E-Filing, ECM, EBriefPro Composer

You can use hyperlinked ebriefs created using Composer in any case in which e-filing is permitted if the court's technology provides for hyperlinked ebriefs.

Electronic courts are increasingly requiring all e-filed PDFs to conform to the PDF/A (archival PDF) standard defined by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). All PDFs created using Composer Version 1.1 conform to this standard.

Increasingly, courts such as federal district courts that use Version 3.1 or higher of the Electronic Case Filing (ECF) system, and bankruptcy courts that use Version 3.2 or higher, allow you to include hyperlinks in your ebriefs to your e-filed evidence and to your own e-filed copies of your legal authorities. Using your own copies of legal authorities lets you include your own highlighting. You can also create hyperlinks that let your reader jump directly to any point in the linked documents.

A great example of an ebrief-friendly court is the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, which currently uses ECF Version 4.1.1.

In short, ECF, as in effect in the Southern District of New York, immediately assigns each filing its own permanent URL (i.e., web address). As detailed in this document, first e-file all attachments and obtain the URL assigned to each attachment by ECF. Then, open the Word version of your ebrief and replace the file path in each hyperlink with the ECF-assigned URL for the relevant attachment. Then, convert the Word version of your ebrief to a PDF and e-file it.

(Note: This is only an summary. The Southern District and other courts have additional options and additional requirements.)

Some courts in Texas require the linked exhibits to be contained in the same PDF file as the ebrief. An ebrief created with Composer and the linked documents can be converted into a single PDF, and the hyperlinks can be edited accordingly, using Adobe Acrobat.


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