Posted by: Andy Taylor | June 6, 2019

Hallelujah! (In other words, the Arkansas Supreme Court is abolishing the abstract and addendum requirement.)

As Justice Rhonda Wood described it on Twitter, there was some “HUGE” news from the Arkansas Supreme Court this morning:

Arkansas Supreme Court

We’re still reading the per curiam, and it’s full of changes, 

but here’s a brief synopsis (you can expect a more detailed examination later).

 

First, effective immediately, attorneys may begin requesting electronic records from the circuit clerk, and the circuit clerk is required to provide the record in electronic format.

Second, the Arkansas Supreme Court published for comment revisions to the rules that accommodate these electronic records.  Those rules abolish the requirements of an abstract and addendum.  

Third—and here’s the best part—even though those rules are currently only published for comment (meaning they are not in effect yet), attorneys who choose to file their records electronically are permitted to file under the new rules as part of a pilot project.

As the Supreme Court noted in its per curiam, the abstracting requirement (and, to a lesser extent, the addendum requirement) had outlived their usefulness.  In our opinion, the abstract adds needless time and expense (both in attorney’s fees and printing costs) to the appellate process, it is confusing, and even a well-done abstract can’t effectively capture what occurred at trial.  This is a good move, and we look forward to seeing it fully implemented.  And you can rest assured that we will never order another paper record again!


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