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Commercial Division Advisory Council Proposes Requiring Briefs to Include Hyperlinks to NYSCEF Docket Entries

The Administrative Board of the Courts is seeking public comment on a proposal by the Commercial Division Advisory Council to amend Commercial Division Rule 6 to (i) require legal memoranda to include hyperlinks to cited documents that have already been filed on NYSCEF and (ii) give judges discretion to require that citations include hyperlinks to legal databases such as LexisNexis, Westlaw, or government websites. 

The proposed rule also encourages parties to include hyperlinks to cited authorities even when doing so is not strictly required.  The proposed rule contains an exemption for parties who certify in good faith that complying with the rule’s requirement would be unduly burdensome.

The proposal is a more streamlined version of an earlier hyperlinking proposal submitted in 2016, and its main purpose is to “enable judges and their staff to access source materials more quickly and improve efficiency.” 

In proposing the rule, the Advisory Council noted a trend in courts around the country toward encouraging or requiring hyperlinks or bookmarks (i.e., electronic links among different parts of the same document) in legal filings.  For instance, the Second Department recently required all electronically filed briefs to contain bookmarks or hyperlinks to cited legal authorities.

Any comments on the proposed rule must be received by February 24, 2020, and can be sent by e-mail to [email protected] or regular mail to Eileen D. Millett, Esq., Counsel, Office of Court Administration, 25 Beaver Street, 11th Fl., New York, NY 10004.

By Benjamin F. Jackson and Muhammad U. Faridi