InFocus

the official blog of eTrial communications

The appellate courts’ interest in hyperlinked briefs continues to grow

Members of the Brief-Lynx team recently attended the National Conference of Appellate Court Clerks (NCACC). www.appellatecourtclerks.org. This annual gathering of court administrators gave us the opportunity to learn how our courts across the nation are embracing new technology to effectively manage their courts in light of increased demand and decreased resources. We found that our courts are quickly moving away from paper to electronic filing and are implementing ways to more efficiently manage the access to and review of electronic court filings.

We conducted a survey of NCACC members and here is some of what we learned from the 38 court clerks who responded:

  • 79% of respondents said their court either has, or is developing, an e-filing system
  • 81% of respondents said their court requires the submission of paper copies of briefs.
    • The average (and median) number of copies required by these courts was 9. That’s a lot of paper!
    • Most respondents pointed to the short and long term inefficiencies of paper and expect changes to paper requirements as courts improve their electronic filing systems.
  • 70% of respondents said at least one of the judges in their court reviews briefs electronically.
    • Of those that gave specifics, 45% said that half or more of their judges use a screen to review some or all of a brief and its cited material. These numbers are sure to increase.
  • 50% of respondents said their court currently accepts hyperlinked briefs.
    • An additional 25% of respondents said their court would be open to receiving a hyperlinked brief if asked by a party to do so.

The creation of hyperlinked e-briefs is not difficult, time consuming or expensive. We encourage you to approach the court about their interest in receiving a hyperlinked brief, especially in document-intensive cases. E-briefs will not only save the court time and other resources, but hyperlinks also give litigators more control of what is presented at a key point in adjudication.

As the time pressure on judges, clerks and other court staff continues to rise, those that take the small step of providing a hyperlinked brief will be ahead of the curve and benefit from making it easier for the court to digest and understand the support for their case.

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  1. Comment by Mary Matuszak:

    When hyperlinking to cases, are you using a preferred provider? Lexis, Westlaw, Bloomberglaw, Fastcase, etc or are you using a free source like the court website or Googlescholar?

    October 11, 2011 @ 7:14 am
  2. Comment by wordpress:

    We typically use Westlaw when pulling our documents for hyperlinking.

    December 6, 2011 @ 9:28 am

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