Changes Coming to Oregon eCourt

Two important changes are coming to Oregon eCourt beginning Monday, November 16:

Documents Submitted for Signature by the Court

Beginning November 16, 2015 all circuit courts using the eCourt system will electronically affix the name and title of the individual signing a document below the signature line.

All documents submitted to the court for signature must comply with UTCR 21.040(3):

  • Leave a blank space of not less than 1.5 inches.
  • Create a blank signature line following the last line of text.
  • Do not include a title or name underneath the line.  Specifically, do not add “Circuit Court Judge.”
  • Update your pleading templates to conform to the rule.
  • Follow this example:

10-23-2015 8-39-29 AM

Direct questions to: Daniel Parr, OJD Communication and Outreach Manager at

Expansion of Electronic Notifications – Case Management System to Generate Notices of Orders Entered

Beginning Monday, November 16, 2015 all circuit courts using the eCourt system will notify attorneys by email when orders are entered on their cases.

This is a long-awaited improvement to the Oregon Judicial Department (OJD) case management system.  Here are the details shared by OJD:

How does it work?

When the court enters an order in the register of actions, the case management system will generate and email a notice to all attorneys on the case. The email will be sent to the email address where the attorney already receives notices of hearings and trials.

What do I need to do?

No action is required. If you are receiving notifications when hearings and trials are set then beginning November 16, 2015 you will start receiving notices regarding entry of orders. The system will send the email from Make sure this email address is whitelisted in your email settings. If you need notifications to be directed to others within your office look into the option of auto-forwarding through your email provider.

Does the email include the signed order?

No, the email will only include a basic court notice form telling you the case number and what order was signed, based on how the order is entered in the register of actions (such as Order – Show Cause). To access the signed order, you will need to either access the case through the Oregon eCourt Case Information (OECI) system over the internet through an online subscription or otherwise go to the courthouse and access the case through a court terminal. More information about subscription services to OECI can be found here.

Will I be notified when other documents are entered into the system?

Not at this time. On November 16 attorneys will only be notified when orders are entered. OJD is evaluating expanding the capacity for similar notifications in the future.

Provided courtesy of Daniel Parr, OJD Communication and Outreach Manager


Three Features to Customize in Windows 10

More advice on how to make Windows 10 work best for you – this time from the incomparable CompuSavvy.  If you aren’t already following this blog, you should be.

Source: Three features to customize in Windows 10

Oregon eCourt and Arbitration

Are Oregon arbitrators required to eFile arbitration awards and judgments? Let me answer that question with another question: were you conventionally filing awards and judgments prior to the implementation of mandatory eCourt?  If your response is yes, then odds are you must eFile.  Let’s step through the analysis with this caveat: please verify the necessity of eFiling with the OJD help desk [see endnote] or your friendly local court clerk.

What do the UTCRs say?

UTCR 13.210(5)
Within 7 days after the conclusion of the arbitration hearing, the arbitrator shall send the award to the parties without filing with the court and shall establish procedures for determining attorney fees and costs.  Result:  In a non-dissolution case, the arbitrator files nothing.  The onus is on the parties.

UTCR 13.210(6)
In dissolution cases, the arbitrator shall send the award to the parties within 7 days after the conclusion of the arbitration hearing and shall direct a party to prepare and submit a form of judgment. The arbitrator, upon request of any party, shall give the parties an opportunity to be heard on the form of judgment. The arbitrator shall then approve a form of judgment and file the award, along with the approved form of judgment, per UTCR 13.220. Result: In a dissolution case, the arbitrator becomes the “filer.”  The rule expressly states the arbitrator shall … “file the award.” If the dissolution case is in a judicial district which has implemented mandatory eCourt, the arbitrator must eFile the award in compliance with UTCR Chapter 21 (text searchable PDF, under maximum file size, etc.)

Are There Any Exceptions to UTCR 13.210(5)?  What about Local Rules?

Ah ha, grasshopper – you have learned well!  The fly in the ointment is exactly that. If the case is in a jurisdiction that has adopted Supplementary Local Rules (most have), you must follow the SLR.  If the SLR requires you, as arbitrator, to file the award or judgment, you’re stuck.  Thus my question above: did you conventionally file awards and judgments prior to the implementation of mandatory eCourt?  If yes, nothing changes except the filing method.  If you are in a jurisdiction that has implemented eCourt, you must eFile. [Double-check with the OJD help desk or your local court clerk if you are unsure.]

