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DIRECTING E-MAIL NOTICES TO MULTIPLE ADDRESSES
Attorneys frequently list multiple e-mail addresses (secondary) when setting up their e-mail notification preferences so that staff members or clients can also be notified of filings electronically. Tip sheets for configuring secondary e-mail addresses are available on the Court's web site. Please note that the primary email is set up through PACER.
Firms should be aware that e-mail notices can be redirected or rejected at several steps between the mailing of the notice by the CM/ECF system and the ultimate receipt by the user. The Court has learned of instances where a law firm's Internet Service Provider (ISP) or a law firm's own network, has rejected notices sent by the court as "spam." This has typically happened in instances where attorneys have listed multiple e-mail addresses in their e-mail notification set-up. When multiple addresses are entered, the CM/ECF system sends out a single message, with cc's. Some ISP's and firm networks deliver the message to the first e-mail address, but not to the others. Occasionally, all messages seem to have been rejected. If you suspect that this is happening to your firm, contact your network administrator and/or your ISP, in addition to the Court's help desk, to see what options are available to you. A future enhancement coming to the CM/ECF system will change the method of mailing messages to multiple addresses by using cc's, to sending each message individually. That may resolve many issues related to this problem.
UNREADABLE E-MAIL NOTICES
If you consistently receive e-mail notices that are unreadable, your e-mail notification setup may be configured improperly for the e-mail system that you use. Some e-mail systems can parse HTML (hypertext markup language) text, which makes for a well formatted e-mail message, and some e-mail systems cannot. CM/ECF can send e-mail to both types of systems, but it needs to be told which type of message to send. You can reconfigure the manner in which notices will be sent to you by logging onto the system, clicking on Utilities, selecting Maintain Your Account, and updating your Email information to select "html" or "text" for the e-mail address you are configuring.
REVIEW DOCUMENT IN PDF PRIOR TO FILING
All documents should be reviewed in their final PDF form prior to being filed with the Court. The review should ensure:
• that the proper document is being filed (occasionally users select prior versions, or in some instances, the wrong document entirely),
• that it has the proper format (caption, signature blocks, margins, etc.), and
• that it has been converted properly to PDF format (check for completeness and legibility). Pay close attention to scanned documents-like any other copying process, it
is easy for pages to get out of order, to become illegible, to be missed entirely, or to become mis-oriented (off center, upside down, etc.).
Occasionally filers forget to add their s/ name to the signature block of the document. Please see paragraph 17 of the Electronic Filing Policies and Procedures Manual for a detailed explanation. In addition, occasionally the s/ name in the signature block does not match the user id and password used to submit the document. Ideally the two should match since it is the password and id that serve as the signature on the document for rule 11 purposes, while the s/ name merely serves as an indicator of who submitted the document to those who are viewing the document on screen or on paper and who are without access to the id/password that the document was submitted under.
MOTIONS FOR LEAVE TO FILE
When filing a motion for leave to file, the underlying document which you are requesting leave to file should not be filed as a separate document, unless and until the motion is granted. If it is necessary to file the underlying document at the time the motion for leave to file is submitted (for instance, if it is necessary for the court to review that document to determine whether filing should be permitted), the underlying document should be filed as an attachment to the motion for leave.
FILING MULTIPART MOTIONS
Multipart motions are discouraged. It is preferred that such motions be filed separately. However, if it is necessary to file a multipart motion, attorneys should take care that all parts (each event) of the motion are selected in the motion filing process so that the court has the opportunity to grant or deny each part separately. In order to select two or more different motion events hold down the control key while you select each part of the motion.
Scanning is admittedly the most cumbersome and error prone part of the CM/ECF filing process. Scanning results in larger file sizes than documents converted directly to PDF and larger files are more time consuming to upload to and download from the CM/ECF system. In instances where the document is already available in electronic format, scanning should be avoided unless absolutely necessary (for instance, to show signatures on an affidavit, etc.). However, when it is necessary to scan a document:
• Select the lowest dots per inch (dpi) setting that results in a clear and legible document. Most documents are highly legible at 150 dpi; the dpi of many documents can
be reduced even further. Scanning documents at 300 dpi typically doubles the file size while displaying minimal, if any, improvement in readability.
• Select scanning in black & white for straight text documents and gray scale for documents with tones. Avoid selecting color when scanning unless absolutely necessary.
Selecting color for a standard black and white typed document increases the file size tremendously.
• Do not use OCR (optical character recognition) when scanning documents to be filed electronically. OCR is used to scan documents for future editing. Documents to be
filed should already be in final form and should not require OCR. Be aware that even the best OCR programs only claim to be 95% accurate. Since a typical page contains
300+ words, OCR is likely to introduce 15 or more errors per page. Instead, scan your documents as if you were creating a mere photocopy by not using OCR.
• Provide staff with as much training as possible in the use of the scanner and scanning software. Use of scanners and scanning software is relatively new. Most law firm
staff are likely to be unfamiliar with the process. Among the comments the Court help desk hears with some frequency from law firm staff is the need for assistance
or training in how to scan documents.
DOCUMENTS WHICH SHOULD BE SUBMITTED AS SEPARATE ATTACHMENTS
Occasionally, documents are submitted in a single file when they should more properly be broken up into their component parts (motion, brief, separate attachments, etc.) prior to filing for ease of use by others. Even though the documents are in separate files, they can be submitted as a single transmission by the filer. See paragraph 14 of the Electronic Filing Policies and Procedures Manual for further details.
DOCUMENTS MISSING CAPTIONS
Occasionally, documents are submitted without case captions. Documents submitted electronically should have the same formatting as if the document had been submitted on paper. It should contain the court name, case name, case number, Judge, and title of the document, etc. See Local Rule 10.1 for details.