Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Eight Rules of E-Filing: Rule #7

E-Filing Should Support Government to Court Communications

The vast majority of E-filing systems focus upon civil case matters.  While there are many reasons I believe that besides vendor funding, this focus greatly reduces project political risk to the courts.  Judges have more discretion in managing civil cases and the parties can agree to work together to support new systems and procedures for everyone’s benefit.  In fact, this is how court E-filing started in 1990 in the Delaware Chancery Court.

But criminal and other cases involving human services and other government departments and programs are a different animal for E-filing.  In criminal cases the attorneys are continually looking for procedural mistakes and other errors in order dismiss cases and free or reduce the penalties for their clients.  In other words, the attorneys truly embrace their adversarial role with court procedures as well as the opposing side.  As a result, and along with funding challenges, there are only a handful of criminal case E-filing systems in the USA today.