First Judicial District of Pa. offers electronic filing class

By Jon Campisi | Dec 13, 2011

The First Judicial District of Pennsylvania has announced it will host a one-day class on the electronic filing system next week, a lesson that will enable private attorneys to brush up on the city’s mandatory system for filing civil complaints.

The FJD, the court system for Philadelphia County, will host the class Dec. 21 from 9 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. in conference room 380 at City Hall.

The class will benefit lawyers who may not be familiar with the Civil Electronic Filing System, which was launched in the summer of 2008, and became mandatory for the electronic filing of all civil matters in January 2009.

Those who plan to file civil complaints at the First Judicial District need to be registered users of the electronic filing system, and the course will teach would-be users the ins and outs of the system.

“This course will provide in-depth instruction on the use of the electronic filing system,” states an online posting announcing the upcoming class. “The electronic filing system was designed to allow for the filing of all civil cases and legal documents via the Internet from anywhere and at anytime using a personal computer. The system currently provides attorneys and litigants with unlimited online access to all papers and legal documents filed in their cases.”

The three-hour-plus class will provide attendees with three substantive continuing education credits and has been approved by the Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education Board for three hours of CLE credit in substantive law.

Program topics will include the rules of civil procedure governing E-Filing, an in-depth description and instruction of the E-Filing System, system requirements and a discussion and question-answer session.

Expected to participate in the event is Pamela Pryor Dembe, the president judge of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas; John W. Herron, the courts’ trial division administrative judge; Allan L. Tereshko, the courts’ supervising judge of the civil trial division; David D. Wasson, the Common Pleas Court administrator; Charles A. Mapp, the courts’ chief deputy court administrator for the civil trial division; Prothonotary Joseph H. Evers; Dominic J. Rossi, the deputy court administrator for legal services; Deputy Prothonotary Deborah E. Dailey; Chief Innovation Officer Harold Palmer; and Steven Wulko, quality assurance officer for the civil trial division.

Tuition for the class is $135 per lawyer or $80 for non-lawyers.

Registration could be completed online at and emailed to, or sent via U.S. Mail to: Office of the Prothonotary, Attn: Kristin Wojnar, Room 284 City Hall, Philadelphia, PA 19107. Forms can also be faxed to 215-567-7380.

No refunds will be issued if cancelled less than 24 hours in advance of the class.

In an interview with the Pennsylvania Record last spring, Dailey, the deputy prothonotary at Common Pleas Court, said the system was designed to both streamline the process of filing claims and make it more environmentally sound, by eliminating much of the paperwork traditionally involved in the process.

“It’s really exceeded our expectations,” Dailey said of the system at the time.

The electronic system has actually aided attorneys, she had said, since, unlike in the past, lawyers could now file claims 24 hours a day, seven days a week, as opposed to simply when the physical courts were open.

Lawyers have praised the system as well. In a prior interview, Robert Foster, an attorney with Philadelphia firm Reger, Rizzo & Darnall, said the system is much preferred over the “archaic filing requirements” of the past.

Unlike yesteryear, attorneys can now save money on things like paper costs, those related to both filing complaints and obtaining photocopies of other complaints.

“Electronic filing substantially increases the efficiency of the office,” Foster wrote in a past email to the Pennsylvania Record.

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