E-Filing and 20th Century Lawyers

It is no secrete that I love the CM/ECF (e-filing) system that the federal courts use. Not only is it very convenient to be able to file your documents from your desk, but it is also great that you don’t have to serve those documents on the other parties who have filed an appearance in the case.

When a document is filed with the ECF system, the system automatically sends and email to everyone who has filed a appearance informing them that a document has been filed and providing a link to download the document. This means that everyone has a copy of the document just minutes after it has been filed. In addition to the time savings, this process also saves staff time, postage, and mailing supplies.

Notwithstanding this, there are still some lawyers who either don’t understand this or who can’t abide by the fact that a computer system is performing their service for them. So, it is not unusual for me to see that something has been filed in a federal case (either district court or bankruptcy) and then a few hours later I receive a copy fax. Although not a frequent, but still way more often than it should be, I will not only receive a copy by fax, but I will get a copy in the mail a day or two later.

I know that sometimes people have diffiuclty adopting to new technologies, but I don’t understand the desire of these attorneys to waste the additional time, money, and effort duplicating the work performed by the ECF system.