2021 has ushered in not only a new Rhode Island Supreme Court, but also significant technical upgrades as the Court officially converts to electronic filing. Beginning January 29, 2021, attorneys must submit all filings to the Rhode Island Supreme Court electronically unless they have received a waiver. The Court’s December 31, 2020 order, which makes effective electronic filing rules it promulgated in 2020, can be accessed here.
One of the most noteworthy effects for appellate practitioners: a later deadline for submitting filings.
The conversion to e-filing means appellate practitioners will now have until 11:59 p.m. on the day a brief is due to upload their submission through the Court’s e-filing system. Instead of the 4 p.m. dash to the Clerk’s Office with an original and nine copies of your appellate brief in hand (still hot off the press, of course), attorneys now have an extra 8 hours to submit their filings electronically.
For some, the extension is the “gift of time,” allowing attorneys to further perfect Supreme Court filings for an extra 8 hours. However, others may come to wistfully long for the days when we physically handed our Supreme Court filings to the Clerk by 4 p.m., said “mission accomplished,” and headed next door to Parkside for a drink or, more likely, back to the office to work on the next case.