E-filing is coming. As many of you know, lawyers in Illinois will be required to file electronically in Illinois state court civil cases starting January 1, 2018. Therefore, case documents must be filed electronically through the newly developed centralized manager, eFileIL, and all filing fees must be paid electronically as well.
In light of the change, the Court and many of its commissions developed a number of resources, including an e-filing guide, to aid the learning curve for Illinois attorneys. Aside from the informational blog post that the Commission on Professionalism wrote, the Illinois Lawyers Trust Fund (LTF) created an e-filing guide for Illinois lawyers in collaboration with the Illinois Attorney Registrations and Discipline Commission (ARDC).
The e-filing guide, The Guide to E-Filing and IOLTA Accounts, provides lawyers with practical information about making electronic payments from client funds held in IOLTA (Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts) and other client trust accounts.
The LTF e-filing guide also offers clarification on how and when electronic payment methods are permitted under Illinois Rule of Professional Conduct 1.15. According to the guide, the rule rests on the axiomatic principle that a lawyer has a fiduciary duty and professional responsibility to safeguard client funds, and requires lawyers to hold client funds separate from the lawyer’s own funds.
In addition to this, the e-filing guide breaks down specific scenarios a lawyer might run into when filing electronically. For example, it explains how to file with a credit card, debit card, and with e-checks and the potential service charges or fees tied to each. The guide even explains what an attorney should do if the client doesn’t have the means to pay his or her court fees.
As 2018, quickly approaches, it is imperative that Illinois lawyers educate themselves on the e-filing change for our state. In addition to the e-filing guide and the Commission’s blog post, we urge you to consider attending an upcoming free webinar all about e-filing in the Illinois sponsored by the Court. You can register for the one hour for any of these upcoming dates below.
- October 18, 2017, 1-2pm
- November 22, 2017, 1-2pm
- December 11, 2017, 1-2pm
The MCLE Board of the Supreme Court of Illinois approved one hour of general CLE credit for attorneys who complete the webinar.