The New Year brings with it some important changes to the Code of Civil Procedure (“CCP”).  On January 1, 2021, California updated the CCP to incorporate two of the Covid-related Emergency Orders.  These changes are welcome updates for lawyers who have long relied on email service and remote depositions to increase case efficiency and reduce client costs.

 

For cases filed after January 1, 2019, CCP § 1010.6 now requires represented parties to accept eService and to eServe upon request.  Keep in mind that the serving party must confirm the email service address before completing service.

 

CCP § 1010.6 also clarifies that “electronic filing” is the act of transmission to the court as opposed to approval of the filing.  This clarifies that a party need not wait for a document to be accepted by the court before service is complete—a key distinction given that many clerks’ offices are currently working with skeleton crews.  Section 1010.6 also extends the statute of limitations for filing complaints and cross-complaints where the eFiling was rejected for failure to comply with the rules or pay the applicable fees.

 

CCP § 2025.310 codifies Emergency Rule 11, which allowed deponents to appear outside the presence of the deposition officer, thus facilitating remote depositions.

 

Finally, CCP § 599 automatically extends certain cut-off dates when trials are continued.  This includes the exchange of expert witness information, which previously needed to be specifically ordered by the Court if a trial was continued.

 

The practitioner would be well-advised to acquaint herself or himself with the new rules, which are likely to further streamline litigation by removing unnecessary red tape.

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