Bye Bye, Paper Filing (in Tally, at least)

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.

First District Court of Appeal Goes Paper-less

The First DCA continues to be Florida’s leading court for ditching paper filing of briefs. This week, the court announced (.pdf of AO 10-3) its rollout schedule for electronic-only filing: Effective August 9, 2010, all papers that need to be filed in the First DCA may be filed electronically using its eDCA Portal, or by paper, but the court no longer wants both electronic and paper files. Starting September First, all documents should be filed in the First DCA electronically, by uploading a .pdf using the eDCA Portal.

I participated in a CLE not long ago where Judge Hawkes explained how the First DCA has implemented a paper-less system for doing its business. Most of the judges and their staff have double or even triple monitors on their computers, to allow them to view briefs, research, and their own work at the same time.

Congratulations to the First DCA on being a leader in appellate electronic filing!