Courts across the country are implementing electronic court filing, gradually introducing the new practice to counties and states to improve how documents are processed and kept for ongoing and past cases. So it’s important to consider carefully what is most important to your firm as you choose an electronic filing service provider (EFSP).
Whichever EFSP you choose to trust with filing your law firm’s documents, there are several considerations to take into account. In addition to factors that are especially important or unique to you, consider these as a guideline for choosing an electronic filing service provider.
To build your list of what you’re looking for, here are some main considerations factor in:
When you are on the service platform, how easily are you able to navigate the steps? Is it clear where information goes and what you need to do to complete your filing? Look for an EFSP with a streamlined workflow that is easy to learn and easy to use.
Understanding of court rules
Ultimately, legal professionals have the responsibility to be aware of rules in their local courts. But electronic filing service providers have a unique opportunity to discover and decipher many eFiling-specific court rules that can help filers ensure a smooth eFiling process.
Consider the tools your firm uses to bill clients and the internal systems that you rely on to keep track of expenses. How could an EFSP facilitate simple billing for your firm? Perhaps with features like:
- Up front disbursement of fees to the court on your behalf
- Accepting your preferred form of payment, such as ACH or American Express
- Allow customized billing codes to be assigned to filings
- One itemized invoice for quick and easy payment
- Weekly billing options
Does the EFSP you’re considering have the necessary experience to facilitate eFiling? With electronic court filing, it’s not enough to have just legal experience or just technology experience. To really connect with courts who are just starting to integrate technology into their systems, it’s important to have a rounded background in both tech and legal.
Your chosen EFSP should be able to navigate the inner workings of the court based on decades of experience, while also having the legal tech chops to know the best solutions to eFiling and other court integrations.
So, the company does eFiling, but what other services do they offer? As you choose an electronic filing service provider, think about other services that you currently need or may need in the future. It could be useful if the EFSP can also:
- eServe documents from the eFiling portal
- Provide process serving to involved parties
- Conduct court research and retrieve key documents
- Physically file in courts where eFiling is not yet live
What other services might you look for in an EFSP?
Also important when trusting a company with the responsibility of delivering your case documents is the business’ standing in the industry. How is it regarded by others in the field? What do other legal professionals say after using this provider?
Often, legal tech companies can provide certain expectations for the consistency of their services. Ask for average system uptime and find out how you’ll know when your document has arrived at the court, and when it has been accepted. Many platforms provide you with confirmation that the court has received your documents, and then notification once the file has been approved or rejected.
Check out the customer support that is offered by the company, the hours and the variety of ways you can communicate with them. What are the hours during which you can call? Is there an email address that is easy to find? How helpful is the customer service team? Also, are status updates and invoices easy to find without contacting support?
In addition to knowledgeable people answering calls, some EFSPs will have a dedicated customer success team, built to get new filers off to a strong start with extensive trainings, question and answer sessions, and step-by-step walkthroughs of the platform.
These are sensitive documents that need to get to the court securely, so can you rely on this EFSP to do the job? Considering the worth of the documents and the value they represent for your customers, nothing less than bank-grade security should suffice. Check with the provider to make sure that they can deliver.
One Legal strives to exceed the expectations of filers and go beyond the standards of other eFiling service providers by providing superior quality services, world class support, and unparalleled understanding of court procedure and requirements.
Are you ready to choose an electronic filing service provider?