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Reading is difficult. As a writer, I help the reader every way I can think of. As a reader, I work hard not to miss the big things in the middle of the road.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Plastic Disks No Longer Routine for Appellate Records

Now attorneys-in-charge can get access to documents in their appeals straight from the website of the relevant appeals court, including clerk's records and court reporter's records. Now appellate counsel won't have to get the record from a trial court clerk or an appeals court clerk. Many hours of time will be saved. Some people have complained that one has to sign up one appeals court at a time, but there is a way using a control key to sign up for all the ones you need. The Fourth Court of Appeals (San Antonio) and the Thirteenth Court of Appeals (Corpus Christi and Edinburg).have not adopted the portal.
As files became electronic, it seemed crazy to have to get a pony disk from a live person, often far out-of-town,
You know how your parents tell you how difficult it was to get to school when they were kids. Now, when you are a few decades older you will be able to tell baby lawyers that you actually had to arrange for plastic disks to be gotten to you, and then returned, and they will vacantly gaze at you as a true relic of the dark ages.
(When I was a law clerk, the word processor they had me use was bigger than a kitchen stove, and to start, the screen would roll up the CRT to look like a sheet of paper, so as not to frighten the legal secretaries who were the initial users of these monsters. Personal computers weren't used in the office, and email was extremely rare. There was no Westlaw or LexisNexis or anything like them in the office. Worker's comp cases could be tried. Treble damages and attorneys' fees were mandatory in deceptive trade practice act cases. And practically all the statutory hedges against plaintiffs' getting their actual damages hadn't been built yet. The Health Care Liability Act was just getting started.)


  1. Attorney Danice L. Obregon reported that she had heard from the Office of Court Administration that the 13th Supreme Judicial District (Corpus Christi/Edinburg) would have their attorney portal up sometime this week.

  2. From the brilliant Michael Mowla:

    1. All cases that originated after the portal went online a few weeks ago in courts that are participating will have the documents posted. This includes the TCCA. Think of this as a benefit moving forward.

    2. The Fifth Court of Appeals has documents posted for the last two years for most of its cases.

    3. Records will be available for 2 years after they are uploaded to the portal. Thus, you should download all records and not depend on the portal as an "online storage" for your cases.

    4. Sealed records will not be available in the portal.

    5. Records that the CSRs are unable to load through the portal will not be available in the portal. An example is a video admitted as an exhibit the size of which is in the gigabytes.

  3. San Antonio's Fourth Court of Appeals is the only COA which does not appear to be set up and has not to my knowledge announced plans to do so.