A message from a civil practitioner ...
Efiling is Failing
Robert Buschel

Computers are meant to accomplish two goals: reduce paper, and make things go faster.  The new State computer system implemented in Broward fails on both counts.

It is now clear that the new system creates more paper and slows the process down to a stop.  How infuriating if you are a plaintiff in a civil lawsuit and want to get the legal process started.  A plaintiff's lawyer eFiles a lawsuit, and then waits for it to be actually "filed."  It should just be "filed," shouldn't it?  Someone designed a computer system where a person is at the end of it, and we have to rely on that person to do something the computer is meant to circumvent --  people filing paper.  Why was this done?  We've created a process that only adds computers.

Once the clerk has physically filed it, he tells you it is filed via email, which means you can then submit an eSummons, the coversheet for the lawsuit to be served upon the defendants.  This process that used to take less than a minute when it was a face to face transaction now takes weeks. 

This is insanity! 

There is no reason the filing and the eSummons cannot happen in seconds.  The information for the summons can be created from the data that is logged into the Efiling system when the lawsuit is filed-- specifically the parties, the case number, and where the lawsuit will be litigated.  

And what about Motions?  When a Motion is "eFiled," where does it go and who gets to see it?  Apparently, the judge and the parties are not served with the eFiled document.  It is just for the clerk to deem "filed."  Hand service of papers is still required.  No pleadings docket is created.

If the judge gives you her email address, you can send a courtesy copy of a filed motion. Miami-Dade requires this, through a separate system.  Their eCourtesy program  is a little more advanced.  The judge can retrieve the document filed.  In Broward, not quite yet, where the lawyer needs to get paper to the judge and opposing counsel, unless both provide their email addresses.  And let's not even discuss the time when a judicial assistant prompted me to call the clerk to have them send the paper file to the judge's chambers, so the judge could consider what I eFiled. 


Lastly, in the Broward system, you get a reference number and not the case number to track down what stage of "filing" your document is in.  I was told to bring that reference number to the clerk, window #4, and maybe someone will speed up my Efiling.  I guess I'll have to talk to that human tomorrow after waiting in line, if I can get there before 4:30 PM.

Go to the clerk's office and ask who designed the Efiling process.  The answer is probably not a lawyer.  People have the misconception that a guy who knows how to program computers understands the context and purpose of a computer design.  In this case, someone had to assume that a computer architect/programmer knows what lawyers do and what litigation is, and why the antiquated paper system is no longer useful.  Obviously, that wasn't the case here.

We're not asking Captain Caveman to invent a new design for paperless litigation.  Look at the CM/ECF system in federal courts.  It's not perfect, but you know when the judge has issued an order and when the parties have filed documents, which everyone can view.  It instantly tells you when the response is due to the motion because the computer can add +10 or +15 days to the filing date.  Isn't that great? 

The end game of going paperless is to have more court time to discuss justice on the merits, rather than disputes over what was filed, when, and am I looking at the right thing.  Amazingly, it's already taken years to get to this point, and still that hasn't been achieved.  A backlog is growing, and it's time to introduce practicing lawyers to the Clerk's programmers to fix the design and the process.

Rob Buschel

The Florida Bar: "Protecting Rights, Pursuing Justice":

President Obama spoke out on the Trayvon Martin verdict ...
what does the President of the Florida Bar have to say?

SS: Eugene Pettis "circumspect" on Martin case (July 9th/pre-verdict)

"(Pettis) said blogs are "part of our society. As we move into new frontiers, we have to find ways to balance free speech with our ethical obligations."

Pettis is similarly circumspect about Florida's racially explosive Trayvon Martin case, where neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman is on trial for second-degree murder of the teenager. There's no outcome yet; the court process has to unfold, he said.

"I think it will define itself," Pettis said.