A list of jurisdictions with SLRs (including links to the rules) can be found on the PLF website.  Select Practice Management > Forms > Docketing & Calendaring > “State Court Rules – UTCRs and SLRs.”

What is an Example of an SLR that Requires Arbitrators to File Documents?

By imposing conditions for filing awards, Multnomah County SLR 13.085 implies that the responsibility lies with the arbitrator:
(1) The arbitrator shall not file an arbitration award with the court until the issues of attorney fees and costs have been determined. The arbitrator shall certify on the award that no issues of costs or attorney fees remain undecided upon filing of the award. Unless otherwise ordered by the court, no amended or supplemental arbitration award shall be filed, regardless of whether judgment has been entered on the original.
(2) At the conclusion of arbitration, if the arbitrator attempts to file the award with the Court without the proof of service of a copy of the decision and award upon each party as required by ORS 36.425(1), the award will not be filed and will be returned to the arbitrator.

Key Points to Remember

  • If you previously filed awards and judgments with the court, nothing has changed. Filing is still your responsibility. The only difference is how you file, and that will depend on whether the jurisdiction has implemented eCourt.
  • Read the SLRs! At the present time, Multnomah County puts the onus on arbitrators, Washington County does not.
  • Know the UTCRs.  UTCRs govern where SLRS have not been adopted.
  • Communicate with the parties.  If it is the responsibility of the parties to eFile your award or judgment, say so and cite the pertinent UTCRs.

All Rights Reserved [2015] Beverly Michaelis

Oregon Judicial Department Help Desk –
Monday through Friday 7:00 am to 6:00 pm

503-986-5582 or 1-800-922-7391

eCourt Open Hours in Multnomah County – Every Friday

Multnomah County Circuit Court is offering a best practices/Q & A session on eCourt every Friday from October 9 through December 11.

At the beginning of the session there will be a 15 minute long presentation covering advanced e-filing best practices, including how to handle exhibits/large documents, consolidated cases, e-filed images, relation-back date requests and Rule 7 service. The remaining time will be dedicated to answering questions on a group or individual level.

No pre-registration is required. Focused on experienced e-filers; however, the sessions are open to everyone.

For more information, click here.

Office 2016 Incompatible with Acrobat XI (for now)

Did you upgrade to Office 2016 only to find that your Acrobat XI toolbar disappeared? You are not alone.

It seems that each time Microsoft pushes out a new version of Office, Adobe lags behind. This was true for Office 2013 and Office 2010.

Responses posted on Acrobat User Forums are indicating that Adobe will push out a release to fix the compatibility issues between Office 2016 and Acrobat XI “soon.” According to Microsoft, the problem is with the PDFMOfficeAddin.dll file.

Assuming Adobe follows through, XI users will not be forced to buy Acrobat DC. Can users count on Adobe keeping its promise?

Based on past experience, the odds are 50/50.  In the case of Office 2010, Adobe never did release a fix.  Instead, version 9 users who wanted Acrobat functionality within Office were required to purchase Acrobat 10. Thankfully that was not the experience with Office 2013, as Adobe did release a free update to fix the compatibility issues.

Sincere thanks to a Portland-metro attorney for bringing this compatibility problem to my attention.

All Rights Reserved [2015] Beverly Michaelis



50 Shades of Green: Building a Profitable Solo or Small Firm Practice

The OSB Solo and Small Firm Section is sponsoring 50 Shades of Green: Building a Profitable Solo or Small Firm Practice on October 30, 2015 at the Oregon State Bar Center in Tigard.

Topics include:

  • Meeting the challenges of a changing legal world
  • Marketing and business development ideas you can use
  • Business planning 101
  • The new equation for lawyer happiness: mobile + paperless + virtual
  • Getting the right things done
  • Increase your profits by spending wisely
  • Legal ethics: technology in law practice

Register at – search for SSFP15.

Cost: $60 for section members, $80 for non-members. Registration includes box lunch.  Social hour follows the CLE at approximately 4:25 p.m.

