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Attorneys in Calfornia’s Silicon Valley aren’t stoked about new electronic filing requirements in U.S. district court. Three months after the U.S. district court mandated e-filing for the San Jose, Calif., courthouse, nearly 50 percent of attorneys aren’t meeting the electronic filing requirement. So much for filing court documents in your pajamas. San Jose docket clerks sent out reminder letters last week to attorneys who failed to e-file a complaint within 10 days of filing a hard copy with the clerk’s office. Judge Jeremy Fogel’s docket clerk sent out 22 letters to attorneys who didn’t file electronically out of about 50 total cases that required e-filing. Clerks for Judge Ronald Whyte and Judge James Ware also reported about a 50 percent noncompliance rate. Administrators aren’t sure if attorneys who represent Silicon Valley’s high-tech companies are baffled by the technology needed to file electronically — Adobe’s Acrobat Reader and Word Perfect — or if they are simply forgetful. “I think some attorneys are perhaps less responsive than we had expected,” said court clerk Richard Wieking. “It’s a matter of training and accustoming them to a new procedure.” Electronic filing is eventually supposed to streamline case management and give attorneys the flexibility to file anytime anywhere. But administrators warn the switch from pushing papers to transferring files could be tedious. “There needs to be more education. That is a challenge,” Wieking said. “We have a substantial challenge in getting the word out, and we are doing that on several fronts.” Judges in San Jose — along with four jurists from San Francisco and Oakland, Calif. — were selected by the Northern District of California in April to serve as test cases for e-filing. Wieking said the noncompliance isn’t throwing the program into a tailspin, but is something that needs to be worked out before e-filing is expanded to include all judges. The court hasn’t come up with a uniform way to handle noncompliance, but at least one judge has set up sanctions. Magistrate Judge Bernard Zimmerman is fining attorneys $100 a day for missing the 10-day deadline. “I think we are wise in not taking on the experiment with all the judges,” Wieking said. “We will be better positioned to expand the project in a more thoughtful manner.”

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