Coming Soon - Lawyers' ethical obligations to expose judges that need exposing; 
Lawyers' ethical obligations to expose racism in the criminal justice system, ETC.;
An open email to Eugene Pettis;

        Bob Norman and Rafael Olmeda

SS: Rest In Peace Ramon Grau

OR, CT, and IA only three states mandating "racial impact studies"

Incarcerating the young is often counterproductive, MIT professor shows

BrowardBulldog: Satz tentatively signs on for MM Diversion for all cannabis cases

“Our office is in favor of the idea,” said state attorney’s spokesman Ron Ishoy ...

                                    WELL DONE!


*CORRECTION* - Regarding "THAT'S HIS DEFENSE?" (See below), there is misdemeanor diversion for some domestic violence cases in Broward, even if the State Attorney's website  says the following, with no information on the DVU page  regarding a diversion program:

Ineligible - The following will not be approved for M.D.P.:

2.  Domestic Violence offenses (to be handled by the Domestic Violence Unit).

There is, of course, no diversion for felony domestic violence cases in Broward County.

Sorry for the confusion!


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  • 7/23/2013 12:31 AM Steven A Feinman wrote:
    I have been saying the same thing since exiling began.
    Reply to this
  • 7/23/2013 12:32 AM Steven A Feinman wrote:
    Reply to this
  • 7/23/2013 12:33 AM Steven A Feinman wrote:
    That is EFILING
    Reply to this
  • 7/23/2013 12:40 AM Anonymous wrote:
    Exiling is what should happen to Forman.
    Reply to this
  • 7/23/2013 6:00 AM Jimmy D wrote:
    OK. Stupid Question: Why didn't the geniuses just use the same system as the federal courts? While not perfect, it is quite good, proven and very fast. Was this one of those, "Dammit. We can do our own system!"

    Or, worse, was it a situation where money was allocated and unusual decisions were made about spending same? As in, what entity designed the system, and what was its relationship to some pol with the County? (or someone in the Courthouse, maybe)
    Reply to this
  • 7/23/2013 7:41 AM Anonymous wrote:
    Reply to this
  • 7/23/2013 8:13 AM Old Florida wrote:
    Hey if it's not fixed don't break it. The "Patronage System" works well here, Mr Howard Forman has created more jobs than "Obama" the fiefdom is working, I also like the crank up telephone system. Lets keep the "Old Courthouse" revamp it into a "Bed & Breakfast" operated by Paula Dean, the steady stream of "personal" supplied by BSO would keep the machine chugging along. Would Mike Satz have the temperament to be "concierge"
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  • 7/23/2013 9:00 AM Anonymous wrote:
    1. This is the system you get when you have a Clerk of Courts (Forman) who is apparently computer illiterate. He doesn't use computers himself, doesn't use email, yet this is the guy in charge of our transition to efiling. What a joke!

    2. Agree we should have simply copied the federal efiling system. It is fast, relatively easy, and efficient.
    Reply to this
  • 7/23/2013 10:32 AM Anonymous wrote:
    If I'm old and I marry a young woman does she get my pension when I get filed in the great clerk's office in the sky?
    Reply to this
  • 7/23/2013 10:40 AM Mr. Slate wrote:
    Even The Flintstones figured out a cheaper way to run an office. They used birds and other small animals to do the menial tasks instead of expensive humans. Maybe The Clerk should invest in a DVD box set of the show to get some ideas for modernization.
    Reply to this
  • 7/23/2013 11:19 AM Civil Guy wrote:
    While I'll be the first to criticize our clerk's office for inefficiency, this isn't Forman's fault.

    The State set up the efiling system, with a single resource for filing in all counties. Then they left some of the "heavy lifting" parts to each individual county. So while you are filing through the same portal everywhere in the State, the information gets treated differently and sent differently in each county.

    The only way they could have had a Pacer-like system (which is 1000% more efficient and better than the State e-filing portal) was if the State decided to use it or create a system like it.

