Brief Fight Likely to End in Compromise

From tomorrow’s (Friday’s) San Francisco Recorder:

Brief Fight Likely to End in Compromise
The Recorder

By Mike McKee

October 30, 2009

The [California] Supreme Court sounds willing to end its practice of shipping briefs from all the state’s appellate cases to Westlaw and LexisNexis, which charge for them. An Irvine lawyer [Edmond Connor] saw a copyright problem…

Some more from the article:

‘Connor, who claims court briefs are lawyers’ copyrighted property, wrote again last Friday, urging the court to at least amend Rule of Court 8.212 — which requires lawyers to file either one electronic copy or four hard copies of their briefs with the high court — to instead require only one paper copy.

“Litigants will not have to incur the needless time and expense,” he wrote, “of providing the court with extra copies of briefs that the court simply discards — or gives away to vendors.”

California Court of Appeal opinion publication up, slightly

A story in today’s San Francisco Recorder, “Appeal Courts Publishing More, Barely,” by Mike McKee, gauges the effects of a new court rule designed to encourage opinion publication by the California Court of Appeal and includes these statistics:

. . . Of 11,581 opinions filed by the state’s appellate districts between April 1, 2007, and March 31, 2008, only 1,151– 9.9 percent of the total — were ordered published, according to figures given to The Recorder by California’s reporter of decisions, who oversees the editing and publication of Supreme Court and appellate opinions in the state’s official reports.

By comparison, a year earlier, between April 1, 2006, and March 31, 2007, when the old rules were in play, only 999 — or 9 percent — of 11,067 rulings were published, according to the court’s records.
. . .

The biggest increase occurred in San Francisco’s First District Court of Appeal, which, according to The Recorder’s count, went from 127 published opinions in 2006-07 to 162 a year later, for an increase of 27.5 percent.