Difference Between eFiling and Physical Court Filing

California is on the forefront of the digital revolution once more — and this time it’s in the world of legal documentation. A new option for legal professionals has emerged — electronic filing (eFiling). At the same time, physical court filing isn’t going to disappear overnight. Here’s what you need to know about the differences between the two.

The Growing Trend

While not every single one has made the transition, a number of the California Superior Courts have adopted an eFiling method for legal documents. This new trend is growing steadily, with some courts making eFiling mandatory while others will accept electronic filing in addition to traditional physical filing methods.

One of the newest courts getting ready to accept eFiling is the Los Angeles Superior Court, which operates almost 50 courthouses throughout the county.

Few legal professionals deal exclusively with a single court. Odds are that, even if your court still accepts physical document filing, eventually they’ll implement mandatory eFiling, so now is the time to seek understanding of the new processes these courts have put in place and how they differ.

Electronically or In-Person

No matter how a document is delivered, Court filing is a stressful and often time-consuming process. Dedicating staff hours to drafting, proofing, printing, and collating countless reams of paper is a draining process and one that could be all for naught if an error slips through to the final document that gets submitted to the court clerk. Delays in getting documents submitted or having documents rejected can be costly, and not just in legal fees — they can lead to losing an important case.

You can file a document digitally with an attorney service provider that is qualified to process electronic files. These files are then transmitted electronically through the service provider’s portal and passed through to the courts. As a result, there’s no need to physically hand deliver a hard copy to the court. It’s also, by and large, less expensive in the long run as well.

For the Courts that do not have eFiling technology implemented yet, they require a person the physically walk into the court and hand deliver it. You probably realize by now that all the courts have to be adopting eFiling soon as it seems less efficient and productive to hand deliver something with all the technology that’s been around for years.

Finding the Right EFSP

Attorney Service Providers in California have been offering hand-delivery of court documents for quite some time. In many cases, the process is identical from your end — you upload your documents to a provider and they handle delivery. The difference is how this delivery is made. If your court accepts eFiling, whether mandatory or permissive, then you need to ensure your provider is a certified electronic filing service provider (EFSP).

Not every EFSP is created equal, however. As there’s no truly standardized approach of eFiling in the California Superior Court system, it’s imperative that you partner with a provider that has experience in navigating the varied eFiling requirements of each specific court. That’s why your best choice will always be Rapid Legal.

The Rapid Legal Difference

Law firms that make use of Rapid Legal’s electronic file and serve system can rely on our well-earned reputation. As early adopters of eFiling technology, Rapid Legal also has decades of experience in hand-delivering court documents in the traditional manner as well, making it easy for you to get your documents to the court on time.

Wrap up

Whether relying on our capabilities as a certified EFSP or in need of a court document filed physically, you need simply upload the documents in question and select your desired filing method. If a court offers eFiling, the option will be there. We offer document filing and more — through our online customer portal you can manage cases and corresponding documents, retrieve Proofs of Service and Conformed Copies. It’s just one login, one password, and one simple solution.