We’re thrilled to share more about our investment in ECFX, a platform that’s changing the way law firms handle court documents
With litigation, a case is more than just a day in court. It’s the sum total of many legal actions taken by lawyers on both sides, often over the course of multiple months or years. In order for both sides to track updates to a matter, courts have set up electronic court notice systems to alert both parties to any change that occurs, such as a change in court date, new document filing, or comment from the court attorney. While some cases have a few dozen notices, those that go to trial can have many thousands over the course of the matter. These notifications are further complicated by the courts themselves. Each court system has their own tech stack and, resultantly, its own method for distributing notices to both parties. This creates dozens of notice types that legal teams need to access for vital updates to the case.
Managing these notices is no small task. Legal assistants, paralegals, docketing staff, and even attorneys can spend anywhere from eight minutes to almost an hour processing a single notice. The typical process involves downloading, naming, storing, and distributing the court documents in the notice to the case team. Multiplied by hundreds or thousands of notices per week, the time wasted by firm staff on these tedious tasks is staggering. Add to that the problems inherent to manual processing (such as human error, delays in processing, and siloed information), and the need for automation of this part of the legal process becomes clear.
ECFX’s Dan O’Day encountered this problem time and time again when meeting with law firms. “We are wasting hundreds of hours a month downloading and distributing court documents in electronic court filing (ECF) notices,” staff would tell him, “Do you have anything that can help us process ECF notices automatically?” After hearing this enough, Dan and co-founder Nelson Quintero set out to build ECFX, which provides intuitive workflows and automations to manage the handling of court notices. The platform connects to court systems all over the US. Any time a new notice comes in, ECFX automatically formats the data into a standard, structured format and downloads any relevant files from the notice as well. The information can be routed to docketing and document management systems platforms to ensure that the relevant attorneys see the information for that case.
ECFX has given superpowers to firm staff. They can manage notices in one tenth of the time and with 10x more accuracy than when completing the work manually. ECFX’s current solution is just the start, however. Dan and Nelson see a world in which automated processing of ECF notices is the norm in law firms, corporate legal departments, and government litigation offices—like email and case management systems are today. By starting with the legal data in the notice, there are opportunities to move into product functionality to extract information from documents, feed this information to law firm staff and practice management systems, and thereby further streamline ECF notice processing. Given Dan and Nelson’s deep legal tech product backgrounds, we know they are the right folks to bring this vision to life.
We’re thrilled to have the ECFX team as part of the The LegalTech Fund family. Let us know if we can connect you to learn more.