Monday, March 24, 2014 | 202 | 0 | min read
Billy Preston immortalized the lyric, Nothin' From Nothin' Leaves Nothin', back in 1974. In the spirit of the U.S. Postal Service and their never-ending quest to price the postage stamp out of existence, I thought we might double the charge for e-filing this year. That lyric would be Nothin' Times Two is Still Nothin'. As you know, the e-JCC e-filing and e-service platforms have been provided to the marketplace for "Nothin'."
Talk about value for your money, the returns on this Nothin' have been significant. Through the end of February 2014, the e-JCC e-filing program had saved users (that's you) at least $1,911,791.76. Yes, almost $2 million. Over 2.5 million documents have been e-filed since that fateful day back on Nov. 29, 2005, when M. Todd Merritt (M Todd Merritt P.A.) filed the first e-JCC document, followed the next morning when K. Kay Dodd (Miller, Kagan, Rodriguez & Silver) filed the second. The rest, as they say, is history!
I remember the enthusiastic adoption of e-filing. Sure, a couple of you said it would never fly, but most of the feedback was enthusiastic and it was gratifying to see people jump on the bandwagon in those early years.
In 2012-13, along came e-service. About six years after we started e-filing, this was a major innovation. In 2012-13, we had 58,041 PFB filed. Each of those that was served on the carrier by e-service, saved the attorneys at least $3.12 in Certified Mail, a total of $181,087.92. We had 40,791 Responses to PFB filed, saving the carriers $127,267.92 in Certified Mail. The first year it was offered, e-service saved the marketplace about $308,355.84 just on PFB and Response Postage.
Conservatively estimating that each case involved each side filing a motion, a notice and a request (so two of each of these at $.45 each in postage), e-service saved the marketplace another $156,710.70 on the discovery and pleading filings.
Conservatively, e-service is saving the marketplace about $465,066.54 annually in postage, for documents parties would have sent each other by mail. E-filing is saving the marketplace about $407,704.30 annually in postage that would have been spent sending paper to the OJCC in Tallahassee. Conservatively, e-filing and e-service together are saving you, the users, almost $1 million per year on postage. The time and effort savings are significant as well.
This does not account for the simplicity and savings brought to you by the change in the child support information process, but that is for another day.
And the cost to you of all this savings? You guessed it, Nothin'.
David Langham is deputy chief judge of the Florida Office of Judges of Compensation Claims. This column was reprinted with his permission from his Florida Workers' Comp Adjudication blog.