@Court to Transform Judicial System With Electronic Filing for Court Documents

Nation's Courts and Lawyers Poised to Save Billions on Document Processing

And Management

Apr 09, 2001, 01:00 ET from @Court

    ALAMEDA, Calif., April 9 /PRNewswire/ -- @Court, a leading provider of
 Web-based electronic litigation support services for legal professionals,
 today announced a revolutionary approach to electronic filing (eFiling) for
 the nation's judicial system. Web-based eFiling is poised to dramatically
 reduce costs and increase the speed of filing legal documents with courts and
 other parties. The @Court eFiling service will enable lawyers and courts to
 deliver documents in minutes, rather than days, in complete security from a
 single hosted environment. For the first time, America's courts will be able
 to receive legal documents that can be stored electronically while at the same
 time automatically updating their back-end systems, eliminating overhead and
 saving taxpayer dollars. With over $20 billion spent on legal support services
 each year nationwide, @Court represents a major cost savings opportunity for
 attorneys and promises the emergence of an important new segment of the
 Electronic Litigation Support marketplace.
     "Our nation's courts are buried under a mountain of paper," said
 John Healy, founder and president of @Court. "This burden represents both a
 high cost to taxpayers and also limits access to court information for all
 participants in the legal process. By converting this legal process to
 eFiling, everyone wins:  courts slash overhead while increasing efficiency,
 lawyers cut costs by up to 80%, and citizens gain open and equal access to
 court documents along with expedited resolution of disputes. eFiling makes
 organizational and financial sense, and it is a natural extension of the
 current system, with attorneys bearing the cost of filing, as they do today."
     Every year, over 370 million documents are filed in state and federal
 courts nationwide, creating a major burden upon the American legal system.
 Though virtually all of these documents are created on a computer, a mere
 fraction are delivered to the courts electronically. Instead, attorneys use
 courier and paper-based delivery systems, which are costly, slow, and
 represent significant overhead to courts. Once delivered, courts must process,
 file and archive these documents for years, amounting to an estimated
 $1 billion dollars spent per year managing filings for the nation's
 1,000,000 lawyers. Technology advances and judicial mandates for eFiling
 compliance will compel some courts to build eFiling systems on their own,
 causing delays of service and cost overruns that waste taxpayer dollars. By
 providing courts with free access to an "Open Standards" based enterprise
 caliber services that receives, files and tracks documents electronically,
 this cost can be dramatically reduced.
     "Electronic filing of legal documents needs to be faster, cheaper, and
 easier for both the courts and attorneys to make the systems successful by
 using them," according to Mark Levitt, research director at global IT research
 and consulting firm IDC. "@Court's commitment to an open standards solution
 presents opportunities for service providers and application suppliers to join
 @Court in facilitating effective multijurisditional electronic filings."
     The current paper and human-based filing system is outdated and slow,
 creating a barrier to the delivery of justice. Today, documents require
 three to five days from the time they are delivered, stamped, filed and
 finally presented to a judge. With eFiling, documents are available for
 judicial access as they are filed. This acceleration not only increases a
 court's efficiency, but reduces judicial backlogs helping to resolve legal
 disputes more quickly. In parallel, lawyers often must operate across multiple
 jurisdictions, yet face many obstacles with the current paper-based system.
 @Court operates across jurisdictions, nationwide, and opens filing parties to
 24-hour, 7-day per week access. Lawyers that practice in multiple
 jurisdictions need only one password and payment method to access courts
 anywhere documents are "eFiled." This level of interoperability means that
 documents are much more readily available, speeding the judicial process
 between lawyers, administrators, judges and litigants.
     Currently, some 20% of the courts in the U.S. complete more than 75% of
 all paper-based filing, yet only 30% of these courts have the electronic
 infrastructure to support e-filing. Driven by the benefits of automation, many
 high volume courts are looking for an eFiling solution now, and close to
 100% of all courts have planned for an electronic court filing alternative
 within the next five years. This data is good news for eFiling service
 providers, and means that those services based on "Open Standards" will be
 able to help courts automate with a minimum of cost and time.
     About @Court
     @Court is a leading provider of Web-based litigation support services for
 lawyers and court systems. The company's Legal XML-compliant electronic filing
 service is currently being tested by a select group of courts nationwide.
 Available later this year, it will enable lawyers to electronically submit
 legal documents to courts, saving time and money while increasing
 accessibility to the judicial system. All transmissions are protected by
 @Court's enterprise caliber security and encryption system, ensuring
 confidentiality for all parties. @Court's service is backed by production
 class infrastructure that retains all documents in a centralized, secure,
 hosted environment, ensuring reliability, eliminating the need for registered
 users to add hardware or software. Founded in 1999 and headquartered in
 Alameda, CA, @Court is Privately venture financed. For more information,
 either visit www.atcourt.com or contact the company at 510-522-4300.
     CONTACT:  Kaye McKinzie of Bairey & Bedford Public Relations, LLC,
 415-927-7365, or kaye@b2pr.com, for @Court; or John Jordan of @Court,
 510-522-4300, or jjordan@atcourt.com.