Maybe it is time to think differently about Email?
An article posted today by columnist Ed Bott on ZDNet about the ease of using Microsoft’s Outlook.com service for “custom” Email accounts got me thinking that perhaps we need to revisit this connection.
Now I am probably not suggesting that Email be used for submitted documents to the courts via attachments. I think that electronic attachments may not necessarily be the most efficient or verifiable approach. But what we might think about is providing dedicated Email accounts managed by the courts and state or local bar associations to attorneys to eliminate the variable that the myriad of Email solutions that are used? So the idea that I am suggesting is when an attorney registers to be able to E-file in a court, the court (and again it would be great if this were coordinated with the appropriate bar association) would create a new “legal work” Email account to them. The Email account would then be known to the court and used to transmit notices, reminders, links, scheduling requests to the registered attorney. The parameters and capabilities of the Email system would also be known and that could greatly assist in the development of new communications technologies.
The court could also provide training materials showing attorneys how they could connect their Email to their preferred desktop or mobile systems. I currently have several personal Email systems connected to one another simply because it is easy to do so.
Eliminating variables is generally a good idea in systems design. Perhaps it is time for courts to think about eliminating this one?