Thursday, February 13, 2014

Access to UK Caselaw And Beyond

If you need to look up a case decided in United Kingdom, try this free database. While there, look at the right column, entitled "World Law Resources," it has links to a collection of world jurisdictions.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Legal Paper Size is ... Illegal. Foolscap!

Today, for the first time, my complaint was not accepted for filing because some of the pages were presented on legal size paper. The lease was printed on an old "long" form, requiring the legal size, and, while I used to have those exhibits successfully filed before, my luck ended today. The reason is not even a law, but the technology: I was told that the scanning company complains about the legal size, so all non-letter sized papers are now prohibited, in order not to upset the scanners. There you have it, the paper size called "legal" is not legal after all. I made a new copy of the long pages, reducing them to 8.5" x 11," and the filing went through, but, while I waited in line, I tried to look the subject up, and here are my findings.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

"App" Help For Lawyers - Takes On Document Management

The "Internet of Things" comes as a next phase in our practical appreciation of the Internet, going beyond webpage interactions and social media. You can call a cab substitute, summon a baby-sitter, or get your online order delivered, all by tapping into a power of crowd-sourced and -outsourced apps, straight from your phone.

Search your phone's app store, and you will discover that pretty much any activity under the sun has its own app for it. Legal profession, though, notably lags in the apps offering.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

In re: Christmas Trees

In the spirit of this season, I want to share a short post on the subject of Christmas trees. Decorating a tree seems to be an ancient tradition, predating Christ himself, and a custom of having a Christmas Tree also seems to exist for several centuries, yet the appearance of Christmas celebration in the US law is not that old--the oldest cases I was able to find only date back to 1879.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

e-Filing comes to San Francisco, hopefully without Jim Crow laws

Filing court papers online (termed as "e-filing") is a very useful feature. It was implemented already 10 years ago in the Federal courts, through the so called ECF/Pacer system. The efficiency of ECF/Pacer was recently put on the test, during the Federal Government's shutdown, allowing the courts to remain functional. In his address to the bar, Chief Judge Jaroslovsky commented that he would be writing a much different letter, should no eFiling system be in place at the time of the government's closure.

[UPDATE 11-5-14] 3 vendors are finally approved for the SF Court, in addition to the previously approved sole provider "File & Serve Xpress." Given the e-filing becomes mandatory in this court starting December 8, it's about time to get the providers on board.

[UPDATE 7-24-14] The voluntary e-filing became available on almost all kinds of cases, and I have personally successfully filed my first document through this system today.

[UPDATE 1-27-14] The "mandatory" e-filing is changed to "voluntary," while the second provider is getting up and running. New estimate for mandatory e-filing's cut-off date is June 30, 2014.

[UPDATE 1-6-14] San Francisco Court moves forward with one vendor and announces an additional vendor selected "through a competitive process." Competitor's name is not yet disclosed. Expansion of the mandatory e-filing kicks in on January 27, 2014.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Federal Courts Will Remain Open During Shutdown

I just started wondering today, what would happen procedurally with the cases pending before the Federal courts during the Shutdown, when I received an email from our District's Bankruptcy Court, stating that "[t]he federal Judiciary will remain open for business for approximately the next 10 business days. On or around October 15, 2013, the Judiciary will reassess its situation and provide further guidance." This arrived at 9:30 A.M. and I couldn't stop myself from imagining scenarios, what would happen to the cases and whether it can be used to my clients' advantage. I felt half-worried half-excited approaching the Unknown.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Ghostwriting in Federal Courts in California - allowed, disfavored, or banned?

Attorney's ghostwriting, a practice for an attorney to draft documents for client's submission in court without revealing who actually wrote the documents, becomes more and more acceptable as a form of practice and is now generally allowed in California (Cal. R. of Ct., Rs 3.36, 3.37), subject to some reasonable ethical considerations. If you ask BAR for an advice, they would refer you to Los Angeles Bar Association's publications on the subject, such as this one from 1999 and a fresh 2012 update. Yet, the view on ghostwriting practice in the Federal courts of this same state remains unsettled.