Monday, August 08, 2005

On improving the Virginia Supreme Court rules

I got an e-mail asking for ideas about improving the ways of the Virginia Supreme Court, and wrote this:

1. there should be permissive electronic filing and mandatory digital filing (like the 7th Cir. Rule 31),

2. the appendix should be deferred in every single case (like the 6th Cir. Rule 30),

3. transcripts (if not audio files) of all oral arguments should be available online (like the U.S. S.Ct. and others),

4. there should be better scheduling of oral argument - under the old Va. S.Ct. practice (as I recall it, perhaps times have changed) the whole week is held hostage until the end of the week before and then you find out at the last minute when you have to be in Richmond, which is a day's drive from here (and another day's drive back)

5. absolutely all orders and opinions by the Virginia Supreme Court should be published and accessible to the world on the judiciary's website, except by special order in extraordinary circumstances - and should be citable where it makes sense that they should be citable, in the manner of the proposed FRAP 32.1 (discussed in this report)

1, 3, and 5, I don't see these just as lawyering issues, they are open government issues.

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