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Westlaw, Lexis, and the legislature’s website. Hyperlinks are not required by the rules, but
justices and their staff frequently comment that they like hyperlinked briefs. If you have the time
and the resources, you can provide the court with a brief that contains hyperlinks to every
citation in the brief, including the citations listed in your Index of Authorities. Instructions on
how to create hyperlinks in Word, WordPerfect, and Adobe Acrobat are included below.
The primary tool for creating an electronic brief is your word processor. Microsoft Word
provides some helpful features that make creating an electronic brief easier. In particular, Word’s
Styles feature allows you to create headings in your brief that will automatically create
bookmarks when you save the document as a PDF. You can also create hyperlinks to online
resources in Word and WordPerfect that will work when you save the document as a PDF.
Adobe Acrobat Standard or Pro
Adobe Acrobat sets the standard for creating, combining, editing, redacting and making PDFs
searchable. And eventually you will need to do all of these things if you are working with
electronic briefs. There are other less expensive PDF software programs, but you will find an
enormous number of books and online resources to assist you with Adobe Acrobat. For example,
Adobe hosts the free Acrobat for Legal Professionals Blog that provides tips and techniques for
working with electronic legal documents. Adobe Acrobat Standard will do everything that you
need a PDF program to do—except for redacting PDFs. You will need the more expensive
Adobe Acrobat Pro if you want to redact documents electronically.
Although you are prohibited from scanning your brief and any other document (e.g. cases,
statutes, etc.) that is available in electronic format, there are occasions where you will need to
scan a document in order to include it in your appendix. For example, a trial court may not have
electronic filing so you may have to scan a trial court order. Or maybe you really want to include
a contract in your appendix and it is only available in paper form. In those situations the only
solution is to scan the document.
There are many different manufacturers and models of scanners. For example, Fujitsu makes the
economical ScanSnap scanner line that scans about eight pages a minute. It also makes high
speed production scanners that will scan up to 130 pages per minute. If you do not want to buy a
scanner, office service companies like FedEx Office will scan documents for a fee.
Be sure to set your scanner to Black and White with a resolution of 300 dpi. These settings
are required by rule. There is no point in scanning black and white documents at settings other
than Black and White, 300 dpi. And scanning documents in color, grayscale, or at a higher
resolution than 300 dpi will create files that are unnecessarily large. See the instructions below