Tuesday, October 22, 2013

e-Filing comes to San Francisco, hopefully without Jim Crow laws

Filing court papers online (termed as "e-filing") is a very useful feature. It was implemented already 10 years ago in the Federal courts, through the so called ECF/Pacer system. The efficiency of ECF/Pacer was recently put on the test, during the Federal Government's shutdown, allowing the courts to remain functional. In his address to the bar, Chief Judge Jaroslovsky commented that he would be writing a much different letter, should no eFiling system be in place at the time of the government's closure.

[UPDATE 11-5-14] 3 vendors are finally approved for the SF Court, in addition to the previously approved sole provider "File & Serve Xpress." Given the e-filing becomes mandatory in this court starting December 8, it's about time to get the providers on board.

[UPDATE 7-24-14] The voluntary e-filing became available on almost all kinds of cases, and I have personally successfully filed my first document through this system today.

[UPDATE 1-27-14] The "mandatory" e-filing is changed to "voluntary," while the second provider is getting up and running. New estimate for mandatory e-filing's cut-off date is June 30, 2014.

[UPDATE 1-6-14] San Francisco Court moves forward with one vendor and announces an additional vendor selected "through a competitive process." Competitor's name is not yet disclosed. Expansion of the mandatory e-filing kicks in on January 27, 2014.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Mandatory Health Exchange Notice - Where A California Employer Can Look For Help

It is a sad coincidence that the deadline of one event (federal budget) matched with the date when another event started rolling out (Health Care Reform). It is even sadder if the two events are related and the impasse on one may get the other stuck in its opening gates. It is for politicians to wrestle in search of a compromise; meanwhile, the law's one of the initial stages came into force, people are enrolling, and the California Employer is now mandated* to give employees a certain notice about health exchange. Where can one look for tips and hints, or, better, for suggestions on the notice's form? I have assembled here what I was able to find so far:

Federal Courts Will Remain Open During Shutdown

I just started wondering today, what would happen procedurally with the cases pending before the Federal courts during the Shutdown, when I received an email from our District's Bankruptcy Court, stating that "[t]he federal Judiciary will remain open for business for approximately the next 10 business days. On or around October 15, 2013, the Judiciary will reassess its situation and provide further guidance." This arrived at 9:30 A.M. and I couldn't stop myself from imagining scenarios, what would happen to the cases and whether it can be used to my clients' advantage. I felt half-worried half-excited approaching the Unknown.