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Which E-Filing Service Provider Is Right for You?


Mandatory e-filing goes into effect across Illinois on January 1 (you knew that, right?), and one task that belongs at the top of every law firm's to-do list is choosing from among the "electronic filing service providers" who are the pathways to the e-filing system. No service provider, no e-filing. It is not a DIY project.

The service providers, also known as EFSPs, offer a myriad of features that lawyers will need to compare and contrast in making their decision: prices and payment options, support features like call center hours and web browsers served, and additional services like document conversion, extended document storage, detailed or simpler reporting, and proof of service to other parties.

By mid-September, the vast majority of those in Illinois who had signed up, about 93 percent, had chosen Odyssey eFileIL, a free service provided by Tyler Technologies, the vendor hired by the Illinois courts to implement e-filing statewide.That sign-up pattern is typical of other states in which Tyler Technologies has worked, at least at the outset, says Terry Derrick, senior director of e-solutions for the Texas-based company. He notes that in Texas, where Tyler has provided services for a few years, 79 percent of filers currently use Odyssey.

"The majority of the filing community will start with a free solution to see if that will meet their needs," he says. "If it doesn't…they will venture out and look at value-added services offered by the other EFSPs."

The IBJ surveyed three lawyers who are early adopters of e-filing in Illinois: Maria Berger of the Berger Law Firm in Byron; L. Drew Hickey, partner with Bolen, Robinson and Ellis, LLP, in Decatur; and Trent Bush, partner with Ward, Murray, Pace & Johnson in Sterling and a member of both the ISBA's Committee on Legal Technology and the Illinois Supreme Court's Special Committee on E-Business. They discuss the various options and why they might appeal to a given law firm in the November Illinois Bar Journal.

Posted on Oct 25, 2017 by Mark Mathewson | Comments (0)
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