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Mandatory e-filing: The apocalypse is near

trainingAn “apocalypse” is defined as an event involving destruction or damage on an awesome or catastrophic scale. Judging by some of the buzz and talk surrounding the mandatory civil e-filing in Anne Arundel County set to begin in two weeks, one would think that the apocalypse was upon us.

On the other hand, the launch of the Maryland Electronic Courts project sounds like an opportunity for young lawyers to save the world! (Or, at least the Maryland legal world.)

A few years ago, I was (at least partly) hired by Anne Arundel County Circuit Court Judge Nancy Davis-Loomis on the premise that I would help out with the MDEC launch because of my experience tinkering with technology and e-discovery at a large law firm in D.C. The bureaucratic wheels move slow, so I was unable to help out with the launch (by a few years) but it certainly helped me obtain a position with one of the premier judges in Maryland. I am also fortunate to be on the Maryland State Bar Association’s standing committee on technology.

The moral of the story is that you should use technological savvy to provide value in your firm or in your practice. Many experienced attorneys who are not as technologically adept are not used to being the frightened ones. Use that to your advantage.

I think MDEC should make sure they are involving young practitioners as much as possible as they roll out this launch. Too often, a managing partner at a law firm who knows what “HTML” stands for is deemed the firm’s tech guru, when an associate should really hold that title. (HTML, incidentally, does not stand for “How To Meet Ladies,” but rather “hypertext markup language.”)

So if you are well-versed in technology, be a hero, save the world and help out with e-filing.

On a related note, here is a sign that the apocalypse is near. The picture above is from the first MDEC training session in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court. The computer froze! Will the world freeze over, too?!

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