The First District Court of Appeal, as of today, no longer wants attorneys to file papers with its clerk’s office. Last month, the Court stopped requiring attorneys to file both a paper copy and an electronic copy of a paper. Today, the switch over is complete and attorneys with eDCA logins are required to file all papers — briefs, motions, docketing statements — using the eDCA Portal.
Documents must be filed in .pdf form. ¶ 4 Gone is the fine art of the cover letter to the clerk — the Court specifically asks that parties refrain from sending such transmittal letters. ¶ 8 One need not have an original signature on an e-filed brief, but signing up for eDCA filing access means that you are agreeing that any document uploaded on your password carries the same force as one bearing your signature. ¶ 12.
Don’t expect any paper back from the First DCA, either. In the near future, all mandates, opinions, and orders will be e-mailed to the parties. ¶ 10
E-filing briefs? No problem. But give yourself plenty of time to ensure that your appendix is in uploadable form. The other down side — or plus side, depending on how desperate you are on a given day — is that with the advent of e-filing, your brief is deemed filed at any time up until 11:59 pm on a given day.
Finally, don’t forget to serve opposing counsel and prepare an appropriate certificate of service. ¶ 14 The eDCA portal is slick, but it isn’t quite slick enough to take care of sending out service copies for you.