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.

Coming soon: e-filing at the La. 1st Circuit

The Louisiana First Circuit announced today that e-filing there will be available starting this Monday, June 16. To learn how the system will work, read newly adopted Local Rule 8 and the court’s FAQ sheet.

One requirement the First Circuit will have that I have not yet seen elsewhere is an electronic signature. Most of us are accustomed to “signing” a document by typing “/s/ [name]” above the signature line when creating the document in Word or WordPerfect. That may not do for the First Circuit. Local Rule 8 defines electronic signature as “an electronic sound, symbol, or process attached to or logically associated with a document and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the document.” If you don’t know how to sign a document electronically, do not fear; just visit this Adobe web page and watch the little instructional video.

If you sign up for e-filing with the La. Supreme Court, ...

If you register for e-filing with the Louisiana Supreme Court, here is a tip that may save you some time: You must enter your contact information exactly as it appears in the Louisiana State Bar Association’s membership directory. If your e-file registration information does not match your LSBA directory information exactly, the administrator will reject your application. This goes not just for your e-mail address, but also for your other contact information. I recommend that you pull up your LSBA directory info in one browser window or tab, pull up the e-file registration form in another, and copy and paste from the directory to the registration form.

I didn’t know this until I tried to register myself; it took three tries over two working days to give them exactly what they wanted. Part of the problem is that I have more than one office e-mail address; another part is the variety of ways one can address mail to the 45th floor of One Shell Square. Nevertheless, after two rejection e-mails, I figured it out.

Here is another tip: Don’t wait until you have to file something before registering. It will take the administrator about a day to approve or reject your registration. You can telephone someone if you need immediate approval, but you probably don’t want to add this to your list of deadline-day anxieties. Because of the way the process works, the time to register is when you’re not up against a deadline.

La. 5th Circuit’s electronic-notice system

The Louisiana Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal has introduced a system for electronic notification. I just registered a minute ago, so I can’t give you a review of its operation. Here is the blurb describing what it will do:

With our eNotification service, you will receive instant notification of filings via email rather than through the mail. In addition, detailed information regarding your cases is available online through our portal.

Although I can’t tell you yet how well the Louisiana Fifth Circuit's system works, in my experience, the electronic-notice systems at the Louisiana First and Fourth Circuits work well, providing same-day notice of any action taken by the court in my cases. To read about and register for the Louisiana Fifth Circuit’s system, click here.