There was a Florida Supreme Court workshop on Courts today in Miami. Judge Soto was there. So were a host of other judges. The public participated, mostly asking questions about how and why they got screwed in their particular case, which of course the judges couldn't answer.
Here is the startling news to come out of the workshop: (steady now) The court system is out of money, it works inefficiently, and the technology is thirty years old.
Yup, that is a big blow for most of you to read, but the truth will out no matter how difficult to hear.
Electronic filing is the glaring example of Florida court system incompetence that we cannot figure out.
Roughly a decade ago the federal court system went to electronic filing. There are also electronic dockets. Anyone with access to the CM/ECF system can access any case and see any document (that hasn't been sealed) that has been filed. The government files discovery electronically, a sample of which we have included below.
As much as we hate to say it, the Fed system works. You can file the same document in Dallas, as in Miami, or anywhere else in the federal system and you file it the same way (except in Dallas where your pleadings have to include "y'all").
With this template before it, Florida apparently ignored the Feds. We understand the sentiment, but in this case Florida ignored the Feds to their detriment. Couldn't Florida have hired the same software developers? The biggest flaw in the Florida system is that the documents are not accessible. So If you come late into a case you can't simply go on-line and download the documents to get up to speed. The Florida system looks cheap, it acts clunky, there is this ridiculous requirement that if you don't enter the exact number of pages in the document the system makes you start all over. Overall, Florida bought a "compuserve" system in an Apple world. Or put another way, Florida has a rotary phone system in an iPhone world. Or put another way, they got ripped off and screwed. But that's technical legal jargon, better left for the civil blogs to discuss.
Basically, the Feds got it right and we dropped the ball. Ouch. There. We said it.
See you in court.
Here's an example of the wonderful discovery that you get in federal court, not including Jenks material, which as we all know must be disclosed within two dozen years after the verdict.
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