E-filing, also frequently written as Efiling or eFiling, is the process of electronically filing documentation, usually with a government entity. Law firms that have high volumes of cases adopt e-filing systems to benefit from streamlined productivity, more efficient operations, a decrease in opportunities for human error, cost savings and improved data-driven communications with other clients, banks or legal institutions.
Because electronic filing automates the transmission of legal documents, law firms can further benefit from filing many reports simultaneously in bulk. In addition, the digitization of records streamlines reporting and score carding with banking institutions and regulatory firms who are interested in monitoring the firm’s performance over time.
E-filing is part of an emerging technical infrastructure of electronic court, also known as e-court, eCourt or ECourt, operations. This infrastructure is designed to enable all stakeholders within the legal realm to better operate administrative and procedural aspects of the court’s functions, including filing judicial records (electronic court filing). Often referred to as a paperless court, its objective is, in part, to reduce the reliance on paper or hard-copy documents during the judicial process. But on a larger scale it is usually implemented to increase the efficiency and transparency of court proceedings by expediting access to information for all parties involved.
Court automation can encompass many distinct capabilities. Most often automation in court is focused on workflow processes, including e-filing and self-service in the courthouse, to reduce manual effort. Designing and implementing a court automation project can be complex endeavor, however the automation of manual processes benefits everyone across the legal ecosystem. A well-designed and thoughtfully implemented court automation project can help mitigate risks like missed deadlines and manual errors that can increase costs and delay legal proceedings.
Automated e-filing management tools help firms further improve the efficiency of key court processes, including e-filing deadlines. Intelligent and automated document processing paired with accounts receivable management (ARM) boost throughput and efficiency by removing error-prone, labor-intensive manual handoffs and legacy documentation management techniques.
Law firms that leverage automated e-filing tools can benefit from:
- Better compliance: Technology can give firms a significant leg-up in terms of accuracy and efficacy, on manual redaction processes. Customer data leaks are a serious liability, so securing PII through automated redaction offers technical resources and strategies to simplify compliance, safeguard data and protect the organization.
- Digital documents transformed into business-ready data: Using intelligent document processing, all the repetitive yet cumbersome labor that went into analyzing the documents can be made far more process-driven. Firms can easily customize the technology to unique indexing standards, document types, workflow and business requirements.
- Reduced risk: A reliable and service-enabled tool to handle scrubs like SCRA can reduce manpower costs and increase compliance.
- Improved collaboration using cloud technologies: With digitized documentation, firms can easily extract and insert data across systems in a fast and seamless way, from legacy ARM systems to excel documents and datasheets, enabling a robust technical ecosystem.
- Better process governance: With time and manually intensive tasks automated, firms can spend time on meaningful work that directly impacts the bottom line.