Electronic case management and filing by lawyers is increasingly standard practice in both federal and state courts. In the federal courts, the electronic case management and filing system, known as CM/ECF, began in the bankruptcy courts in 2001 and progressed to the district courts in 2002 and to the courts of appeals in 2004.[FOOTNOTE 1] The shift in the New York federal courts is almost complete. Although there is federal regulation governing CM/ECF filings, like much federal practice, local rules may differ as to details.[FOOTNOTE 2]

For example, the Southern District of New York’s Web site contains Electronic Case Filing Rules and Instructions to assist attorneys.[FOOTNOTE 3] To access the system, attorneys must register in advance to obtain a user ID and password.