Sorry for the blog silence today. I was helping a client with an appellate court filing and, as is often the case, it proved to be much more complicated that anyone had anticipated. You’d think that, by now, we would actually start anticipating that the filing is always going to be much more complicated that we expect, but that’s never the case. No matter how well prepared things seem, somehow the filing always runs down to the last minute. Things today were made more challenging by the fact that the First Appellate District now requires e-filing for all writs and appeals, and this was the first time any of us had used the system.
This new e-filing rule means that, after the documents are finalized in Word and converted into PDF, someone (and that someone would be me) has to go through them to hyperlink and bookmark everything for the Court’s convenience. I’d actually gotten much of that done . . . until others working on the brief made last-minute changes that required me to do everything all over again. Sigh. . . .
Overall, though, the e-filing is a wonderful idea. If you haven’t worked in a law firm, or at least a law firm in California, you have no idea how much paper is used up in a big appellate filing. Between the originals, the copies for the appellate court, the courtesy copies for the Supreme and trial courts, and the copies for opposing counsel (and there might be a lot of opposing counsels if there are a lot of parties), if the brief several hundred pages of exhibits, it’s easy to end up using 5,000 or more sheets of paper for a single filing. E-filing does away with all that ridiculous duplication, saving the client enormous sums of money and ending the horrific waste of paper (since most copies end up buried in a court’s files).
When I came home from the filing, I truly meant to blog but, instead, I ended up working on the liberty guide that our local Navy League chapter prepares for Fleet Week (which officially starts this Wednesday). I’ve gotten the PDF finished, but I’m scrambling to see whether we can get a website up and running before Wednesday. I like this kind of challenge. I’ll let you know if I can make it work.