E-Service (ADI Program)


This web page describes ADI’s programs with panel attorneys and agencies to serve briefs and other documents by e-mail. The Court of Appeal has approved these programs. The information here applies only to ADI cases.

Consent to electronic service as agreed to by ADI is implied as a condition of panel membership. When email service is available, it is mandatory, and the costs of hard copy service are not compensable.

Attorneys may contact Lynelle Hee or David Rankin at ADI if they encounter e-service problems.


ADI and the Court of Appeal use specialized terminology in referring to electronic programs:

  • “E-Service”:Serving PDF copies of court filings, briefs, petitions, and other documents by e-mail or other electronic means.
  • “E-Filing”: Filing a document electronically with the Court of Appeal. Where TrueFiling is available, it is mandatory and applies to all documents filed in that court. If TrueFiling is not yet available, the court will accept certain specifically listed documents submitted electronically via its website.
  • “E-Submission”: Submitting a PDF copy online to the Court of Appeal in addition to the hard copies required by the rules. This is required only where TrueFiling is not yet in effect.


ADI has been approaching regularly served agencies in all six counties of the Fourth Appellate District, seeking consent to receive and send documents by email in lieu of hard copies.

Written agreements are used to protect the court and all counsel against any later claim of irregular service. (See Code Civ. Proc, § 1010.6.) ADI acts on behalf of all panel attorneys in executing these agreements. Copies of the agreements are on file at the agencies and court. The copies on file at the Court of Appeal are deemed to be part of the official case file in ADI cases. ADI will provide panel attorneys a copy of any agreement on request. (Contact Elaine Alexander.)

Email service may be done directly by counsel or through TrueFiling, if used in the applicable court. If counsel chooses TrueFiling, there is a fee, which is reimbursable when the attorney files a claim.


  • Courts and agencies

The official source for current service information is the “CHEAT SHEET,” a Quick Reference Guide, on ADI’s website home page, which panel attorneys can check when they are ready to file a document.

  • Panel attorneys

E-service on other panel attorneys: E-mail addresses are listed on the appointment order. Contact Omar Palacio if you encounter difficulties.

E-service on you: You must provide to ADI a stable e-mail address for receiving service. Ideally, it should be dedicated to this purpose. (Many accounts are free.) For uniformity and convenience to users, we recommend but do not require the address be in a standardized form, using last name and State Bar number (e.g., Alexander043193@gmail.com).

ADI provides your e-service email address to the Court of Appeal and all agencies and panel attorneys representing other parties in a case of yours. It will be part of TrueFiling’s records for that case, if that program is in effect in the applicable court.

  • Changes in service address

The Court of Appeal asks that panel attorneys send an official change of email address notice to the court in conformity with rule 8.32(b).

Except for notice to the court, panel attorneys should report service email changes to ADI. ADI in turn will provide official notice to agencies, other panel attorneys, and all others affected by the change. ADI’s contact person for such notice is case management coordinator Omar Palacio.


The following recommendations were developed before TrueFiling came into effect. It may be possible service by TrueFiling will not comply with some of the specifications. ADI will let panel attorneys know if one or more recipient who has previously signed on to email service declines to accept TrueFiling service because of this. In that case, direct email service by the panel attorney will be the appropriate option.

Format: E-service documents should be a single, text-searchable PDF file that is an exact duplicate of any paper copy (including the cover sheet, tables, and proof of service. Assistance in converting documents from MS Word or WordPerfect to a PDF format is here.

Security: An e-server has the same responsibilities as an “electronic filer” per California Rules of Court, rules 2.256 and 8.76 to ensure the integrity of the document and protect sensitive personal information including taking all reasonable steps to ensure the e-served document does not contain computer code, such as viruses, that might be harmful to the recipient’s computer.

Subject line: The e-mail subject line should state the appellate case number and client’s name and document being served. If serving a superior court, include the trial judge’s name in the subject line. For example:

D063897-Smith, AOB, Judge ___.

Body of email: State the superior court case number and identify the individual attorney or attorneys from the served agency who handled the proceeding below – i.e., the deputy district attorney, public defender, county counsel, juvenile defense or minor’s attorney. For example:

Superior court number ____. Attn: _____ [trial counsel name]

Confidentiality warning to be included with all e-served documents in juvenile and other confidential cases: In juvenile dependency and delinquency and other confidential cases, attorneys should add the following language at the start of the body of the email transmitting the e-service document:

  • By law, the attachment is confidential. (Welf. & Inst. Code, § 827; Cal. Rules of Court, rule 8.401(b).) If you are not an authorized recipient under the law, you may not open it. Please notify the sender immediately and delete this email without reading it.

If the case is not a juvenile one, substitute the appropriate citation in the parentheses. Confidential records are discussed on this web page.


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*The material found on this Web site is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered to be legal advice and is not guaranteed to be complete or up to date. Use of this Web site is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship between the user and Appellate Defenders, Inc. (ADI) or any of the firm's attorneys. Readers should not rely upon or act upon this information without seeking professional counsel. See full disclaimer.