January 3, 2014

Saving (some) trees: (partial) e-filing in the Supreme Court

As of Wednesday, Supreme Court litigants have the option of using less paper in some of their filings.  Newly revised rule 8.44(a)(1), for example, allows filing 8 — instead of 13 — paper copies of petitions for review, briefs, and certain other documents if an electronic copy is also filed.  The court now has an e-submissions page on its website.  As that page warns, however, the filing is of (some) copies, not the original:  “Briefs or writs submitted electronically are not a substitute for, but an addition to, the required paper filings which constitute the official court record.”

This e-filing is a step in the right direction, but it’s still falls short of what other courts, like the Ninth Circuit, have been doing for years.  Besides taking the place of only some copies, Supreme Court e-filing is optional (although it’s been required in special cases in the past).

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