The Coolest Record on Appeal Ever

I spent the first two and one half years of my professional life working as a staff attorney for our state appellate court. Thereafter, I had the opportunity to spend a little more than a year clerking for a justice on the Illinois Supreme Court. The upshot of this is that I love working on appeals. Unfortunately, because of the high percentage of cases that get settled, I rarely get to work on an appeal.

Recently, however, we had a case pending in federal court in the Central District of Illinois in which the district court granted a motion to dismiss. As a result, we have an appeal pending before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. One of the questions we had was how we were going to get a copy of the record on appeal from the District Court. For those of you unfamiliar with Illinois geography, the Central District of Illinois (Springfield Division) is not exactly close to our office.

We contacted the clerk, who told us what paperwork we needed to file to have them send the record on appeal. I was relieved. We didn’t have to worry about trying to get the record from Springfield to our office. The clerk would just send it to us. I figured this was great. I would file the required paperwork and in a few days I would get the record on appeal in the mail.

Things did not happen as I expected. However, unlike most times, this was a good thing. I filed the repaired paperwork on a Friday. The following Monday, a copy of the record on appeal showed up in my inbox. That’s right, the clerk had assembled the record on appeal from the filed PDFs, electronically stamped the documents, and then emailed me the record.

This was absolutely awesome and I was thrilled to see it. Not only did it mean that I had the record almost instantaneously, it also means that I didn’t have to worry about scanning the record in for myself, plus, I don’t have to worry about returning it. It’s not as though I have the only copy that exists. I have an electronic copy. I hope that this is a trend that we see more of in the near future.

I love working on appeals anyway, but working on this appeal was a real pleasure for me.