In response to multiple e-filing systems serving the Madison County court system, the legal technology service provider Mozato has created a webpage to answer questions that have been raised about multiple vendors providing the relatively new services.
“One common misconception is that defense firms must use the e-file/e-service vendor chosen by the plaintiff firm," said Tammy Carter, Mozato’s Vice President of Government and Legal Services. "This is simply not required. Both the file & ServeXpress and the Pohlman USA systems have access to the case information in the Madison asbestos litigation,”
According to Carter, Mozato’s File & ServeXpress was the first filing system introduced in Madison County, which she said gives it a leg up on the competition.
“File & ServeXpress has been the sole provider for e-filing and e-service in Madison County since 2008,” said Carter. “Our product has improved and evolved over 30 years, and we have gained strong experience in supporting complex litigation for our many courts and law firm clients across the country.”
Mozato has been used by several federal court judges to manage complex litigation such as Vioxx, Master Tobacco, Chinese Drywall and the Louisiana BP oil spill case. According to Carter, the system is used everywhere from the Texas Office of the Attorney General to the Department of Justice.
“Mozato was the first company to launch free e-filing in Madison County on Sept.24,” said Carter. “This action eliminated a barrier to entry, previously expressed by firms, as a reason why they were continuing to file in paper at the courthouse.”
According to Carter, e-filing is important in complex litigation battles, and it is very important for firms to understand how to access electronic pleadings and court documents.
“The ability to electronically exchange documents, especially in Madison County asbestos litigation, where over 714,000 documents were exchanged in 2014, is invaluable,” said Carter. “Firms can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in a paper-based system. e-service allows legal documents to be filed with the court and simultaneously served to the parties in the case.”
In an e-filing system, all documents are stored in an electronic data center with multiple levels of security, search capabilities, historical record keeping, and immediate access.
Despite some confusion, there are benefits to having a multi-vendor system, said Carter.
“The vision of a multi-vendor model is to allow firms to have a choice when selecting their provider," said Carter. "Firms can decide which vendor to use based on pricing and features/services offered, and not based on what system the plaintiff selects. All asbestos case information is currently accessible on either system."
Cost-wise, Mozato usually charges separate filing and service fees. In Madison County, the company has waived the typical filing fee and charges six dollars for e-service.