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eFiling Vocabulary

When you first begin eFiling, many of the terms could be unfamiliar. Learning new vocabulary can be one of the biggest roadblocks to adopting new technology, so we’ve put together a short list of terms you should familiarize yourself with. While these ten terms aren’t exhaustive, they’ll provide the groundwork for more complex questions.


eFiling: The means of uploading and delivering documents and case filings to a court’s computer system via secure file transfer.

EFSP: An abbreviation for Electronic Filing Service Provider. This refers to any company that handles the submission of documents to a court through an online portal. First Legal is an EFSP.

EFM: An abbreviation for Electronic Filing Manager. This manager acts as an intermediate system on the court’s side. This is the system that takes in filings and processes them for the courthouse clerks to view.

CMS: The stage following the EFM is the Case Management System. After your filing has been accepted, your documents become a permanent part of the court record.

eService: After a case has been accepted into the CMS, the electronic exchange of additional litigation documents between the parties is referred to as eService.

DPI: An abbreviation meaning “dots per inch.” This unit of measurement refers to the quality of the scanned image or document that will eventually be printed. Courts typically require a 300dpi minimum to ensure the readability of the printed copy.

Envelope: When referring to eFiling, an envelope refers to a group of filings that are submitted together as part of a single transaction.

Lead document: In the context of eFiling, a lead document is any document that requires its own file stamp.  For example: Motion, Points & Authorities and a Declaration should all be submitted in one “envelope” but as separate “lead” documents.  Combining lead documents in one PDF file will result in a rejection of the filing transaction.

OCR: Even if you don’t know the abbreviation, chances are, you’ve used optical character recognition before. OCR refers to the scanning and subsequent translation of printed and written text into machine-encoded, searchable text.

Typography: The style and organization of digital and printed text. In common use, it may be referencing things like font choice and spacing.


If you have any questions about the terms above, or if you’d like help with other eFiling vocabulary, our Client Services department is standing by to help you!

If you have questions on any of our services, please don't hesitate to get in touch with us.

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