    Let me remind our civil readers also that one of the new rules under the efiling protocol is that all of your documents (the pleadings and exhibits) must now be readable using OCR for the disabled. I don't know why that is since in most counties, you can't actually pull the pleadings to review online, but if you don't have your PDFs set up to be readable through voice recognition software, once those documents become viewable on the Clerk's website, you may face Bar Complaints/ADA Complaints for making your papers inaccessible to the visually disabled.

    Now you know...and knowing is half the battle.
    Reply to this
  • 7/23/2013 2:52 PM Family Lawyer wrote:
    Another issue. My efilings are all being returned as illegible. After refiling several times, I went to the clerk's office.

    Here is the problem. My documents made it fine to Tallahassee; however, when Tallahassee transmitted the documents to Broward County, the documents are all black. I have made three trips to the clerk of court to hand file the documents.

    It took me two weeks to file a new case.

    I was told that I am not the only one this has happened to.
    Reply to this
  • 7/23/2013 3:41 PM Anonymous wrote:
    The goal of e-filing is to force solo practitioners and small law firms out of business by making everything incredibly inconvenient, wasteful, time consuming and horrifying. In the end, the big firms with extra personnel will always have someone making a living just e-filing. That's before it gets more complicated. Then, E-filing will itself become a separate practice area. Eventually, some attorneys will seek board certification as specialists in e-filing because it will continue to get more and more complicated as we go forward. I'm not an old dinosaur, but a young geeky attorney who can build his own computer. Even I think the state e-filing system is unworkable. The federal CM/ECF is millions of miles ahead of the state e-filing portal. The funniest part about this fiasco is how the Florida Bar News has completely missed (or deliberately ignored) this issue. There is no investigative journalism at the Florida Bar News about why the state chose this crap e-filing system over the CM/ECF. Nope. The Florida Bar News continues to look the other way, while Broward suffers.
    Examples: File a new case in Miami-Dade County, get a case number on the same day. File a new case in Palm Beach County, get a case number within two days. File a new case in Broward County, wait at least 25 days if you're lucky. Plus, you cannot issue summons until you get a case number. Good luck with an eviction case in Broward. Try explaining your client why it's the clerk's fault that the tenant hasn't been removed one or two months after he hired you.

    Oh wait there's more. CM/ECF automatically generates an email serving a copy of pleadings on the filing attorney, opposing counsels, the court, the clerk, AND any other attorney who logs into PACER and registers his email to the case so he can observe the case as a non-party. Ooooh a learning tool for attorneys who didn't file an appearance. How cool is that? CM/ECF also is used for self-calendaring hearings in some federal divisions. CM/ECF also handles both proposed and signed orders.

    Not so with Broward County's rendition of the state e-filing system. Courtesy copy to opposing counsels, use your own email. Submit a proposed order, use a different software. Set a hearing on Motion calendar, use yet another online software. None of the three softwares talk to each other. Oh, and courtesy copy to judge, send a paper copy or get his email address. Pretty soon you have usernames, passwords, and learning curves for five different online softwares, portals, or whatever you want to call them.... for one frigging courthouse.

    Utterly ridiculous.
    First, I think all of the affected attorneys in Broward County should band together and file a petition with the Florida Supreme Court.
    Second, the next elected clerk must be a certified IT professional who has practiced law. Maybe even worked at a clerk's office before.
    Third, Florida Bar News needs to stop being a e-filing cheerleader at each mont
    Reply to this
  • 7/23/2013 4:30 PM VOTE PIGMAN wrote:

    Reply to this
  • 7/23/2013 4:36 PM Anonymous wrote:
    I agree with everything except the bit about the bar news. Since nobody reads it anyway its not a valid point.
    Reply to this
  • 7/23/2013 7:27 PM Anonymous wrote:
    I wouldn't have expected anything else. This is Broward after all. The only surprise would be if there isn't an arrest and a failed prosecution once its learned some politically connected greaser made 6 million off the boondoggle. I hope I'm not in the new courthouse when it collapses or during the first hurricane either.
    Reply to this
  • 7/23/2013 8:14 PM E-File sux wrote:
    Finally a discussion on here that it not a personal attack, name calling or other mean-spirited behavior.

