A new requirement approved by the Texas Supreme Court in June (see court order, page 555) will improve the statewide e-filing system by creating a single, official electronic service email address for every attorney in Texas. Starting this month, Texas lawyers are asked to update their State Bar online profiles to include an electronic service address to serve as their official email address in the e-filing system. Also, local court systems may use the electronic service addresses to send official notices or other important communications to attorneys, such as in the wake of a disaster. The State Bar worked with the Office of Court Administration and the Supreme Court on the change with the goal of centralizing communication and eliminating duplicate email addresses from the e-filing system. Previously, multiple accounts had been created in some attorneys’ names and caused confusion within the system. The electronic service address will not replace attorneys’ preferred State Bar email address used to receive State Bar communications, although attorneys may use the same email address for both purposes. Most attorneys have preferred email addresses on file with the State Bar. Electronic service addresses are scheduled to “go live” in the e-filing system on October 1, 2016. If attorneys do not designate an electronic service address by that date, their preferred State Bar email address will be used as their electronic service address. To provide an electronic service email address, attorneys can simply go to texasbar.com/eservice. Answering your questions The Texas Supreme Court issued an order on June 14, 2016, requiring that Texas attorneys provide the State Bar with an electronic service email address. Below are answers to some common questions about the requirement. I’m an attorney —what do I have to do to comply? Simply go to texasbar.com/eservice and provide the email address you would like to use as your electronic service address. Electronic service addresses will “go live” in the e-filing system on October 1, 2016. If you do not designate an electronic service address by that date, then your preferred State Bar email address currently on file with the State Bar will be used as your electronic service address. What’s the purpose of this requirement? The requirement will improve the e-filing system by creating a single, official electronic service email address for each attorney in Texas. Currently, the e-filing system is hampered by multiple accounts being created in some attorneys’ names. I rarely or never use the e-filing system, because of the nature of my practice. Do I still have to provide an electronic service email address? Yes, the requirement applies to all Texas lawyers. In addition to their use in the e-filing system, the electronic service email addresses may also be used by the court system—both statewide and locally—to send important notices such as after a disaster. What if my law firm uses a “clearinghouse” email address for eservice? If you are with a law firm that uses a “clearinghouse” address or addresses for eservice or would like to find out about setting up a “clearinghouse” email address, the State Bar can help. For assistance, please contact our Membership Department at (800) 2042222, ext. 1383. Provide your electronic service address today at texasbar.com/eservice If you have questions or need more information, contact (800) 2042222, ext. 1383, or email email@example.com.
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