e“Notice of Appeal.” Three words that, ironically, have had zero appeal to clerks of either the lower or Supreme courts for quite a while. Between days of laborious manual assembly and re-assembly to meet the higher courts’ strict case construction requirements, it’s no surprise that the average rejection rate of one state’s appellate court is as high as 46 percent.
At ImageSoft, we believe that you should always use the right tool for the job, and the court clerks’ hands just aren’t cutting it anymore. So we took this challenge into our own hands and partnered with a Virginia District Court to develop a purpose-built application that would seamlessly integrate with their case management and document management system to create a user-friendly, consistent case ascension strategy from start-to-finish. Today, we introduce you to CaseShare.
Making the Case
At the risk of falling into a cliché, teamwork really does “make the dream work.” This is especially true for our nation’s court systems, whose responsibility to safeguard justice hinges on transparent and accurate communication. The challenge is found in our perception that these interactions and the sharing of critical information is limited to communication between courthouse personnel. But the data isn’t stored or transmitted via people – real data exchange and workflow is only as fluid as the interoperability of the court technology systems that actually house and distribute case data.
Referencing back to ImageSoft’s philosophy, courts need to leverage the best tool for every step of the case-sharing process to capitalize on an optimal case flow between lower and higher courts. This is exactly how CaseShare was designed – to account for the most efficient assembly and allocation of data at every step. So let’s walk through preparing a notice of appeal in the context of CaseShare.
Automated Case Assembly
Here we start with the paper case file that takes days for the lower court to manually assemble before its ping-ponged between them and the appellate courts for an acceptable structure.
By automating case assembly to your state’s standard, guesswork is replaced by consistency. With the click of a button on an intuitive user interface, case files are generated based on the upper court’s preference for receiving them. Need to re-order, rotate, delete or add pages? There’s a button for that too.
With such an effective practice in place, efficiency blooms. Hours are given back to the lower court clerks who no longer struggle to locate and organize each case file, and the appellate court clerks rest assured that case files are likely to be accepted the first time around.
Stand-Alone or Integrate – The Choice is Yours
Able to integrate with the lower court’s case or document management system (DMS), or operate as a stand-alone solution, CaseShare facilitates interoperability with court systems by ensuring a seamless flow of data and transparent communication.
As much as you love those colored tabs, label makers, and gel pens, you’re going to have to find another use for them. CaseShare does all the routine footwork for you, including:
- Populating the Table of Contents and Documents List
- Grouping and merging documents
- Creating text searchable documents
- Rotating, re-ordering, deleting, and/or adding pages with one click
- Text Searchable
- Page rotation
- Automatic page numbering watermarking and bookmarking
- Creating Sealed Volumes ad hoc
A Deal that Appeals to All
Unlike many courtroom verdicts, everyone wins with CaseShare.
Lower Court Clerks
Probably the most obvious beneficiary, lower court clerks receive immeasurable time back into their day. With automation managing case file assembly and ascension, what used to take a clerk days to complete may only take a couple hours. With more time to invest, clerks can finally move those back-burner ideas to the forefront and contribute their talents in better-leveraged areas.
Also relieved from the man-hours of having to piece case files together, all the filings received are automatically consistent with other filings, making it easy for appellate clerks to review the documents and enter them into the court’s docket. Not only is this process simplified, but it secures the integrity of the case by protecting it from wandering eyes, physical elements like spilled coffee, or falling into the wrong hands.
With more efficient, front-end receiving processes in play, you and your court are empowered with overall stronger case management. With more transparency and fluidity, justices can accurately plan their day and stay on top of their caseloads. With an electronic, text-searchable case file, it’s easier for the judge or respective parties to find all relevant information and to keep everyone on the same page (literally!).
Probably the most important beneficiary to any court-implemented tool are the citizens. Serving and protecting people and communities is the heartbeat of the justice system, and the very reason court clerks and justices do what they do. By optimizing the turn-around time of appellate cases, courts are equipped to uphold their responsibility the people to hear their cases and serve justice when it’s due.
The pillars of our court system are upheld by efficient processes that improve the abilities of court clerks and justices and the lives of citizens. By leveraging best-of-breed solutions, like CaseShare, lower and higher courts are committing themselves to transparent communication and sustainable justice practices that equip them to do more good for the most people in less time and with even lesser resources.
Questions on CaseShare? Contact us today for more information.
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6 WAYS AN EDMS SUPPORTS COURT CLERKS
Case management system? Check. eFiling? Check. Wondering why your court is still processing so much paper? Probably because it’s not integrated with an electronic document management system (EDMS).