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The public can follow the goings-on of Enron Corp.’s bankruptcy in the daily papers. But to find out about the nitty-gritty of the legal proceedings, look on the Web. The complete docket — everything from affidavits to pro hac vice requests — is available at www.elaw4enron.com. (A link can also be found at Enron’s own Web site, at www.enron.com.) Enron’s bankruptcy lawyers at New York’s Weil, Gotshal & Manges are behind the site. “This was a way in which all parties in the case, not just the lawyers, could get documents,” says Brian Rosen, a partner at Weil Gotshal. The aim was to give former and current Enron employees, the media and others a chance to keep track of the case, he says. Rosen suggested setting up a Web site during routine discussions about managing the case with U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Arthur Gonzalez of the Southern District of New York, who authorized Enron’s lawyers to set it up in a case-management order he issued in late February. Gonzalez ordered that the site have no connection to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court or its Web site ( www.nysb.uscourts.gov), and that it include a disclaimer that it is independent of the court. The site went live on March 8, according to Jerry Krivitzky, CEO of e-Law LLC, the Newark, N.J.-based company that set it up. It now contains about 3,000 documents. To date, about 100,000 people have visited the site. Viewers do not have to pay or register to look. To maintain the site, e-Law simply posts PDF files of the documents that are filed with the bankruptcy court. It is updated daily. The site is fairly rudimentary. Filings are arranged in folders by date. It doesn’t include a search engine, for example, so you can not find documents by key words — say, the name of an Enron creditor. You must locate each filing by the date it was posted — no easy task. e-Law is looking into adding a search feature, Krivitzky says. These filings are also available through the Pacer service, but Pacer charges readers. E-Law has set up the Enron site for free. Krivitzky says the company sees it as a good marketing tool for its other services: e-Law provides other docketing services. According to Kathleen Farrell, the clerk of the bankruptcy court, who helped administer the site, this was the first time that debtor’s counsel approached a judge about setting up a public Web site. The New York bankruptcy court is itself an example of electronic sophistication, as far as courts go. In March 2000, the court went entirely paperless. All motions are filed electronically, and the judges maintain their dockets electronically. The court runs regular training for lawyers in how to use its electronic filing system. Large litigations and bankruptcies are beginning to find a comfortable home on the Internet. Pacific Gas & Electric Co., for example, posts selected court filings concerning its bankruptcy proceedings on its Web site. This site was an inspiration for the Enron repository, Rosen says. Weil Gotshal represents PG&E’s parent company in that proceeding. Judges are taking note of this trend. Last fall, for example, federal district Judge Shira Scheindlin of the Southern District of New York suggested to parties in a massive securities class action case that they set up a Web site to post motions and pleadings. This site is not open to the public. Meanwhile, lawyers for the creditors’ committee in the Enron bankruptcy are also considering a way to use the Internet to arrange documents in the discovery phase of litigation. That site would not be open to the general public.

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