The promise of E-filing is vast. But there are traps for the unwary, especially as E-filing proliferates and more courts adopt e-filing. It would be nice if every jurisdiction had the same rules for E-filing, but they don’t. So don’t assume that they do (i.e. don’t assume that every court will consider a document filed before midnight as filed on that day; they might have an earlier time cutoff). LexisNexis has a list of courts that use e-filing (that’s just their list of state courts and it may not be complete; here is a list of federal courts that support E-filing).
They also have proposed Model Rules for E-filing (476k PDF) which is clearly something that courts should start considering adopting. I don’t mean the LexisNexis rules, but some sort of model rules. Obviously the federal courts (as a branch of the federal government, which used to be good at deploying things that would apply to the country as a whole) would be a good place to start.
Update: Scrivener’s Error has some thoughts on this topic.
P.S. If you want a practice optimized for remote work & virtual collaboration, get this 24-page guide.
Thanks for the link to LEXIS’ proposed model rules. What a clever marketing tool – the rules give state courts an added reason to select LEXIS/NEXIS as their efiling providers.From what I can tell, the state courts, through use of the LEXIS system, are doing nothing more extensive or unique than the ECF/PACER system that has been in use in some federal courts for at least two years now.LEXIS is going to make an absolute killing off setting up the same efiling system for the states. And LEXIS is going to obtain the same kind of monopoly access to court filings that West obtained back in the 1800’s when it became the official reporter for court decisions. Scary.
The W.D. of Mo. was actually one of the pilot (or guinea pig) programs for electronic filing. I’ve been doing it for a few years now and it’s not bad. We just convert our pleadings to .pdf and upload them for filing. An email notice is sent to everyone in the case with a link to the pleading. Russ is right about uploading scanned copies of physical documents, though. It can be a pain. If the documents are voluminous, we file a notice of exhibit attachment and mail or deliver the documents to the clerk’s office.
One of the best features is being able to log onto the system, pull up a docket sheet, and click a link to view or print any pleading that has been filed in the case.