Four years ago, I first asked when appellate courts would catch up on e-filing. Since then, the Fifth Circuit has successfully implemented an e-filing program, which has been mandatory for almost a year now. In state appellate courts, however, the process has been painfully slow.
The Texas Supreme Court took a giant step in the right direction this week by releasing amendments to the Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure that expressly allow the Supreme Court, the Court of Criminal Appeals, and the intermediate courts of appeals to "permit or require [documents] to be filed, signed, or verified by electronic means . . . ." Amended TRAPs 9.2 and 9.3 are open to public comment through May 31, 2011 and, with any modifications, will take effect June 30, 2011.
The amending order promulgated templates for local rules governing electronic copies and electronic filings in the courts of appeals. These templates mirror e-copy and e-filing rules the Supreme Court adopted by separate order, which take effect March 14, 2011. The second order supersedes the Supreme Court's current e-copy practices, but retains features that have become familiar to those who routinely file documents with the Court.
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