Louisville Law Review Students Attend Session on “Electronic Practice in Federal Court”

Saving trees, saving time, and saving money are some of the benefits of the recent electronic developments in federal courts. But with these benefits come challenges. Several members of the Louisville Law Review staff and board attended a pilot training session for law students hosted by Jeff Apperson, U.S. District Court Clerk for the Western District of Kentucky, on Saturday, March 22, 2008.

During the half-day session, students were given an overview of the electronic systems now in federal courts. The overview included information on electronic case management, public access to court electronic records, and an overview of the web site. Students visited one of the federal courtrooms and were able to see first hand the bells and whistles that are now accessible to the judge, the parties, and the jury. Concerns about privacy and ethics were discussed as part of the session.

The session was a trial run for assessing the best means of educating law students before they enter practice about electronic practice in federal courts. Although not everyone will practice in federal court, it is probable that state court systems will move to incorporate use of electronic practice. For that reason awareness and understanding of electronic practice is becoming increasingly essential. The training may become a model for other law schools throughout the country.