Kenly Ames working with group to take courts digital

by Mandy Hicks

Kenly Ames
Attorney Kenly Ames

Kentucky courts are poised for a major overhaul their computer systems, thanks to the passage of a new law. House Bill 238 authorizes the Judicial Branch of Kentucky government to issue $28.1 million in bonds to replace Kentucky’s aging court case management system. The General Assembly passed HB 238 on March 12 and Gov. Steve Beshear signed it into law on March 22.

Attorney E. Kenly Ames of ELPO is involved in the effort to bring electronic filing to the Kentucky state courts. She chairs a subcommittee of the Kentucky Civil Rules Committee, which will study proposed changes to the Civil Rules to facilitate e-filing in the Kentucky state courts. The Civil Rules Committee, under the leadership of Justice Lisabeth H. Abramson, presents proposed changes to the Civil Rules to the Kentucky Supreme Court for consideration. The Court sets the procedural rules for the state courts in Kentucky. “Moving to electronic filing will make cases in our state courts flow more quickly and smoothly and will help Kentucky lawyers practice their cases more efficiently,” Kenly says. “Our federal courts have used e-filing for several years now, and it’s extremely efficient.”

The e-rules subcommittee is also studying the issue of discovery of electronic information in civil cases. “This is a rapidly evolving area, and we have seen changes to the Federal Civil Rules in recent years. It’s time for Kentucky to update its Civil Rules so that courts throughout the state have consistent standards to apply,” Kenly says.