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E-Filing in State and Federal Appellate Courts<br />D. Todd Smith<br />www.appealsplus.com<br />June 23, 2011<br />
6/23/2011<br />Copyright © 2011 Smith Law Group, P.C.<br />2<br />Topics We’ll Cover<br />The paper in your materials appe...
6/23/2011<br />Copyright © 2011 Smith Law Group, P.C.<br />3<br />What Is Appellate E-Filing?<br />Electronic submission o...
6/23/2011<br />Copyright © 2011 Smith Law Group, P.C.<br />4<br />Why File Electronically?<br />If the court requires it<b...
6/23/2011<br />Copyright © 2011 Smith Law Group, P.C.<br />5<br />Why Think Twice?<br />Some additional cost in state cour...
6/23/2011<br />Copyright © 2011 Smith Law Group, P.C.<br />6<br />Where Can You E-File?<br />5th Circuit—mandatory as of M...
6/23/2011<br />Copyright © 2011 Smith Law Group, P.C.<br />7<br />How Do You E-File?<br />An electronically filed brief is...
6/23/2011<br />Copyright © 2011 Smith Law Group, P.C.<br />8<br />How Do You E-File? Generating the Brief<br />The most co...
6/23/2011<br />Copyright © 2011 Smith Law Group, P.C.<br />9<br />How Do You E-File? Documents From Record<br />5th Circui...
6/23/2011<br />Copyright © 2011 Smith Law Group, P.C.<br />10<br />How Do You E-File? 5th Circuit Procedure<br />Relevant ...
6/23/2011<br />Copyright © 2011 Smith Law Group, P.C.<br />11<br />How Do You E-File? 5th Circuit Procedure<br />Interface...
6/23/2011<br />Copyright © 2011 Smith Law Group, P.C.<br />12<br />How Do You E-File? State Court Procedure<br />Relevant ...
6/23/2011<br />Copyright © 2011 Smith Law Group, P.C.<br />13<br />How Do You E-File? State Court Procedure<br />Some ESPs...
6/23/2011<br />Copyright © 2011 Smith Law Group, P.C.<br />14<br />Where Is All This Headed?<br />Ultimately, appellate co...
6/23/2011<br />Copyright © 2011 Smith Law Group, P.C.<br />15<br />Where Is All This Headed?<br />Texas Appeals Management...
E-Filing in State and Federal Appellate Courts<br />D. Todd Smith<br />www.appealsplus.com<br />June 23, 2011<br />
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2011-06-23 adaptable lawyer slidedeck (final with links)

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D. Todd Smith's outline from State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting presentation on E-Filing in State and Federal Appellate Courts, updated to include resource links.

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Transcript of "2011-06-23 adaptable lawyer slidedeck (final with links)"

