District Court Highlights

 

E-mail Announcements From WDMO Share Useful Information
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Attorneys can add secondary e-mail addresses to their CM/ECF account to ensure news and announcements from the court are also sent to law clerks, paralegals and assistants.

E-mail announcements are used to provide “mission critical” information on the use of CM/ECF, such as downtime messages, or information that could have an impact on your practice, such as rule changes. Since these announcements often contain information useful to all employees within a law firm, feel free to forward court announcements and/or add non-attorney staff as a secondary recipients as part of the attorney’s registered CM/ECF account.

We understand your e-mail boxes are full, but e-mail from the CM/ECF system is the most efficient way to get time sensitive or essential announcements to attorneys. Please make sure we are sending messages to the right contacts within your organization.

Here’s how:

  1. Login to CM/ECF.
  2. Click Utilities…Maintain Your Account.
  3. Click the E-mail information button near the bottom of the screen.
  4. Under Secondary e-mail addresses, click add new e-mail address and enter the Internet-style e-mail address in the text box.
  5. Complete any additional options, as appropriate, then click Return to Person Information Screen.
  6. To save all new information, click Submit.

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CM/ECF Tips

In February 2010, attorneys received a survey from the court requesting feedback on the services provided by the court.  A meeting was held with a focus group of attorneys in March 2010 to discuss the comments received from the survey.  Throughout this year we've addressed many of the suggestions received from the survey.  This article provides information on two of the suggestions: (1) a way to run a docket sheet with recent activity displaying first, and (2) a way to run a calendar of hearings at the court.

Running a Docket Report With Recent Activity First

The Sort by dropdown list on the Docket Report selection criteria screen includes a Most recent date first option.  If selected, the most recent activity in the case will appear at the top of the docket sheet.  The document number option will sort the entries by document number than date filed.

Docket Report Selection Screen

Docket Report Selection Screen

Running a Calendar of Hearings Report

The Calendar Events Report will display a list of calendar events for a specified date range.  This report is available free of charge to PACER users.

Users can customize the report by selecting one or more available options. The Calendar Events Report can be run for a specific case, office, nature of suit, calendar event, date/time or a combination of the options.

Calendar Events Report Selection Screen

Calendar Events Report Selection Screen

Selecting an office and date range will provide information on all hearings held in a certain division for the specific dates entered.

All hearings scheduled for 12/6/2010 in Kansas City

All hearings scheduled for 12/6/2010 in Kansas City

To view a schedule for a single case, enter the case number, office and date range for which you are interested in obtaining a schedule.

Report output using Case Number, Office and Set fields

Please note that hearings can be rescheduled or canceled, so you are advised to call the Clerk’s Office to check on the status of any hearings.

Report output using Case Number, Office and Set fields

Report output using Case Number, Office and Set fields

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Preparations Begin for Transition From PDF to PDF/A

PDF A ImageFrom the inception of CM/ECF, the judiciary embraced the PDF standard for all electronically filed documents. Since it was first adopted, the PDF standard has evolved to include new features, some of which have raised concerns about the security and long-term archival storage of the documents. Tremendous quantities of valuable information are currently being created and saved as a PDF, and a solution is needed to ensure that digital PDF documents remain readable, renderable and accessible for the long term. The PDF/A standard addresses those concerns.

While current versions of CM/ECF already accept PDF/A documents, upcoming releases of CM/ECF will require documents to be in PDF/A format.  No target date has been set for the PDF/A requirement, but we encourage you to begin preparations for the transition to PDF/A.

Hyperlinks in PDF/A Documents

When a document with active links is displayed, clicking a link will normally take the user to the referenced document or site.  Two notable exceptions are described below.

Masked Hyperlinks

Hyperlinks are commonly “masked,” meaning that the full address of the referenced file is not written out. For example, clicking the word Brief may open a brief that was previously filed in CM/ECF. An “unmasked” hyperlink has the full address visible to the user, such as https://ecf.mowd.uscourts.gov.

Depending on how they are created, masked hyperlinks may or may not work in a PDF/A document. If a document is produced by the “Save As” method in Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010, or by using the Create PDF method in Microsoft Word 2007, masked hyperlinks are preserved in PDF/A. (Please see the CM/ECF Version 5.0 Guide for more information on the Create PDF method.)

With other conversion methods, such as WordPerfect, the PDF/A document includes underlined words that appear to be links, but clicking them has no effect. To avoid this potential problem, please use unmasked links in your documents. This will also be helpful to anyone viewing a printed copy of the document that needs to see a referenced item.

Adobe’s PDF/A View Mode

If version nine of Adobe Reader or Acrobat is being used for display, links will not work in “PDF/A View Mode” (the default mode). A user who wants to use the hyperlinks must disable “PDF/A View Mode,” as shown below.

  1. From the Edit menu, select Preferences.
  2. Click the Documents category.
  3. Select Never in the PDF/A View Mode dropdown list.
  4. To save this option, click OK.

View Mode Options

Changing this setting will allow you to utilize active hyperlinks in documents.

Adobe is currently working on an upgrade that will make this disabling unnecessary and the hyperlinks will be active in PDF/A view mode.

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