Supreme Court E-Filing to Begin Nov. 13, 2017

Last week we reported that the Supreme Court of the United States went live with their new website–its first step of a modernization plan that includes e-filing.  Yesterday, the Court set a date for e-filing to begin and provided some details.

According to the Court’s press release, e-filing will begin on November 13, 2017.  Parties will be required to file both paper and electronic copies, with the paper copy being the official copy for now (so remain vigilant with your mailing and paper filing practices!).  Pro se parties will continue to file just paper, but the Court will scan all filings to make them available on the electronic system.  That system should provide easy website access to all filed documents for public access.

Registration for the new e-filing system will begin “4-8 weeks before the system begins operation,” so keep a lookout for another press release at about mid-September.  The Court has placed an “Electronic Filing” link in the center of its home page that it says will supply additional information, but currently contains only the text of the press release.

A recent video from the U.S. Courts shows the amazing efficiencies obtained from e-filing in other federal courts.  Presumably the same benefits of modernization will occur in the Supreme Court.  That said, one wonders what the new, leaner Supreme Court will look or feel like.  We can’t help but feel a bit nostalgic for the days of paper as this bastion of traditional practice updates for the twenty-first century.

 

 

Supreme Court Overhauls Website

DPW Legal attorney Jared Krukar
and his wife Erin pose for a self-portrait
in front of the Supreme Court of the United States
on a hot day in 2010.

Changes are in store for the website of the Supreme Court of the United States.  According to a post on the Court’s website, July 28 will bring a host of upgrades that include a new look, enhanced access to information, improved functionality, and two new columns: “‘Today at the Court,’ which will provide daily information about the Court’s calendar and visitor services, and ‘Did You know…’ which will highlight historical facts about the Court and objects and art from the Court’s collection.”

Check out the post on the Supreme Court website at www.supremecourt.gov for more detail, or just visit the new and improved website on Friday to explore!

Need help before the United States Supreme Court? DPW Legal’s experienced appellate attorneys can help. Call us at 813-778-5161.

Plaintiffs Must Overcome Defenses to Win Summary Judgment

Another appellate victory for  Dineen Wasylik and DPW Legal, overturning an improper grant of summary judgement in a foreclosure appeal.

Another appellate victory for
Dineen Wasylik and DPW Legal,
overturning an improper
grant of summary judgement
in a foreclosure appeal.

We are proud to report our firm racked up another appellate win yesterday — DPW Legal secured the reversal of summary judgment against our clients in a mortgage foreclosure action. In this case, the Bank before the trial court won summary judgement, even though its summary judgment motion made no mention of the defendants’ numerous affirmative defenses set out in their answer.

On appeal, we correctly pointed out that Rule 1.510 Requires that a motion for summary judgment “shall state with particularity the grounds upon which it is based and substantial matters of law to be argued,” as well as the myriad of cases that require plaintiffs to affirmatively overcome each and every defense before they can earn summary judgment. The appellate court ultimately agreed, and reversed the summary judgment, explaining:

It is true that the Bank did submit a response to an affidavit regarding the Paragraph 22 notice, disputing the Amstones’ affidavits that the notice had not been received or was deficient. But the Bank did not address the affirmative defenses in its motion for summary judgment. And at the hearing, the Bank’s counsel simply asserted that “the Affirmative Defenses were dealt with.” The Amstones’ counsel responded that the Bank had failed to refute all of the affirmative defenses…The Amstones’ counsel also emphasized that the affidavits regarding the Paragraph 22 notice crated a factual dispute that needed to be resolved. The court made no findings regarding any of these defenses. Accordingly, genuine issues of material fact remained, and summary judgment should not have been granted.

In our view, this was a case where strong advocacy at oral argument made a huge difference. What is not clear from the opinion is that the Bank argued that the defendants had waived this issue by failing to argue it on the record below, and the court seemed to want to buy that waiver argument. At oral argument, we were able to refute the waiver argument with citation directly to the proper part of the record showing why it was not waived. We’ve ordered the oral argument video, and will further expound on the important preservation issues in a later post, when we can share the video. But in the meantime, the lesson to be learned is that at the trial level, preservation is key, and at the appellate level, knowing your record cold is key (see my prior post on preparing for oral argument).

Attorney Ralph Fisher acted as able trial counsel, and ensured the issues were preserved on appeal.

The case is Amstone v. The Bank of New York Melon, No. 2D14-5480 (Jan. 6, 2016) [.pdf].