Shook, Hardy & Bacon Associate Rachel Canfield examines the e-filing, e-service and e-record systems used by Florida state and federal courts in the January 2016 issue of The Florida Bar. Titled "A Brave New Appellate E-World," the article explains that e-filing is the mandatory method of filing non-confidential information in each of Florida's courts.
To this end, Canfield clarifies for practitioners the E-Filing Portal (ePortal) used by the Florida Supreme Court, Florida’s Second District Court of Appeal, and most of Florida’s circuit and county courts, as well as the eDCA Portal (eDCA) employed by the four other district of courts of appeal as a Web-based means by which attorneys and the public can "access and file documents and access the complete digital repository that stores every filed document in every pending case to which the attorney is a party." In addition to providing best practices and standards for electronic filing, Canfield discusses electronic filing in federal courts via the Case Management and Electronic Case Files (CM/ECF) System and public access to court documents through the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system. She particularly notes that the next iteration of CM/ECF will include several anticipated features, such as "a revised attorney filer interface, central sign-on capability that allows the filer to use a single login and password for all NextGen courts, and a workspace module that allows court staff to consolidate different views of case data in a single interface."
Florida’s courts have officially entered the electronic age. At this point, many practitioners have used at least one of the aforementioned applications to electronically file or manage documents, and each application or court that uses the application provides training manuals or videos on their websites. Taking the time to familiarize oneself with each application and the anticipated changes to each electronic system will save practitioners unnecessary delay, expense, and frustration.