Law Technology News
October 2000
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Letters To The Editor

Seeing Red Over Orange

Re: LawTech News, Sept. 00, regarding the implementation of e-filing in Orange County, Calif.

Editor:

The characterization of the WestFile Court Filing Service as vaporware in your LawTech News column in the Sept. 2000 issue is way off base.

The Orange County Superior Court and the West Group are engaged in a public/private partnership to design, develop and implement e-filing in our jurisdiction. I can in fact assure you that West Group has in fact met every project development milestone for our project and has demonstrated a live version of WestFile at the sixth National Court Technology Conference in Los Angeles in July of 1999 as well as at Sept.'s California State Bar's Annual Meeting in San Diego.

The Orange County Superior Court's e-filing initiative is really the first project to attempt fully integrated and Web-enabled e-filing, case management, and document management systems utilizing cutting edge XML technologies.

There is no other e-filing project that I am aware of that will provide both attorneys and non-represented filers with complete electronic access to the court's case information and documents over the Internet for all family law, civil and probate case categories.

Attorneys and parties will be able to file, notice and retrieve documents and docket information from any Internet PC.

We believe that the time and cost savings to the attorneys and other filers and to the Court will enable this e-filing initiative to succeed in this difficult arena.

As you indicated in your column, we have also partnered with the Orange County Bar Association in the development and implementation of this project. However, the Legal Aid Society of Orange County is also a partner and will be bringing these services to those indigents who need assistance through a network of kiosks in courthouses, libraries and other public buildings.

Unfortunately, the comprehensive nature of this project has made this e-filing initiative more technically complex than other approaches.

As a result, West Group, which is ready to go and has demonstrated the WestFile Service for many Orange County attorneys, has had to wait while the Court and its other development partners complete the internal court calendar and document processing components and related connectivity solutions.

While we and the West Group would certainly have enjoyed launching e-filing services when originally estimated, it is critically important for the court that all the system interfaces are complete and that the conversion to electronic case files has been completed.

I am glad to report that we are making good progress and are on track to begin the e-filing pilot project shortly after the first of the year.

We are very excited about the efforts of all of our public and private partners in making this project successful and trust that Law Techology News will continue to follow and report on our progress.

Alan Slater
Chief Executive Officer
Orange County, Calif.

* * * *

Praise for Tredennick

Re: MIS@Holland and Hart, and LawTech News, Sept. 00.

Editor:

What a pleasure for Joan and I to see our names in your September news column! Thanks for the recognition. I was especially impressed by John Tredennick's piece -- it's full of suggestions for how we can employ our considerable computer resources. You've turned what used to be a dull compendium of vendors' press releases into a must-read publication.

Harold L. Burstyn Patent Attorney
Syracuse, New York
More Travel Reports!

* * * *

Re: Second Opinions, by John Hokannen and Daniel Coolidge, Sept. 00, re: connectivity from remote islands and such challenging venues as New Hampshire.

Editor:

I truly enjoyed John Hokannen's travel article in the latest LTN.

I had followed his travels on his Web site this summer as his extensive journey was in progress. IMHO, his article really captured the essence of his experiences in the real world and online.

Moreover, much thanks for running this non-law piece. It was an very cool and unexpected break in the middle of the magazine and was quite successful in enhancing this issue. Please count my one vote for more travel and other similar piece which, while not directly on point, have great appeal to LTN's audience.

Alan Rothman
Tech-topicshifts.com
New York City

(Editor's note: Rothman is a member of the LTN Editorial Advisory Board.)

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