Currently, every state court system in the US has a legal e-filing option in place. However, requirements vary from one state to the next. Some states have mandatory requirements, while others have optional e-filing services. E-filing options also vary greatly depending on the type of case in question. Regardless of each state’s current status, the trend is moving toward a paperless court system, which will require mandatory e-filing.
Utah, in particular, made a big push to mandate e-filing in 2009 at the height of the recession in order to reduce costs for the state’s court systems. As a result, law firms had to adapt quickly to meet the new requirements.
One Utah firm in particular embraced document assembly technology to help them meet these new requirements. The firm focuses primarily on debt collection and chose to automate many of their legal forms such as legal pleadings, form letters, complaints, court filings, judgments and garnishments by converting them to intelligent templates using HotDocs. Now, about five years after starting this project, this firm is producing approximately 6,000 documents per month—many of which are automatically transferred to the court’s intermediary electronic filing company.
The firm’s legal assistant—now an expert HotDocs template author—stated that HotDocs has been “amazing for our firm.” She continued, “We are so much more productive, and HotDocs has enabled us to effectively handle tremendous growth.” They specifically chose to use the HotDocs document assembly platform because of the state’s e-filing requirements, and the results have been amazing. Her group has grown to 18, and everyone uses HotDocs intelligent templates on a daily basis.
As more and more states move to make e-filing mandatory, law firms must find ways to effectively evolve to meet these new demands. HotDocs document assembly software enables law firms to adapt and meet these changing requirements quickly and efficiently, while simultaneously providing a secure and compliant platform for handling growth and ensuring increased profits.