    The current e-filing system sucks. I have had to wait 7 days for a summons. All counsel of record should get email copies of anything that is filed like in federal court. I agree that the system looks like a non-lawyer designed it and it is full of problems. Many other lawyers with whom I have spoken share the same sentiment. It's like they released a BETA version of what could be so much better.
    Reply to this
  • 7/23/2013 8:44 PM John McNamara wrote:
    If an attorney is disadvantaged, imagine the stumbling blocks thrown in the path of a pro se litigant, who is barred from a hearing, altogether.

    We have to face the reality that the judicial system is failing, in toto. In fact, thanks to the Patriot Act and legislators who move like sheep (following the butt in front), habeas is stripped of its efficacy, and the Bill of Rights has been eviscerated. Corruption and incompetence is rampant especially here in Broward County and the 4th DCA. Some of the readers may remember the case (that is still in litigation some 10 years later), where the defendant's defense counsel forced her client to provide the corrupt Hollywood Police Department with an internal affairs complaint, then perjured her testimony against her own client on a 3.850 hearing. See: http://db.tt/43pyN27o

    Didn't know that she, or they, could request a jury instruction on self-defense, didn't investigate the case, and allowed the defendant to be convicted in the basis of smashing his face into the fists and feet of police officers who smashed his face into a concrete floor for one minute and fourteen seconds before dragging the semi-lifeless body of the defendant into a solitary cell, and later transported to Memorial where he spent the next four days in intensive care, and finally removed from hospital care under the assurances of BSO deputies that the "hospital at the jail could adequately care for the defendant's injuries," when there is no hospital at the jail, and the defendant was left to languish in a cold jail cell, hardly able to move, and deprived of his prescribed medicines and pain meds during the following six weeks. See, e.g.: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADQgqWH87IE

    The head of the law firm involved well knew that his subordinate lied under oath to save her own ass from a malpractice action (listen:

    And, who did Satz put on this case to elicit the perjured testimony of Mr. Finkelstein's subordinate:


    After the defendant had already served 42 months of a 60 month sentence?

    From the time of the initial filing of the information, Satz secreted an exculpatory video and proceeded with the prosecution upon this video falsified by the City of Hollywood police department:

    Any responses?
    Reply to this
  • 7/23/2013 9:27 PM Anonymous wrote:
    I won't bother filing a complaint with the Clerk's office concerning the efiling issues because I know they will misplace it and it will never get read.
    Reply to this
  • 7/23/2013 9:29 PM Anonymous wrote:
    "Finally a discussion on here that it not a personal attack, name calling or other mean-spirited behavior."

    Fuck you asshole.
    Reply to this
  • 7/23/2013 11:00 PM Voice Of Reason wrote:
    eFiling is not broken.

    eFiling is just new.

    Please be patient until the bugs are worked out.
    Reply to this
  • 7/24/2013 11:52 AM Mike wrote:
    This is not about bugs in the program, it is a design flaw.
    Reply to this
  • 7/25/2013 12:50 PM Free Lance Paralegal wrote:
    I have been a free lance paralegal in FLA for over 17 years. The new e-file portal, especially as it relates to Broward County, has caused me hours of excess, unnecessary work. It is the most user UNFRIENDLY system designed. Pinellas County use to use LexisNexis which was very easy to use. I have no clue why Florida did not model their system after LexisNexis. Colorado uses the ICCES system which is simple and uniform. One of the problems with the Florida e-file protal is that each county has its own set of rules. If you are doing work in more than one county, you have to check to see how they want it done. One of the first problems to tackle would be UNIFORMITY!!!

