existing integration, so it will go into the court system. There, it will be reviewed by the clerk and docketed automatically using the infrastructure we've already built for attorney filing."

Rupp said secure sockets layer encryption technology and a substantial security system are already in place to protect the information. "However, most of what will be filed in these cases will be public record," she said. "It's unlikely these documents will need to be sealed, but we do facilitate that as necessary."

Increasing Efficiency

The new system is expected to increase efficiency within Colorado courts as well. "Our state court system has been seriously underfunded," said Asher. "There are fewer clerks than we've had during better times, so handling cases electronically will help add to the efficiency and effectiveness of the courts."

Kleiman said technology is tremendously helpful in making the most of scarce resources. "In an ideal scenario, every low-income person who had a legitimate legal problem would be able to have representation in court," he said. "Unfortunately, that's not the case. The reality is legal services -- even basic, critical, noncontroversial services -- are massively underfunded in this country."

If the Colorado pilot is successful, Kleiman said he hopes it will be replicated throughout the country.

Asher said he would like to see it expanded to cover more areas of law.

"It's been documented that an increasing number of people are choosing -- either because of economic necessity or other reasons -- to go to court without lawyers," Asher said. "Hopefully this is the start of a long but important journey -- not only for poor people but for other people of modest means or those who simply feel they can handle their case on their own."

Justine Brown  |  Contributing Writer