Keep Calm: The Court Clerk Uses CaseShare to Handle It

186_keepcalmclerk“Keep calm” is probably the least comforting phrase to any court clerk trying to ascend a case to the higher, or Appellate, courts. And rightfully so – there are custom requirements to be met, volumes to be assembled, files to be named and pages to be ordered, signed, sealed and delivered. Even after that laborious process, the file will likely still bounce back for unmet requirements, missing or improperly ordered papers, etc. Studies reveal that the court case rejection rates rise as high as 46 percent!

More stress than even a Snickers can fix, we knew we better come up with a solution.

Now There’s an App for That

A purpose-built application, CaseShare is a stand-alone solution that satisfies all state requirements, automates the fancy footwork of appellate court cases, and digitally delivers it in a user-friendly PDF format to the appropriate higher court. But if you really want it to integrate with the lower court’s document management system (DMS), it will.

Remember that 46 percent? Since adopting CaseShare, one county’s Circuit Court reported that less than five percent of its appeal cases have been rejected.

A Ruling in Favor of All

Cat’s out of the bag: lower court clerks benefit from CaseShare in numerous ways. With a previously paper-based process gone automated, rules-based processing keeps them on track while the man hours required to assemble the case and transcripts drops from days to hours. Lower court clerks now have the capacity to handle their appellate case workload, and then some.

But don’t hang your heads just yet, Appellate clerks – you actually win twice! Not only are you spending less time reviewing and sending back the record, but you’ll receive all your files in a consistent manner that also allows you to easily route them into the appropriate hands.

CaseShare didn’t forget about you either, Appellate Justices. A text searchable PDF with bookmarks makes it easier in court proceedings to quickly get everyone on the same page.

Let’s Build a Case for It

There’s more to CaseShare than can fit into one blog – without losing the average reader’s attention, at least. So we built an entire webpage that spells out all the functionalities – including a populated table of contents, text-searchable documents, one-click rotating, re-ordering, deleting and/or adding pages, and more – in chunked, digestible sections. You’ll also be able to listen to a CaseShare-specific webinar which includes a demo by ImagesSoft President Scott Bade and a customer story.

Take Me to the CaseShare Webpage

We Want to Hear From You!

On average, how does your court handle higher court case ascension? Which re-occurring issues do clerks gripe about most?

Make your case in the “comments” section below or on our Courts LinkedIn Showcase page. We read and respond – promise!

 

Why Manual Paper Processes in Courts are the Equivalent of a Bad Hair Day

87_bad hair dayBeing follicly challenged (at least on my scalp), I think hair is overrated. Thus I have a limited amount of sympathy when I hear complaints about bad hair days. I like to think I’m not vain. And in that vein (no pun intended), I’m no fashion hound and am usually not critical of the appearance of others.

That being said, I really don’t particularly like looking like a fool. Likewise, I do notice when others look like fools. I assume they must not know how they look, because I assume they don’t like appearing foolish any more than I do. And, when I do look foolish, I appreciate being told.

So there I was, in a very modern hospital, with a loved one who was there for a very modern (indeed, miraculous) procedure – a full joint replacement. Everything just shrieked ultra current. This hospital (rightfully) wins awards for the cutting-edge (sorry – I couldn’t resist) quality of its joint replacement work.

And then we went to check in.

Here is how the check-in process worked:

  1. The patient dutifully gave the extremely solicitous admissions clerk the usual information, which the clerk dutifully checked against the hospital’s computer records and/or entered into the system. OK; standard fare.
  2. The clerk printed out a handful of documents filled with legal-, medical- and techno-babble and handed them to the patient to sign.
  3. The patient signed the papers and returned them.
  4. The clerk scanned every paper back into the system.
  5. The clerk put the papers into a tray labeled “SHRED.”

 

Seriously.

Now, I and many others have written and spoken at length about the waste and inefficiency of such a system. But at least, I assumed, the reasoning was based on some perceived need to retain a hard copy of a wet-ink “original.” Indeed, the efforts have largely focused on either helping people realize the rules really don’t require wet-ink signatures or, where it’s still unclear, modernizing the rules. But to send the papers directly to the shredder – oh, my!

I could – but won’t – go into a diatribe about rising medical costs. However, I think there’s another, perhaps greater, point here; to-wit:

Despite all their good work (and they DO do good work); despite the outstanding quality of their product and outcomes, this up-front, customer-facing process makes them look foolish.

My further point: Doctors and judges MUST foster trust and confidence. Therefore, they in particular cannot afford to look foolish. Those of us who serve them cannot allow them to look foolish. This type of foolish is worse than a cosmetic ruffle. To a public that is coming more and more to expect modern and efficient performance all the time, it looks, well, like it’s way past its use-by date. It makes people wonder if they are safe using it. It has the potential to undermine confidence in the system.

Maybe I’m being too harsh. Maybe there is some very good reason why, in the rendering of medical services, printing out documents, getting signatures, then shredding the originals makes sense. But even if it does – EVEN IF IT DOES – it still LOOKS terrible.

I sincerely hope courts are not allowing the same appearance; although I strongly suspect there are still some that do. Again, I can only assume that the judges in those courts are unaware of how it makes them look.

Just as most people appreciate being told if an inopportune button is loose or zipper unzipped without their knowledge, I’d assume judges would like to know if they are unintentionally and unknowingly being made to look foolish. It would be a kindness to point out the advantages of eSignature in this regard. Keeping a hard copy went out of fashion several years ago; time to update the look.