State Bar of California pens agreement with legal-software giant

By Christopher Knoll | Feb 22, 2017

SACRAMENTO — The State Bar of California has contracted with Tyler Technologies to provide new case-management software and servicing designed to improve the performance of the Bar’s 300 employees in the Office of Chief Trial Counsel, the State Bar Court, and the Office of Probation.

The move, which was announced in July, comes after a legislatively mandated workforce-planning study of the entire Bar association. One of its five general recommendations was that “[t]he Bar should take advantage of updated information technology to improve its operations.” The recent contract with Tyler aims to do just that.

The State Bar of California stated that the software package, called Odyssey (made up of Attorney Manager, Case Manager and Supervision), will help the association track the regulation and discipline of the state’s attorneys, especially those caught practicing unauthorized.

Laura Ernde, managing director of communications for the State Bar, provided the Northern California Record with a news release about the contract.

In the news release, the State Bar reported that after a public bid process, it had decided that Tyler’s capabilities best suited their needs. The release stated that Odyssey would help “adjudicate cases more efficiently, exchange information online, manage documents electronically and eliminate inefficiencies.” The implementation of the software began last fall and is scheduled to take a little more than a year to complete.

Tony Katsulos, a public-communications spokesman representing Tyler, told the Northern California Record that the purpose of the Odyssey suite of programs was to “create efficiencies and speed up existing processes” as well as improve the tracking capabilities of the Bar, who handle “16,000 new written complaints…annually about attorney conduct” causing on average 3,700 investigations.

Katsulos also reported another advantage of the Odyssey’s all-encompassing software.

“Because Odyssey technology platform will track all core aspects of the State Bar,” Katsulos said, “from new complaints received … to tracking cases through the State Bar Court and the Office of Probation, it will aid the … Bar’s mission in upholding an attorney discipline system that works to protect the public, the courts, and the legal profession.”

Katsulos told the Northern California Record that the deal, valued at $2.6 million, evolved over years of consultation and demonstrations.

“Tyler’s clients typically spend anywhere from one to three years before signing an agreement and often talk to peers and other references before selecting a vendor, as these implementations can be very large and complex,” he said.

Tyler Technologies, founded in 1966, first entered the government market in 1998. The company said that its clients annually spend $14 billion on Tyler software. Tyler said that it had earnings of $756 million last year, the Associated Press reported.

Headquartered in Plano, Texas, Tyler has increased its presence in California over the years, with contracts for its Odyssey software in 24 counties, including the large counties of Orange, Los Angeles, San Diego and San Bernardino.

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