Helping lead the way for Texas’ appellate courts, the Texas Supreme Court on Monday switched to a new case management system that eventually will give lawyers online access to search for and view more case documents.
Lawyers and the public should notice the difference later this week when the high court’s website switches to the new software, the Texas Appeals Management and eFiling System (TAMES), says Scott Jones, manager of software development for the Texas Office of Court Administration (OCA). The 1st and 14th Courts of Appeals already use TAMES; over the next six to seven months, the OCA will implement TAMES in the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals and the remaining intermediate appellate courts, he says.
According to the OCA website, TAMES allows litigants and lawyers to send case information and documents electronically. The system disseminates the records instantly to the judges handling an appeal; allows judges to circulate, discuss and vote on opinions; and enables chief justices to monitor the pace of work. TAMES will enable courts to place more public case documents like briefs on their websites, searchable by the public.
Jones says when all the appellate courts use TAMES, people will be able to go online and use “one unified search” and expanded search criteria to look up cases across all the courts.
“They use it in the courts to help find similar cases or similar writings that have the same concept or issue in them,” Jones explains about the expanded search function.
-- Angela Morris