Helping Trial Lawyers Navigate the Appellate System

Texas Appellate E-Filing Goes Live

Here is the text of an e-mail I received from SCOTX Clerk Blake Hawthorne this morning, along with links he included in the message:

Effective March 28, 2011, you may electronically file documents, pay your fees, and serve opposing counsel using the electronic filing system. To use the electronic filing system you must first choose an electronic filing service provider and register. Please remember to send two paper copies of your filing to the Court when you use the electronic filing system.

If you choose to file using the traditional paper filing method, you must still e-mail electronic copies of petitions, responses, replies, briefs on the merits, amicus briefs, post-submission briefs, motions for rehearing, and emergency motions to the Clerk of the Court on the same day that the paper copies are filed. The electronic copies must be e-mailed to

For more details, see the Electronic Copy and Electronic Filing Rules for the Supreme Court of Texas. For more information about creating electronic briefs, please read this Guide to Creating Better Electronic Briefs. You can also watch a video that shows step-by-step instructions for using Adobe Acrobat to create an electronic brief.

For background, see my three previous posts.

The First and Fourteenth Courts of Appeals have gone live as well, with others to follow throughout the year.

I filed a reply in the Texas Supreme Court late last week and would like to have taken advantage of the new system.  I expect to file another brief there fairly soon and will report on the experience afterward.  If has fixed the bugs and the system works like trial-court e-filing does now, it should go smoothly.

5/9/11 Update:  The Third Court of Appeals is accepting e-filing as of today.  According to its website, e-filing is now the “preferred method for filing” in the Third Court.

D. Todd Smith
About the Author

D. Todd Smith is an Austin-based civil appellate specialist who works with trial teams from the earliest stages of litigation. In trial courts, he takes the lead on strategic analysis and briefing, jury charges, and potentially dispositive motions, all with a focus on preserving error and positioning cases for appellate review.

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