Today, April 16, 2012, the Federal Circuit announced that the upcoming May 17 shift to electronic filing will make MANDATORY the electronic filing of ALL case documents for cases opened or reinstated March 1 or later.  “No filing in paper by attorneys will be permitted beyond the effective date unless authorized by the court’s ECF rules.”  Also, electronic filing is not permitted before May 17.  The announcement does not provide for any transition period.  The full ECF rules, however, have not yet been released.

The new system shoud make it easier and faster to obtain copies of briefs and other documents, particularly for non-parties. (May 17 is also the date of the Federal Circuit Judicial Conference in Washington, D.C.)