The Court is taking two small steps toward electronic notifications being sent to counsel in lieu of the postcards and one-page letters that are common today:
Counsel making a filing must provide an email address at which they are willing to receive notices from the Court.
Lead counsel are also now required to register for notifications with the Casemail system operated by the Office of Court Administration.
According to Blake A. Hawthorne, the Clerk of the Court, “We hope this order further helps attorneys and the Court adjust to electronic filing, which the Office of Court Administration projects will be available for the Supreme Court and the Houston courts of appeals in August. There currently are no plans to eliminate paper notices, but the Court is moving in that direction in order to reduce expenses.”
The Court is also requiring a small but important advance in professional courtesy (and perhaps toward e-service):
- All electronic briefs submitted to the Court must, at the same time, be emailed to other counsel in the case.
The above changes are effective May 31, 2010, but there’s no reason you can’t comply with them today.
In addition, effective May 31, 2010 the Court will be reducing the number of paper copies required of some filings. All motions — including motions for rehearing — will only need an original and one copy. (This relaxed number of paper copies applies to motions for extension of time as well, even though they do not qualify for electronic courtesy copies.)