    Second, it is taking months to get a probate case filed and an order or LOAs issued from Broward County. It is an embarassment to the attorney to try to explain to the clients why what use to take 5 to 6 weeks (still pretty lame) now takes 3 months. Worse yet, almost all cases are rejected for some minute reason but that reason is not put on the rejection. You get a notice from the clerk with the filing number...not the case name, saying your pleadings were rejected...with zero explanation. God forbid you call to find out what the problem is and are lucky enought to actually have someone pick up the phone, the clerks in Probate throw you attitude like you have some nerve asking them any questions. Is there a reason that they cannot include the case name on the rejection? Is there a reason it takes MONTHS to get a case number? You can't file the original Will with the court any more until you e-file it first, get a case number and then send the original will to the court. Is it not Florida law that the original will is supposed to be filed with the court within 10 days of notification of death? The way Broward does it, it takes MONTHS to get a Will filed.

    A total overhaul of this new system must be undertaken immediately. This system reflects poorly on every attorney who practices in Florida because the client doesn't want to hear that the system stinks and getting orders, case numbers or filings take months.
    Reply to this
  • 7/25/2013 12:57 PM Anonymous wrote:
    Sorry Voice...do not agree. The system was poorly designed. Getting something filed and getting a case number should not take weeks or months for that matter. The selling pitch for the e-file portal was that it was going to simplify the system. It has made matters much worse.
    Reply to this
  • 8/1/2013 7:42 AM NSA and The Florida Bar wrote:
    For any pro-big government people out there, many of whom are lawyers of both parties who don't quite get the Fourth Amendment, please consider the below quotation from a news story about the privacy-invading practices of the NSA. As you read this latest bombshell, which vindicates Snowden, you need to know and understand the relevance of the NSA scandal to The Florida Bar's assault upon this blog and Bill Gelin:

    Generally, both the NSA and The Florida Bar represent the irresistible tendency of government to elevate its alleged needs over the rights of individuals. The whole sweep of our US Constitution is an expression of this danger and how to prevent it.

    But more specifically, please know that in the five years in which The Florida Bar targeted me for disbarment based upon my public pronouncements about judicial and corporate corruption, The Bar repeatedly hacked my email account. Consider that sentence again: The Florida Bar repeatedly hacked my email account.

    I have no doubt that The Florida Bar is hacking Bill Gelin's email accounts right now. Bill, you need to file your federal suit now, not later. T

    The files shed light on one of Snowden's most controversial statements, made in his first video interview published by the Guardian on June 10.

    "I, sitting at my desk," said Snowden, could "wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant, to a federal judge or even the president, if I had a personal email".

    US officials vehemently denied this specific claim. Mike Rogers, the Republican chairman of the House intelligence committee, said of Snowden's assertion: "He's lying. It's impossible for him to do what he was saying he could do."

    But training materials for XKeyscore detail how analysts can use it and other systems to mine enormous agency databases by filling in a simple on-screen form giving only a broad justification for the search. The request is not reviewed by a court or any NSA personnel before it is processed.

    XKeyscore, the documents boast, is the NSA's "widest reaching" system developing intelligence from computer networks – what the agency calls Digital Network Intelligence (DNI). One presentation claims the program covers "nearly everything a typical user does on the internet", including the content of emails, websites visited and searches, as well as their metadata.

    Analysts can also use XKeyscore and other NSA systems to obtain ongoing "real-time" interception of an individual's internet activity.

    Under US law, the NSA is required to obtain an individualized Fisa warrant only if the target of their surveillance is a 'US person', though no such warrant is required for intercepting the communications of Americans with foreign targets. But XKeyscore provides the technological capability, if not the legal authority, to target even US persons for extensive electronic surveillance without a warrant provided that some identifying information, such as their email or IP address, is known to the analyst."
    Reply to this
  • 11/28/2013 1:13 PM bad lifestyle speaker wrote:
    Things gained through unjust fraud are never secure.
    Reply to this

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