Anyone who has had to manage the internal redistribution and filing of daily docket updates from dozens of courts for hundreds of cases in a large law firm, celebrated on the day that automated docket management tools from companies such as PacerPro and ECFX hit the market. Yet, today a federal judge issued a stunning order which could impact lawyers ability to benefit from these tools. Is this another case of blaming technology when the real problem is human error? The scenario highlighted in the order is deals with – someone failing to designate documents as “under seal” and which results in the documents being automatically distributed… then sealed after the fact. That problem does not arise from the workflow platform, but maybe from a lawyer or a clerk failing to “check a box.”

The order specifically mentions PacerPro, DocketBird, CourtDrive and RECAP. The order does not mention the company ECFX. I am in the process of requesting responses to the order from these companies.

Richard E. Meyers II, Chief United States District Judge North Carolina, issued a Standing Order today which orders lawyers to stop using these services. Here is a copy of the order