Federal Circuit Announcement

On October 1, the Federal Circuit announced that its Clerk’s Office released an updated version of the court’s Electronic Filing Procedures. The Electronic Filing Procedures include important and even helpful information to anyone practicing in front of the court.

Since May 17, 2012, the Federal Circuit has required attorneys, “unless they are granted a specific exemption or are self-represented (‘pro se’) litigants,” to electronically file documents with the court. The court’s Rules of Practice explain in detail when electronic filing is required.

Notably, the Rules of Practice cross-reference the Electronic Filing Procedures. Federal Circuit Rule 25, for example, indicates that “[t]he clerk of court may require the filing of a corrected copy of any submission that fails to comply with the court’s rules or the Electronic Filing Procedures.” As a result, the Electronic Filing Procedures are important to anyone practicing in front of the court.

While the Electronic Filing Procedures have changed over time, the Federal Circuit issued one of the most extensive sets of revisions on October 1 of this year. According to the document’s Revision Control section, the October 1 revisions:

“Added instructions for Receiving Notifications for Cases of Interest (§ II.H)”;

“added language regarding weekend/holiday filing (§ IV.B), brief filing (§ IV.E), sealed documents (§ IV.J), document attachment handling (new § IV.A.13.f-g), and Document Types list (new § IX)”;

“added and clarified document attachment requirements for motions for leave to file (new § IV.A.20, § IV.E.1, § IV.I Events List)”;

“clarified appendix citation formatting requirements (§ IV.A.2), media files in appendices (§ IV.A.8.c), Notice of Docket Activity contents (§ IV.A.17.c); electronic filing while bar admission is pending (§ IV.C), motion consent type requirements (§§ IV.E, F, G, I, J)”;

“removed Legacy CM/ECF Account requirements (§ II.J)”;

“moved and expanded Corrected Briefs (§ IV.E.3) to a new Corrected Filings section (§ IV.A.21)”;

“updated documents, events, and definitions (§ IV.L, § VIII[)]”; and

“incorporated minor wording, various citations and cross-references, section renumbered Revision Control and Index, and typographical corrections.”

Electronic Filing Procedures, Section X.

The court’s announcement provides a reason to highlight these revisions. The announcement, however, also provides an opportunity to recognize some helpful information included in the Electronic Filing Procedures.

As just a few examples, the Electronic Filing Procedures provide helpful information about how to redact confidential information from briefs and appendices, how to make documents text-searchable, how to add correctly-formatted Bates numbering to appendix materials, and how to file particular documents (including motions, briefs, petitions, and emergency filings) electronically. The Electronic Filing Procedures also include explanations of options for classifying electronic filings and requested relief, as well as telephone numbers and email addresses for use when seeking assistance with electronic filing. As a result, the Electronic Filing Procedures are useful not only to attorneys but also to paralegals and legal assistants assisting with cases at the Federal Circuit.