Legal Couriers and Messengers: What They Do for Lawyers

Courier services are vital to law practices. If lawyers are the drivers of a case, the couriers or court messengers are the wheels who get things moving. They work silently in the background, but their role is just as important as the ones who take center stage before the bar.

The filing of a case is made up of small tasks that lead to the completion of a lawsuit. The entire process is also peppered with deadlines. There are dates to meet and strict timetables to keep, not just internally but also with courthouses, government offices, and third parties to a case.

For example, New York City Courts observe the following working hours:

  • NYC Courts are open on Mondays through Fridays, from 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM.
  • The General Clerk’s Offices are open at 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM.
  • Clerk’s Offices receive submissions until 4:30 PM. Only emergency applications are accepted beyond this time.
  • Cashier booths open at 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM (Landlord& Tenant Cashiers and Small Claims Cashiers may have extended hours on certain days of the week. These hours may be different for each of the seven Small Claims Courts in New York.).
  • Courtrooms are open at 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM with a break hour at 1:00 – 2:00 PM.
  • Evening Courtrooms open between 6:00 – 10:00 PM.

Legal couriers help lawyers observe New York’s court hours by delivering or retrieving classified documents to and from these offices during the designated working hours. Lawyers can do this on their own, but traveling across town and finding the right offices and staff inside the courthouse will add to their already-mountainous workload. It’s precisely for this reason that we provide legal messenger services to our clients at Serve Index LLC.

With legal messengers to help them out, lawyers can have more time to devote to their clients and cases.

A Vital Role in the Legal Profession

Time is precious in the legal profession. Every second, minute, or hour counts when you’re working against the clock to submit a case on time, meet litigation requirements and be 100% prepared when you finally appear in court.

It might not seem like it at first, but legal couriers and messengers are among the key people who make these happen. They are responsible for:

  • Submitting or filing legal documents to New York Courts on time.
  • Delivering sensitive and confidential paperwork and packages to clients, partners, the court, and third-party individuals and offices safely.
  • Retrieving sensitive and confidential documents, evidence, and other legal materials and as quickly as possible.
  • Ensuring the safety and integrity of the documents or objects while in transit.
  • Observing basic court etiquette and rules whenever they apply (and ensure that their handling of legal documents and evidence adhere to the NYC Courts’ rules and can’t be used against the client).
  • Performing miscellaneous errands in courthouses on behalf of attorneys.

Legal messengers essentially fill in where express delivery services fall short. They deliver documents and packages at a moment’s notice and handle overnight deliveries for attorneys who finish preparing urgent documents beyond regular business hours.

Given the nature of legal messengers’ work, it’s not an exaggeration to say that the fate of a case rests in their hands. It’s crucial, therefore, for attorneys and law practices to hire trustworthy and reliable legal messengers.

The Profile of an Ideal Legal Messenger in NYC

What are the qualities to look for in legal messengers? Trustworthiness and integrity are the top of this list. They are, after all, entrusted with documents that can make or break a case. They must be responsible, focused, and indifferent to the unethical approaches of opposing parties.

Legal messengers must also be quick thinkers and street smart. The legal profession might be a maze of procedures and protocols, but it is also a world where clout and relationships also matter. The best legal messengers are the ones who can think on their feet and innovate when necessary (e.g., smartly navigate the late-afternoon New York traffic and make it to the courthouse by 4:00 PM), and stay composed in time-pressured, high-stress situations.

They should also possess knowledge and skills that aren’t learned through formal education:

  • Familiarity with the locations and layouts of the New York
  • Up-to-date knowledge about road routes, streets, transportation options around attorneys’ offices, courthouses, and key government offices and locations in New York City.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills (legal messengers should be able to speak comfortably with anyone, from lawyers to police officers to front desk clerks).

Legal couriers and messengers may not have lofty suffixes after their names, but they play one of the most important roles in the legal field. It’s not an understatement to say that lawyers are less effective without them, because thanks to what they do, confidential documents get to where they’re supposed to be — safely and on time.

Looking for trustworthy, capable, and reliable legal messengers in NYC? This is the right place to be. Inquire now about our courier services at Serve Index LLC.

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