electronic Signatures. This proposal would amend the definitions in the Rules of Procedure of the State Bar and the rules pertaining trial exhibits in State Bar Court proceedings.
Deadline: September 4, 2020
Comments should be submitted using the online Public Comment Form. The online form allows you to input your comments directly and can also be used to upload your comment letter and/or other attachments.
Under current law, Federal courts and California state courts permit electronic service and the use of electronic signatures. This item seeks to update permanently the Rules of Procedure of the State Bar to permit electronic service and the use of electronic signatures in State Bar Court proceedings. These changes will allow the State Bar disciplinary system to operate more efficiently not only during an extended period of shelter at home, but into the future.
The item proposes various changes to rule 5.4 to define “Document,” “Electronic notification,” “Electronic service,” “Electronic service address,” “Electronic signature,” and “Electronic transmission.” The definitions of “Electronic notification,” “Electronic service,” and “Electronic transmission” come from Code of Civil Procedure section 1010.6. The definition of “Electronic signature” is based on the definition of electronic signature in rule 2.257 of the California Rules of Court.
Proposed new rule 5.26.1 sets forth the procedures for electronic service. This proposed rule is largely based on Code of Civil Procedure section 1010.6. Proposed rule 5.26.1(F) provides that any document that is served electronically between 5:00 p.m. and 11:59:59 p.m. or at any time on a noncourt day shall be deemed to be served on the next court day.
Proposed Rule 5.26.1(K) clarifies that electronic versions of documents that are not initial pleadings may be exchanged on a thumb drive or other digital media storage device.
Proposed new rule 5.26.2 sets forth the procedures for the use of electronic signatures. Rule 5.26.2 is largely based on rule 2.257 of the California Rules of Court and Code of Civil Procedure section 1010.6.
Proposed amendments to rule 5.27 provide that a proof of service for a document served electronically shall be made pursuant to proposed new rule 5.27.1 and clarifies that Code of Civil Procedure 1013a still applies to documents served by US Mail, overnight mail, fax, or State Bar interoffice mail.
Proposed new rule 5.27.1 regarding proof of electronic service is largely based on rule 2.251 of the California Rules of Court and Code of Civil Procedure section 1013b, however, references to e-filing have been removed.
The proposed amendment to 5.28 extends the time to act or respond by two court days when service is made electronically.
There may be an as yet undetermined impact on State Bar Court personnel.
Regulation and Discipline Committee
September 4, 2020