50 shades of Green CLE


Glitches in Oregon eService

eService in Oregon can be frustrating or impossible if the other side isn’t playing by the rules or doesn’t understand them.  Below is a primer on how eService is supposed to work and the problems practitioners are encountering.

eService Rules

  1. When you eFile into a case you are deemed to consent to eService.
    UTCR 21.100(1)(a).
  2. eService is available for any document unless you are filing a document that requires personal service or service under ORCP 7. UTCR 21.100(1)(a).
  3. At the first instance of eFiling into a case, a filer must enter in the electronic filing system the name and service email address of the filer, designated as a service contact on behalf of an identified party in the action. 
    UTCR 21.100(2)(a).
  4. When eServing another party, the filer is responsible for selecting the appropriate service contacts in the action for the purpose of accomplishing eService. UTCR 21.100(3)(a).
  5. If the preceding requirements are met, eService is automatic: “When the court accepts an electronic document for filing under UTCR 21.060(1)(a), the electronic filing system sends an email to the email address of each person whom the filer selected as a service contact or other service contact under section (3) of this rule. The email contains a hyperlink to access the document or documents that have been filed electronically.”  UTCR 21.100(4).
  6. Transmission of the email by the electronic filing system to the selected service contacts in the action constitutes service. UTCR 21.100(4).
  7. Electronic service is complete when the electronic filing system sends the email to the selected service contacts in the action.  UTCR 21.100(5).

When is eService not available?

You won’t be able to eServe the opponent if any of the following are true:

  • The opponent has not eFiled into the case.
  • You are filing a document that requires service under ORCP 7 or that requires personal service.  For example, a complaint or initiating petition.
  • The opponent has obtained permission from the court to file conventionally.  (If the opponent is not an eFiler, she cannot be eServed.)
  • Your opponent is a pro se who is not registered in the eFiling system.  (If the oppponent is not an eFiler, he cannot be eServed.)
  • Your opponent eFiled into the case, but failed to enter a designated service contact into the system as required by UTCR 21.100(2)(a).

What if Opposing Counsel Doesn’t Know or Won’t Follow the Rules?

When opposing counsel eFiles into a case, but fails to enter a designated service contact, there isn’t much you can do about it … directly.  For example, you might jump to the conclusion that you can do this step for the other side.  Unfortunately you can’t.  You can select someone to serve, but you cannot add someone as a service contact.  Filers have to add themselves, and we are stuck with this consequence.  This begs the question: when someone doesn’t comply with UTCR 21.100(2)(a), what should you do?  Here are my thoughts:

  • Verify the availability of service contacts early on. When the other side first appears or when you are served, login to the system and see if opposing counsel is available for you to select as a service contact.  This information may not be visible unless you are actually eFiling a document into the case, so don’t wait until you are up against a filing deadline to find out.  This leads to my next suggestion.
  • Give yourself extra time.  If you aren’t sure whether the other side has entered a service contact, assume you will have to serve conventionally and plan accordingly.
  • If you see that opposing counsel has failed to enter a service contact, pick up the phone. Refer opposing counsel to UTCR 21.100(2)(a) and ask him to take care of the oversight.
  • Create a calendar reminder to follow-up in three to five days (or sooner, if necessary).  Login in to the system and check again. If the other side still has not added a service contact, take a screenshot to document that no contact is present, and send a follow-up email to opposing counsel with the screenshot attached. Reference your earlier call.  [If you’re a Mac user, see these instructions for taking screenshots.]
  • If you’ve done all the above and the other side has not complied, it may be time for court intervention – such as moving the court for an order to compel the other side to follow the rule.  Attach a supporting affidavit documenting your efforts (calling, emailing opposing counsel). Your screenshot can be added as an exhibit.  Refer the court to UTCR 21.100(2)(a) and quote the rule.
  • If the other side is ordered by the court to add itself as a service contact and fails to do so, asking for sanctions may be the next step.
  • While all this is going on, don’t forget you still have to serve the other side. Proceed with conventional service until eService becomes available.

All Rights Reserved [2015] Beverly Michaelis

Oregon eCourt News: Live Training, New Website, and Quick Links

Live Training for Oregon eCourt

Tyler Technologies, the vendor for Oregon’s Odyssey eFile & Serve system, is offering four live training sessions this fall.  The first session is scheduled for tomorrow, September 29.  Other training dates are:

  • October 21, 2015
  • November 18, 2015
  • December 16, 2015

All four sessions are scheduled from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. Pacific time.  Register here. Select the date of your choice using the pull-down menu at the top of the screen. Each of these sessions will cover how to eFile using the new eCourt website.

New eCourt Website!

