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Bar News - June 6, 2008


US District Court-District of NH
ECF Tip: Creating Hyperlinks to Legal Citations and to Exhibits in Pleadings

The districtís electronic filing rules (AP 2.3(i)) now permit filers to create hyperlinks both to legal citations and to exhibits or attachments to pleadings. While the districtís rules do not require filers create these hyperlinks, including hyperlinks in your pleadings makes it much easier for the judges and law clerks to review your supporting documents and legal authorities.

The court has assembled the below resources in an effort to assist you in creating hyperlinks in your documents. The court will also be hosting half hour brown bag demonstrations starting at noon at the courthouse on the following dates: June 24, June 26 and June 30. Attorneys are encouraged to send any staffers who prepare their electronic pleadings to one of these demos. Registration is not required to attend.

Creating Hyperlinks to Legal Citations: Both Westlaw and Lexis have developed free software applications that create hyperlinks to the full text of legal citations contained in your word processing document. The software applications are referred to as WestCiteLink and LexLink, the latter of which is part of LexisNexis Citation Tools 2003. These cites can be accessed on the courtís website by clicking on the "Electronic Case Files" link on the left navigation bar, selecting CM/ECF on the first flyaway menu and then selecting Hyperlinking on the second flyaway menu. Although there is no fee to download the hyperlink creation software, the person viewing the document incurs a Westlaw or Lexis charge. While the court has both Westlaw and Lexis access and does not endorse either of these products, Westlaw is used more frequently in this district.

The court has posted a short informational training video on its webpage demonstrating how to create hyperlinks to legal citations in a WordPerfect document using WestCiteLink. You can locate that training video at the Hyperlinking section of the CM/ECF page on the courtís webpage as referenced above.

Creating Hyperlinks to Exhibits or Attachments in Pleadings: Newer versions of CM/ECF permit filers to submit electronic documents that include hyperlinks to a previously filed document in the same case or another case, as well as to documents that are being filed contemporaneously as part of the same submission, such as exhibits to motions or memos of law. This is a feature long desired by the judges in this district because it makes it much easier to review exhibits submitted in support of a pleading. A document can be linked to another document in any federal courtís database if the court is running the appropriate version of CM/ECF that includes the hyperlink function: District (Release 3.1); Bankruptcy (Release 3.2) and/or Appellate (available as of July 2006). This hyperlink functionality has been tested in WordPerfect 11 or higher and Word 2002 or higher.

The court has created various resources on its webpage to assist you in creating hyperlinks to exhibits.

You can access an instruction sheet that will walk you through the steps to create these hyperlinks in either a Word or WordPerfect document by clicking on the Electronic Case Files link on the left navigation bar, selecting CM/ECF on the first flyaway menu and then selecting Reference Materials on the second flyaway menu. The exhibit hyperlink information sheet can be found on the link entitled "How Attorneys Create Hyperlinks to Exhibits in Memos of Law."

You can access interactive computer based training modules that explain how to create hyperlinks to exhibits in both Word and WordPerfect documents by clicking on the Electronic Case Files link on the left navigation bar, selecting ECF Training Materials on the first flyaway menu. On the training page you would select the link entitled "New Hampshire Computer-Based Trianing Modules." There you will find training modules showing you how to create hyperlinks to simultaneously filed exhibits for both Word and WordPerfect documents.

If you have any questions regarding this information, please feel free to contact the ECF Help Desk at 1-800-776-0320 Option 8.

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