Thursday, December 5, 2013

5th Requires Special Record Citations

5th Circuit, that is.
Law360 reported earlier this week that the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals is now requiring standardized record citations that allow for a special software program (created by the 5th Circuit) to instantly access electronic copies of the underlying documents. (See 5th Circuit's E-Briefing Innovation Prompts rule Change.) The program automatically scans a brief and inserts an internal link to an e-copy of the record. This is similar to an earlier hyperlinking feature that the 5th Circuit uses to allow instant access to cases or statutes cited in briefs via Westlaw or Lexis.
Sounds pretty spiffy, no?

Well, this precise 5th Circuit-created software won't be coming to the 9th Circuit any time soon. Apparently in the 5th Circuit, the entire record is converted into a single pdf, and this new program links to that, rather than to the actual underlying cm/ecf documents. The 9th Circuit is working on its own innovations, so stay tuned.