Legal Group Predicts More Electronic Filing In Courts

Electronic filing of legal documents will cut down on paperwork and help courts manage increasing caseloads.
The National Judicial College predicts that more courts will turn to electronic filing to deal with ever-growing caseloads.

The organization, which has been providing education and development to judges for more than 40 years, announced Wednesday that a recent study shows that e-filing will continue to catch on in the courts. The NJC-backed Judicial Survey: Electronic Filing in U.S. State Trial Courts reported that more than 1,500 judges participated.

More than 70 percent of the judges surveyed said that their caseloads to continue to increase, and 85 percent said they believe the volume of paperwork they manage is a growing problem. Seventy-six percent said their clerks would support it, and 89 percent said lawyers would. .

While most judges said e-filing would improve access to information, increase efficiency for clerks and reduce the amount of storage needed for court records, 48 percent said they weren't familiar with it. The judges said they would like to learn more about rules and procedures regarding electronic systems.

Only 16 percent said their courts have e-filing. E-filing has grown by 12-15 percent a year, according to the survey. Most judges said the switch to electronic filing is being driven by law firm demands and the examples of higher courts.

NJC President William F. Dressel said his organization would work with local, state and federal courts to provide educational materials on e-filing.

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