Friday, August 19, 2011

Eight Rules of E-Filing: Rule #5

Efficiency.  E-filing should facilitate more efficient court processes and decisions. 

First, once E-filing is implemented courts should re-engineered their rules and processes to take advantage of the new capabilities.  A good example is the court in Baltimore, Maryland that adjudicated thousands of asbestos matters.  The judge worked with the attorneys to group the electronic submissions 10 at a time containing identical facts (same shipyard, timeframe, and injury) and in turn modified the review presentation screen so that he could more quickly review and approve the civil settlement for the filers.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Federal Court Self-Filer's Examined

The July, 2011 edition of The Third Branch newsletter contains an important article summarizing a study on current services to self-represented and "Pro-se" filers offered by US federal courts.  The article: IN-DEPTH: Leveling the Playing Field: Help for Self-Filers reports on both automated and direct self-help services offered.  One side-bar in the article noted:

"...A disturbingly large number of litigants come to the Clinic with basic reading and comprehension problems; some cannot even read Court orders and the opposition's filings.  Others can decipher the words in the documents but cannot comprehend even the simplest of Court orders."

The article also updates the Central District of Illinois project for Pro-Se E-Filing for Prisoners that was previously highlighted in the CTB.

This article is highly recommended.