While I’ve been waiting for the court’s decision on motions for summary judgment filed in my New York case, I came across the statement by New York Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman regarding Judiciary budget issues — which I’ve read with great interest.
In his statement, Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman called, among other things, for full implementation of electronic filing in New York state courts, noting that “[i]n the year 2011, this is not a pipe-dream, but rather the very least we should be doing to move the courts boldly and efficiently into the 21st century.” Stressing the importance of e-filing, Chief Judge Lippman introduced his vision of a New York “digital courthouse”:
E-filing is part of a broader effort toward creating a “digital courthouse,” where the bar and public will be able not only to file papers electronically, but to quickly retrieve court documents, receive court orders, pay fines and fees, and make remote appearances that will be recorded electronically. So much of the basic business transacted in our courts can be accomplished without lawyers or litigants appearing in the courthouse. The “digital courthouse” will provide vast savings for the courts, litigants, and local governments.
This is so curiously at odds with the position taken by the New York Attorney General’s office in my New York case where the state defendants argue that Section 470 of the Judiciary Law — that dates back to 1862 and requires that New York-licensed non-resident attorneys must maintain “brick-and-mortar” offices for practicing law in the State — is still viable in the 21st century.