Recently, we took the bold step of cancelling our fax service. This is a big deal for a law firm. Many of our colleagues in the legal profession have told us this will not work. They have told us we will not be able to continue to offer the level of service we are used to providing because Judges will refuse to communicate with us without a fax number. We can proudly say that we did cancel it anyway and the sky did not fall. In fact, we have had numerous letters from the Courthouse received by email. We are happy to send over our Court runner to the Courthouse to pick up any letter or document addressed to us which cannot be sent by email. We have never been requested to do this.
Disconnecting our fax service was an important symbolic gesture for Smith & Little LLP. We want to be at the forefront of modernizing the practice of law. Getting rid of the fax is just the beginning!
There continue to be a number of lawyers who insist that the only proper way to serve Court documents is by fax. This is not true. Lawyers can only serve documents by fax on our office if we provide a fax number as an address for service on our filed Court documents. I can say for certain that no such fax number has been placed on a Court document under our supervision in at least three years. This means that every time a lawyer tries to serve our office by fax, they are not providing good service under the Rules of Court. Conversely, our email address is on every single Court document we file which makes it a valid method of service under the Rules of Court.
The Alberta Court of Appeal seems to agree with Smith & Little LLP. In fact, The Alberta Court of Appeal is spearheading a project to make the entire filing process electronic and we were told in a recent seminar that it is moving to an email only system where they will no longer send or receive faxes from lawyers. We say it is about time!