• California Court of Appeal,  California Courts,  e-Filing,  Legal Technology

    TrueFiling comes to the Second District Court of Appeal

    Perhaps the title of this post should be the other way around: The Second District Court of Appeal comes to TrueFiling. Although the The Second District has had e-filing for some document sin place for several years, it appears to be the last appellate court in the state to embrace e-filing of everything via TrueFiling. With the upgrade come some new formatting requirements that were previously only suggestions. Electronically filed documents must now include electronic bookmarks to “to each heading, subheading and component of the document, such as the table of contents, table of authorities, petition, verification, points and authorities, declaration, certificate of word count, certificate of interested entities or persons, and…

  • California Supreme Court,  e-Filing,  Legal Technology

    Mandatory e-filing in the California Supreme Court is imminent – learn the rules!

    The California Supreme Court adopted voluntary e-filing this summer, but e-filing will become mandatory on September 1, 2017. The court uses the TrueFiling system, which I have found to be rather user-friendly. The Supreme Court’s e-filing rules are available in PDF format on the court’s website, and they are extensive. Some highlights: [Added 9/6/17: do not rely on this summary to ensure your compliance with the rules. Reference the rules on the court’s website, which may change form time to time without such changes being noted in this blog post.] ?E-filing becomes mandatory on September 1, 2017, even for cases initiated prior to that date. (Rule 3(b).) ?As in many other courts, self-represented litigants are exempted from mandatory e-filing.…

  • e-Filing,  Humor,  Legal Humor,  Legal Technology

    How flexible is that midnight electronic filing deadline in federal court?

    When I was a young lawyer, my mentor told me, “Practice law as if the rules will always be strictly enforced against you but will never be strictly enforced against the adverse party.” Wise words. Last week I posted about a party that applied for a 15-minute extension of time to file its documents with the federal district court in Ohio because of some technical difficulties it encountered with the electronic filing. In doing so, it lived out the first half of my mentor’s adage, as it did not assume that it would get a break of even 15 minutes without explicitly requesting such relief. In Hyperphrase Technologies, LLC, et al. v. Microsoft Corporation, a patent infringement case in…

  • e-Filing,  Legal Technology

    The 15-minute filing extension, brought to you by the era of midnight electronic filing deadlines

    When I was in law school, my wife was an assistant to a department head in an environmental consulting firm. Frequently, when I asked her what kind of day she’d had at work, she would respond that the scientists had made her day nuts by working on a project proposal at the last minute, forcing  the support staff to scramble like mad to make the FedEx deadline (usually 5 p.m. for those of us on the west coast). After hearing this a lot, I asked — with great naivete — “Has anyone ever considered getting the project done before the last minute?” Then I got to my Big Law firm, and saw…

  • Criminal Justice Reform,  Habeas Corpus,  Judges,  Legal Technology

    Appellate judge Alex Kozinski addresses the dangers of unsettled science in the courtroom

    Or, as the headline over Judge Kozinski’s opinion piece in today’s Wall Street Journal calls it, “voodoo science.” And what this justice on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (a federal appellate court) has to say has nothing to do with global warming (at least not directly). Writing on a report to be released by the Obama administration today from the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), Judge Kozinski calls for lifting, or at lease easing, restrictions imposed by the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA) on federal court review of state court criminal judgments, because the report finds that many of the scientific methods used to convict…

  • Legal Technology

    Will appeals lawyers be replaced by computers?

    Technology has been displacing low-wage and less-skilled workers for a long time. Is it time for white collar professionals – including lawyers – to fear they are next? At  The American Interest blog: “Venture capital money keeps flowing to promising new tech companies that are working to automate many of the routine tasks conducted highly-paid 20-somethings at big city corporate law firms.” After noting that professionals may soon feel the squeeze from technology that low-wage workers have long endured, the pot continues, “Big law firms are especially overdue for disruption … The next stage of the information revolution may end up looking more egalitarian than the last” (see the difference with…

  • Announcements,  California Courts,  e-Filing,  Legal Technology

    Second District Court of Appeal to implement TrueFiling e-filing system in late 2016

    According to a notice I received today from the California Appellate Project: The clerk of the 2nd District Court of Appeal has asked us to inform the panel that True Filing will be available in this district beginning in November.  For two months, November and December, True Filing will coexist with the present eFiling system presently being used in the district.  The choice of which to use will be yours.  Then, in January, the present eFiling system will disappear, and everyone will be required to use True Filing.  Those of you already working in other districts with True Filing will definitely have a leg up on the rest of us.…

  • Legal Research,  Legal Technology,  Legal Writing

    Does Internet technology influence the way lawyers and judges think? Should it?

