Early Issues/Experiences in CM/ECF
In the first three weeks of CM/ECF, the court and attorneys have confronted the following issues related to out of court users, all of which have been resolved:
- A law firm email server blocked CM/ECF emails with Notices of Electronic Filing because the recipients are all designated "bcc" which apparently resembles spam. This issue was resolved the first week.
- Some attorneys have not realized that the Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF) has a link to the document filed. Instead of taking the "free look" authorized by the NEF, they have logged into PACER to view the docket and documents.
- Some challenges with conversion of old ICMS stored images were resolved, and all images from the former docket management system are now loaded into CM/ECF and available through PACER.
- One law firm asked that all NEFs meant for the firm come to only one email address, to facilitate central calendaring. The firm did not understand that each attorney may designate up to three email addresses on the attorney's account, making it possible for an attorney to designate the attorney's email address, a staff member's address and a central calendaring address to receive all NEFs for that attorney. The law firm later designated multiple addresses for each attorney.
- Another law office reported that all the Notices of Electronic Filing (NEFs) it received were stripped of links. No links to case dockets and no links to documents filed. Apparently, the e-mail security software at that office stripped the hyperlinks from the NEFs.
The docketing backlog anticipated with the transition to CM/ECF never occurred. Other courts reported large docketing backlogs -- of several weeks -- as the courts began CM/ECF. The District of Utah has not experienced any significant docketing backlog
, due to substantial advance training and preparation, extraordinary efforts since May 2nd by docket clerks, the past several years' experience scanning most items for the record, and the availability of two high speed scanners.Most chambers' staff have reacted favorably
to the ease of sending Notices of Hearings in CM/ECF and docketing selected orders, some without accompanying documents. The court has not heard of any confusion from attorneys about these Notices of Hearings or Docket Text-only orders.
The court is internally referring to the stage of electronic files and filing by court staff as Phase I
of Going Live and the later stage of attorney filing as Phase II
. In the past three weeks, numerous refinements
have been made to the court's internal CM/ECF procedures based on the experience obtained in Phase I. By Phase II, when attorney training and registration begins in July, the court anticipates most purely internal wrinkles will be worked out, and the adjustments to attorney filings can then begin.