The Texas Office of Court Administration in November 2012 signed a contract with Tyler Technologies to create TexFile. In September, TexFile replaces the current Texas.gov e-filing system. Sept. 1 is also the effective date for a new law that creates a per-case fee to cover all e-filing in a case. [See “Bill Imposing Per-Case Fee for E-Filing on Perry's Desk,” Texas Lawyer, May 27, 2013, page 7.]
Dallas-based Tyler Technologies is teaching lawyers and firms to use TexFile, and attorneys can get one hour of continuing legal education credit, says Mark Schwartz, the company's vice president of e-solutions. Project teams are giving presentations to local bar associations and the largest Texas firms. Also, lawyers can take webinars and watch video tutorials at www.texfile.com.
The company is also working with stakeholders that must integrate their technology with TexFile, including court clerks, 12 software companies and nine counties that provide courts’ case management systems, and 15 companies that offer e-filing services for lawyers.
Schwartz explains that a lawyer submits a court document to an e-filing service provider, which sends the document to TexFile for processing and forwarding to a court clerk. Six of the e-filing service providers — like ProDoc and File&ServeXpress — already operate in Texas, and nine new companies are entering the market, he says.
Schwartz says he thinks the Texas Supreme Court’s e-filing mandate attracted the new e-filing service providers to the Texas market, because that mandate will increase the state’s e-filing volume, which in turns promises more revenue for e-filing service providers. [See “Schedule for Mandatory E-Filing in Civil Cases Rolled Out,” Texas Lawyer, Dec. 24, 2012, page 4.]
And the impact of the change on attorneys?
“I actually think it will make it better for regular lawyers. There will be more options,” says Schwartz.
-- Angela Morris