Making Better Briefs with Hyperlinks

Second of a series of 5 TypeLaw series on the future of digital legal briefs based on ABA research

Hyperlinks are a small, but mighty feature of digital briefs. Hyperlinks can either be internal (link to a different section of the same brief PDF), or external (link to a case authority on a website like CaseText/Westlaw/LexisNexis). Using internal and external hyperlinks, one digital brief can bring together all of the relevant documents related to a case. The ability to have all files related to a case one click away is invaluable to the entire legal ecosystem (attorneys, judges, court staff, paralegals, clients) where time and access to information is essential. The ABA has made the recommendation that hyperlinked briefs be allowed to be submitted as the brief of record for all courts. At TypeLaw, we knew that automating hyperlink capability would be essential to our clients’ success transitioning into the world of digital briefs.

Hyperlinks are easy for the court to verify, and help the court understand the arguments in your brief. In the core areas of brief hyperlinks, the ABA outlines the benefits to attorneys and the courts. 

  • Legal citations by filers 
    • Provides immediate access to legal authorities cited in standard citation format
    • Directs to legal research platforms or websites accessible to all users
    • Directs to key legal authorities in the appendix to adhere to file limits in a single PDF
  • Record citations by filers
    • Provides immediate access to cited items in trial court record
    • Connects citations between the brief and appendix within a single PDF file
    • Provides direct access to an externally stored trial court records without affecting file size limits
  • Authorized internet sites (i.e Westlaw, LEXIS, CaseText)
    • Provides direct access to external sites used across court systems
    • Allows for internet cited material to be included as a copy in the appendix for reference, avoiding dead links and errors
    • TypeLaw defaults to Casetext since there is no paywall for the reader, giving attorneys more control over how the brief lands arguments to authority.

Given the current landscape where federal and state courts vary greatly in their requirements for filers to hyperlink in brief filings, TypeLaw is focused on providing a cohesive experience for our customers. Each case, statute, and constitution cited in your brief can be easily hyperlinked to a URL available on the web, and used in any court across the country. 

Click here for Part 3.

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