Why Don’t All State Courts Have Electronic Filing?


It’s a rhetorical question. I know the answer.
The reason all state courts in Mississippi don’t use electronic filing is, in a word, politics.
Some clerks don’t want to adopt electronic filing even though it would make their lives easier. Forcing them to is not worth it politically to the Supreme Court or the Bar. I’m using the word ‘politically’ broadly here–like in the sense of ‘office politics.’ I’m not suggesting it has anything to do with elections.
Understand though, this is my interpretation based on things I’ve been told over the last few years. Some might differ with my conclusions. I suspect, however, upon hearing a more detailed or different explanation, I would say “that’s still politics.”
And I get the politics explanation. Just because someone could exercise power and force all state courts to adopt ECF, doesn’t mean they should. It might not be important enough.
But at some point, it will be. Apparently, not everyone can take a hint. I’m not sure we can wait on the biggest hard headed clerks.
As 2020 approaches, I don’t view ECF as a technology issue. We’re past that. It’s established.
ECF is now an access to justice issue.  Most law firms are built around the assumption that filing will be done electronically. When they can’t, it throws a monkey wrench in the system.
Both from a money and time perspective, it’s less expensive to operate a practice when all filing is electronic. Not a little less expensive. A lot.
A solo who practices in an ECF venue probably can get by without an assistant. It takes seconds to file something and everyone registered in the case can download a copy. Just as importantly, there is a record that it’s filed.
Compare that to a paper filing jurisdiction. You have to mail to the clerk. If you want to be sure

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