    The answer to both questions in the title of this post is “no,” judging from this abstract of a paper by Michael Whiteman, Associate Dean for law Library Services & Information Technology at Northern Kentucky University – Salmon P. Chase College of Law, titled Appellate Jurisdiction in the Internet Age: A close examination of the citation practices of the United States Supreme Court and the California Supreme Court from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries reveals that appellate jurisprudence in the Internet age closely resembles that of the pre-Internet age. These findings, coupled with the continued criticism of legal researchers in the Internet age, call for a retrenchment in training future lawyers in…

  • Announcements,  e-Filing,  Legal Technology

    Some technical help for e-filing in the Court of Appeal

    This week, the Second District Court of Appeal published a terrific guide for creating electronic documents. (PDF link) The guide is broken down into a section on briefs and a section on appendices, and is meant as a technical guide, not a set of rules for filing. It is thus helpful regardless of the district your appeal is in. The guide provides the nitty-gritty detailed steps, with illustrations, for creating, editing, and formatting documents for electronic filing, including instructions for safely and securely redacting information, adding bookmarks, and making scanned documents text-searchable, among other things. Unfortunately, instructions on hyperlinking have been deferred to a future edition. I wouldn’t quite call it Electronic Filing for Dummies, though…

  • Legal Education,  Legal Research,  Legal Technology

    Apparently, the law library of the future is going to be one big Kindle

    The Journal of the Legal Writing Institute has just published a short essay by Professor Ronald E. Wheeler of Suffolk University Law School, titled “Is This the Law Library or an Episode of the Jetsons?” The big takeaway: the library is going to resemble a super-advanced Kindle and its patrons will look like they are parts of the Borg Collective: It will include technologies that we know about and technologies that are beyond our imaginations. Things like retinal and holographic displays are predicted to be in use in the next 5 to 10 years. Lawyers, law professors, and other law library patrons will be browsing touchable, holographic shelves to select volumes instead…

  • Judges,  Legal Technology

    Federal Judge: Appellate Judges Know Nothing About Tech

    Those words after the colon come straight from the headline at Bloomberg News, where you can treat yourself to a 40-minute interview with federal district judge Shira A. Scheindlin of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, conducted at the 2015 Big Law Business Summit. The Bloomberg headline may exaggerate Judge Sheindlin’s position somewhat. Her comments on technology are directed mostly to the technology involved in discovery of electronically stored information (“ESI”). Given that she is referring to ESI discovery, her view on appellate judges’ knowledge is neither shocking nor insulting. As in California sate courts, most discovery rulings are not immediately appealable. They may…

  • Articles by Greg May,  Legal Technology

    My blog post on reading briefs from a screen is now an article (and welcome, Citations readers!)

    A special welcome to anyone arriving here after reading my article in the June issue of Citations, the Ventura County Bar Association’s monthly publication. Maybe “iPad Judges” are Not Such a Good Idea is my adaptation of my post last month of the same name, citing studies showing that readers tend to comprehend and retain material better when reading from paper than from a screen. (The article is also scheduled to run this month in the Appellate Law Journal from Counsel Press.) I’ve since posted some comments on a related issue: whether laptops help or hurt students in the classroom. It is about time I get back to blogging about the law. Don’t be…

  • Legal Education,  Legal Technology

    Does classroom laptop use inhibit law school learning?

    A few weeks ago, I wrote about whether it was a good idea for judges to read appellate briefs on iPads or other screens, pointing out studies regarding decreased comprehension and retention reading from a screen compared to reading from paper. Thus, it does not surprise me at all that use of laptops in classrooms (especially law school classrooms) has some serious implications for learning. Take a look at this abstract of The Dynamics of the Contemporary Law School Classroom: Looking at Laptops Through a Learning Style Lens, by Regent University law professor Eric A. DeGroff: The Millennial Generation is at ease with modern technology and with juggling multiple tasks. Many…

  • Government,  Legal Technology

    DigitalDemocracy.org: an experiment in legislative transparency

    Imagine if you could go to a website, type in a term, and find every mention of that term in hearings in the California legislature . . . and not only that, but have the site take you directly to video of the hearing with a rolling transcript and information on legislators and lobbyists. That would be pretty cool, right? One-week old DigitalDemocracy.org does that: Try it out! I searched for “vape” to find testimony and argument regarding proposed regulation of e-cigarettes, and turned up testimony from representatives of the Smoke-Free Alternative Trade Association and Mount Sinai School of Medicine . . . plus argument from a bunch of dang…

  • Legal Technology,  Legal Writing

    Maybe “iPad Judges” aren’t such a good idea?

