I want to apologize for my loyal readers who haven't seen much in the way of postings from me the last few days. Late yesterday afternoon I finished up a huge 7th Circuit federal court brief. I was not aware of how time consuming it would be. We took the whole thing to FedEx last night along with a huge two volume appendix.
It's interesting seeing how the legal community has embraced technology. The key word would be - slowly. While the district courts in Indianapolis have electronic filing, with the 7th Circuit everything has to be done the old-fashioned way. That involved nearly $700 in printing costs for the appendices and briefs and maybe $50 more to ship the huge box to Chicago. I can't imagine what kind of storage space they must have at the 7th Circuit.
It wouldn't surprise me at all if they pay somebody to scan the paper on arrival and store it electronically.
Actually you have to provide them an electronic version of what you're filing too.
They make you ship like 10 copies of everything up there. I suppose they have their reasons, but it still seems pretty wasteful for a practitioner.
It's a dang good thing the local rules override the appellate rules. Those call for twice that many briefs.
Another thing the Clerk up there said when I had just about finished the appendix was that that anything that was "of record" in district court they could access electronically and would not have to be in the appendix.
That left me wondering aboutthe appendix requirement. Every document I provided could have been accessed electronically. I can't imagine though they wouldn't want everything a person was relying on in one place. An attorney warned me that I needed to include those docs in the appendix and not rely on the court to dig them up.
What's the case? Where's the brief?
It's sickening, really, how much wasted ink, paper, postage, and time is required to file pleadings. I'm a solo who makes do without assistance much of the time, and it takes me more time just to print copies and envelopes and attach postage than it does to prepare the pleading. Something as simple as a notice of extension of time to continue can take 5 minutes to prepare and sign and another half hour to send off. On the rare occasion that I'm in federal court, I always wonder why more of the state courts can't adopt online filing, or allow attorneys to send service copies by email.
It is my personal whistleblowing case. Judge Mangus-Stinson dismissed a couple of the claims and sent the rest over to state court. We took her up to the 7th Circuit on the claims she dismissed. I feel strongly we'll prevail, in particular on the state due process issue which she treated as a federal claim instead of one based entirely on state law.
I don't know if the 7th Circuit puts briefs on line. I think they do, but i'm sure it will be awhile before it's up.
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