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“We Must Embrace the All Digital Future”

Thursday, October 18, 2012 @ 04:10 PM
Brian Montague

In a sign of the times for all professions, Newsweek announced today that  its last print edition in the United States will be the December 31, 2012, issue.  While editor in chief Tina Brown expressed regret over attendant staff reductions and “streamlining,” she said that “we must … embrace the all-digital future.”

In the world of lawyers and courts, we are doing that too –  although change in state courts is coming slowly.  In Mississippi’s federal court system, since 2003 pleadings have been filed electronically only and are available for viewing by all who register (pacer.gov).  State courts here in Mississippi are slowly joining the ranks.  Presently, trial courts in DeSoto, Warren, Harrison, Holmes, and Madison County are allowing electronic filing and viewing of pleadings.  Again, registration is required (https://www.pamecapps.mec.ms.gov/onlinereg/). 

Just this week, this office filed its first state court pleading online in Madison County Circuit Court.  Hopefully, other state court judges and clerks will embrace this “new” reality soon and will see that the cost of implementing electronic filing and viewing is necessary and is less than the cost to court participants of not implementing this change.  As the Mississippi Electronic Courts System website accurately proclaims, “[E]lectronic case filing systems … enhance the accuracy, management and security of records, reduce delays in the flow of information and achieve cost savings for the judiciary, the bar and litigants.”

Written by Brian Montague

Brian Montague

A fourth generation Hattiesburg native, an Iraq and military veteran, and a 1983 graduate of the University of Mississippi Law School, Brian Montague has established an AV rated, well-respected neighborhood law practice focusing on trying cases in state and federal court, corporate and transactional work, insurance defense and coverage, personal injury and wrongful death, residential construction and development issues, and estate probate and administration.