U.S. 5th Circuit Attorney Toolbox

Recently, Lyle Cayce—the indefatigable clerk of the U.S. 5th Circuit—has implemented more tech tools to make lawyers’ practice in that court easier: a new “Attorney Toolbox” feature added to the court’s CM/ECF system. You can read his announcement and description of its features by following this link. Here’s his intro:

I write to make sure that BAFFC[*] members know that we have created a new “Attorney Toolbox” you can access by clicking on the link prominently displayed on the CM/ECF landing page. This Toolbox will eventually serve as the location for case related programs now found under our “Utilities Tab,” including the EROA download, brief template, and Quality Control (QC) programs. But the Toolbox also contains two features long requested by BAFFC members — a record excerpt creation tool for appellants, and hyperlinks in pleadings.  

* Bar Association of the Federal Fifth Circuit

Shortcuts for typing a § and a ¶

If you’re using Windows, you can type a section sign (§) or a pilcrow (¶) in any Windows application, including Word, using your numeric keypad. Here’s how.

First, make sure your Num Lock is on; that’s the key in the upper left corner of your numeric keypad. Most keypads have a little light indicated whether Num Lock is on or off.

To type the section sign, hold down the Alt key and press 0167 in sequence. In Word, you may have to hit space bar or another key before the symbol appears.

To type a pilcrow or paragraph sign, hold down the Alt key and press 0182 in sequence.

There are other Alt codes for dozens of typographic symbols that you won’t find on your keyboard. They work the same way: with Num Lock on, hold down Alt and press four numbers. To find those numeric codes, check out this web page by some folks at Penn State.

Yes, you can take your smart phone to the U.S. Fifth Circuit

In a case I’m involved in at the U.S. Fifth Circuit, we recently received, along with the notice of oral argument, this notice of the court’s new policy on admitting electronic devices, such as smart phones and tablet computers. Bottom line: you can take your smart phone or tablet with you; you just need to power it down before entering the courtroom. Counsel presenting oral argument or assisting at counsel table may use a laptop or tablet computer, but must not use these devices to take pictures or photos, or to post to social media inside the courtroom.


p.s. (3 Mar. 2015): For some reason, the link to the Fifth Circuit document did not work for me in MS Internet Explorer. I had no trouble using the link in Google Chrome. I haven’t tried it in Firefox.

p.p.s.: At iPhone JD, Jeff Richardson has a detailed post on this topic and on the general use of electronic devices in court.