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How to make the most of voluntary eFiling

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eFiling is now live in Los Angeles Superior Court for Limited Civil case types! It’s an exciting moment for one of the nation’s largest courts and for the legal community.

But there are other counties across the country that allow eFiling but still do not require it…yet. Counties such as Kern, Stanislaus, Butte, and Merced in California intend to mandate eFiling sometime in 2019. In the Midwest, Goshen City Court and Lake Circuit and Superior Courts in Indiana mandate in December, while Dupage County, Illinois plans to mandate in July. (Keep in mind that all dates remain tentative and subject to change.)

During the voluntary eFiling period filers can still choose to submit their paper documents through traditional channels they’ve always used. But only for a little while longer in Los Angeles. Remember, in LA, eFiling in Limited Civil is scheduled to mandate on December 3, the same day that eFiling will be introduced for Civil Unlimited. That’s just over ten business days away. And by January 2, eFiling will be mandatory throughout all Civil case types in Los Angeles.

Put this short voluntary eFiling period to work for you and your team. Here are four steps to take that will have your office eFiling successfully long before the last-minute rush.

#1: Review your office technology

Take an inventory of your office equipment. Here’s a quick list of the office essentials you’ll need:

High-speed internet:  When you eFile, you must upload your documents to your EFSP. You’ll also need to download court-returned documents and documents that have been electronically served. For these processes you’ll need fast internet to avoid interminably long wait times.

Web browser and email address:  For the best eFiling experience use one of the “big three” web browsers — Chrome, Internet Explorer, or Firefox. Keep you browser fully up to date for optimal security and functionality.

Scanner: Look for a professional office scanner that allows you to adjust the resolution. 300 dpi is minimum accepted by courts and will ensure that your scans are sufficient quality but not too large.

Professional PDF software: To meet eFiling requirements in California, you may need to edit and manipulate your PDF files before submission. You will need to bookmark exhibits, redact confidential information, and render image-based PDFs text searchable. These tasks will require professional PDF software with enough licenses to cover all eFiling members of the team.

Learn how to choose PDF software for your firm >>

Laser printer(s): If your firm hasn’t yet gone paperless, you may choose to print out a large filing you’ve received by eService. In these scenarios, you’ll want a cheap, fast, and reliable printer — choose a laser rather than a two-page a minute inkjet.

#2: Train your team

Encourage your team to attend one of our upcoming webinars How to prepare for mandatory eFiling in Los Angeles. Even if you attended a webinar in September or October, it is a good idea to attend again. We continue to incorporate the latest requirements and guidelines that the Court has shared with us—so there’s new information all the time

If you prefer learning at an in-person training session, we’ve scheduled a third Lunch & Learn event How to prepare for eFiling in Los Angeles on Thursday, November 29, at the Los Angeles County Bar Association offices downtown. These live events offer you the opportunity to talk with colleagues, our training team, and your account managers. This will be the last live training event we offer before the December 3 mandate.

Learn more tips for implementing new technology at your law firm>>

Other free training materials, including a video recording of our latest webinar on Los Angeles Superior Court eFiling training, are available online in our resource library.

#3: Assemble your eFiling resources

You’ve trained your current team and now you’re ready for December and January mandates. But think ahead to the future when new colleagues join your firm. Or key members of your eFiling team are out of the office. Those ordinary moments throughout the year when someone needs a quick reminder of the filing process or a key detail in proper PDF assembly.

Creating and maintaining eFiling training and support resources that are readily available to everyone on your team will ensure proper use and retention of essential eFiling skills.

Here are a few tools we recommend:

For anywhere:

eFiling for Beginners A downloadable guide, this eBook explores the what, where, and why of eFiling and includes a video demonstration designed to help new filers on your team get up to speed quickly.

eFiling Checklist Another downloadable resource, this list of eFiling guidelines that will ensure your eFilings are court-ready every single time.

For Los Angeles:

One Legal Support Center: eFiling in Los Angeles Superior Court Our comprehensive and frequently updated group of articles are designed to answer questions on court-specific procedures and document requirements.

eFiling in Los Angeles 101 Blog series Bookmark this link to have quick access to our ongoing series of posts that can help take new filers in your office through eFiling basics and Los Angeles Court specifics.

eFiling in Los Angeles Superior Court Part of our Instant Expert series, this guide covers the basics of eFiling along with local court rules and resources you’ll need to know.

#4: Start eFiling

Sometimes the best thing to do is to dive in. This voluntary period of eFiling is expressly designed to give you and the Courts an opportunity to become comfortable with new document submission processes and troubleshoot the details of the new technologies you’ll encounter in your workflows. It’s the perfect time to learn, to ask questions, and to gain competency.

Why wait ‘til the New Year? Resolve to help your team become eFiling experts today!

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