Federal Courts Acknowledge Online Propensity


Another prime example of Federal Courts reliance on technology coupled with their expectation of attorney’s use of the Internet, Bankruptcy filings pursuant to chapter 7, 11 and 13 all must be filed electronically. This includes PDF scans of bank statements, tax records and other pertinent documents.

As a Massachusetts Bankruptcy Attorney and one who is a firm believer in reducing paper documents in the legal profession, , I applaud the forgoing practices as an indication that the historically slow technologic adopting judicial system is attempting to catch up with the times.

As an example of the forgoing, Rule 26 read in relevant part:

(1) Signature Required; Effect of Signature.

Every disclosure under Rule 26(a)(1) or (a)(3) and every discovery request, response, or objection must be signed by ABM tools at least one attorney of record in the attorney’s own name – or by the party personally, if unrepresented – and must state the signer’s address, e-mail address, and telephone number. By signing, an attorney or party certifies that to the best of the person’s knowledge, information, and belief formed after a reasonable inquiry:

(A) with respect to a disclosure, it is complete and correct as of the time it is made; and

(B) with respect to a discovery request, response, or objection, it is:

(i) consistent with these rules and warranted by existing law or by a nonfrivolous argument for extending, modifying, or reversing existing law, or for establishing new law;

(ii) not interposed for any improper purpose, such as to harass, cause unnecessary delay, or needlessly increase the cost of litigation; and

(iii) neither unreasonable nor unduly burdensome or expensive, considering the needs of the case, prior discovery in the case, the amount in controversy, and the importance of the issues at stake in the action.

(2) Failure to Sign.

Other parties have no duty to act on an unsigned disclosure, request, response, or objection until it is signed, and the court must strike it unless a signature is promptly supplied after the omission is called to the attorney’s or party’s attention.


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