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8 submit proposals for Indiana appellate system

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Indiana Lawyer Rehearing

Eight companies are interested in outfitting the Indiana appellate courts with a case management system with public access and e-filing capabilities.

The Indiana Division of State Court Administration reports that those eight companies from around the country and Ontario submitted proposals by the Aug. 20 deadline. Now, the state will review the documents totaling about 2,000 pages before a public evaluation scheduled for Sept. 30.

The current Indiana appellate system was designed and built in the 1980s and has been updated through the years, but it largely remains the same. A new system would allow the courts the possibility of linking to the statewide case management system known as Odyssey, which is now implemented in about 50 trial courts and 21 counties throughout the state.

But the state judiciary wants to modernize the system to allow for better public access, more internal efficiency, and e-filing that might be similar to what exists within the federal courts.

In early July, the state judiciary issued a public notice of contracting opportunity seeking proposals for an information technology system that would be put in place for the state’s appellate system.

The 27-page notice says the primary goals are to increase the appellate courts’ productivity and overall efficiency with a data-entry system that can produce real-time data validation. One component is to give litigants and attorneys the ability to file briefs and motions electronically and enable trial courts and clerks to file transcripts and records the same way online.

Representatives from 13 companies attended – either on-site or remotely – a conference in mid-July where they could hear details before submitting proposals, according to the Division of State Court Administration.

Those that submitted proposals use one of two software models – either a custom application developed by internal resources, a contractor, or a combination of the two; or commercial off-the-shelf software (COTS) that’s licensed by an independent software vendor and can be configured and personalized.

The companies submitting proposals are:

•    Amicus Group, an Ohio-based company that has implemented 200 systems for local governments in the past decade. The proposal calls for a custom system.

•    Aptitude Solutions, a Florida-based division of Lender Processing Services that describes itself as a leading provider of integrated mortgage, real estate and government technology and services. The proposal for Indiana is the COTS software model.

•    CaseLoad Software, a Toronto-based company that focuses on appellate case management systems and has implemented them in multiple U.S. jurisdictions, locally and statewide. The company proposal calls for COTS software.

•    L-T Court Tech, a New York company that offers court-specific software and has been used to manage 5.8 million filings for its clients that include appellate courts. The company is proposing COTS software for Indiana.

•    New Dawn Technologies, based in Utah, which says on its website that its JustWare software is currently used in more than 200 federal, state, and local courts and law-related offices. The proposal for Indiana calls for COTS software.

•    Sustain Technologies, with offices in California and Colorado, which reports that its products have been used in more than 350 courts in 10 states and three countries during the past two decades. For Indiana, the company is proposing COTS software.

•    TriVir LLC, a Virginia-based privately held corporation focusing on highly customized software solutions for various business sectors, such as government, education, medical, technology, and consumer-focused organizations. The Indiana proposal calls for custom software.

•    Tyler Technologies, a Dallas company that has implemented thousands of government office case management systems nationally and in 2007 secured a contract to implement Odyssey system in the trial courts for all of Indiana’s 92 counties.

Once the proposals are reviewed, the state judiciary expects to evaluate those by the end of September and eventually invite the companies to conduct public demonstrations of what their systems can offer Indiana. After that, final offers would be made before an eventual contract award. No specific timeline has been set for that, but the project is expected to take a couple years and is largely dependent on funding availability.

“We’re very pleased with the response we got,” said Robert Rath, appellate information technology director. “This is a major project for our courts in the next couple years, and we’re looking forward to this.”
 

Rehearing "Judiciary ready to move on appellate CMS e-filing" IL July 21- Aug. 3, 2010

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