I heard this statement recently – “You don’t know what you’re missing until you know what you’re missing.” It was actually part of a really great church sermon, but it also got me thinking about … eBriefs.
I remember when I first got a BlackBerry. It was amazing! I could receive and respond to e-mails all the time and not be tied to my computer. Sure I had a brick strapped to my waist, but I didn’t leave home without it, and I don’t remember what I did before I had it. Fast forward a few years, and I am now an iPhone addict. Not only can I check and send e-mails, but I can surf the web, watch a movie, listen to music, take pictures, shoot movies, and of course play any game I want. I didn’t know what I was missing until I knew what I was missing.
After more than 10 years of creating eBriefs and seeing the overwhelmingly positive reactions from lawyers and the courts, I firmly believe these hyperlinked gems also fall into this category. Shockingly however, there are still many myths surrounding the eBrief: it is too much work; I can’t consider doing one while I’m writing my brief; it is too expensive, or my client doesn’t see the value are just a few of the more common statements.
Believe me, I have heard all of the reasons not to do one; however, I want to really encourage you to step a little out of your comfort zone and submit an eBrief. Either hire a vendor to create one (prices vary, but typically range from $2,000-$4,000 for a 50-page brief) or learn how to make one yourself. In almost every instance, the eBrief is submitted as a supplement to your hard copy or e-filed brief, so you don’t even need to start preparing it until after you have filed.
With every key cite being hyperlinked to the relevant material, it is hard to believe that the end user will not find this technology invaluable. The clerk and/or judge/arbitrator can review your brief quickly with the click of a mouse, rather than searching through boxes of paper or a list of PDF files to find the cited document. You may actually be helping to speed up the deluged court system!
EBrief creation is not a new technology, but it is a technology that is grossly underutilized. If you’re on the fence about giving it a try, talk to someone who has submitted or received one. I venture they will tell you they didn’t know what they were missing until they knew what they were missing