In other circuits, judges have made it known that they read briefs on tablets or iPads. For example, a majority of Fifth Circuit judges reportedly read briefs on iPads. Second Circuit Judge Wesley has explained that he does, too.
It is helpful for judges that lawyers know whether they are reading briefs using tablets, as the Columbia Business Law Review has explained:
The words themselves—that is, the content—may well be the same, but the style should differ. Lawyers who care about communicating forcefully and clearly should seek to perfect style and typography in addition to substance. The rules of typography are simply different for a screen than for print.
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A brief written to be read on an iPad should differ from one written for text in three main ways: it should use fewer footnotes, should use a different font, and should avoid confusing hierarchical organization.
Also see this Lawyerist.com post, “5 Tips for Writing Briefs for Tablets.”
So, are Third Circuit judges reading briefs on tablets instead of on paper? I’d love to know. I recently tried to find out from the Circuit Executive’s office. I was told that not all judges read briefs on paper, but beyond that they could not say.
I’ll be looking for chances to find out more. In the meantime, if anyone has insight about it, please post in comments or contact me directly.