Judiciary ready to move on appellate CMS, e-filing

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The state judiciary is moving forward with a plan to establish an appellate case management system, which someday could entail an e-filing system similar to what the federal courts currently have access to.

Late Friday afternoon, the Indiana Division of State Court Administration issued a public notice of contracting opportunity (PNCO) seeking proposals for an information technology system that would be put in place for the state’s appellate system. This move follows the February 2009 hiring of Indianapolis attorney Robert Rath to be the new director of appellate court technology, which was a position created in response to a National Center for State Courts study in 2007 about the Hoosier judiciary’s system.

Currently, the Indiana appellate case management system is one designed and built in the 1980s that has been gradually updated through the years, but largely remains the same. A new system would allow the courts to enter the 21st century, with 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.

“This will be a major initiative for our courts over the next couple years, provided we can secure the necessary funding,” Indiana Supreme Court public information officer Kathryn Dolan wrote in a statement to Indiana Lawyer about the IT updates in recent months.

In the 27-page notice, 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.

In previous interviews, Appellate Clerk Kevin Smith has told IL that a vision is to someday possibly have an online system similar to the Public Access to Court Electronic Records and Case Management/Electronic Case Files (PACER and CM/ECF). The path to that vision could take many forms and much is dependent on available funding and resources.

The notice discusses contractors considering phased development, where some aspects such as Tax Court filings, attorney discipline cases, or a certain type of case could be targeted initially. A launch of the project isn’t yet determined, the notice says.

Companies must submit their proposals and cost breakdowns by 4 p.m. Aug. 20. Questions and updates are due earlier that month, and the timeline following those submissions is still uncertain. The state hopes to have proposal evaluations at the end of September, the PNCO says. Interested vendors can register in advance for a pre-proposal conference set for July 22, by contacting Teresa Payne at or (317) 233-1578. Details about the project and timeline can be found online at the state judiciary’s website.


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  1. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  2. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  3. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.

  4. rensselaer imdiana is doing same thing to children from the judge to attorney and dfs staff they need to be investigated as well

  5. Sex offenders are victims twice, once when they are molested as kids, and again when they repeat the behavior, you never see money spent on helping them do you. That's why this circle continues