Working with the Legal Community
At the same time, one of the greatest early challenges was working for change within the legal culture. At the outset, many members of the legal community remained tied to paper-thinking, not just paper. Some worried about the stability and reliability of new technology; others were concerned about the limitations of their own experience with computers. The Clerk's Office met these concerns with encouragement, involvement, help, training, and support.
No large project can hope to succeed if it has not developed the support of those who will be directly affected by it."
--Roger Winters and Jan Michels, ECR Project Report to the State Justice Institute, July 1998
With the availability of the ECR Viewer and ECR Online applications, the legal community gained greater access to court records, as multiple users could access the record simultaneously from multiple locations, at nearly any time. However, many remained reluctant to upheave longstanding work processes to embrace e-filing, though they saw the usefulness of the new protocols. To increase usage, members of the Bar encouraged the Clerk to work toward mandatory e-filing. After much discussion and review, the approval of King County Local Rule 30 made e-filing mandatory for attorneys in 2009.
Throughout the ECR Program, the Clerk's Office has offered CLEs and other educational programs for members of the legal community as well, to provide education and experience with the County's ECR tools.