How Do Bookmarks Help a Judge?

Third in a series of 5 TypeLaw blogs on the future of digital legal briefs based on ABA research

A bookmark provides an automated link between citations in a brief and key materials of record for a case. Bookmarks and internal hyperlinks work together to provide access to resources related to a case with a simple, direct link for the user within the brief. Many states, including California, require bookmarks for navigation in court documents at the Supreme and Appeals court level. In digital legal briefs, bookmarks are a key feature, especially to navigate large, complex cases with numerous citations and record documents.

The ABA recommends the use of bookmarks so readers can easily find and read sections of interest to them using the side panel outline of a brief. Bookmarks match the section titles and headings within a brief, allowing readers can easily skip to sections they want to read. When TypeLaw is used to create a digital brief, bookmarks are automatically inserted with corresponding section titles and headings. TypeLaw digital briefs also include bookmarks in the appendix, which is extraordinarily helpful for judges navigating through hundreds (or even thousands) of pages of the appendix for a single brief. In addition, TypeLaw briefs can be edited at any time, and bookmarks can be seamlessly added for new citations as necessary. 

Manually creating bookmarks can be very time consuming depending on the length of the brief, and automating the process provides valuable time back to lawyers and staff preparing for a case. Bookmarks are a key piece of the digital evolution of legal documents as more judges move away from printing paper briefs and migrate to using electronic devices to read digital briefs. More importantly, a wealth of information is available at the click of a mouse to the judge reading the electronic brief. A well-organized digital brief saves the judge time when they need to find the most important elements of an argument for a case, especially when both judges and attorneys are juggling multiple cases and clients at any given time. Court staff can easily search the bookmarks of a digital brief to find items to create court orders and other record documents for a case. As more aspects of the legal world move to the digital space, maintaining easy to use files is crucial, and bookmarks help judges and attorneys keep order in a busy space. 

Click here for Part 4.

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