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E-Filling: Don't Hesitate

7/11/06

It may seem hard to believe but this fall will denote a year of the federal implementation of electronic filing. In other words, firms should be attempting similar technological advances to succeed. Currently, a majority of the country is just beginning to open up to this notion, let alone making the switch (Crause, 2006). While some law firms are slow to respond to e-filing, it is happening rapidly in courtrooms, and is becoming a matter of survival for law firms.

How realistic is the change? The National Judicial College supported a study surveying the use of e-filing and found that of 1500 judges that responded, over 70 percent see the number of cases rising, and 85 percent agreed that paperwork volume was a problem (Swartz, 2005). As of February, e-filing was used in 82 district courts, 91 bankruptcy courts, the Court of International Trade and the Court of Federal Claims (Crause, 2006).

Although the e-filing systems are new and vary from state to state, adaptations and updates are being implemented to help advance them. Initially, the change from paper to electronics may be painful and incur a price, but it is outweighed by the benefits. Not only will e-filing save money in the long run, it saves time, it saves space, and provides an effective means of organization. No longer will lawyers and judges be confined to an office, but will be able to work and communicate from any location.

Procrastination to change from paper to electronic filing will only create more headaches, more expenses and possibly the decline of a firm. Don't make the mistake of waiting until it's too late; make the switch to electronic filing now.

By: Leonard R. Caldwell

Resources:
Focus on Intellectual Property: Electronic filing can save you both time and aggravation
The force of e-filing: The Move toward Digital Documents Is Slow, Confusing-and Inevitable
Legal Group Expects E-filing Increase