On August 28, 2015 a new eFiling website was implemented for users of the OJD eFiling (Odyssey eFile & Serve) system.  There are several important things to know about this transition.  The complete press release is available here.

Why the Change

The new website (OJD eFiling HTML 5) will allow users to file their cases and documents without having to install Silverlight, a browser plugin required by the old system.  You may ask yourself, so what?  The change was made to accommodate Google Chrome users. Chrome stopped supporting Silverlight on September 1. Without the transition, Chrome users would be unable to eFile.  (Or be required to user another browser.)

Where is the New eCourt Website?

You can find the new “OJD eFiling HTML5” website here.  The new site is compatible with all browsers: Chrome, Firefox, IE, and Safari if they are up to date.  If you haven’t already done so, be sure to upgrade your browser to the latest version.

Can I Still eFile Using the Old System?

Yes – during a “several month” transition period the old website will still work.  You can find links to both the new and old sites on the OJD eFiling page.

Answers to FAQ from the Oregon Judicial Department

Do I Need a New Account for the New Website?

No. Both versions of OJD eFiling use the same login and contain all firm information (such as users, attorneys, and payment accounts), and will continue once the transition is complete.

Should I Start Using OJD eFiling HTML5 Right Away?

You can, but you don’t have to. Anyone can use the new system starting August 28, 2015, but it was specifically built to allow Google Chrome and Safari users to eFile without Silverlight. OJD eFiling HTML 5 also supports Internet Explorer and Firefox.

Will I Still Receive Notifications about my Filings?

Yes. The system will continue to notify you when filings are submitted, accepted or returned for correction.

What’s New?

While eFiling through the new system follows the same process, OJD eFiling HTML 5 uses an entirely new interface, featuring a new dashboard, new icons, and a single filing page (you won’t have to move between Case Information, Parties, and Filing Details any more.)  To see the three major differences between the two systems, refer to the OJD press release, page 3.

Quick Links

Don’t overlook the myriad of resources on the OJD eCourt home page.  This page is one stop shopping for:

  • Court Notices (including the new Policy and Standards for Acceptance of Electronic Filings in the Oregon)
  • Oregon eCourt Implementation News
  • Free Training for eFiling
  • Court Calendars: Check Court Dockets
  • Document Access FAQs
  • FAPA Forms
  • OJD Forms
  • OJD iForms​​
  • Appellate eFile​​
  • Oregon eCourt Newsletters
  • ePayment and eFiling Statistics
  • Oregon eCourt Glossary​
  • Oregon eCourt Successes Update
  • OJD Strategic Plan
  • OJD Four-Year Report 2011-2014​
  • Technical Support: ePay, OJCIN,OJD Courts eFiling​, Appellate eFile​
  • July 2015 Oregon eCourt Newsletter

Take advantage!

Beverly Michaelis [2015] All Rights Reserved.

Fresh Strategies and Ideas for Marketing Your Law Firm

Are you looking for fresh strategies and ideas for branding and marketing your practice?  One excellent resource is marketing advisor and social media consultant Nancy Myrland.

I’ve followed Nancy on social media for several years.  I learned quickly that she is a wealth of knowledge, even when limited to 140 characters.

Want to know how to brand your law firm?  Nancy has ideas.  Looking for new strategies in content marketing, here you are.  Is video is the way to go?  Nancy has advice on that topic too.  No surprise, but she also writes about specific social media platforms: Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, and social media generally.

How can you get access to all this great stuff?  Easy!  Just subscribe to Nancy’s blog or podcast.

Another favorite of mine is Samatha Collier at Social Media for Law Firms. Samantha also has the gift of imparting great advice in 140 characters or less.

Follow Samantha on social media, visit her site, or subscribe to her blog if you want to get started in social media, improve social media engagement, or learn content marketing from one of the best.  Need motivation?  Here are a few topics to pique your interest:

While We’re on the Topic of Marketing

Don’t forget the PLF offers a number of marketing resources on its website. Select Practice Management > Forms > Marketing to access the following:

  • Marketing and Business Development Worksheets [assessing your competition, choosing a niche, crafting an elevator speech, marketing budget, target market contacts]
  • Checklist for Creating a Marketing Plan
  • Sample Marketing Plans
  • Business Development Goal-Setting Checklist
  • White Paper: Marketing and Business Development: Crucial Skills

All Rights Reserved [2015] Beverly Michaelis