E-Filing Requirement Nears for OSHRC Represented Parties

Effective June 10, e-filing is mandatory for parties represented by attorneys or non-attorney representatives. Self-represented parties have the option of using the E-File System or filing documents by conventional means.

Starting on June 10, represented parties and intervenors must file all documents, except for confidential and privileged documents, electronically in the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission's E-File system. Self-represented parties and intervenors may choose to file electronically but aren't required to do so.

According to the notice posted on OSHRC's website, e-filers should take note that an electronically filed document must be simultaneously emailed to the other parties and intervenors to ensure that service of the document is accomplished on the same date that the document is e-filed with the commission.

OSHRC made a number of changes to its procedural rules that are taking effect June 10. The commission requested comments on whether it should make electronic filing mandatory, and four commenters -- including the Occupational Safety and Health Division, Office of the Solicitor, U.S. Department of Labor -- all recommended that it be mandatory, with three of the commenters (including the Office of the Solicitor) recommending that OSHRC create an exception for self-represented parties and one commenter requesting an exception for privileged materials or materials filed under seal. One commenter recommended keeping the current non-mandatory filing system.

The commission decided to make e-filing mandatory for parties represented by attorneys or non-attorney representatives. Self-represented parties have the option of using the E-File System or filing documents by conventional means. Once e-filing has been elected, the party must continue to file all documents electronically, but, because the commission can't guarantee the confidentiality of documents filed in the E-File System, confidential and privileged documents cannot be filed electronically.

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