    I’m no Luddite. I own a PC, a Macbook, an iPad, an iPhone, and a Kindle. (I’m not in the market for an Apple Watch, though.) Yet, I’m not thrilled that more and more judges (supposedly) are reading briefs and reviewing appellate records on iPads and other electronic devices. The issue was brought to mind today by a lively exchange on the Los Angeles County Bar Association listserv for the Appellate Courts Section. The discussion is about the technical requirements for electronic filing or submission of briefs, petitions, exhibits, etc. in the Court of Appeal. There is predictable grumbling over the inconsistency in the rules from district to another, but…

  • Legal Technology,  Legal Writing

    How to write for the “iPad judge”

    Are a lot of appellate judges/justices reading briefs on iPads these days? The Columbia Business Law Review recently published a short piece called Writing a Brief for the iPad Judge (on the journal’s online “announcements” page, which looks like the rough equivalent of a blog), which states that “a large and growing percentage of briefs are read on iPads” and offers advice on how to prepare a brief to make it iPad friendly. As you might expect, the advice is not about content, but about how to present the content in a format optimized for reading on an iPad. “A brief written to be read on an iPad should differ from one written…

  • Legal Research,  Legal Technology,  Legal Writing

    Citations of the future

    Duke University professor Joan A. Magat has an article up at SSRN suggesting changes in footnote use in academic legal writing, but the future she predicts for legal journals in “Bottom Heavy: Legal Footnotes” may be the future of all legal authority: No more paper: just electronic journals with links to sources. That’s what’s ahead. All this current, Bluebook-inspired preoccupation with small caps and spacing initials and the like will go the way of the mastodon. One of these days, we’ll have just URLs. They’ll have to be correct, or they won’t work. And they’ll have to last. If you’re an academic writer, you should check out the article. Here’s…

  • Law & Culture,  Legal Technology

    Trial by Tweet

    More accurately, I guess, trial coverage by tweet.  A reporter as been given permission by a federal judge in Kansas to pubish updates from the courtroom via Twitter.  A few of his dispatches by tweet: — “Judge Marten is talking to reluctant witness in chambers with a court reporter transcribing the conversation.” — “The witness who was yelling in the hallway earlier has not returned to the courthouse.” — “Defendants are chatting and laughing among themselves.” — “Exhibits are shown electronically. Every juror has a monitor in the box. There is a monitor at each lawyer’s table and one for the gallery.” It won’t be long before journalism schools offer…

  • Legal Research,  Legal Technology,  Legal Writing,  Web Resources

    A Great Resource: Social Science Research Network

    I’ve occasionally downloaded scholarly papers from the Social Science Research Network, usually after seeing them mentioned at the Legal Writing Prof Blog. But until that blog’s recent post about how to stay up-to-date with the latest articles on legal writing, which provides links for subscribing to legal writing articles, I hadn’t really poked around SSRN very much. I took the time to do so this evening, and discovered there are some terrific features. Besides the subscriptions, there is a “briefcase” feature that allows you to accumulate articles of interest for later access. Going though the subscription list, I flagged about 30 papers published just this year. I’ll probably be posting…

  • Legal Research,  Legal Technology

    Update on Free Online Legal Research

    Robert Ambrogi’s Lawsites has this update on free on-line case law resources. The most notable link is to a review of PreCYdent, which may be living up to its hype as “the Google of legal research.” Says the reviewer: I was stunned by the results of my search [for “in personam jurisdiction”] on PreCYdent. The top six cases were the leading U.S. Supreme Court cases I studied in Prof. Reimann’s jurisdiction class. Each of them is fundamental to an understanding of the application of personal jurisdiction in federal courts. I have never seen a such a highly relevant set of search results on any electronic case search engine. Not in…

