US Courts has an interesting article on how PACER has altered the business of the courts. Here’s a sampling from the article:
- “It’s definitely changed the way our office does business, and I think it’s been a change for the better,” said Monica Menier, clerk of the bankruptcy court in the Middle District of Louisiana.
“Back in the paper world, we constantly had law firm runners who came to the clerk’s office to make copies of case files. They’d have to drive to the courthouse, find a parking place, feed the meter, and pay 50 cents per copy. Helping them consumed a lot of staff time,” she said. “Those days are gone.”
- Bankruptcy Judge J. Rich Leonard in the Eastern District of North Carolina voiced one concern about the decrease in courthouse traffic. “I’m worried about what can be the complete absence of interaction between lawyers and their staffs and the court staff,” he said.
“The level of camaraderie and shared professionalism incident to the delivery of paper files has been affected. Those sort of contacts are gone. The only person in our clerk’s staff that many lawyers who practice before me know is our courtroom deputy, whom they see in court,” Leonard said. “Things are more formalized now.”
- Judge Leonard said PACER’s growth has resulted in one change in his judicial behavior: He’s more likely to insist on quicker responses from lawyers because “submitting a reply brief in two days is much easier than it was in a paper world.”
Source: Legal Dockets Online