Trials & Litigation

Singapore Court Envisions Lawyers Trading Docs Online, Serving Suits on Facebook

Singapore’s top court is suggesting that lawyers could use social media to improve the litigation process.

The Singapore High Court is soliciting comments on its proposals (PDF), including a suggestion that lawyers could use Facebook and Twitter to serve some legal documents, Bloomberg News reports.

Lawyers could also share discovery documents through online file-sharing sites and hold pretrial conferences in online discussion forums, according to the court’s “consultation paper.”

The proposals suggest best practices that would allow service by social media when personal service can’t be obtained and when other types of substituted service are also used. Ordinary service of documents could also be allowed through social media by contractual agreements signed before any dispute arises, the consultation paper says.

The guidelines also warn of potential problems, including the risk there will be a “slew of setting aside applications based on irregular service.” Safeguards are also needed, including the need to keep discovery documents confidential, the paper says.

Courts in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand have already allowed some legal documents to be delivered via Facebook and Twitter, Bloomberg says.

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