  • Discovery,  Legal Technology

    i-Cyber-Meta-Digital Law

    This post highlights a post I included in Blawg Review #155 and a related post I ran across since then. Both concern how to stay out of trouble regarding electronic data. The first, featured in my previous post, is The Multipass Erasures Myth from EDD Update, a blog about electronic data discovery. Just how much “scrubbing” of your hard drive does it take for that data on your hard drive to be unrecoverable? I think you’re going to be surprised at the answer. The second is a post on the ethics of mining metadata in documents received from adverse parties. What is metadata? Well, the Wikipedia article on metadata is…

  • Legal Research,  Legal Technology

    Get Googly with It

    Image via Wikipedia This Month’s California Lawyer has a terrific “how to” article on uses of the Google search engine that many of us perhaps never thought of. Learn how to use Google to search a specific domain, research a patent, search for files by file type, and even search across all U.S. Government sites — and only U.S. Government sites. Some nice little gems in there!

  • Appellate Procedure,  Briefing,  California Supreme Court,  Legal Technology

    E-Filing Briefs in the Supreme Court

    Rule 8.212, California Rules of Court was amended effective January 1, 2008 to allow parties to serve the Supreme Court electronically in lieu of physical service of four hard copies of briefs filed in the court of appeal, but the Supreme Court website did not appear to provide the promised information for doing so. That’s changed. You can now go here to start the electronic filing process for your brief. I haven’t tried it out with an actual brief yet, but it looks pretty straightforward. I’ll be able to try it out in a week or two and will report on it then. Hat Tip: Jeffrey Lewis at Nota Bene.

  • Federal Procedure,  Legal Technology

    E-Filing in C.D. Cal Made Easy?

    As southern California federal practitioners know, e-filing became mandatory this year for nearly all civil cases in the Central District of California. Now comes a handy bit of information via Kimberly Kralowec at The UCL Practitioner, where she posts: “Attorney Martin W. Anderson has made our lives easier by creating ‘The Unofficial E-Filing Manual for the United States District Court, Central District of California,” available for free download at his site.'” For links to the guide and to the Daily Journal article from which Kimberly learned about it, see her post.

  • Legal Technology,  Legal Writing

    Legal Writing Podcasts from Suffolk

    Suffolk University Law School has launched a series of podcasts, including a weekly podcast on legal writing, through Apple’s iTunes U.  Wednesday’s press release from the school is here.  Go here for Suffolk’s iTunes U portal, which tells you everything you need to know and provides links that will automatically open iTunes to Suffolk’s podcasts. Thanks to Legal Writing Prof Blog.

  • Legal Research,  Legal Technology

    The Google of Legal Research?

    Crime & Federalism recently posted about a new research service called “PreCYdent,” the function of which he briefly describes: It appears to “rank” cases much in the way Google ranks web sites. For example, typing in “qualified immunity” in PreCYdent doesn’t just give you a random list of cases. It gives you the leading cases. Saucier v. Katz, for example, is the leading modern day case on qualified immunity. It’s also the first result. Not all searches run that well, as the writer points out in what amounts to a mini-review, but the service shows promise. You can read more about the service at Right Coast in a post authored…

  • Legal Research,  Legal Technology

    Threats to Westlaw and Lexis

    Adjunct Law Prof Blog has a post linking to information on upcoming internet repositories for federal case law, and wonders whether new services coming on line will spell the end of Lexis and Westlaw.  I suspect these venerable pay services will stay one step ahead for some time. I remember seeing a debate in an internet forum once over whether it might be considered malpractice not to conduct computer-aided research.  If there is a big gap in services, or the newer services cannot replicate book research, then perhaps that debate will turn to whether it is malpractice to use a less powerful computer-aided research tool.

  • Federal Procedure,  Judges,  Legal Technology

    A Technology-Induced Rush to Dismiss?

    The Ninth Circuit has some unkind words for the district judge in Calderon v. IBEW Local 47, case no. 05-56937 (November 13, 2007). The district court dismissed the case for lack of prosecution because plaintiff’s counsel did not show up at a hearing on an order to show cause re dismissal for failure to serve one of the defendants. Problem: the district court only gave notice of the OSC re dismissal via e-mail. Since plaintiff’s counsel did not consent to electronic notice (Fed. R. Civ. P. 5(b)(2)(D)) and did not regularly check his e-mail (and, given his lack of consent to electronic notice, had no obligation to do so), he…