eDocFile

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Internet Court Documents Business Plan

Executive Summary

eDocFile provides electronic filing systems for state courts. Every year, some 90 million cases and 1 billion legal documents move through the US court system. States can't keep up with the flow of criminal and civil filings, the number of federal court cases continues to rise dramatically year after year, and the courts keep on adding more judges and judicial officers to handle the work.

A surprising amount of the judicial process is not automated, much less integrated. There is a serious need for a cost-effective, integrated digital solution based on available technology. eDocFile proposes a solution capable of transforming the practice of law with an online system that is cost-effective, simple to use, and can be integrated with legacy technology already in use. eDocFile offers much more than simply sending documents back and forth. It is a digital bridge linking the electronic world of the law firm with the electronic world of the court. It's law firms and courts exchanging and accessing all case data, not just documents.

With E-Filing, courts will be able to access court documents instantly. Instead of having to call archives and ask for a document to be found, copied, and delivered. Judges can simply pull up documents on their PCs. Court documents can be archived electronically, making them easily accessible and saving millions of dollars in the process. Attorneys can look up docket information and schedules over the Internet, pay filing fees, instantly download documents filed with the court, view case documents and exhibits, and even track the work of opposing counsel.

Clearly, efficiency is the biggest benefit to both courts and law firms - efficiency that comes from being able to instantly access information, communicate and transact business from any desktop. eDocFile offers a simple to use yet comprehensive system that facilitates the flow of information from one party to another in an efficient, cost-effective and seamless manner.

If electronic filing is so great, why aren't we all using it? The answer is that many small projects have been initiated in the United States. Unfortunately, most have either failed, been terminated or are defined as "requirements" projects for future systems. None have delivered a sufficient bottom-line gain to court efficiency to command support for funding the necessary infrastructure.

The primary problems relate to the technology. While many of the components of electronic filing have been available for some time, the lack of standards, difficulty of integration, insufficient training and customer support, and equipment and software costs have been limiting factors. In the last few years, the power of personal computer technology has improved significantly, and costs have declined. Data storage costs have dropped from more than $1,000 per megabyte on early PCs, to less than five cents per megabyte today. This price is dropping about 50 percent each year. Only a few years ago there was no universal communications network, with standard protocols and interfaces, available to link our systems together.

Even today, security and scalability issues on the Internet have not been completely resolved. However, eDocFile, by solving these challenges can make available to courts, both on a national and state level, an integrated e-filing and document management system. At the same time, we will establish brand name recognition, capture significant market share, and generate a sustainable revenue stream that will fund growth and development of new products as we grow from a niche player to the premier legal Internet portal.

1.1 Mission

Our mission is listen to our customers' requirements in order to fulfill their individual needs. In doing so we will strive to become the leading provider of secure and simple to use electronic filing systems for courts and judicial administrations, using Web technology.

eDocFile is committed to providing small and medium sized court systems with the ability to automate their filing and document management systems through the use of a comprehensive Web based extranet system. Lawyers within these jurisdictions may file documents with the court electronically from the convenience of their private workspace, all the while allowing courts to manage cases and dockets more efficiently and cost effectively. By combining electronic filing and document management in one Web based extranet system, eDocFile provides to clients, both courts and lawyers, the best litigation management system with minimum restrictions on software and hardware constraints, yet the broadest individual choice of technological functionality.

1.2 Objectives

eDocFile objectives will evolve in a three-phase concurrent development cycle.

Learning
Knowing the customer, the product and services offered by the company as well as knowing the competition are imperative for success. Planning, research and development are critical procedures for this cycle. Objectives for this phase are:

  • Become experts on the legal market and have a database of competitors, market analysis, and customer needs before beta version of extranet is completed.

  • Have beta version completed within three months of capital formation.

  • Establish good working relationships with court systems by meeting with their decision-makers and plotting a mutual plan for success based on trust, reliability and service.

  • Get commitments for support, services and products by May Year 1 to support the launch of EDocFile in August Year 1.

Earning
Marketing, sales, customer support, execution of action plans and continued learning will ensure eDocFile a market position that will generate earnings and promote growth, both in new customers and new products and services.

  • Establishing brand awareness and brand recognition that positions eDocFile as the market leader for safe, simple and reliable Web based electronic filing system between lawyers and courts.

  • Many target courts are without a comprehensive computer management system; our easy to use Web based extranet system allows our customers to manage filings and internal document management.

  • Market metrics for evaluating market penetration success include, a market presence in the top 15 legal markets in the country, market share, customer satisfaction ratings and click through traffic. eDocFile will strive to double this metrics semi-annually until we reach market dominance.

  • Begin generating positive cash flow by the middle of Year 2.

Returning
Balancing long-term sustainability and profitability with short-term necessities and change will the Achilles heel of many Internet companies. Therefore, we believe that with a policy of returning or giving back to the community (employees, customers and shareholders) eDocFile will ensure apportionment of resources without excessive waste and redundancy. Objectives for this cycle are:

  • Developing a mission statement which reflects the values of the founders while providing a mandate for culture creation that will attract and retain the best and brightest talent.

  • Develop a comprehensive holistic internal structure that is responsive to market demands and rapid change. This model is predicated on the idea of "a continuous learning organization" with the training and marketing functionality binding the entire organization.

  • Develop value-added modules that will launch eDocFile from a niche player to the premier legal portal on the Web by 2006. This means creating features that are action oriented, that is, coming up with solutions that get things off customers to do list forever.

A balanced and focused approach of developing products with the customer in mind by enthusiastic and innovative employees will ensure the success of eDocFile, ultimately leading to increased shareholder value.

1.3 Keys to Success

The keys to success in this business are:

Marketing:

  • Establishing brand name.
  • Creating barriers-to-entry by competitors through the building trust based relations between courts and eDocFile.
  • Building credibility.

Simplicity:

  • Create a system that is simple to use.