More federal court judges viewing legal briefs on tablet computers

IPads and other tablet computers – it seems like just about everyone has one these days. It’s therefore only fitting that this technology is finding its way into courtrooms, and specifically into the hands of judges.

Tablets give judges the freedom to review briefs from anywhere, not just within the confines of chamber walls. In fact, a 2012 survey indicated that 58% of federal judges were using an iPad. If you are filing in federal court, you are most likely utilizing the electronic filing system, and because your brief may be read on an iPad, perhaps you should be thinking about how to make your documents tablet friendly.

Lawyerist.com posted an article recently highlighting some tips to write better briefs for tablets. Some of those tips include:

Use hyperlinks

Hyperlinks allow the judge to jump directly to the authority you are citing. The 5th Circuit court loves hyperlinks so much, in fact, that they have developed an application that will automatically covert citations into hyperlinks! Other courts have not been as proactive, but always check your local rules. Hyperlinks may not just be a preference, it might be a requirement in your particular court.

Use more lists

Rather than forcing the judge to read lengthy paragraphs packed with information, instead put the important stuff into a list or bullet point format. It’s much easier to read and digest the information on a tablet when it is provided in a clear and concise layout.

Use charts, pictures and infographics

Visual aids are another way of making the information provided easier to digest and it is aesthetically pleasing when reading a brief on a tablet.

It may take some getting used to, but as technology improves the legal world evolves and adjusts to the times. It only makes sense that the manner in which a brief is written changes with them as well. Have you changed the way you write briefs to accommodate those who view them on a tablet?

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About the Author

Brooke Greene is a Product Training and Research Specialist at One Legal. She provides our audience with the training and tools they need to be successful. Brooke also has a paralegal certificate, is a member of the San Diego Legal Secretaries Association, and is a CALSPro certified process server. In her free time, you can find her at the beach, soaking up the San Diego sun with her daughter and her chocolate lab.

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