Monday, November 28, 2005

The Digital Deadline Is Fast Approaching

Today, the Circuit posted a reminder that new Local Rules 25 and 32(a) will be going into effect this Thursday, December 1st. New Rule 32 essentially requires counsel in all cases to submit a digitized version of any brief filed, in PDF format, via e-mail to the Circuit, in addition to the 10 paper copies of the brief already required. Rule 32 also requires counsel to submit a certification, both in writing (to be filed with the paper copies of the brief) and electronically (in PDF format, along with the PDF version of the brief), that the brief has been scanned for viruses and that it is virus free. A sample "Anti-Virus Certification" can be found on the Court's website.

New Rule 25 additionally requires that for all papers filed with the Court, including briefs, motions, letters, and appendices, counsel must submit in addition an unbound copy of the same. (This is intended to facilitate the Court's effort to scan these documents, if it so desires). The only exception to this rule is that counsel need not submit an unbound paper version of a brief that has been submitted electronically, in PDF format, pursuant to new Rule 32.

We applaud the Circuit for finally taking this step, despite the initial confusion that is sure to ensue. Once implemented, we presume that litigants will be able to view and download briefs and other documents electronically, simply by accessing the docket sheet for a particular appeal. Though we too regret the additional work involved, especially during the transition period, the end result will hopefully be a better system for all.


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