  1. 1. E-Filing in State and Federal Appellate Courts<br />D. Todd Smith<br />www.appealsplus.com<br />June 23, 2011<br />
  2. 2. 6/23/2011<br />Copyright © 2011 Smith Law Group, P.C.<br />2<br />Topics We’ll Cover<br />The paper in your materials appears in this month’s Texas Bar Journal<br />Its purpose and the goal of this talk are to provide an overview of recent developments<br />In the time we have today, we’ll address these questions<br />What is appellate e-filing?<br />Why e-file in appellate courts?<br />Where is appellate e-filing permitted (or required)?<br />How do you e-file in those courts?<br />Where is all this heading?<br />I’ll also identify some comprehensive “how to” resources (linked within slides)<br />
  3. 3. 6/23/2011<br />Copyright © 2011 Smith Law Group, P.C.<br />3<br />What Is Appellate E-Filing?<br />Electronic submission of briefs or motions to appellate court for decision and action<br />Sufficient to satisfy deadlines and join the issues, even follow-up paper copies are required<br />What it’s not: <br />“E-copies” are electronic copies of brief tendered for the court’s convenience and internal use<br />Many courts have accepted e-copies for some time<br />But true electronic filing of appellate papers is relatively new<br />
  4. 4. 6/23/2011<br />Copyright © 2011 Smith Law Group, P.C.<br />4<br />Why File Electronically?<br />If the court requires it<br />You’re a trial lawyer and have been e-filing for years<br />You aspire to a paperless practice<br />You want to “trick out” briefs with hyperlinks, video, etc.<br />To gain a few extra hours—why drop hard copies in the mail when you can hit “send” until midnight?<br />E-filing may also constitute service on opposing counsel<br />Judges are starting to rely on electronic versions, which can help them be more efficient<br />Things are trending this way, so you might as well start learning now<br />
  5. 5. 6/23/2011<br />Copyright © 2011 Smith Law Group, P.C.<br />5<br />Why Think Twice?<br />Some additional cost in state court (for now)<br />Creating the document and submitting it online requires a certain level of technological proficiency<br />Some duplication of work (for now) because appellate courts still require paper<br />One of the bigger concerns is handling of personal and confidential information (K. Gray)<br />Regardless, the trend is to require electronic copies in addition to paper, so anyone handling appeals needs to master the process of preparing and submitting electronic documents to the courts<br />
  6. 6. 6/23/2011<br />Copyright © 2011 Smith Law Group, P.C.<br />6<br />Where Can You E-File?<br />5th Circuit—mandatory as of March 2010<br />Texas Supreme Court (but not the CCA yet)<br />Intermediate state courts of appeals—1st, 3rd, 5th & 14th are live; 11th says it’s coming online soon<br />State-court appellate e-filing, where available, is entirely optional at this point<br />SCOTUS requires e-copies of merits briefs, but hasn’t moved to e-filing yet<br />
  7. 7. 6/23/2011<br />Copyright © 2011 Smith Law Group, P.C.<br />7<br />How Do You E-File?<br />An electronically filed brief is essentially an image of a paper brief<br />But the trend toward screen reading has commentators talking about how to tailor briefs to that medium (R. Dubose)<br />Pay attention to that and to typography (M. Butterick)<br />With those caveats, mechanically, prepare the document as you otherwise would<br />When finalized and ready to file, generate a searchable PDF version from your desktop<br />Along with redaction, biggest challenge for new users is that simply printing and scanning a brief is not allowed<br />Early adopter or not, it’s critical to become familiar with the special rules adopted by courts accepting e-filing<br />
  8. 8. 6/23/2011<br />Copyright © 2011 Smith Law Group, P.C.<br />8<br />How Do You E-File? Generating the Brief<br />The most common word processing software packages allow you to convert a document to PDF using “save as” or “publish” features<br />In state court, an electronic service provider may convert the document for you<br />Best overall solution is to use software specifically designed to handle PDFs, such as Adobe Acrobat<br />Some of these (i.e., Acrobat Professional) have sophisticated redaction and page-numbering tools<br />Advanced users may choose to hyperlink documents in the brief (Hawthorne & Cruse)<br />
  9. 9. 6/23/2011<br />Copyright © 2011 Smith Law Group, P.C.<br />9<br />How Do You E-File? Documents From Record<br />5th Circuit and state briefing rules require an appendix or record excerpts<br />These can be scanned if necessary, but must be made word-searchable using OCR software (Adobe Acrobat Standard will do)<br />State-court rules require that appendix be attached to brief and bookmarked by document<br />Making record documents searchable and bookmarking them increases usability and helps judges do their jobs<br />
  10. 10. 6/23/2011<br />Copyright © 2011 Smith Law Group, P.C.<br />10<br />How Do You E-File? 5th Circuit Procedure<br />Relevant rule is 5th Cir. R. 25.2, but separate ECF Filing Standards are the key<br />CM/ECF system similar to district and bankruptcy courts<br />Linked on front page of court’s website, www.ca5.uscourts.gov<br />Ready access to helpful reference and training materials<br />Counsel or designee must register and complete training modules that simulate e-filing<br />Must have filed a form for entry of appearance in that specific case<br />
  11. 11. 6/23/2011<br />Copyright © 2011 Smith Law Group, P.C.<br />11<br />How Do You E-File? 5th Circuit Procedure<br />Interface is a little clunky because it’s built on an older platform, but it’s functional, and filing is free<br />Those comfortable with ECF filing in lower courts should have no problem<br />The flaw in this system is that paper copies are still required<br />
  12. 12. 6/23/2011<br />Copyright © 2011 Smith Law Group, P.C.<br />12<br />How Do You E-File? State Court Procedure<br />Relevant rules are amended TRAP 9.2 and 9.3, which technically become effective June 30<br />New TRAPs authorize the 16 Texas appellate courts to adopt rules permitting or requiring e-filing or e-copies<br />SCOTX has promulgated templates and has adopted rules (linked at www.supreme.courts.state.tx.us)<br />System is built on www.texas.gov and has the same basic setup as trial-court e-filing<br />Must submit documents through third-party electronic service provider, such as ProDoc or CaseFileXPress<br />ESPs offer training for their own systems<br />Can pay filing fees through ESP accounts<br />
  13. 13. 6/23/2011<br />Copyright © 2011 Smith Law Group, P.C.<br />13<br />How Do You E-File? State Court Procedure<br />Some ESPs weren’t ready to go on rollout, but should have caught up by now<br />If you’re used to and happy with a certain provider, the process should be seamless<br />Downsides are “per use” cost and continued reliance on paper copies<br />
  14. 14. 6/23/2011<br />Copyright © 2011 Smith Law Group, P.C.<br />14<br />Where Is All This Headed?<br />Ultimately, appellate courts have to emulate the trial court e-filing model and let go of paper altogether<br />Otherwise, the promise of e-filing won’t be realized<br />For federal courts, ECF and PACER are well developed and stable, even if old; the rules need to catch up<br />In state courts, some developments to watch for<br />
  15. 15. 6/23/2011<br />Copyright © 2011 Smith Law Group, P.C.<br />15<br />Where Is All This Headed?<br />Texas Appeals Management and E-Filing System (TAMES) currently in development<br />Will build upon e-filing and make dockets and documents available for online viewing, similar to what ECF/PACER do now<br />Will replace U.S. mail as the courts’ official notification system<br />The buzz is that e-filing will become mandatory in state court appeals when TAMES goes live<br />A statewide, unified system for e-filing and online court record access is being considered<br />Judicial Conference on Information Technology and Texas Office of Court Administration are studying this issue<br />Efforts to create funding for such a system through legislative mandate, generally through court filing fees, have been sidetracked by budget crisis<br />
  16. 16. E-Filing in State and Federal Appellate Courts<br />D. Todd Smith<br />www.appealsplus.com<br />June 23, 2011<br />
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